Professor Rob Heinsohn

BSc (Hons) (ANU), PhD (ANU)

Professor Rob Heinsohn’s first experience of research was as an honours and PhD student at ANU working on the behavioural ecology of cooperatively breeding bird species.

He was awarded his Ph.D. in 1990 and took up an NSF post-doctoral fellowship based at the University of Minnesota but spending most of his time conducting field research on lions in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park.

Upon his return to Australia he commenced an ARC Post-doctoral Fellowship followed by an ARC Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship and established his long term field studies working on the behavioural ecology and conservation biology of Eclectus parrots and palm cockatoos on Cape York Peninsula and in Papua New Guinea.

In 2010, Professor Heinsohn began his field program working on endangered Tasmanian bird species including swift parrots, orange-bellied parrots, and forty-spotted pardalotes.

Professor Heinsohn has worked with the Tasmanian government and other agencies to maximise conservation outcomes for birds in production landscapes, and with the NSW Government to preserve endangered nomadic bird species. He serves on the Recovery Teams for several endangered bird species.

From 2014 Professor Heinsohn’s team expanded to include a major research program on critically endangered regent honeyeaters. In 2020 he will commence a new program on the conservation of Norfolk Island green parrots.

Research interests

Professor Heinsohn's primary research interests lie in conservation biology and evolutionary ecology of vertebrates, with a focus on birds.

To date, he has completed six major ARC/NSF funded field projects, five on the behavioural ecology and conservation biology of birds (white-winged choughs, 1985-1997, Eclectus parrots, 1997-2007, palm cockatoos, 1999-present, waterfowl movements in northern Australia, 2007-2010, swift parrots, 2010-present) and mammals (Serengeti lions, 1990-1995).

He has also contributed to a variety of published collaborations on over 40 vertebrate species.

Increasingly, Professor Heinsohn is directing his research at the landscape level as he seeks to identify the broad-scale processes shaping conservation problems.

The bird species he chooses to work with are often large and wide-ranging, and make excellent tools for investigations of habitat use over large areas. However, he maintains a strong interest in individual based social behaviour, cognition and tool use.

He is also developing a broad research program on the conservation biology of parrots, the bird order with the highest proportion of endangered species. His research lab includes the Difficult Bird Research Group, a taskforce that tackles the challenges of research on rare bird species.

Professor Heinsohn finds this research particularly stimulating because it combines his strong background in behavioural and evolutionary ecology with his more recent passion for conservation biology.

Professor Heinsohn also maintains a strong interest in African wildlife after working on lions in the Serengeti National Park for his first Post Doc, and has supervised students working on elephants, lions, and baboons.

Professor Heinsohn's research program takes advantage of the proximity of researchers in the Fenner School who work across diverse disciplinary perspectives to explore the conservation issues faced by our unique wildlife.

An example of the success of this approach was the book “Boom and Bust: Bird Stories for a Dry Country” (Robin, Heinsohn, Joseph, 2009, CSIRO Press) which explored the adaptations of Australian birds to erratic weather across historic, pre-historic and geological time frames.

It won Australia’s most prestigious award for zoological publications, the 2009 Whitley Medal (Royal Zoological Society, NSW) for its landmark contribution to zoological knowledge.

See Professor Heinsohn's website and the Difficult Bird Research Group for more information.

Major research projects

1. Evolutonary and conservation implications of extreme predation on female endangered swift parrots.

Funded by ARC Discovery, and MACH Energy, Whitehaven, Ravensworth and Bulga Mining offset grants.

2. Conservation biology of endangered swift parrots and regent honeyeaters.

Funded by ARC Linkage grant, Ravensworth Mine Offset grant, Sapphire Windfarm offset grant.

3. On-ground habitat conservation for critically endangered swift parrots.

Funded by NSW Environmental Trust Saving Our Species grant.

4. Conservation Biology of forty-spotted pardalotes and orange-bellied parrots.

Funding from NESP Research Hub.

5. Tool use and conservation biology of palm cockatoos.

Funded by Hermon Slade Foundation grant.

