Ms Jenna Crowe-Riddell

Ms Jenna Crowe-Riddell
  • Qualifications


    Current PhD, University of Adelaide “Tail photoreception: investigating a novel sensory system in Australian sea snakes”. Supervisor: Dr Kate Sanders

    2014 Ba of Science (First Class Honours), University of Adelaide “Scale sensillae: comparing mechanoreceptors in sea snakes and their terrestrial relatives”. Supervisor: Dr Kate Sanders

    2012 Ba of Science (Evolution & Ecology), Australian National University


    2015 Venomous animals collection trip, Brisbane - Gulf of Carpentaria, QLD; sea snake collection trip, Broome, WA

    2014 Sea snake DNA collection, Dampier/Port Headland/Broome, WA

    2012/13 Sea turtle and sea snake survey, Ashmore/Browse/Cartier/Hibernia/Scott/Seringapatam reefs, Timor sea

    2011 Sea turtle tagging, Bare Sand Island, NT; Behavioural experiments with Superb fairy wrens, ACT

  • Awards & Achievements

    2016 Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship, 8-10 months exchange at the University of Florida

  • Research Interests

    I am interested in the evolutionary biology of vertebrate sensory systems. I have long been fascinated by the way every living organism exists in and shares their environment with other organisms and yet, through their unique set of sensory systems forms an entirely different perception of their surrounding world. Pythons can sense infrared, many birds can see ultraviolet and a stingray can feel the electromagnetic field of its prey. My research asks the broad question: how do these differences in sensory abilities shape the evolutionary trajectory of that species? 

    My PhD project aims to combine approaches from varying disciplines in order to describe a unique sensory ability in sea snakes. Night divers first observed the remarkable adaptation of the olive sea snake (Aipysurus laevis) when they noticed that sheltering snakes retracted their vulnerable tail paddles in response to torchlight. This was the first recording of a reptile responding to light on the skin and this rare example of ‘eyeless’ vision may represent a new predator escape strategy. My research aims to resolve the genetic, physiological and ecological basis of tail photoreception in sea snakes by integrating genomics, microscopy, behavioural and morphological analyses. Once complete, my project can serve as a model for integrative biological research with outcomes that can be easily transferable to other species.


  • Research Funding

    Hermon Slade Foundation for the project: "Tail photoreception: Discovering a novel sensory system in Australian sea snakes"  awarded jointly with Dr Kate Sanders

    Environmental Institute Seed Grant for the project: "Tail photoreception: Discovering a novel sensory system in Australian sea snakes"  awarded jointly with Dr Kate Sanders

    2016 Student travel grant, Australian Society of Herpetology 2016 Tasmania conference

    2015 Summer Scholarship for the Biological Sciences, University of Adelaide

  • Community Engagement

    2015 Open Day Presenter at Elder Hall, Biological Sciences, University of Adelaide

    2015 Student representative, Open Day Committee, University of Adelaide

    Science presenter, SACE Open Day

    Night lab volunteer, South Australia Museum

    Bar volunteer, WOMADelaide Festival

The information in this directory is provided to support the academic, administrative and business activities of the University of Adelaide. To facilitate these activities, entries in the University Phone Directory are not limited to University employees. The use of information provided here for any other purpose, including the sending of unsolicited commercial material via email or any other electronic format, is strictly prohibited. The University reserves the right to recover all costs incurred in the event of breach of this policy.

Entry last updated: Friday, 4 Mar 2016