Welcome to the Avian Behavioural Ecology Lab (ABEL) at UNE

Behavioural Ecology 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


  • PhD student Farzaneh Etezadifar has recently been interviewed by Lateral Magazine as part of the publication's Ethogram series. You can read more about their exciting research investigating gene flow, Noisy Miner dispersal and the implications of these findings for other fauna here.
  • Many of the lab recently attended the 46th conference for the Australasian Society for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASSAB). Recent ABEL Honours graduate Candice Larkin further won an Undergraduate Travel Award to attend the conference, well done! See the ASSAB site for details of the program and how you can become involved in the society.



For more information, contact Assoc. Prof. Paul McDonald