6. Conservation Biology of Norfolk Island green parrots.

Funded by Parks Australia, DEE.

Current Postdocs

Ross Crates (2019-)

Matt Webb (2018-)

​Dejan Stojanovic​ (2015-)

Debbie Saunders​ (2013-)

Previous Postdocs

George Olah (2016–2018)

Julian Reid (2015–2017)

Jake Gillen (2015–2017)

Laura Rayner (2015–2017)

Rebecca Stirnemann (2014–2016)

Peer reviewed articles

  • Webb, M, Heinsohn, R, Sutherland, W et al 2019, 'An empirical and mechanistic explanation of abundance-occupancy relationships for a critically endangered nomadic migrant', The American Naturalist, vol. 193, no. 1, pp. 59-69.
  • Keighley, M, Heinsohn, R, Langmore, N et al 2019, 'Genomic population structure aligns with vocal dialects in Palm Cockatoos (Probosciger aterrimus); evidence for refugial late-Quaternary distribution?', Emu - Austral Ornithology, vol. 119, no. 1, pp. 24-37pp.
  • Stojanovic, D, Cook, H, Sato, C et al 2019, 'Pre-emptive action as a measure for conserving nomadic species', Journal of Wildlife Management, vol. 83, no. 1, pp. 64-71.
  • Edworthy, A, Langmore, N & Heinsohn, R 2019, 'Native fly parasites are the principal cause of nestling mortality in endangered Tasmanian pardalotes', Animal Conservation, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 96-103pp.
  • Webb, M, Alves Amorim, F, Tulloch, A et al 2019, 'All the eggs in one basket: Are island refuges securing an endangered passerine?', Austral Ecology, vol. 44, no. 3, pp. 523-533.
  • Heinsohn, R, Olah, G, Webb, M et al 2019, 'Sex ratio bias and shared paternity reduce individual fitness and population viability in a critically endangered parrot', Journal of Animal Ecology, vol. 88, no. 4, pp. 502-510.
  • Zdenek, C, Heinsohn, R & Langmore, N 2018, 'Vocal individuality, but not stability, in wild palm cockatoos (Probosciger aterrimus)', Bioacoustics, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 27-42.
  • Stirnemann, R, Stirnemann, I, Abbot, D et al 2018, 'Interactive impacts of by-catch take and elite consumption of illegal wildlife', Biodiversity and Conservation, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 931-946.
  • Stojanovic, D, Olah, G, Peakall, R et al 2018, 'Genetic evidence confirms severe extinction risk for critically endangered swift parrots: implications for conservation management', Animal Conservation, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 313-323.
  • Radley, M, Davis, R, Dekker, W et al 2018, 'Vulnerability of megapodes (Megapodiidae, Aves) to climate change and related threats', Environmental Conservation, vol. 45, no. 4, pp. 396-406.
  • Crates, R, Rayner, L, Stojanovic, D et al 2018, 'Contemporary breeding biology of critically endangered Regent Honeyeaters: implications for conservation', IBIS, vol. 161, no. 3, pp. 521-532.
  • Crates, R, Terauds, A, Rayner, L et al 2018, 'Spatially and temporally targeted suppression of despotic noisy miners has conservation benefits for highly mobile and threatened woodland birds', Biological Conservation, vol. 227, pp. 343-351.
  • Olah, G, Theuerkauf, J, Legault, A et al 2018, 'Parrots of Oceania - a comparative study of extinction risk', Emu - Austral Ornithology, vol. 118, no. 1, pp. 94-112.
  • Heinsohn, R, Buchanan, K & Joseph, L 2018, 'Parrots move to centre stage in conservation and evolution', Emu - Austral Ornithology, vol. 118, no. 1, pp. 1-6pp.
  • Allen, M, Webb, M, Alves Amorim, F et al 2018, 'Occupancy patterns of the introduced, predatory sugar glider in Tasmanian forests', Austral Ecology, vol. 43, no. 4, pp. 470-475pp.
  • Keighley, M, Langmore, N, Zdenek, C et al 2017, 'Geographic variation in the vocalizations of Australian palm cockatoos (Probosciger aterrimus)', Bioacoustics, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 91-108pp.
