Professor Robert Heinsohn

Professor, Fenner School of Environment & Society
ANU College of Science

My primary research interests lie in conservation biology and landscape and evolutionary ecology of vertebrates, with a focus on birds. To date, I have completed four major ARC/NSF funded field projects, three on the behavioural ecology and conservation biology of birds (White-winged Choughs, 1985-1997, Eclectus Parrots, 1997-2005, waterfowl movements in northern Australia, 2007-2010) and the other on mammals (Serengeti lions, 1990-1995), and I have contributed to a variety of published collaborations on over 40 vertebrate species (eg. social organisation of Kookaburras, breeding biology of Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfishers, population dynamics of rodents, theoretical investigations of reproductive skew theory in birds, population viability analysis of Speckled Warblers, Palm Cockatoos, and Dugongs, migration in Swift Parrots, spectroradiometry of colours in birds and reptiles, population genetics of cooperatively breeding birds, cuckoo-host interactions, ecology of avian  influenza, waterfowl systematics). Increasingly, I am directing my research at the landscape level as I seek to identify the broad-scale processes shaping conservation problems. The bird species I choose to work with are often large and wide-ranging, and make excellent tools for investigations of habitat use over large areas. Most recently I have been working with collaborators at Charles Sturt University to study bird migration and avian borne diseases in northern Australia and south-east Asia (ARC Linkage Grant) and in 2011 will be commencing research with Dr Langmore on the impact of climate change on cuckoo-host dynamics (ARC Discovery Grant).