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School of Optometry and Vision Science


Research collaboration and publications

Ecology of Colour Vision Laboratory (ECVL)

Research collaboration


The ECVL has a collaboration on

  1. signalling in birds with Dr. Mark Hauber (School of Biological Science, The University of Auckland and City University of New York)
  2. colour vision and colours in reef fish with Prof. Justin Marshall, Drs. Nathan Hart and Ulrike Seibeck (University of Queensland)
  3. signalling in fiddler crabs with Drs. Jochen Zeil and Jan Hemmi (Australian National University)
  4. colour vision in butterflies with Prof. Kentaro Arikawa (Yokohama City University, Japan) and Dr. Almut Kelber (University of Lund, Sweden)
  5. ecology of primate colour vision with Prof. Shoji Kawamura (University of Tokyo) and Prof. Daniel Osorio (University of Sussex, UK)
  6. flower colours and colour vision of insect pollinators with Dr. Natalie Hempel de Ibarra (University of Exeter, UK) and Prof. Randolf Menzel (Free University Berlin).

Referred research publications since 1996


  1. Ganeshina O and Vorobyev M (2009) A contractile cochlear frame is a common feature of the hearing organs in Gekkota (Sauria, Squamata). A comparative study. Brain Behaviour and Evolution (in press).
  2. Hiramatsu C, Melin AD, Aureli F, Schaffner CM, Vorobyev M, Kawamura S  (2009) Interplay of olfaction and vision in fruit foraging of spider monkeys. Animal Behaviour (published online 31.3.09)
  3. Hempel de Ibarra N, Vorobyev M (2009) Flower patterns are adapted for detection by bees. Journal of Comparative Physiology A. 195:319 -323
  4. Hart NS, Bailes HJ, Vorobyev M, N Justin Marshall NJ, Collin NP (2008) Visual ecology of the Australian lungfish (neoceratodus forsteri). BMC Ecology journal 8:21
  5. Hiramatsu C, Melin AD, Aureli F, Schaffner CM, Vorobyev M, Matsumoto Y, Kawamura S (2008) Importance of achromatic contrast in short-range fruit foraging of primates. PLoS ONE. 3(10):e3356
  6. Osorio D., Vorobyev M. (2008) The evolution of animal colour vision and visual communication signals. Vision Research 48:2042-2051
  7. Wertlen A.W,  Niggebrügge C., Vorobyev M.,  Hempel de Ibarra N. (2008) Detection of patches of coloured discs by bees. J Exp. Biol. 211:2101-2104
  8. Cassey P.,  Ewen J.G., Blackburn T.M., Hauber M.,  Vorobyev  M., Marshall J. (2008) Eggshell colour does not predict measures of maternal investment in eggs of Turdus thrushes. Naturwissenschaften 95:713-721
  9. Koshitaka H, Kinoshita M, Vorobyev M,  Arikawa K (2008) Tetrachromacy in a butterfly that has eight varieties of spectral receptors. Proc R. Soc. B 275: 947-954
  10. Ganeshina O, Kuznetsov S, Vorobyev M (2007) The contractile segment of the abneural limbus in the gecko cochlea is enriched in vimentin. Cell Tissue Res 330:405-412
  11. Vorobyev M. (2007) Color in invertebrate vision. In: The Senses. A Comprehensive Reference.  Ed. Kaneko and  Masland,  Volume 1 pp 205-210
  12. Schaefer M.H. Schaefer V., Vorobyev M. (2007). Are fruit colors adapted to consumer vision and birds equally efficient in detecting colorful signals?   American Naturalist 169: S159-S169 (Impact Factor: 4.66)
  13. Hemmi J., Marshall J., Pix W., Vorobyev M., Zeil J. (2006) The variable colours of the fiddler crab Uca vomeris and their relation to background and predation. J. Exp. Biol. 20:4140-4153 (Impact Factor: 2.63)
  14. Ganeshina O., Vorobyev M., Menzel R. (2006) Synaptogenesis in the mushroom body calyx during metamorphosis in the honeybee, Apis mellifera. Journal of Comparative Neurology 497:876-897
  15. Marshall N.J., Vorobyev M., Siebeck U. (2006) What a reef fish sees when it sees a reef fish? In: Communication in fish. Ed. F Ladich, S Collin, P. Moller, B.G. Capor. pp 393-423.   
  16. Ganeshina O., Vorobyev M. (2006) Structural aspects for slow mechanical adaptation in the vertebrate cochlea. International Journal of Comparative Psychology 19:62-82   
  17. Matz M.V, Marshall J., Vorobyev M. (2006) Are corals colourful? Photochemistry and Photobiology  82:345-250
  18. Osorio D., Vorobyev M. (2005) Photoreceptor spectral sensitivities in terrestrial animals: adaptations for seeing luminance and colour. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 272: 1745-1752
  19. Osorio D., Vorobyev M., Jacobs G.H. (2005) The ecology of the primate eye: retinal sampling and colour vision. In: The primate visual system. A comparative approach.  Ed. J. Kremerspp. 99-127
  20. Hart N., Vorobyev M. (2005) Modelling bird spectral sensitivity from spectrophotometric data: a mathematical model of oil droplet spectral absorption. J. Comp Physiol A 191: 381-392
  21. Osorio D., Smith A.C., Vorobyev M., Buchnan-Smith H.M. (2004) Detection of fruit and the selection of primate visual pigments for color vision. American Naturalist 164:696-708
  22. Vorobyev M. (2004) Ecology and evolution of primate vision. Clinical and Experimental Optometry 87:230-239
  23. Sidiqi A., Cronin T.W., Loew E.R., Vorobyev M., Summers, K. (2004) Interspecific and intraspecific views of color signals in the strawberry poison frog, Dendrobates pumilio. J. Exp. Biol. 207: 2471-2485
