Julian Finn

Dr Julian Finn

Senior Curator, Marine Invertebrates

About me

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I have 20 years experience in marine invertebrate research (primarily studying cephalopods - octopuses, squids, cuttlefishes and nautiluses) and am involved in diverse projects revealing and promoting Victoria’s unique marine environment.

Over the past 20 years I have conducted marine research from the tropics of Indonesia and Baja California to the shores of Antarctica. I have spent thousands of hours diving underwater collecting and photographing new species. I have tracked cephalopods using radio acoustic positioning telemetry, conducted blue and black-water-hangs (hanging under the boat in open-ocean, during the day and night), designed, constructed and deployed specialist light traps for capturing planktonic fauna and spent many months on ocean voyages collecting and studying deep sea life.

I have discovered and described new species and genera, reported novel behaviours in octopus and cuttlefish and even (thanks to a very accommodating dolphin) described how dolphin master-chefs prepare their cuttlefish meals.

I am an avid underwater stills photographer with a passion for macro (close-up) photography. I took the majority of the underwater images in Museums Victoria’s Marine Life Exhibition and my images feature in marine field guides and publications produced by Museums Victoria.

I have worked as a freelance cameraman and scientific consultant on over 30 international documentaries shooting stories in diverse locations including Japan, Indonesia and Mexico. My footage has appeared on all Australian TV channels and featured in documentaries produced by BBC (UK), National Geographic (USA) and NHK (Japan).

Qualifications

PhD, Zoology, La Trobe University, 2009

BSc (Hons, first class), Zoology, University of Melbourne, 1997

Key publications

Cephalopods of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 3. Octopods and Vampire Squids by P. Jereb, C.F.E. Roper, M.D. Norman & J.K. Finn (eds.) FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes. No. 4, Vol. 3. Rome, FAO. 2016. 370 p. 11 colour plates.

Finn, J.K. 2013. Taxonomy and biology of the argonauts (Cephalopoda: Argonautidae) with particular reference to Australian material. Molluscan Research, 33(3): 143-222.

Finn, J.K. and Norman, M.D. 2010. The argonaut shell: gas-mediated buoyancy control in a pelagic octopus. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 277, 2967-2971.

Finn, J.K., Tregenza, T. and Norman, M.D. 2009. Defensive tool use in a coconut-carrying octopus. Current Biology, 19(23): R1069-R1070.

Finn, J.K., Tregenza, T. and Norman, M. 2009. Preparing the perfect cuttlefish meal: complex prey handling by dolphins.
PloS ONE, 4(1): e4217. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0004217

Links

Projects and events

Resolving the blue-ringed octopus fauna of Australia: taxonomy, phylogeny and human health hazards of the genus Hapalochlaena (Family Octopodidae).
With the support of the Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS) and Museums Victoria, I am undertaking a detailed taxonomic revision of the Australian blue-ringed octopuses (genus Hapalochlaena). While blue-ringed octopuses are renowned for their dramatic colour patterns, high toxicity and for causing human fatalities, knowledge of these distinctive small octopuses remains surprisingly poor. My research will describe all blue-ringed octopus species occurring throughout Australia and the Indo-West Pacific, determine their distributions and investigate their biology and venom.

Cephalopods of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Octopods and Vampire Squids.
Over the past decade I have co-authored (with Drs Norman and Hochberg) the third and final volume of the FAO series Cephalopods of the World. This volume, published in 2016, reviews the diagnostic features, geographical distribution and habitat and biology information of all 13 families, 56 genera and 280 species of octopods and vampire squids known to occur worldwide. This volume is available for free download (link provided above).

Underwater Backyard - showcasing the beauty of Victoria’s unique marine environment.
I am extremely passionate about showcasing the beautiful underwater world of our southern seas, to inspire audiences to become advocates and custodians of this unique environment. In 2015, I filmed underwater fish-eye footage at six locations around Port Phillip, for a Scienceworks exhibition titled Underwater Backyard. The footage, when projected inside a 3 m vertical dome, produced a virtual aquarium allowing visitors to take a dive into their local waters without getting wet. I remain intrigued by dome projections and VR to immerse audiences in the underwater world.

Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability - State of the Bays report.
In 2016, I assisted the Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability with the production of the State of the Bays report – a baseline study of the health of Port Phillip and Western Port. Through targeted dives at key locations throughout Port Phillip and Western Port, I provided the necessary images and video sequences to populate the printed report and produce an online interactive version.

World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS).
In 2015, I was awarded a WoRMS LifeWatch Data Grant to add cephalopod names to the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) - an authoritative and comprehensive list of names of marine organisms. I remain a cephalopod editor for WoRMS and MolluscaBase.

Systematics and biology of the argonauts or ‘paper nautiluses’ (Cephalopoda: Argonautidae).
My PhD research (conducted through Museums Victoria and La Trobe University) examined a family of open-octopuses known as argonauts (or ‘paper nautiluses’). I reviewed thousands of years of literature, examined specimens in museums around the world and dived intensively to gain an understanding of these mysterious marine creatures.

