Cassie Hoepner, PhD Student & Outreach Officer
Cassie is investigating if clownfish themselves can become toxic through their symbiotic relationship with anemones! Bright colours and stripes are well known warning signals for species who have a chemical defence such as toxins. Incorporating anemone toxins into the clownfish's mucus layer could contribute to their long lifespan (up to 30 years) and the lack of parasites found on individuals in the wild.
You can follow Cassie's work through her webpage, or
Hoepner, C.M.; Abbott, C.A.; Burke da Silva, K. The Ecological Importance of Toxicity: Sea Anemones Maintain Toxic Defence When Bleached. Toxins 2019, 11, 266.