Our Phd student, Michelle Roper, successfully defended her PhD thesis on “Sexual dimorphism of song and life history trade-offs in the New Zealand bellbird.” Her research covered song development, sexual variation in song, syrinx structure and breeding biology of the New Zealand bellbird to further our understanding female birdsong. This provides the groundwork necessary to… Read More


Check out Wesley’s new paper exploring the link between female song and elaborate colouration in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution.   Abstract Elaborate plumages and songs in male birds provide classic evidence for Darwinian sexual selection. However, trait elaboration in birds is not gender-restricted: female song has recently been revealed as a taxonomically-widespread trait within… Read More


Check out our new paper in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution.   Abstract Bird song is commonly regarded as a male trait that has evolved through sexual selection. However, recent research has prompted a re-evaluation of this view by demonstrating that female song is an ancestral and phylogenetically widespread trait. Species with female song provide… Read More


Wesley Webb won an Australasian Evolution Society Student Award for his research on female song and plumage elaboration in songbirds, which he will present at the Behaviour 2015 conference in Cairns, 9-14 August. The award covers the conference registration fee and includes an invitation to write a small feature on the research for the society’s… Read More


Michelle Roper has been awarded a Claude McCarthy Fellowship to attend the Behaviour 2015 conference in Cairns, Australia. This conference is a combination of international and local animal behaviour societies. Michelle will present her work on song learning and development in the New Zealand bellbird with particular emphasis on female song.   Share…emailTwitterPinterestFacebookLinkedin… Read More


Dianne Brunton and her PhD students were invited to submit papers to a special issue for the journal Frontiers in Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology. This issue is on female song: fitness costs and benefits. They were also invited to join a special symposium of the same topic at the Behaviour 2015 conference in Cairns, Australia.… Read More


Dianne Brunton and Michelle Roper attended a conference for the Australasian Society for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASSAB) in Katoomba, Australia. Dianne gave a 3 minute speed talk on her research on scent in parrots. Michelle presented a poster on her preliminary results on the development of female song in the NZ bellbird. Dianne… Read More