Mr Ross Crates

Ross Crates
PhD Student
Forestry Building (48)
 +61 2 612 53569



BSc Hons Ecology


I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of East Anglia in 2006 with first class honours in Ecology. After graduating, I worked for 3 ½ years as a research assistant at the Edward Grey Institute of Ornithology, Oxford University. Here, I was involved in a large-scale research project examining the social evolution of an intensively-monitored population of blue and great tits.


Research interests

I have broad interests in ecology, evolution and conservation, with a focus on birds. I am interested in how mobile species exploit food resources that vary in space and time, and how they are affected by extensive and ongoing environmental change.  For my doctoral research, I will be studying the ecology and conservation of the critically endangered regent honeyeater. The regent honeyeater population has declined as a result of extensive habitat loss throughout its range, but much more drastically than other species. I aim to identify factors that explain this disproportionate decline, in order to assist the conservation of the regent honeyeater and other woodland birds. My research will focus on describing movement patterns, fine-scale habitat selection, assessing interactions with other species and evaluating the genetic consequences of the drastic population decline.

I am also very keen on science communication and outreach, working closely with schools and interest groups. Please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss outreach opportunities.


Crates, R. A., Sheldon, B. C  & Garroway, C. J  (2015) Causes and Consequences of Variation in the Extent of Post-juvenile Moult in the Blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, in press.

Aplin, L. M., Firth, J. A., Farine, D. R., Voelkl, B. Crates, R. A., Culina, A., Garroway, C. J., Hinde, C. A., Kidd, L. R., Psorakis, I., Milligan, N. D., Radersma, R., Verhelst, B. L., Sheldon, B. C. (2015) Consistent individual differences in the social phenotypes of wild great tits (Parus major). Animal Behaviour (Accepted)

Farine, D.R.*, Firth, J.A.,* Aplin, L.M., Crates, R.A., Culina, A., Garroway, C.J., Hinde, C.A., Kidd, L.R., Milligan, N.D., Psorakis, I., Radersma, R., Verhelst, B., Voelkl, B., Sheldon, B.C. (2015) The role of social and ecological processes in structuring animal populations: a case study from automated tracking of wild birds. Royal Society Open Science 2, 150057.

Psorakis, I., Voelkl, B., Garroway, C.J., Radersma, R., Aplin, L.M., Crates, R.A., Culina, A., Farine, D.R., Firth, J.A., Hinde, C.A., Kidd, L.R., Milligan, N.D., Roberts, S.J., Verhelst, B., Sheldon, B.C. (2015) Inferring Social Structure from Temporal Data. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology  69, 857-866.

Neto, J.M., Gordinho, L., Belda, E.J., Marin, M., Monros, J. S., Fearon, P., and Crates, R. A. (2013) Phenotypic divergence among West European populations of Reed bunting Emberiza schoeniclus: The effects of migratory and foraging behaviours. PLoS one 8(5): e63248.

Crates, R. A., French, K., and McLean, C.M. (2011) The abundance and distribution of two species of fairy-wren in suburban and natural habitats. Emu 111: 341-349. Published final year undergraduate project.


Updated:  22 July 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director Fenner School/Page Contact:  Webmaster Fenner School