Welcome to the Animal Behaviour and Ecology Lab (ABEL) at UNE

Animal behaviour is an exciting research area that combines a range of informative disciplines, from natural history observation combined with field-based research, to using the latest technology in a finely controlled laboratory setting.


Ultimately, researchers in this lab are interested in understanding both how and why animals behave the way that they do. We focus largely on birds, but research is conducted on whichever focal species is required to answer the question at hand.


This research has seen lab members tackle questions such as why animals might cooperate with each other, what information is contained and acted upon within acoustic signals, right through to how the behaviour of a species can impact the conservation and management of entire ecosystems. Our research can be entirely blue sky or linked to specific applied problems.


Regardless of the precise question, we believe that understanding the behaviour of an animal is critical to gaining a full picture of its ecology and biology.


See the above links to learn more about our Research, Members, Publications, the Botswanan Study Tour and ways that you can become involved!



Lab News

  • We've recently been asked by Northern Tablelands Local Land Services and the Office of Environment and Heritage to explore ways in which we can manage overabundant Noisy Miners. The goal is to gain a better understanding of the landscape level movement patterns of this highly social species, and ways in which we can manage this to improve the conservation outcomes for threatened woodland birds such as the Regent Honeyeater.
  • The 2018/19 headstarted Bell's Turtle hatchlings have been released! Click here to get an update on what has been a very successful headstarting program.
  • It's also been a big month for PhD submissions, with both Leah Tsang and John Cook handing in their theses for assessment. Well done to both!



For more information, contact Assoc. Prof. Paul McDonald