Langmore Group - 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.

Members

Leader

Naomi Langmore

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...

Publications

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

News & events

News

Robert Heinsohn with Eclectus parrot chicks (red female and green male)
24
Oct
2011
The mysterious behaviour of female Eclectus parrots killing their sons immediately after they hatch has been unravelled by a team of researchers from The Australian National University.
The larger bronze-cuckoo has tricked the smaller bird into believing it is its chick. Photo by Daniel Koh
01
Jul
2011
Australian cuckoos are taking new evolutionary steps to ensure maximum chance of survival. By Lucy Wedlock
Wrens mobbing a cuckoo.  Photo: William Feeney
13
Jun
2011
Australian superb fairy-wrens learn how to recognise threats to their species through social learning.
The chick of a fairy wren and of a cuckoo
13
Jan
2011
Australian cuckoo birds have taken a new evolutionary step - mimicking the colour of their host young to avoid certain death, according to a study by researchers from The Australian National University.

Pages

Highlights

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:  16 February 2019/Responsible Officer:  Director RSB/Page Contact:  Webmaster RSB