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Ecology and Conservation

Dr Anne Winters

Dr Anne Winters

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship

 Stella Turk Building 


University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Penryn, TR10 9FE


I am an evolutionary and behavioural ecologist interested in anti-predator defences. I am particularly interested in aposematism, which is a defence strategy that relies on communication to signal unprofitability to predators. I focus on how variable signals are maintained through selection pressures acting on the system.

I currently hold a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship “MOVAC: maintenance of variation in aposematic colouration” to investigate intraspecific variation in the aposematic, polymorphic nudibranch, Polycera quadrilineata.   

From 2019-2020 I worked as a post-doctoral researcher in the Predator Prey Interactions group at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, where I focused on intraspecific and geographic variation in sequestered chemical defences, how multiple defence compounds interact to dissuade predators, and the efficacy of colour, smell, and taste in disrupting different stages of the predation sequence. 

My PhD “Understanding Colour and Chemical Diversity in Nudibranchs” was in the Visual Ecology group at the University of Queensland, Australia.


12006 – 2010 BSc (with honours) Environmental Biology, University of Southern Mississippi, USA

2010 – 2011 MSc in Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology, University of Exeter, UK

2012 – 2016 PhD in Chemical and Biological Sciences, University of Queensland, Australia


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Journal articles

Winters AE, Chan W, White AM, van den Berg CP, Garson MJ, Cheney KL (2022). Weapons or deterrents? Nudibranch molluscs use distinct ecological modes of chemical defence against predators. Journal of Animal Ecology, 91(4), 831-844. Abstract.
Winters AE, Lommi J, Kirvesoja J, Nokelainen O, Mappes J (2021). Multimodal Aposematic Defenses Through the Predation Sequence. FRONTIERS IN ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION, 9  Author URL.
Lindstedt C, Suisto K, Burdfield-Steel E, Winters AE, Mappes J (2020). Defense against predators incurs high reproductive costs for the aposematic moth Arctia plantaginis. Behavioral Ecology, 31(3), 844-850. Abstract.
Wilson N, Winters A, Cheney K (2018). Correction: Wilson, N.G. et al. Tropical Range Extension for the Temperate, Endemic South-Eastern Australian Nudibranch Goniobranchus splendidus (Angas, 1864). Diversity 2016, 8, 16. Diversity, 10(3), 57-57.
Winters AE, White AM, Dewi AS, Mudianta IW, Wilson NG, Forster LC, Garson MJ, Cheney KL (2018). Distribution of Defensive Metabolites in Nudibranch Molluscs. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 44(4), 384-396.
Winters AE, White AM, Cheney KL, Garson MJ (2018). Geographic variation in diterpene-based secondary metabolites and level of defence in an aposematic nudibranch,<i>Goniobranchus splendidus</i>. Journal of Molluscan Studies, 85(1), 133-142.
Winters AE, Wilson NG, van den Berg CP, How MJ, Endler JA, Marshall NJ, White AM, Garson MJ, Cheney KL (2018). Toxicity and taste: unequal chemical defences in a mimicry ring. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 285(1880), 20180457-20180457. Abstract.
Forster LC, Winters AE, Cheney KL, Dewapriya P, Capon RJ, Garson MJ (2017). Spongian-16-one Diterpenes and Their Anatomical Distribution in the Australian Nudibranch Goniobranchus collingwoodi. J Nat Prod, 80(3), 670-675. Abstract.  Author URL.
Winters AE, Green NF, Wilson NG, How MJ, Garson MJ, Marshall NJ, Cheney KL (2017). Stabilizing selection on individual pattern elements of aposematic signals. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 284(1861), 20170926-20170926. Abstract.
Cheney KL, White A, Mudianta IW, Winters AE, Quezada M, Capon RJ, Mollo E, Garson MJ (2016). Choose Your Weaponry: Selective Storage of a Single Toxic Compound, Latrunculin A, by Closely Related Nudibranch Molluscs. PLoS One, 11(1). Abstract.  Author URL.
Hirayama Y, Katavic PL, White AM, Pierens GK, Lambert LK, Winters AE, Kigoshi H, Kita M, Garson MJ (2016). New Cytotoxic Norditerpenes from the Australian Nudibranchs Goniobranchus Splendidus and Goniobranchus Daphne. Australian Journal of Chemistry, 69(2), 136-136. Abstract.
White AM, Dewi AS, Cheney KL, Winters AE, Blanchfield JT, Garson MJ (2016). Oxygenated Diterpenes from the Indo-Pacific Nudibranchs<i>Goniobranchus splendidus</i>and<i>Ardeadoris egretta</i>. Natural Product Communications, 11(7), 1934578X1601100-1934578X1601100. Abstract.
White AM, Pierens GK, Forster LC, Winters AE, Cheney KL, Garson MJ (2016). Rearranged Diterpenes and Norditerpenes from Three Australian Goniobranchus Mollusks. J Nat Prod, 79(3), 477-483. Abstract.  Author URL.
Wilson N, Winters A, Cheney K (2016). Tropical Range Extension for the Temperate, Endemic South-Eastern Australian Nudibranch Goniobranchus splendidus (Angas, 1864). Diversity, 8(4), 16-16.
Mudianta IW, White AM, Katavic PL, Krishnaraj RR, Winters AE, Mollo E, Cheney KL, Garson MJ (2014). Chemoecological studies on marine natural products: terpene chemistry from marine mollusks. Pure and Applied Chemistry, 86(6), 995-1002. Abstract.
Cheney KL, Cortesi F, How MJ, Wilson NG, Blomberg SP, Winters AE, Umanzör S, Marshall NJ (2014). Conspicuous visual signals do not coevolve with increased body size in marine sea slugs. J Evol Biol, 27(4), 676-687. Abstract.  Author URL.
Winters AE, Stevens M, Mitchell C, Blomberg SP, Blount JD (2014). Maternal effects and warning signal honesty in eggs and offspring of an aposematic ladybird beetle. Functional Ecology
Mudianta IW, Challinor VL, Winters AE, Cheney KL, De Voss JJ, Garson MJ (2013). Synthesis and determination of the absolute configuration of (-)-(5R,6Z)-dendrolasin-5-acetate from the nudibranch Hypselodoris jacksoni. Beilstein J Org Chem, 9, 2925-2933. Abstract.  Author URL.
WINTERS AE, YEE DA (2012). Variation in performance of two co‐occurring mosquito species across diverse resource environments: insights from nutrient and stable isotope analyses. Ecological Entomology, 37(1), 56-64. Abstract.

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