  • Olah, G, Smith, A, Asner, G et al 2017, 'Exploring dispersal barriers using landscape genetic resistance modelling in scarlet macaws of the Peruvian Amazon', Landscape Ecology, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 445-456.
  • Heinsohn, R, Zdenek, C, Cunningham, R et al 2017, 'Tool-assisted rhythmic drumming in palm cockatoos shares key elements of human instrumental music', Science Advances, vol. 3, no. 6, pp. 1-7.
  • Webb, M, Terauds, A, Tulloch, A et al 2017, 'The importance of incorporating functional habitats into conservation planning for highly mobile species in dynamic systems', Conservation Biology, vol. 31, no. 5, pp. 1018-1028.
  • Stojanovic, D, Alves Amorim, F, Cook, H et al 2017, 'Further knowledge and urgent action required to save Orange-bellied Parrots from extinction', Emu - Austral Ornithology, vol. 118, no. 1, pp. 126-134pp.
  • Stojanovic, D, Rayner, L, Webb, M et al 2017, 'Effect of nest cavity morphology on reproductive success of a critically endangered bird ', Emu - Austral Ornithology, vol. 117, no. 3, pp. 247-253.
  • Crates, R, Terauds, A, Rayner, L et al 2017, 'An occupancy approach to monitoring regent honeyeaters', Journal of Wildlife Management, vol. 81, no. 4, pp. 669-677pp.
  • Olah, G, Heinsohn, R, Brightsmith, D et al 2017, 'The application of non-invasive genetic tagging reveals new insights into the clay lick use by macaws in the Peruvian Amazon', Conservation Genetics, vol. 18, no. 5, pp. 1037-1046pp.
  • Crates, R, Rayner, L, Stojanovic, D et al 2017, 'Undetected Allee effects in Australia's threatened birds: implications for conservation', Emu - Austral Ornithology, vol. 117, no. 3, pp. 207-221pp.
  • Langmore, N, Bailey, L, Heinsohn, R et al 2016, 'Egg size investment in superb fairy-wrens: Helper effects are modulated by climate', Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences, vol. 283, no. 1843, pp. 20161875-20161875.
  • Saunders, D, Cunningham, R, Wood, J et al 2016, 'Responses of Critically Endangered migratory Swift Parrots to variable winter drought', Emu - Austral Ornithology, vol. 116, no. 4, pp. 350-359pp.
  • Webb, M, Holdsworth, M, Stojanovic, D et al 2016, 'Immediate action required to prevent another Australian avian extinction: the King Island Scrubtit', Emu - Austral Ornithology, vol. 116, no. 3, pp. 223-229.
  • Olah, G, Heinsohn, R, Brightsmith, D et al 2016, 'Validation of non-invasive genetic tagging in two large macaw species (Ara macao and A-chloropterus) of the Peruvian Amazon', Conservation Genetics Resources, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 499-509pp.
  • Olah, G, Butchart, S, Symes, A et al 2016, 'Ecological and socio-economic factors affecting extinction risk in parrots', Biodiversity and Conservation, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 205-223.
  • Stojanovic, D, Webb (nee Voogdt), J, Webb, M Heinsohn R 2016, 'Loss of habitat for a secondary cavity nesting bird after wildfire', Forest Ecology and Management, vol. 360, pp. 235-241.
  • Zdenek, C, Heinsohn, R & Langmore, N 2015, 'Vocal complexity in the palm cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus)', Bioacoustics, vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 253-267.
  • Heinsohn, R, Webb, M, Lacy, R et al 2015, 'A severe predator-induced population decline predicted for endangered, migratory swift parrots (Lathamus discolor)', Biological Conservation, vol. 186, pp. 75-82.
  • Cliff, O, Fitch, R, Sukkarieh, S et al 2015, 'Online Localization of Radio-Tagged Wildlife with an Autonomous Aerial Robot System', Robotics Science and Systems Conference 2015, ed. Lydia E. Kavraki, David Hsu, and Jonas Buchli, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, pp. 1-9.
  • Olah, G, Heinsohn, R, Espinoza, J, Brightsmith, D, and Peakall, R, 2015, 'An evaluation of primers for microsatellite markers in Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) and their performance in a Peruvian wild population', Conservation Genetics Resources, vol. 7, pp. 157-159.
