Current ABEL Members










Associate Professor Paul McDonald

Paul established the ABEL when he moved to UNE in 2010. He has worked on a range of projects over his career, but has long-standing interests in acoustic communication, sociality and adapting existing technology to ask new and exciting questions. He teaches first year biology, zoology and third year animal behaviour at UNE, as well as leading the Overseas Study Tour focusing on Botswanan Zoology. He was a past President of the Australasian Society for the Study of Animal Behaviour and a past member and Chair of the Research and Conservation Committee of Birdlife Australia. In addition, he is a Subject Editor of the Journal of Avian Biology and an Associate Editor of Emu: Austral Ornithology. Google Scholar profile.






Dr Han Hu

UNE Postdoctoral Fellow – A fresh look at the dinosaur-bird transition: The evolution of birds as revealed by advanced digital approaches and key Cretaceous bird and dinosaur material from China.







Dr Steve Debus

Adjunct Researcher - Steve is one of Australia's premier raptor researchers, and has an impressive track record of publishing and commitment to ornithological research spanning decades. This expertise has seen him recently rewarded with a highly prestigious Serventy Medal from Birdlife Australia.



Martin Dillon

PhD candidate – Camouflage of motion in lizards and snakes.









Farzaneh Etezadifar

PhD candidate – Re-colonization dynamics of an aggressive species: understanding population movements through gene flow and sex ratio variation in the Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala). See here for more details on Farzaneh's project.









Lucy Farrow

PhD candidate – The impact of sociality on communicative complexity and brain size.









Geoffrey Hughes

PhD candidate - Behaviour and ecology of the threatened Bell's Turtle.










Jarrod Mesken

PhD candidate – How much information is encoded within Noisy Miner alarm calls?









Leah Tsang

PhD candidate – Facultative zygodactyly in the Black-shouldered Kite: implications for the Elanus genera and other birds of prey.









Louise Streeting

Masters student - Headstarting Bell's Turtles: can we enable hatchlings to avoid the predation bottleneck?








Kyia Eveleigh

Honours research project – Understanding the behavioural ecology of fear in a fragmented landscape.










Candice Larkin

Honours research project – Nest-site characteristics and productivity of the Little Eagle (Hieraaetus morphnoides) near Armidale, NSW.

For more information, contact Assoc. Prof. Paul McDonald