Teaching and students

Publications

How, M.J., Norman, M.D., Finn, J.K., Chung, W-S. & Marshall, N.J. 2017. Dynamic skin patterns in cephalopods.
Frontiers in Physiology 8:393 https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2017.00393

Caruana, N.J., Cooke, I.R., Faou, P., Finn, J.K., Hall, N.E., Norman, M., Pineda, S.S. & Strugnell, J.M. 2016. A combined proteomic and transcriptomic analysis of slime secreted by the southern bottletail squid, Sepiadarium austrinum (Cephalopoda). Journal of Proteomics. 148: 170–182.

Finn, J.K. 2016. Family Alloposidae. In P. Jereb, C.F.E. Roper, M.D. Norman & J.K. Finn, eds. Cephalopods of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 3. Octopods and Vampire Squids. FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes. No. 4, Vol. 3. Rome, FAO. pp. 225-228.

Finn, J.K. 2016. Family Argonautidae. In P. Jereb, C.F.E. Roper, M.D. Norman & J.K. Finn eds. Cephalopods of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 3. Octopods and Vampire Squids. FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes. No. 4, Vol. 3. Rome, FAO. pp. 228-237.

Finn, J.K. 2016. Family Ocythoidae. In P. Jereb, C.F.E. Roper, M. D. Norman & J.K. Finn eds. Cephalopods of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 3. Octopods and Vampire Squids. FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes. No. 4, Vol. 3. Rome, FAO. pp. 237-239.

Finn, J.K. 2016. Family Tremoctopodidae. In P. Jereb, C.F.E. Roper, M.D. Norman & J.K. Finn eds. Cephalopods of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 3. Octopods and Vampire Squids. FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes. No. 4, Vol. 3. Rome, FAO. pp. 240-243.

Hochberg, F.G., Norman, M.D. & Finn, J.K. 2016. Family Cirroctopodidae. In P. Jereb, C.F.E. Roper, M.D. Norman & J.K. Finn eds. Cephalopods of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 3. Octopods and Vampire Squids. FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes. No. 4, Vol. 3. Rome, FAO. pp. 245-247.

Hochberg, F.G., Norman, M.D. & Finn, J.K. 2016. Family Cirroteuthidae. In P. Jereb, C.F.E. Roper, M.D. Norman & J.K. Finn eds. Cephalopods of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 3. Octopods and Vampire Squids. FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes. No. 4, Vol. 3. Rome, FAO. pp. 262-265.

Hochberg, F.G., Norman, M.D. & Finn, J.K. 2016. Family Opisthoteuthidae. In P. Jereb, C.F.E. Roper, M.D. Norman & J.K. Finn eds. Cephalopods of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 3. Octopods and Vampire Squids. FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes. No. 4, Vol. 3. Rome, FAO. pp. 248-261.

Hochberg, F.G., Norman, M.D. & Finn, J.K. 2016. Family Stauroteuthidae. In P. Jereb, C.F.E. Roper, M.D. Norman & J.K. Finn eds. Cephalopods of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 3. Octopods and Vampire Squids. FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes. No. 4, Vol. 3. Rome, FAO. pp. 6-9.

Norman, M.D. & Finn, J.K. 2016. World octopod fisheries. In P. Jereb, C.F.E. Roper, M.D. Norman & J.K. Finn eds. Cephalopods of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 3. Octopods and Vampire Squids. FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes. No. 4, Vol. 3. Rome, FAO. pp. 217-219.

Norman, M.D. & Finn, J.K. 2016. Family Amphitretidae. In P. Jereb, C.F.E. Roper, M.D. Norman & J.K. Finn eds. Cephalopods of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 3. Octopods and Vampire Squids. FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes. No. 4, Vol. 3. Rome, FAO. pp. 217-219.

Norman, M.D. & Finn, J.K. 2016. Family Bolitaenidae. In P. Jereb, C.F.E. Roper, M.D. Norman & J.K. Finn eds. Cephalopods of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 3. Octopods and Vampire Squids. FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes. No. 4, Vol. 3. Rome, FAO. pp. 221-224.

Norman, M.D. & Finn, J.K. 2016. Family Vampyroteuthidae. In P. Jereb, C.F.E. Roper, M.D. Norman & J.K. Finn eds. Cephalopods of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 3. Octopods and Vampire Squids. FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes. No. 4, Vol. 3. Rome, FAO. pp. 268-270.

Norman, M.D. & Finn J.K. 2016. Family Vitreledonellidae. In P. Jereb, C.F.E. Roper, M.D. Norman & J.K. Finn eds. Cephalopods of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 3. Octopods and Vampire Squids. FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes. No. 4, Vol. 3. Rome, FAO. pp. 219-221.