  • Stojanovic, D, Terauds, A, Westgate, M et al 2015, 'Exploiting the richest patch has a fitness pay-off for the migratory swift parrot', Journal of Animal Ecology, vol. Online, pp. 1-8.
  • Stojanovic, D, Webb, M, Alderman, R et al 2014, 'Discovery of a novel predator reveals extreme but highly variable mortality for an endangered migratory bird', Diversity and Distributions, vol. 20, no. 10, pp. 1200-1207.
  • Carter, A, Marshall, H, Heinsohn, R et al 2014, 'Personality predicts the propensity for social learning in a wild primate', PeerJ, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 1-22.
  • Webb, M, Wotherspoon, S, Stojanovic, D et al 2014, 'Location matters: Using spatially explicit occupancy models to predict the distribution of the highly mobile, endangered swift parrot', Biological Conservation, vol. 176, pp. 99-108.
  • Stojanovic, D, Koch, A, Webb, M et al 2014, 'Validation of a landscape-scale planning tool for cavity-dependent wildlife', Austral Ecology, vol. 39, no. 5, pp. 579-586.
  • Castles, M, Heinsohn, R, Carter, A et al 2014, 'Social networks created with different techniques are not comparable', Animal Behaviour, vol. 96, pp. 59-67.
  • Driscoll, D.A., Banks, S.C., Barton, P.S., Ikin, K., Lentini, P., Lindenmayer, D.B., Smith, A.L., Berry, L.E., Burns, E.L., Edworthy, A., Evans, M.J., Gibson, R., Heinsohn, R., Howland, B., Kay, G., Munro, N., Scheele, B.C., Stirnemann, I., Stojanovic, D., Sweaney, N., Villaseñor, N.R. & Westgate, M.J. (2014). The trajectory of dispersal research in conservation biology. Systematic review. PLoS ONE, 9, e95053.
  • Olah, G, Vigo, G, Heinsohn, R, and Brightsmith, D, 2014, 'Nest site selection and efficacy of artificial nests for breeding success of Scarlet Macaws (Ara macao macao) in lowland Peru', Journal for Nature Conservation, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 176-185.
  • Carter, A, Feeney, W, Marshall, H et al 2013, 'Animal personality: what are behavioural ecologists measuring?', Biological Reviews, vol. 88, no. 2, pp. 465-475.
  • Le Souef, A, Stojanovic, D, Burbridge, A et al 2013, 'RETENTION OF TRANSMITTER ATTACHMENTS ON BLACK COCKATOOS CALYPTORHYNCHUS SPP', Pacific Conservation Biology, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 55-57.
  • Carter, A, Marshall, H, Heinsohn, R et al 2013, 'Personality predicts decision making only when information is unreliable', Animal Behaviour, vol. 86, no. 3, pp. 633-639.
  • Feeney, W, Medina Guzman, I, Somveille, M et al 2013, 'Brood Parasitism and the Evolution of Cooperative Breeding in Birds', Science, vol. 342, no. 6165, pp. 1506-1508.
  • Dhami, K, Joseph, L, Roshier, D et al 2013, 'Multilocus phylogeography of Australian teals (Anas spp.): A case study of the relationship between vagility and genetic structure', Journal of Avian Biology, vol. 44, no. 2, pp. 169-178.
  • Carter, A, Marshall, H, Heinsohn, R et al 2012, 'Evaluating animal personalities: do observer assessments and experimental tests measure the same thing?', Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, vol. 66, no. 1, pp. 153-160.
  • Carter, A, Heinsohn, R, Goldizen, A et al 2012, 'Boldness, trappability and sampling bias in wild lizards', Animal Behaviour, vol. 83, no. 4, pp. 1051-1058.
  • Heinsohn, R 2012, 'The lengths birds will go to avoid incest', Journal of Animal Ecology, vol. 81, no. 4, pp. 735-737.
  • Stojanovic, D, Webb, M, Roshier, D et al 2012, 'Ground-based survey methods both overestimate and underestimate the abundance of suitable tree-cavities for the endangered Swift Parrot', Emu - Austral Ornithology, vol. 112, no. 4, pp. 350-356.
  • Roshier, D, Heinsohn, R, Adcock, G et al 2012, 'Biogeographic models of gene flow in two waterfowl of the Australo-Papuan tropics', Ecology and Evolution, vol. 2, no. 11, pp. 2803-2814.
