17 Works

The impulse response of optic flow sensitive descending neurons to roll m-sequences

Karin Nordström, Richard Leibbrandt & Sarah Nicholas
When animals move through the world, their own movements generate widefield optic flow across their eyes. In insects, such widefield motion is encoded by optic lobe neurons. These lobula plate tangential cells (LPTCs) synapse with optic flow sensitive descending neurons, which in turn project to areas that control neck, wing and leg movements. As the descending neurons play a role in sensori-motor transformation, it is important to understand their spatio-temporal response properties. Recent work shows...

Prenatal auditory learning in avian vocal learners and non-learners

Diane Colombelli-Negrel, Mark Hauber, Christine Evans, Andrew Katsis, Lyanne Brouwer, Nicolas Adreani & Sonia Kleindorfer
Understanding when learning begins is critical for identifying the factors that shape both the developmental course and the function of information acquisition. Until recently, sufficient development of the neural substrates for any sort of vocal learning to begin in songbirds was thought to be reached well after hatching. New research shows that embryonic gene activation and the outcome of vocal learning can be modulated by sound exposure in ovo. We tested whether avian embryos across...

Endothermy makes fishes faster but does not expand their thermal niche

Lucy Harding, Andrew Jackson, Adam Barnett, Ian Donohue, Lewis Halsey, Charlie Huveneers, Carl Meyer, Yannis Papastamatiou, Jayson Semmens, Erin Spencer, Yuuki Watanabe & Nicholas Payne
1. Regional endothermy has evolved several times in marine fishes, and two competing hypotheses are generally proposed to explain the evolutionary drivers behind this trait: thermal niche expansion and elevated cruising speeds. Evidence to support either hypothesis is equivocal, and the ecological advantages conferred by endothermy in fishes remain debated. 2. By compiling published biologging data and collecting precise speed measurements from free-swimming fishes in the wild, we directly test whether endothermic fishes encounter broader...

2020 NRAUS Australia New Zealand Food Category Cost Dataset

Michelle Blumfield, Carlene Starck, Tim Keighley, Peter Petocz, Anna Roesler, Elif Inan-Eroglu, Tim Cassettari, Skye Marshall & Flavia Fayet-Moore
This Australian and New Zealand food category cost dataset was created to inform diet and economic modelling for low and medium socioeconomic households in Australia and New Zealand. The dataset was created according to the INFORMAS protocol, which details the methods to systematically and consistently collect and analyse information on the price of foods, meals and affordability of diets in different countries globally. Food categories were informed by the Food Standards Australian New Zealand (FSANZ)...

Temporal and spatial variation in sex-specific abundance of the avian vampire fly (Philornis downsi)

Lauren K. Common, Petra Sumasgutner, Shane C. Sumasgutner, Diane Colombelli-Négrel, Rachael Y. Dudaniec & Sonia Kleindorfer
Understanding the range and behaviour of an invasive species is critical to identify key habitat areas to focus control efforts. Patterns of range use in parasites can differ temporally, across life stages and between sexes. The invasive avian vampire fly, Philornis downsi, spends the larval stage of its life within bird nests, feeding on developing nestlings and causing high levels of mortality and deformation. However, little is known of the ecology and behaviour of the...

Character set and phylogenetic analyses of the living and fossil egerniine scincids of Australia

Kailah Thorn, Mark Hutchinson, Michael Lee, Aaron Camens & Trevor Worthy
The diverse living Australian lizard fauna contrasts greatly with their limited Oligo-Miocene fossil record. New Oligo-Miocene fossil vertebrates from the Namba Formation (south of Lake Frome, South Australia) were uncovered from multiple expeditions from 2007–2018. Abundant disarticulated material of small vertebrates was concentrated in shallow lenses along the palaeo-lake edges, now exposed on the western shore. The fossiliferous lens occurring within the Namba Formation, also known from Billeroo Creek 2 km northeast of Lake Pinpa,...

The roles of aridification and sea level changes in the diversification and persistence of freshwater fish lineages

Sean Buckley, Chris Brauer, Peter Unmack, Michael Hammer & Luciano Beheregaray
While the influence of Pleistocene climatic changes on divergence and speciation has been well-documented across the globe, complex spatial interactions between hydrology and eustatics over longer timeframes may also determine species evolutionary trajectories. Within the Australian continent, glacial cycles were not associated with changes in ice cover and instead largely resulted in fluctuations from moist to arid conditions across the landscape. Here, we investigate the role of hydrological and coastal topographic changes brought about by...

Avian vampire fly (Philornis downsi) intensity and mortality

Lauren K Common, Petra Sumasgutner, Rachael Y Dudaniec, Diane Colombelli-Negrel & Sonia Kleindorfer
In invasive parasites, generalism is considered advantageous during the initial phase of introduction. Thereafter, fitness costs to parasites, such as host-specific mortality, can drive parasites towards specialism to avoid costly hosts. It is important to determine changes in host specificity of invasive populations to understand host-parasite dynamics and their effects on vulnerable host populations. We examined changes in mortality in the introduced avian vampire fly (Philornis downsi) (Diptera: Muscidae), a generalist myasis-causing ectoparasite, between 2004...

