Richard Turner


Many wild animal populations have recently declined in numbers, but determining the exact causes of these declines and the mechanisms by which environmental change affects individual fitness is difficult. The aim of my PhD project is to test the extent to which fine-scale biotic and abiotic environmental variation can explain a decline in a population of superb fairy-wrens (Malurus cyaneus), a cooperatively-breeding passerine endemic to south-east Australia. Three decades of continous monitoring has revealed a dramatic decline in population size of the study population, located in the Australian National Botanic Gardens. My project will combine the extensive life-history data with long-term remote sensing data, terrestrial laser-sensing measures (LiDAR) and ground surveys to assess the contribution of spatial and temporal variation in vegetation structure to population dynamics. I will also test the interactive effects of a changing climate and ecological conditions on population life-histories. 

Research Interests

  • Predator-prey dynamics
  • Phenotypic plasticity
  • Cooperative breeding
  • Parental care​


2017 - 2018 | MSc Evolutionary & Behavioural Ecology
Centre for Ecology & Conservation, University of Exeter, United Kingdom
Station d’Écologie Théorique et Expérimentale, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France

2013 - 2017 | BSc (Hons.) Animal Biology
School of Applied Sciences, Edinburgh Napier University, United Kingdom