  • Carter, A, Goldizen, A & Heinsohn, R 2012, 'Personality and plasticity: temporal behavioural reaction norms in a lizard, the Namibian rock agama', Animal Behaviour, vol. 84, no. 2, pp. 471-477.
  • Carter, A, Marshall, H, Heinsohn, R et al 2012, 'How not to measure boldness: Novel object and antipredator responses are not the same in wild baboons', Animal Behaviour, vol. 84, no. 3, pp. 603-609.
  • Gardner, J, Kearney, M, Peters, A et al 2011, 'Mechanisms and consequences of changing body size: reply to Bickford et al. and McCauley and Mabry', Trends in Ecology and Evolution, vol. 26, no. 11, pp. 555-556.
  • Blackmore, C, Peakall, R & Heinsohn, R 2011, 'The absence of sex-biased dispersal in the cooperatively breeding grey-crowned babbler', Journal of Animal Ecology, vol. 80, no. 1, pp. 69-78.
  • Langmore, N, Stevens, M, Maurer, G et al 2011, 'Visual mimicry of host nestlings by cuckoos', Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences, vol. 278, no. 1717, pp. 2455-2463.
  • Heinsohn, R, Langmore, N, Cockburn, A et al 2011, 'Adaptive Secondary Sex Ratio Adjustments via Sex-Specific Infanticide in a Bird', Current Biology, vol. 21, no. 20, pp. 1744-1747.
  • Blackmore CJ, Peakall R. and Heinsohn R (2011) Population genetic structure and the absence of sex-biased dispersal in the cooperatively breeding grey-crowned babbler. Journal of Animal Ecology 80:69-78
  • Gardner, J.L., Peters, A, Kearney, M.R., Joseph, L., Heinsohn, R. 2011, 'Declining body size: A third universal response to warming?', Trends in Ecology and Evolution, vol. 26, no. 6, pp. 285-291.
  • Heinsohn R, Langmore N, Cockburn A & Kokko H 2011 Adaptive Secondary Sex Ratio Adjustments via Sex-Specific Infanticide in a Bird. Current Biology 21, 1-4
  • Landstrom MT, Heinsohn R, Langmore NE (2011) Does clutch variability differ between populations of cuckoo hosts in relation to the rates of parasitism? Animal behaviour 81: 307-312
  • Langmore, N, Stevens M, Maurer G, Heinsohn R, Hall M, Peters A, Kilner R. (2011) Visual mimicry of host nestlings by cuckoos. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B (doi:10.1098/rspb.2010.2391)
  • Landstrom, M, Heinsohn, R & Langmore, N 2010, 'Clutch variation and egg rejection in three hosts of the pallid cuckoo, Cuculus pallidus', Behaviour, vol. 147, no. 1, pp. 19-36.
  • Gardner, J, Heinsohn, R & Joseph, L 2009, 'Shifting latitudinal clines in avian body size correlate with global warming in Australian passerines', Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences, vol. 276, no. 1674, pp. 3845-3852.
  • Heinsohn, R 2009, 'White-Winged Choughs: The Social Consequences of Boom and Bust', in Libby Robin, Robert Heinsohn, Leo Joseph (ed.), Boom and Bust: Bird Stories for a Dry Country, CSIRO Publishing, Canberra, Australia, pp. 223-239.
  • Heinsohn, R, Zeriga, T, Murphy, S et al 2009, 'Do Palm Cockatoos (Probosciger aterrimus) have long enough lifespans to support their low reproductive success?', Emu - Austral Ornithology, vol. 109, pp. 183-191.
  • Joseph, L, Adcock, G, Linde, C et al 2009, 'A tangled tale of two teal: population history of the grey Anas gracilis and chestnut teal A. castanea of Australia', Journal of Avian Biology, vol. 40, pp. 430-439.
  • Heinsohn, R 2009, Eclectus' True Colors Revealed, BirdTalk.
  • Robin, Libby, Heinsohn, R & Joseph, L, eds, 2009, Boom and Bust: Bird Stories for a Dry Country, CSIRO Publishing, Canberra.
  • Heinsohn, R 2008, 'Ecology and Evolution of the Enigmatic Eclectus parrot (Eclectus roratus)', Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 146-150.
  • Saunders, D & Heinsohn, R 2008, 'Winter habital use by the endangered, migratory Swift Parrot (Lathamus discolor) in New South Wales', Emu - Austral Ornithology, vol. 108, no. 1, pp. 81-89.
