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Professor of Behavioural Ecology, University of Sydney

In my research, I answer fundamental ecological questions of how animals forage and I test how different individuals forage differently because of their personality. I investigate ultimate drivers of foraging, especially the trade-off between reaping rewards (finding good food) while taking risks (from predators and parasites). I also delve into the proximate drivers of foraging: the rules of thumb (heuristics) animals use in making foraging decisions, and how and how well foragers solve problems to get food. I work particularly with herbivorous mammals, such as possums and wallabies, species that can have a huge impact on ecological communities. I love testing ecological ideas with quantitative empirical studies, because it combines my fascination with the natural world and how it works with my love of solving problems and my love of animals – a perfect match! After answering fundamental ecological questions, I have a great team who then applies these answers to solving real-world problems involving wildlife – whether to protect them, reduce their conflict with people, or protect the things they eat.


  • –present
    Researcher, University of Sydney