I research the impacts of artificial night lighting on circadian rhythms in urban birds.
Increasing artificial light at night (ALAN) is one of the most rapid and pervasive changes to our natural environment. Nevertheless, the consequences of ALAN for wildlife are only beginning to be understood. A likely impact of ALAN is the disruption of endogenous daily rhythms, or circadian rhythms, including the sleep-wake cycle. My research investigates the impacts of ALAN on the circadian rhythms of two urban bird species, the black swan (Cygnus atratus) and the pigeon (Columba livia). Wild swans at Albert Park Lake are well-studied, individually identifiable, exposed to artificial night lights, and ideal for investigating impacts of ALAN in a natural or semi-natural environment. Meanwhile, pigeons are an ideal model species for studying the impacts of ALAN in a more controlled, laboratory setting. My project is co-supervised by Prof Raoul Mulder and Dr Therésa Jones at The University of Melbourne.