  • McCallum, H, Roshier, D, Tracey, J et al 2008, 'Will Wallace's Line Save Australia from Avian Influenza?', Ecology and Society, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 41-57.
  • Heinsohn, R 2008, 'The ecological basis of unusual sex roles in reverse-dichromatic Eclectus parrots', Animal Behaviour, vol. 76, pp. 97-103.
  • Heinsohn, R 2008, Life in the Cape York Rainforest, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne Australia.
  • Blackmore, C & Heinsohn, R 2008, 'Variable mating strategies and incest avoidance in cooperating breeding grey-crowned babblers', Animal Behaviour, vol. 75, no. 1, pp. 63-70.
  • Beck, N, Peakall, R & Heinsohn, R 2008, 'Social constraint and an absence of sex-biased dispersal drive fine-scale genetic structure in white-winged choughs', Molecular Ecology, vol. 17, pp. 4346-4358.
  • Heinsohn, R, Roshier, D & Joseph, L 2008, NOTHING TO BE SNEEZED AT Avian influenza: what is bird flu and what dangers does it present for us and our birds?, Wingspan.
  • Hill, B, Reid, J & Heinsohn, R 2008, Development of a Translocation Protocol for the Endangered Cocos Buff-banded Rail through the Application and Refinement of Wildlife Management Techniques â?? Report on Field Trips, AG Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.
  • Wilson, D & Heinsohn, R 2007, 'Geographic range, population structure and conservation status of the green python (Morelia viridis), a popular snake in the captive pet trade', Australian Journal of Zoology, vol. 55, pp. 147-154.
  • Wilson, D, Heinsohn, R & Endler, J 2007, 'The adaptive significance of ontogenetic colour change in a tropical python', Biology Letters, vol. 3, pp. 40-43.
  • Blackmore, C & Heinsohn, R 2007, 'Reproductive success and helper effects in the cooperatively breeding grey-crowned babbler (Pomatostomus temporalis)', Journal of Zoology, vol. 273, no. 3, pp. 326-332.
  • Gardner, J & Heinsohn, R 2007, 'Probable consequences of high female mortality for speckled warblers living in habitat remnants', Biological Conservation, vol. 135, pp. 473-483.
  • Fischer, J, Manning, A, Steffen, W et al 2007, 'Mind the sustainability gap', Trends in Ecology and Evolution, vol. 22, no. 12, pp. 621-624.
  • Gardner, J, Richard, P, Trueman, J et al 2007, 'Story-telling: an essential part of science', Trends in Ecology and Evolution, vol. 22, no. 10, p. 510.
  • Heinsohn, R, Ebert, D, Legge, S et al 2007, 'Genetic evidence for cooperative polyandry in reverse dichromatic Eclectus parrots', Animal Behaviour, vol. 74, pp. 1047-1054.
  • Heinsohn, R 2006, 'Coloured Perceptions the unimaginably colourful, hidden world of birds', Wingspan, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 20-25.
  • Wilson, D, Heinsohn, R & Legge, S 2006, 'Age- and sex-related differences in the spatial ecology of a dichromatic tropical python (Morelia viridis)', Austral Ecology, vol. 31, pp. 577-587.
  • Beck, N & Heinsohn, R 2006, 'Group composition and reproductive success of cooperatively breeding white-winged choughs (Corcorax melanorhamphos) in urban and non-urban habitat', Austral Ecology, vol. 31, pp. 588-596.
  • Wilson, D, Heinsohn, R & Wood, J 2006, 'Life-history traits and ontogenetic colour change in an arboreal tropical python, Morelia viridis', Journal of Zoology, vol. 270, pp. 399-407.
  • Adcock, G, Hodges, K, Boland, C et al 2006, 'Microsatellite loci for behavioural studies of rainbow bee-eaters (Merops ornatus:Aves)', Molecular Ecology Notes (electronic), vol. 6, pp. 734-736.
  • Starling, M, Heinsohn, R, Cockburn, A et al 2006, 'Cryptic gentes revealed in pallid cuckoos Cuculus pallidus using reflectance spectrophotometry', Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences, vol. 273, pp. 1929-1934.
  • Blackmore, C, Adcock, G, Ebert, D et al 2006, 'Microsatellite loci for population and behavioural studies of grey-crowned babblers (Pomatostomus temporalis: Aves)', Molecular Ecology Notes (electronic), vol. 6, pp. 412-414.
