Toomey, M. B., Marques, C. A., Araújo, P.M. Huang, D., Zhong, S. Liu, Y. Schreiner, G.D., Myers, C.A., Pereira, P., Afonso, S., Andrade, P., Gazda, M. A., Lopes, R.J., Viegas, I., Koch, R.E., Haynes, M. E., Smith, D. J., Ogawa, Y., Murphy, D. Kopec, R. E., Parichy, D. M., Carniero, M., and Corbo, J. C. (in press).  A mechanism for red coloration in vertebrates. Current Biology


Toomey, M. B., Smith, D. J., Gonzales, D. M. and McGraw, K. J. 2022. Methods for extracting and analyzing carotenoids from bird feathers. Methods in Enzymology. 670, 459-497


Huang, D., Lewis, V. M., Foster, T. N. Toomey, M. B., Corbo, J. C. and Parichy, D. M. 2021. Development and genetics of red coloration in the zebrafish relative Danio albolineatus. Elife 10, e70253


Toomey, M. B. and Ronald, K. L. (2021). Avian color expression and perception: is there a carotenoid link? J. Exp. Biol. 224, jeb.203844


Gazda, M. A., P. M. Araújo, R. J. Lopes, M. B. Toomey, P. Andrade, S. Afonso, C. Marques, L. Nunes, P. Pereira, S. Trigo, G. E. Hill, J. C. Corbo, M. Carneiro (2020). A genetic mechanism for sexual dichromatism in birds. Science 368, 1270–1274.

        Perspective: A gene for color differences between sexes


Gazda*, M. A., M. B. Toomey*, P. M. Araújo, R. J. Lopes, S. Afonso, C. A. Myers, K. Serres, P. D. Kiser, G. E. Hill, J. C. Corbo, and M. Carneiro (2020). Genetic Basis of De Novo Appearance of Carotenoid Ornamentation in Bare Parts of Canaries. Mol. Biol. Evol. 37, 1317–1328. *contributed equally


Saunders, L. M., A. K. Mishra, A. J. Aman, V. M. Lewis, M. B. Toomey, J. S. Packer, X. Qiu, J. L. McFaline-Figueroa, J. C. Corbo, C. Trapnell, and D. M. Parichy (2019). Thyroid hormone regulates distinct paths to maturation in pigment cell lineages. Elife 8, e45181.


Koch, R.E., Staley, M., Kavazis, A.N., Hasselquist, D. Toomey, M.B. and Hill, G.E. 2019. Testing the resource trade-off hypothesis for carotenoid-based signal honesty using genetic variants of the domestic canary. J Exp Biol 222. doi:10.1242/jeb.188102.

Toomey, M. B., Marques, C. I., Andrade, P., Araújo, P. M., Sabatino, S., Gazda, M. A., Afonso, S., Lopes, R. J., Corbo, J. C. and Carneiro, M. 2018. A non-coding region near Follistatin controls head colour polymorphism in the Gouldian finch. Proc. R. Soc. B Biol. Sci. 285, 20181788.

Giraudeau, M., Toomey, M. B., Hutton, P. and McGraw, K. J. 2018. Expression of and choice for condition-dependent carotenoid-based color in an urbanizing context. Behav. Ecol. 29, 1307–1315.

Koch, R. E., Kavazis, A., Hasselquist, D., Hood, W., Zhang, Y., Toomey, M.B., Hill, G. E. 2018. No evidence that carotenoid pigments boost either immune or antioxidant defenses in a songbird. Nature Communications. 9: 491

Toomey, M. B. & Corbo, J. C. 2017 Evolution, Development and Function of Vertebrate Cone Oil Droplets. Frontiers in Neural Circuits. 11, 97.

Morshedian A.*, Toomey, M.B.*, Pollock, G.E., Frederiksen, R., Enright, J.M., McCormick, S.D., Cornwall, M.C., Fain, G.L., Corbo, J.C. 2017 Cambrian origin of the CYP27C1-mediated vitamin A1-to-A2 switch, a key mechanism of vertebrate sensory plasticity. Royal Society Open Science. 4: 170362. *contributed equally

Toomey, M. B., Lopes, R. J., Araújo, P. M., Johnson, J. D., Gazda, M. A., Afonso, S., Mota, P. G., Koch, R. E., Hill, G. E., Corbo, J. C., Carneiro, M. 2017. High-density lipoprotein receptor SCARB1 is required for carotenoid coloration in birds. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America. 114, 5219–5224.

Mitkus, M., Olsson, P., Toomey, M.B., Corbo, J. C., & Kelber, A. 2017. Specialized photoreceptor composition in the raptor fovea. Journal of Comparative Neurology. 525, 2152-2163

Toomey M.B., Lind O., Frederiksen R., Curley R.W., Riedle K.M., Wilby D., Schwartz S.J., Witt C.C., Harrison E.H., Roberts N.W., Vorobyev M., McGraw K.J., Cornwall M.C., Kelber A., Corbo J.C. 2016 Complementary shifts in photoreceptor spectral tuning unlock the full adaptive potential of ultraviolet vision in birds. eLife, 5:e15675. In the news: Audubon 

Kramlinger V.M., Nagy L.D., Fujiwara R, Johnson K.M., Phan T.T.N., Xiao Y., Enright J.M., Toomey M.B., Corbo J.C., Guengerich F.P. 2016. Human cytochrome P450 27C1 catalyzes 3,4-desaturation of retinoids. FEBS Letters. 590,1304–1312.

