Professor Naomi Langmore

Naomi completed a BSc(Hons) at ANU and a PhD at the University of Cambridge. She continued her research in Cambridge with a Junior College Fellowship at Peterhouse (1995-1999), and then moved to ANU to take up an ARC Australian Post-doctoral Fellowship. She has been awarded two subsequent ARC Fellowships (Australian Research Fellowship 2004-2010, Australian Research Fellowship 2011-2015) and was appointed to a University lectureship in 2014 and promoted to Professor in 2017.

Research interests

I am interested in a wide range of subjects within the fields of behavioural and evolutionary ecology, including breeding systems, brood parasitism, signal evolution and communication. Current projects include:

  • Coevolution between cuckoos and their hosts
  • The impact of climate change on inter-specific interactions
  • The evolution and functional significance of bird song
  • The impact of extreme climatic events on breeding biology
  • The ecology and conservation of forty-spotted pardalotes
  • The ecology and evolution of female competitive traits

Recent grants

  • ARC Discovery Grant 2004 – 2010 DP0450188 ‘Escalation of a coevolutionary arms race between cuckoos and their hosts: cognitive causes and evolutionary consequences’ ($475,000). Other participants: Rebecca Kilner, University of Cambridge (PI)
  • ARC Discovery Grant 2005 – 2008 DP0558800 ‘The effect of breeding synchrony on avian reproductive strategies’ ($259,740). Other CI: Simon Griffith, University of New South Wales
  • ARC Discovery Grant 2011-2015 ($440,000) ‘Cuckoo - host coevolution: a model system for investigating the impact of climate change on interspecific interactions and biodiversity’ Other participants: Robert Heinsohn, ANU (CI); Rebecca Kilner, University of Cambridge (PI); Robert Lacy, Chicago Zoo (PI).
  • Hermon Slade Grant 2012 - 2015 'A unique non-human model for the evolution of musical tool use: drumming by the palm cockatoo' ($78,891). Other participants: Robert Heinsohn (CI).
  • ARC Discovery Grant 2015-2018 DP150101652 'Social and environmental selection on female ornaments and armaments' ($392,100). Other participants: Raoul Mulder (CI), Kaspar Delhey (CI), Bruce Lyon (PI)
  • ARC Discovery Grant 2018-2021 DP180100021 'Does coevolution drive speciation?' ($424,192). Other participants: Prof Rebecca Kilner (PI), Dr Clare Holleley(PI).

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.
  • Heinsohn, R., Zdenek, C. N., Cunningham, R. B., Endler, J., Langmore, N. E. (2017) Tool-assisted drumming in a wild bird population. Science Advances, 3 (6): e1602399
  • Noh, H, Gloag, R, Langmore, NE (2018) True recognition of nestlings by hosts selects for mimetic cuckoo chicks. Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences, 285: 20180726

All publications