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Dr. Karen Cheney

During my doctoral research at the Tropical Marine Ecology Group at UEA, I have investigated interactions between cleaning gobies and territorial damselfish, primarily to examine the costs and benefits of visiting cleaning stations but also to attempt to understand causes and consequences of cleanerfish distribution.

My study species for this work has been the Caribbean cleaning goby (Elacatinus spp) and territorial damselfish, focussing particularly on the longfin damselfish (Stegastes diencaeus).

Most of this work has been conducted in Barbados at the Bellairs Research Station but I have also expanded this work to invesitgate how costs and benefits of the interaction change spatially and temporally with changing environmental factors such as ectoparasite availability. This aspect of my work has taken me to other islands in the Caribbean over the distributional range of these species, such as Tobago, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Grenada, Jamaica and Curacao.

In April 2004, I begin a 9-month NERC postdoctorate with my supervisor Dr. Isabelle Cote, continuing our work on cleaner fish mimics.

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