Doctor Cortesi was awarded a Bachelor of Science with Major in Plant and Animal Biology from the University of Basel, Switzerland in 2008. He completed a Bachelor of Science with 1st Class Honours in the field of Marine Biology in 2009 at the University of Queensland, Australia, researching the colourful displays and toxic defences of sea slugs. He then received a PhD with Summa Cum Laude in Zoology in 2014 from the University of Basel, Switzerland, studying the molecular and behavioural function of colourful signals in coral reef fishes.
After completing his remaining Swiss National Service duties, Doctor Cortesi moved to Australia in 2015 to start a short-term postdoctoral appointment within the School of Biological Sciences at The University of Queensland. Upon winning prestigious postdoctoral fellowships from the Swiss National Sicence Foundation and the University of Queensland he transferred to the Queensland Brain Institute in early 2016 where he is currently working under the supervision of Professor Marshall on the visual ecology of coral reef fishes. His research is, amongst others, funded by the Sea World Research and Rescue Foundation.
Doctor Cortesi's main interestes lie in the forces, from molecule to environment, which shape biodiversity in nature. Focusing mainly on the evolution of visual systems in fish, he is trying to understand how other animals perceive the world, how this contributes to the formation of colours and patterns and how this can lead to species diversity. To understand how vision is shaping single species and whole communities, he is using a variety of methods including Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) molecular approaches, transgenesis experiments, neurophysiological assessments of visual systems and behavioural experimentation.