I am in integrative ecologist with interests spanning animal behaviour, evolution, vision, navigation and disease. I use birds as model systems, particularly parrots and waterbirds and I lead a program on satellite tracking waterbirds across Australia.
I grew up in the Adelaide Hills where nectar feeding birds, parrots, and eucalypt forests intrigued me. After a BSc in Zoology at University Adelaide, I won an 1851 Science Research Scholarship to Oxford Zoology where I did my DPhil on the ecology of avian spatial memory. At this time, I became fascinated by avian colour vision and colour signalling, and after a research fellowship in Oxford and Brussels and a postdoc in Adelaide, in 1994, I moved to University of Bristol where I worked on the vision, behaviour and sexual selection of Australian birds, becoming Lecturer and Reader there in Sensory and Behavioural Ecology. At University of Bristol, I won a Leverhulme Fellowship which allowed me in 2005-6 to establish a research program on the crimson-yellow-Adelaide rosella species complex of south eastern Australia. During my 15+ years based in Europe, I visited many labs in Europe and North America. In 2008, I returned to Australia, to be Head of the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at Deakin University, and established the Centre for Integrative Ecology. I am President of the Australasian Society for the Study of Animal Behaviour, and have been Deakin University's representative on the Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research.