  • Hazell, D, Heinsohn, R & Lindenmayer, D 2005, 'Ecology', in R.Q.Grafton, L.Robin & RJ Wasson (ed.), Understanding the environment: bridging the disciplinary divides, UNSW Press, Sydney, pp. 97-112.
  • Heinsohn, R, Legge, S & Endler, J 2005, 'Extreme Reversed Sexual Dichromatism in a Bird Without Sex Role Reversal', Science, vol. 309, pp. 617-619.
  • Adcock, G, Heinsohn, R, Ebert, D et al 2005, 'Microsatellite loci for behavioural studies of Eclectus parrot (Eclectus roratus: Aves)', Molecular Ecology Notes (electronic), vol. 5, pp. 616-618.
  • Legge, S, Heinsohn, R & Garnett, S 2004, 'Availability of nest hollows and breeding population size of eclectus parrots, Eclectus roratus on Cape York Peninsula, Australia', Wildlife Research, vol. 31, pp. 149-161.
  • Heinsohn, R, Lacy, R, Lindenmayer, D et al 2004, 'Unsustainable harvest of dugongs in Torres Strait and Cape York (Australia) waters: two case studies using population viability analysis', Animal Conservation, vol. 7, pp. 1-9.
  • Heinsohn, R 2004, 'Parental care, load-lightening, and costs', in Walter Koenig and Janis Dickinson (ed.), Ecology and Evolution of Cooperative Breeding in Birds, Cambridge University Press, UK, pp. 67-80.
  • Heinsohn, R & Double, M 2004, 'Cooperate or speciate: new theory for the distribution of passerine birds', Trends in Ecology and Evolution, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 55-57.
  • Magrath, R, Heinsohn, R & Johnstone, R 2004, 'Reproductive skew', in Walter Koenig and Janis Dickinson (ed.), Ecology and Evolution of Cooperative Breeding in Birds, Cambridge University Press, UK, pp. 157-176.
  • Beck, N, Peakall, R & Heinsohn, R 2003, 'Isolation and characterization of polymorphic microsatellite markers in the white-winged chough (Corcorax melanorhamphos)', Molecular Ecology Notes, vol. 3, pp. 586-588.
  • Murphy, S, Legge, S & Heinsohn, R 2003, 'The breeding biology of palm cockatoos (Probosciger aterrimus: a case of a slow life history', Journal of Zoology, vol. 261, pp. 327-339.
  • Legge, S, Heinsohn, R, Blackman, C et al 2003, 'Predation by Rufus Owls on Eclectus Parrots and other animals at Iron Range National Park, Cape York', Corella, vol. 27, pp. 45-46.
  • Heinsohn, R, Murphy, S & Legge, S 2003, 'Overlap and competition for nest holes among eclectus parrots, palm cockatoos and sulphur-crested cockatoos', Australian Journal of Zoology, vol. 51, pp. 81-94.
  • Heinsohn, R & Legge, S 2003, 'Breeding biology of the reverse-dichromatic, co-operative parrot Eclectus roratus', Journal of Zoology, vol. 259, pp. 197-208.
  • Heinsohn, R & Legge, S 2001, 'Seeing red: a parrot's perspective', Nature Australia, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 32-41.
  • Legge, S, Heinsohn, R, Double, M et al 2001, 'Complex sex allocation in the laughing kookaburra', Behavioral Ecology, vol. 12, no. 5, pp. 524-533.
  • Legge, S & Heinsohn, R 2001, 'Kingfishers in paradise: the breeding biology of Tanysiptera sylvia at the Iron Range National Park, Cape York', Australian Journal of Zoology, vol. 49, pp. 85-98.
  • Heinsohn, R, Dunn, P, Legge, S et al 2000, 'Coalitions of relatives and reproductive skew in cooperatively breeding white-winged choughs', Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences, vol. 267, pp. 243-249.
  • Magrath, R & Heinsohn, R 2000, 'Reproductive skew in birds: models, problems and prospects', Journal of Avian Biology, vol. 31, pp. 247-258.
  • Heinsohn, G & Heinsohn, R 1999, 'Long-term dynamics of a rodent community in an Australian tropical rainforest', Wildlife Research, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 187-198.
  • Heinsohn, R & Legge, S 1999, 'The cost of helping', Trends in Ecology and Evolution, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 53-57.


