CISSY BALLEN

Cissy and chameleon


Email:
Phone: 02 9351 8679
Fax: 02 9351 5609
Location: Room 447, Heydon-Laurence Building A08,
University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia


Current Research

Given abundant evidence that suggests colour patches serve as important social signals in reptiles, the ‘honesty’ of such colours can be best understood in relation to the mechanisms mediating colour expression. My research examines the underpinning influences that facilitate or constrain colour communication in lizards, with an emphasis on ROS biology and the effects of early development.

Ctenophorus pictus

Education

Year Qualification
2010-2013 PhD student, Evolutionary Biology, University of Sydney
2008 BSc Fisheries & Wildlife, Biology, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

Presentations

Year Presentation
February 2013

Male and female chameleons use different colours to advertise social dominance.  (Oral presentation)
Meeting of the Australian Society of Herpetologists, Point Wolstoncroft, NSW, Australia

July 2011 Sex-specific basking and activity effects on lizard superoxide levels: high superoxide levels in hot females and cool males (Oral presentation)
Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Minneapolis, MN, USA
July 2011 Sex-specific basking and activity effects on lizard superoxide levels: high superoxide levels in hot females and cool males (Oral presentation)
Joint meeting of the International Ethological Conference and the Animal Behavior Society, Bloomington, IN, USA
June 2011 Net superoxide levels: steeper increase with activity in cooler female and hotter male lizards (Poster presentation)
University of Sydney post-graduate research showcase, Sydney, NSW, Australia
April 2011 The evolution and maintenance of colour signals in reptiles (Oral presentation)
University of Sydney introductory post-graduate seminar, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Publications

# Publication
5. Ballen, C., Shine, R., and Olsson, M. 2014. Social environment affects tactics and performance in chameleons. Animal Behaviour: in press.
4. Olsson, M. M., Stuart-Fox, D., and Ballen, C. 2013. Genetics and evolution of colour patterns in reptiles. Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology: in press.
3. Ballen, C., Healey, M., Wilson, M., Tobler, M., Olsson, M. 2012. Predictors of telomere content in dragon lizards. Naturwissenschaften 99(8):661-664.
2. Ballen, C., Healey, M., Wilson, M., Tobler, M., Wapstra, E. and Olsson, M. 2012. Net superoxide levels: steeper increase with activity in cooler female and hotter male lizards. Journal of Experimental Biology 215(5):731-735.
1. Cotner, S., Ballen, C., Brooks, C. D., Moore, R. 2011. Instructor gender and student confidence in the sciences: a need for more role models? Journal of College Science Teaching 40(5):96-101.
Ctenophorus pictus

Grants and Awards

Year Award
June 2012 University of Sydney Post Graduate Research Support Scheme
June 2011 American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists Graduate Student Travel Award
June 2011 University of Sydney Post Graduate Research Support Scheme, Travel Grant
March 2010-2013 University of Sydney, Biological Sciences Faculty Scholarship
August 2008 Outstanding Performance Award for Teaching Assistants in the College of Biological Sciences
May 2008 Frank H. and Ione Mossman Kaufert Forestry Education Scholarship, University of Minnesota
May 2008 Timothy B. Knopp Memorial Scholarship, University of Minnesota
May 2006 University of Minnesota High Ability Scholars Grant
Sept 2004-May 2008 College of Natural Resources High Ability Non-Resident Scholarship, University of Minnesota

Laboratory and Classroom Teaching

Year Class
2013 Tropical Wildlife Biology (BIOL 3010), University of Sydney
2010 Invertebrate Zoology (BIOL 2011), University of Sydney
2009 Animal Diversity (BIOL 2005), University of Minnesota
2008-2009 Introductory Biology: Evolution and Biology of Sex (BIOL 1001), University of Minnesota
2008 Wildlife Handling and Immobilization for Research and Management (FW 5625), University of Minnesota
2008 Flowering Plant Diversity (PBIO 4511), University of Minnesota
2007-2008 General Zoology (BIOL 2012), University of Minnesota
field site