Run and output files from: Holocene population expansion of a tropical bee coincides with early human colonisation of Fiji rather than climate change

James B. Dorey, Scott V.C. Groom, Alejandro Velasco-Castrillón, Mark Stevens, Michael S.Y. Lee & Michael P. Schwarz
There is substantial debate about the relative roles of climate change and human activities on biodiversity and species demographies over the Holocene. In some cases, these two factors can be resolved using fossil data, but for many taxa such data are not available. Inferring historical demographies of taxa has become common, but the methodologies are mostly recent and their shortcomings often unexplored. The bee genus Homalictus is developing into a tractable model system for understanding...

Radionuclide and stable elements in flora from Australian arid environments

Maria Angelica Rea, Mathew Johansen, Timothy Payne, Gillian Hirth, Jim Hondros, Samantha Pandelus, William Tucker, Tim Duff, Liesel Green, Attila Stopic, Allan Pring & Claire Lenehan
Radiological impact assessments are an important tool for energy and resources industries and government safety regulators to assist in the protection of wildlife diversity, especially native species. Evaluations of radiological impacts to flora in the arid regions of Australia are currently based on international models that use predominately Northern Hemisphere data, with very limited Australian-specific data. This creates a degree of uncertainty in communicating the potential impact of relevant Australian assessments. The project aims to...

Automated location invariant animal detection in camera trap images using publicly available data sources

Andrew Shepley, Greg Falzon, Paul D. Meek & Paul Kwan
1. A time-consuming challenge faced by ecologists is the extraction of meaningful data from camera trap images to inform ecological management. Automated object detection solutions are increasingly, however, most are not sufficiently robust to be deployed on a large scale due to lack of location invariance across sites. This prevents optimal use of ecological data and results in significant resource expenditure to annotate and retrain object detectors. 2. In this study, we aimed to (a)...

Parental care in Darwin's finches

Sonia Kleindorfer
Selection should act on parental care and favour parental investment decisions that optimise the number of offspring produced. Such predictions have been robustly tested in predation risk contexts, but little is known about parental care investment trade-offs under conditions of parasitism. The avian vampire fly, Philornis downsi (Diptera: Muscidae), is a myasis-causing ectoparasite accidentally introduced to the Galápagos Islands, and one of the major causes of failure in Darwin’s finch nests. With an 11-year dataset...

Facilitation of neural responses to targets moving against optic flow

Karin Nordström & Sarah Nicholas
For the human observer, it can be difficult to follow the motion of small objects, especially when they move against background clutter. In contrast, insects efficiently do this, as evidenced by their ability to capture prey, pursue conspecifics, or defend territories, even in highly textured surrounds. We here recorded from target selective descending neurons (TSDNs) which likely subserve these impressive behaviors. To simulate the type of optic flow that would be generated by the pursuer’s...

Scaling of locomotor muscle oxidative and glycolytic metabolic enzymes during the ontogeny of regional endothermy in Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis)

Arif Malik, Kathryn Dickson, Takashi Kitagawa, Ko Fujioka, Ethan Estess, Charles Farwell & Kathryn Schuller
In this study, the scaling of the oxidative metabolic enzymes citrate synthase (CS) and cytochrome c oxidase (COX) and the glycolytic enzyme pyruvate kinase (PK) in the red (‘slow-twitch’, oxidative) and the white (‘fast-twitch’, glycolytic) locomotor muscle of young (~2 to ~16 months of age) Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis) during the ontogeny of red muscle endothermy was investigated. On a mass-specific basis (units g-1 muscle tissue), CS activity scaled negatively with body mass with...

Partially Penetrating Lake-Aquifer Interaction in a Laboratory-scale Tidal Setting

Amir Jazayeri, Adrian Werner & Nick Cartwright
Freshwater lakes close to the coast are important ecotones with strong functional dependency on ocean forces. Tides are likely to create dynamic lake-groundwater interactions, which have not been previously assessed for partially penetrating lakes. This study investigates tidal lake-groundwater interaction in a laboratory-scale aquifer cross-section with and without the existence of a partially penetrating lake. The experimental observations were reproduced by numerical models to allow for an in-depth evaluation of the experiments beyond those provided...

Behavioural response to songs between genetically diverged allopatric populations of Darwin’s small tree finch in the Galápagos

Diane Colombelli-Negrel & Sonia Kleindorfer
Empirical data that identify contemporary mechanisms of divergence shed light on how species could multiply. In this study, we measured population genetic structure, song syllable diversity, and response to simulated intruder song in Darwin’s small tree finch (Camarhynchus parvulus) on Santa Cruz and Floreana Islands, Galápagos archipelago. Our aim was to test whether the magnitude of contemporary behavioural response in resident birds was consistent with patterns of genetic or cultural differences between populations. We analysed...

Registration Year

  • 2021

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • Flinders University
  • Macquarie University
  • South Australian Museum
  • University of Vienna
  • University of Adelaide
  • Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research
  • University of Tasmania
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • California State University, Fullerton