​Magazine Articles

Professor Heinsohn's post-graduate students work in a variety of areas including behavioural ecology, conservation biology and community ecology. Much of the research is carried out in remote regions such as Papua New Guinea, Cape York Peninsula, the Australian arid zone and southern Africa. Topics include bird migration, cooperative breeding and mating systems, animal personalities, biology of endangered species, human-wildlife conflict, and landscape ecology.​

Current PhD Students

Laura Bussolini, 2020.

Laura’s study is on the fitness of captive orange-bellied parrots and best practice for releasing them.

Daniel Appleby, 2020.

Daniel’s study examines ways to increase the fitness of captive reared regent honeyeaters for release into the wild, especially via improving their ability to sing and communicate effectively.

Rachael Low​e, 2019.

​Rachael is studying the threats to elephants in southern Africa, especially the impacts of climate change.

Giselle Owens, 2019.

Giselle is studying the ecology of introduced sugar gliders and their impact on threatened birds in Tasmania.

Nicole Gill, 2019.

Nicole is undertaking a Masters degree looking at the use of sniffer dogs to locate rare and endangered bird species.

Janneke Voogdt​, 2018.

​Janneke is studying the biology and threat to native birds from introduced rainbow lorikeets in Tasmania.

Fernanda Alves​, 2018.

​Fernanda is studying the conservation biology of endangered forty-spotted pardalotes in Tasmania, with a view to re-establishing populations in their old range on the main island.

Adam Cisterne, 2018.

Adam is studying endangered masked owls in the forests of Tasmania.

Georgia Troup, 2016.

Georgia is studying human-elephant conflict in Tsavo, Kenya.

Connie Leon, 2014.

Connie has submitted her thesis on the impact of climate change on cooperatively breeding white-winged choughs.

Previous students

Ross Crates, PhD in 2019.

Matt Webb, PhD in 2018.

Miles Keighley, PhD in 2018.

Amanda Edworthy, PhD in 2017.

George Olah, PhD in 2016

Kevin MacFarlane, PhD in 2016.

Julian Reid, PhD in 2015.

Dejan Stojanovic​, PhD in 2014.

Jake Gillen, PhD in 2014.

Alecia Carter, PhD in 2013.

Christina Zdenek, MSc in 2010.

Tanya Zeriga​, MSc in 2008.

Debbie Saunders​, PhD in 2007.

Dave Wilson​, PhD in 2006.

Nadeena Beck​, PhD in 2006.

Caroline Blackmore​​, PhD in 2006.

Steve Murphy​​, PhD in 2006.

Emma Tiller​, PhD in 2006.

Paul Igag​, MSc in 2002.