Cockburn Group - Evolutionary ecology

Cooperative breeding occurs where more than two individuals combine to rear a single brood of young. It is extraordinarily prevalent in the Australian avifauna, for both phylogenetic and ecological reasons, and we are conducting a number of studies to understand this prevalence. Current work focuses on superb fairy-wrens and woodswallows, though we have worked with kookaburras, bee-eaters, kingfishers, thornbills, choughs and parrots.

Group Leader

Honorary Associate Professor

Honorary Lecturer

Honorary Professor

Research Assistant

Selected publications

All publications

E&E Special Seminar: The structure of phenotypic variation: questions arising from analysis of repeatedly-expressed traits

Event | Thu 18 October 2018

Biological variation is organized hierarchically; it exists among taxa, among populations, among genotypes or individuals, and within genotypes or

Can’t see the ‘hood for the trees: the comparative method and phylogenetic and ecological variation in cooperative breeding in birds

Event | Tue 24 July 2018

In recent years a number of high profile publications have used phylogenetically explicit comparative methods to attempt to explain the distributio

Fairy wren

Fairy-wrens change breeding habits to cope with climate change

Story | Tuesday 15 October 2019
Warmer temperatures linked to climate change are having a big impact on the breeding habits of one of Australia’s most recognisable bird species, according to researchers at The Australian National University (ANU).

ARC Discovery projects and DECRA fellowships

Story | Monday 17 November 2014

Shy male tits stick together, take more risks

Story | Tuesday 10 September 2013
Shy birds stick together and gain courage through numbers, whereas bold birds go it alone according to new research.

Researchers reveal baby-killer birds

Story | Monday 24 October 2011