Dr Lyanne Brouwer (Lecturer James Cook University Townsville & Honorary Lecturer Australian National University, Canberra)

My research and teaching interests are broad, but my core focus is on social animals and their behavioural adaptations to environmental change, like climate change and urbanization. My work is based on analyses of long-term datasets in combination with creative experiments, based on a thorough understanding of animals in the wild.

After my PhD I was awarded several travel grants which allowed me to broaden my skills in statistical and population analysis (at Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research), and in the application of new molecular methods (University of East Anglia, UK). A Rubicon Fellowship subsequently allowed me to head down under to conduct research at the Australian National University (Canberra). I established a new field-based model system on red-winged fairy-wrens which have a unique social system that raises very broad questions in ecology. The award of a Discovery Early Career Fellowship (Australian Research Council), allowed me to initiate a large-scale collaboration for comparative studies on avian mating systems and life histories within a single bird family. At the same time, I was able to maintain my field-based system, which has now become a long-term study. After a short stay at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology I was awarded a EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship which brought me to Radboud University, Netherlands where I was then appointed as a lecturer. Here, I studied the extent and underlying mechanisms through which urbanization affects social behaviour and population dynamics. I have recently moved to beautiful far north Queensland, where I took up a lectureship at James Cook University. In between teaching and research I am also editorial board member for Emu-Austral Ornithology and Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Don’t hesitate to contact me to discuss opportunities for Honours, MSc, PhD or post-doc projects!

MSc Morrison Pot

As an ornithologist and behavioural ecologist from the Netherlands, I have always been fascinated by bird migration. My work includes foraging ecology and breeding ecology of migratory birds (geese and skua’s) both at the wintering grounds as well as the breeding grounds in the Arctic, but also tracking of migratory songbirds (blackcaps and starlings). My enthusiasm for evolutionary ecology pushed me towards the amazing fairy-wrens. Currently, I investigate how offspring sex ratio varies with environmental and social factors in red-winged fairy-wrens.

Dr Christine Evans

Christine is a post-doctoral researcher affiliated with Massey University in New Zealand and Flinders University in South Australia. Her research interests focus on the ontogeny and evolution of male and female vocal communication in Australasian songbirds.  In one of her projects she investigates the role of song, particularly of female helpers, in territory defence using the red-winged fairy-wren as a model system.

Kyle Sutherland

My primary research interests are in avian behavioural ecology and conservation biology. The research that I have been involved in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the USA has primarily concentrated on the social behaviour and reproductive success of several passerine species in natural systems. I have developed an interest in avian vocal communication whilst assisting on red-winged fairy-wren field projects with Dr Lyanne Brouwer. The social systems and year-round singing by both sexes is novel to me and has led me to focus on Australasian passerine vocal communication for my studies. My Master’s thesis project focuses on vocal communication as a driver for cultural evolution and the evolution of behavioural barriers in the North Island saddleback/Tieke (Philesturnus rufusater).

Dr Marina Louter

Marina has been involved in the red-winged fairy-wren project for a long time. After spending her first season as a field assistant she kept returning to watch these amazing birds in the beautiful forests of south-west WA. In the mean time she completed her PhD on the behavioural ecology of a nationally threatened endemic arid zone bird, the previously unstudied think-billed grasswren.

  • Collaborators include
  • Andrew Cockburn, Loeske Kruuk and Janet Gardner (Australian National University)
  • Henk van der Jeugd & Lisenka de Vries (Dutch Centre for Avian Migration and Demography)
  • Martijn van de Pol & Melissah Rowe (Netherlands Institute of Ecology)
  • Henk Sierdsema & Ruud Foppen (SOVON Dutch Centre for Field Ornithology)
  • Anne Peters & Niki Teunissen (Monash University)
  • Mike Webster, Derrick Thrasher & Joe Welklin (Cornell Lab of Ornithology)
  • Raoul Mulder, Michelle Hall & Ana Leitao (Melbourne University)
  • Simon Griffith (Macquarie University)
  • Steve Pruett-Jones & Allison Johnson (University of Chicago)
  • Sonia Kleindorfer & Diane Colombelli-Negrel (Flinders University & University of Vienna)
  • Dan Baldassarre (Princeton University)
  • Jordan Karubian & Erik Enbody (Tulane University)
  • Will Feeney (Max Planck Institute for Ornithology)
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