Norman, M.D., Finn, J.K. & Hochberg, F.G. 2016. Family Octopodidae. In P. Jereb, C.F.E. Roper, M.D. Norman & J.K. Finn eds. Cephalopods of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of cephalopod species known to date. Volume 3. Octopods and Vampire Squids. FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes. No. 4, Vol. 3. Rome, FAO. pp. 36-215.

Whitelaw, B.L., Strugnell, J.M., Faou, P., da Fonseca, R.R., Hall, N.E., Norman, M., Finn, J.K. & Cooke, I.R. 2016. Combined transcriptomic and proteomic analysis of the posterior salivary gland from the Southern Blue-ringed Octopus and the Southern Sand Octopus. Journal of Proteome Research 15, 3284−3297.

Montana, J., Finn, J.K. & Norman, M.D. 2015. Liquid sand burrowing and mucus utilisation as novel adaptations to a structurally-simple environment in Octopus kaurna Stranks, 1990.
Behaviour https://doi.org/10.1163/1568539X-00003313

Kudo, Y., Finn, J.K., Fukushima, K., Sakugawa, S., Cho, Y., Konoki, K., Yotsu-Yamashita, M. 2014. Isolation of 6-Deoxytetrodotoxin from the Pufferfish, Takifugu pardalis, and a comparison of the effects of the C-6 and C-11 hydroxy groups of tetrodotoxin on its activity.
Journal of Natural Products https://doi.org/10.1021/np401097n

Finn, J.K. 2013. Taxonomy and biology of the argonauts (Cephalopoda: Argonautidae) with particular reference to Australian material. Molluscan Research, 33(3): 143-222.

Miller, M.J., Norman, M.D., Tsukamoto, K. & Finn J.K. 2013. Evidence of mimicry of gelatinous zooplankton by anguilliform leptocephali for predator avoidance. Marine & Freshwater Behaviour & Physiology 45(6): 375-384.

Winkelmann, I., Campos, P.F., Strugnell, J., Cherel, Y., Smith, P.J., Kubodera, T., Allcock, L., Kampmann, M-L., Schroeder, H., Guerra, A., Norman, M., Finn, J.K., Ingrao, D., Clarke, M., Gilbert, M.T.P. 2013. Mitochondrial genome diversity and population structure of the giant squid Architeuthis: genetics sheds new light on one of the most enigmatic marine species.
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 280(1759), https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2013.0273

Finn, J.K. and Norman, M.D. 2010. The argonaut shell: gas-mediated buoyancy control in a pelagic octopus. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 277, 2967-2971.

Finn, J.K., Tregenza, T. and Norman, M.D. 2009. Defensive tool use in a coconut-carrying octopus. Current Biology, 19(23): R1069-R1070.

Finn, J., Tregenza, T. and Norman, M. 2009. Preparing the perfect cuttlefish meal: complex prey handling by dolphins.
PloS ONE, 4(1): e4217. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2013.0273.

Finn, J. 2008. Systematics and biology of the argonauts or ‘paper nautiluses’ (Cephalopoda: Argonautidae). PhD thesis, Department of Zoology, La Trobe University.

Hochberg, F.G., Norman, M.D. and Finn, J. 2006. Wunderpus photogenicus n. gen. and sp., a new octopus from the shallow waters of the Indo-Malayan Archipelago (Cephalopoda: Octopodidae). Molluscan Research, 26(3): 128-140.

Finn, J., Norman, M.D. and Hochberg, F.G.  2005.  Phylum Dicyemida in Australian waters: first record and distribution across diverse cephalopod hosts. Phuket Marine Biological Centre Res Bulletin 66: 83-96.

Jackson, G.D., Finn, J. and Nicol, S. 2002.  Planktonic cephalopods collected off East Antarctica during the ‘Broke’ survey. Deep Sea Research I, 49: 1049-1054.

Norman, M.D., Paul, D., Finn, J. and Tregenza, T.  2002. First encounter with a live male blanket octopus: the world’s most sexually size-dimorphic large animal.  New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 36: 733-736.

O’Dor, R.K., Adamo, S., Aitken, J.P., Andrade, Y., Finn, J., Hanlon, R.T. and Jackson, G.D. 2002.  Currents as environmental constraints on the behavior, energetics and distribution of squid and cuttlefish.  Bulletin of Marine Science, 71(2): 601-617.

Norman, M.D., Finn, J. and Tregenza, T. Dynamic mimicry in an Indo-Malayan octopus.  Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, 268: 1755-1758.

Norman, M.D. and Finn, J. 2001. Revision of the Octopus horridus species-group, including erection of a new subgenus and description of two member species from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Invertebrate Taxonomy, 15: 13-35.

Norman, M.D., Finn, J. and Tregenza, T. Female impersonation as an alternative reproductive strategy in giant cuttlefish.  Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, 266: 1347 – 1349.

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