  24. Vorobyev M. (2003) Coloured oil droplets enhance colour discrimination. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B , 270: 1255-1261
  25. Ganeshina O. and Vorobyev M. (2003) A contractile cochlear frame in the gecko Teratoscincus scincus. The Journal of Comparative Neurology 461:539-545
  26. Marshall NJ and Vorobyev M. (2003) The design of color signals and color vision in fishes. In: Sensory Processing in Aquatic Environments. Ed. S.P. Collin and N.J.Marshall, Springer, pp 194-223
  27. Kelber A., Vorobyev M., Osorio D. (2003) Animal colour vision – behavioural tests and physiological concepts. Biological Reviews 78 : 81 –118
  28. Hempel de Ibarra N., Giurfa M., Vorobyev M. (2002) Discrimination of coloured patterns by honeybees through chromatic and achromatic cues. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 188: 503-512
  29. Hempel de Ibarra N., Giurfa M., Vorobyev M. (2001) Detection of coloured patterns by honeybees through chromatic and achromatic cues. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 187: 215-224
  30. Vorobyev M., Brandt R., Peithsch D., Laughlin S.B., Menzel R. (2001) Colour thresholds and receptor noise: behaviour and physiology compared. Vision Research, 41: 639-653
  31. Vorobyev M., Marshall J., Osorio D., Hempel de Ibarra N., Menzel R. (2001) Colourful objects through animal eyes. Color Res. and Apl. 26: S214-216
  32. Hempel de Ibarra N., Vorobyev M., Brandt R., Giurfa M. 2000) Detection of bright and dim colours by honeybees. Journal of Experimental Biology, 203: 3289-3298
  33. Chiao C., Osorio D., Vorobyev M., Cronin T.W. (2000) Characterization of natural illuminants in forests and the use of digital video data to reconstruct illuminant spectra. J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 17:1713-1721
  34. Chiao C., Vorobyev M., Cronin T.W., Osorio D. (2000) Spectral tuning of dichromats to natural scenes. Vision Research, 40: 3257-3271
  35. Giurfa M., Zaccardi G., Vorobyev M. (1999) How do bees detect coloured targets using different regions of their compound eyes. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 185: 591-600
  36. Vorobyev M., Hempel de Ibarra N., Brandt R., Giurfa M. (1999) Do ”white” and ”green” look the same to a bee? Naturwissenschaften 86: 592-594
  37. Osorio D., Vorobyev M., Jones C. (1999) Colour vision in domestic chick. Journal of Experimental Biology, 202: 2951-2959.
  38. Osorio D., Jones C, Vorobyev M. (1999) Accurate memory for colour but not pattern contrast in chicks. Current Biology, 9: 199-202  
  39. Vorobyev M., Menzel R. (1999) Flower advertisement for insects. In: Adaptive mechanisms in the ecology of vision Ed. Archer S and Partrige J., Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 537-553.
  40. Vorobyev M., Osorio D., Bennett A.T.D., Marshall N.J., Cuthill I.C. (1998) Tetrachromacy, oil droplets and bird plumage colours. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 183: 621-633.
  41. Giurfa M., Vorobyev M. (1998) The angular range of achromatic target detection by honeybees.  Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 183: 101-110
  42. Vorobyev M., Osorio D. (1998) Receptor noise as a determinant of colour thresholds. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 265: 351-358
  43. Osorio D., Vorobyev M (1997). Sepia tones, signals and the uses of colour. Trends in ecology and evolution 12:167-168
  44. Brandt R., Vorobyev M. (1997) Metric analysis of increment threshold spectral sensitivity in the honeybee. Vision Research 37: 425-439
  45. Vorobyev M. (1997) Costs and benefits of increasing the dimensionality of colour vision system. In: Biophysics of Photoreception: Molecular and Phototransductive Events. Ed. C. Tadei-Ferretti, World Scientific, pp. 280-289
  46. Vorobyev M. (1997) Discrimination of natural colours and receptor spectral sensitivity functions. In: Biophysics of Photoreception: Molecular and Phototransductive Events. Ed. C. Tadei-Ferretti, World Scientific, pp. 263-272
  47. Vorobyev  M., Brandt R. (1997) How do insect pollinators discriminate colours. Israel Journal of Plant Sciences 45:103-114
  48. Vorobyev M. Gumbert A., Kunze J., Giurfa M., Menzel R. (1997) Flowers through the insect eyes. Israel Journal of Plant Sciences 45:93-102
  49. Giurfa M., Vorobyev M. (1997). The detection and recognition of colour stimuli by honeybees: performance and mechanisms. Israel Journal of Plant Sciences 45:129-140
  50. Menzel R., Gumbert A., Kunze J., Shmida A., Vorobyev. M. (1997) Pollinators strategies in finding flowers. Israel Journal of Plant Sciences 45:141-156
  51. Giurfa M., Vorobyev M., Brandt R., Posner B., Menzel R. (1997) Discrimination of coloured stimuli by honeybees: alternative use of achromatic and chromatic signals.  Journal of Comparative Physiology A 180: 235-243
  52. Osorio D., Vorobyev M. (1996). Colour vision as an adaptation to frugivory in primates. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 263: 593-599
  53. Giurfa M., Vorobyev M., Kevan P., Menzel R. (1996) Detection of coloured stimuli by honeybees: minimum visual angles and receptor specific contrasts. Journal of Comparative Physiology A 178: 699-709