Langmore Lab - Avian evolutionary and behavioural ecology

Black-eared cuckoo chick fed by a Speckled warbler (c) David Cook

We study many aspects of evolutionary and behavioural ecology in birds, with particular emphasis on co-evolution between brood parasites and their hosts, signalling (songs, calls and displays), mimicry and crypsis, breeding systems, and evolutionary responses to climate change. Our main approach is to use field experiments and observations to test evolutionary theory.

Group news

Iliana Medina (Langmore Lab) has won an Alfred Deakin Research Fellowship to support two years of research at Deakin University.
Liam Bailey has submitted his PhD entitled 'Between the devil and the deep blue sea: Consequences of extreme climatic events in the Eurasian oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus)'.
Delegates at ASSAB 2016: Carrington Hotel, Katoomba. Photo Credit: James O’Hanlon
Hee-Jin Noh, new PhD student in the Langmore lab, won the best poster prize at the Australasian Society for the Study of Animal Behaviour conference held in Katoomba Qld, 5-8 July 2016.  The poster



Naomi Langmore

Naomi Langmore
Naomi completed a BSc(Hons) at ANU and a PhD at the Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge. She continued her research...


Selected publications

  • Langmore, NE, Hunt, S & Kilner, RM (2003) Escalation of a coevolutionary arms race through host rejection of brood parasitic young. Nature, 422, 157-160.
  • Russell AF, Langmore NE, Cockburn A, Astheimer LB, Kilner RM. (2007). Reduced egg investment can conceal helper effects in cooperatively breeding birds. Science 317: 941-944.
  • Langmore, N.E., Maurer, G., Adcock, G.J., Kilner, R.M. (2008). Socially acquired host-specific mimicry and the evolution of host races in Horsfield's bronze-cuckoo Chalcites basalisEvolution 62: 1689-1699.
  • Heinsohn, R., Langmore, N. E., Cockburn, A., Kokko, H. (2011) Adaptive sex ratio adjustments via sex-specific infanticide in a bird. Current Biology, 21: 1744-1747.
  • Kilner R. M. and Langmore, N. E. (2011) Cuckoos versus hosts in insects and birds: adaptations, counter-adaptations and outcomes. Biological Reviews, 86: 836-852
  • Langmore, N. E., Stevens, M., Maurer, G., Heinsohn, R., Hall, M. L., Peters, A., Kilner, R. M. (2011). Visual mimicry of host nestlings by cuckoos. Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences 278: 2455-2463
  • Feeney, W, Medina, I, Somveille, M, Heinsohn, R, Hall, ML, Mulder, RA, Stein, JA, Kilner, RM, Langmore, NE (2013) Brood parasitism and the evolution of cooperative breeding in birds. Science 342: 1506-1508
  • Odom, KJ, Hall, ML, Riebel, K, Omland, KE, Langmore, NE (2014) Female song is common and ancestral in songbirds. Nature Communications, Published online 2014/03/04/online, Vol 5 article 3379.

All publications


Naomi Langmore

Naomi Langmore

We test evolutionary theory using field experiments on birds.
The larger bronze-cuckoo has tricked the smaller bird into believing it is its chick. Photo by Daniel Koh

The parental arms race

Australian cuckoos are taking new evolutionary steps to ensure maximum chance of survival.

Updated:  23 October 2016/Responsible Officer:  Director RSB/Page Contact:  Webmaster RSB