Lopes, R.J.*, J.D.Johnson*, M.B.Toomey*, M.Ferreira, J. Melo-Ferreira, L. Andersson. G.E. Hill, J.C. Corbo, M. Carneiro. 2016. Genetic Basis for Red Coloration in Birds. Current Biology. 26,1427–1434. *contributed equally. In the news: The Atlantic, Forbes, BBC news. Smithsonian

Toomey, M.B., K.J. McGraw. 2016. The effects of sun exposure on carotenoid accumulation and oxidative stress in the retina of the House finch (Haemorhous mexicanus). Avian Research 7:5

Toomey, M.B., A.M. Collins, R. Frederiksen, M.C. Cornwall, J.A. Timlin, J.C. Corbo. 2015. A complex carotenoid palette tunes avian color vision. Journal of the Royal Society Interface. 12: 20150563

Wilby, D., M.B. Toomey, P. Olsson, R. Frederiksen, M.C. Cornwall, R. Oulton, A. Kelber, J.C. Corbo, N.W. Roberts. 2015. Optics of cone photoreceptors in the chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus). Journal of the Royal Society Interface. 12: 20150591

Enright, J.M., M.B. Toomey, S. Sato, S.E. Temple, J.R. Allen, R. Fujiwara, V.M. Kramlinger, L.D. Nagy, K.M. Johnson, Y. Xiao, M.J. How, S.L. Johnson, N.W. Roberts, V.J. Kefalov, F.P. Guengerich, J.C. Corbo. 2015. Cyp27c1 enhances infrared vision. Current Biology 25: 3048-3057 In the news: The Atlantic

Giraudeau, M., A. Chavez, M.B. Toomey, and K.J. McGraw. 2015. Effects of carotenoid supplementation and oxidative challenges on physiological parameters and carotenoid-based coloration in an urbanization context. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 69: 957-970

McGraw, K.J., Giraudeau, M., Toomey, M.B., and M. Staley. 2013. Ketocarotenoid circulation, but not retinal carotenoid accumulation, is linked to eye disease status in a wild songbird. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics. 539:156-162

Toomey M.B., K.J. McGraw. 2012. Mate choice for a male carotenoid-based ornament is linked to female dietary carotenoid intake and accumulation. BMC Evolutionary Biology 12:3.

Behbahaninia H, M.W. Butler, M.B. Toomey, K.J. McGraw. 2012. Food color preferences against a dark, textured background vary in relation to sex and age in house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus). Behaviour. 149:51–65.

Giraudeau, M., M.B. Toomey, and K.J. McGraw. 2012. Can house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) use non-visual cues to discriminate the carotenoid content of foods? Journal of Ornithology. 153:1017-1023

Toomey, M. B. & K. J. McGraw. 2011. The effects of dietary carotenoid supplementation and retinal carotenoid accumulation on vision-mediated foraging in the house finch. PLoS One. 6: e21653

Butler, M.W., M.B. Toomey, K.J. McGraw, , and M. Rowe. 2011. Ontogenetic immune challenges shape adult personality in mallard ducks. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 279:326-333 In the news: ScienceNow; Discover

Smith, C.L. , M.B. Toomey, B.R. Walker, E.J. Braun, B.O. Wolf, K.J. McGraw, K.L. Sweazea. 2011. Naturally high plasma glucose levels in mourning doves (Zenaida macroura) do not lead to high levels of reactive oxygen species in the vasculature. Zoology. 114: 171-176


Butler, M.W., M.B. Toomey, and K.J. McGraw. 2011. How many color metrics do we need? Evaluating how different color-scoring procedures explain carotenoid pigment content in avian bare-part and plumage ornaments. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 65: 401-413

Toomey, M. B. & K. J. McGraw. 2010. The effects of dietary carotenoid intake on carotenoid accumulation in the retina of a wild bird, the house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus). Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics. 504: 161-168

Toomey, M.B., M.W. Butler, and K.J. McGraw. 2010. Immune-system activation depletes retinal carotenoids in house finches. Journal of Experimental Biology. 213:1709-1716

Toomey, M.B., M.W. Butler, M.G. Meadows, L.A. Taylor, H.B. Fokidis, and K.J. McGraw. 2010. A novel method for quantifying the glossiness of animals. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 64: 1047-1055. In the news: BBC

McGraw, K. J. and M. B. Toomey. 2010. Carotenoid accumulation in the tissues of zebra finches: predictors of integumentary pigmentation and implications for carotenoid allocation strategies. Physiological and Biochemical  Zoology. 83:97-109

Bascunan, A. L., E. A. Tourville,  M. B. Toomey, and K. J. McGraw. 2009. Food color preferences of molting house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) in relation to sex and plumage coloration. Ethology. 115: 1066-1073

Meadows, M.G., M. W. Butler, N. I. Morehouse, L. A. Taylor, M. B. Toomey, K. J. McGraw & R. L. Rutowski. 2009. Iridescence: views from many angles. Journal of the Royal Society Interface. 6:S107-S113

Toomey, M. B. & K. J. McGraw. 2009. Seasonal, sexual, and quality related variation in retinal carotenoid accumulation in the house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus). Functional Ecology. 23:321-329

Toomey, M.B. & K. J. McGraw. 2007. Modified saponification and HPLC methods for analyzing carotenoids from Japanese quail retina: implications for use as a nonprimate model species. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. 48:3976-3982

McGraw, K. J., M. B. Toomey, P. M. Nolan, N. I. Morehouse, M. Massaro, & P. Jouventin. 2007. A description of unique fluorescent yellow pigments in penguin feathers. Pigment Cell Research. 20:301-304.

Toomey, M.B., R. Bowman, & G.E. Woolfenden. 2007. The effects of social context on food handling behavior of Florida Scrub-Jays. Ethology. 113: 521-527

Toomey, M.B., D. McCabe, & J. E. Marsden. 2002. Factors affecting the movement of adult zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha). Journal of the North American Benthological Society. 21:468-475.