Dr Paul McDonald

Associate Professor - School of Environmental and Rural Science

Phone: +61 2 6773 3317

Email: paul.mcdonald@une.edu.au


BSc(Hons I)(Adv)(UoW), PhD(ANU), PGCertHEd (Macq)

Teaching Areas

I am the course coordinator for the Bachelor of Zoology.

I am the unit coordinator of Animal Behaviour (ZOOL326/526) and the Botswanana Zoology Overseas Study Tour (OSSE300/500). I also contribute to lectures and practicals as part of the team teaching Biology I (BIOL110) and Principles of Zoology (ZOOL100).

Research Interests

  • Cooperation and conflict in complex social groups
  • Ecological consequences of sociality, including reduced biodiversity and vegetative health
  • Signal structure, communication and bioacoustics
  • Behavioural ecology/animal behaviour generally

Avian Behavioural Ecology Lab (More information on my research)

Behavioural and Physiological Ecology


For a full list of publications, please see my Avian Behavioural Ecology Lab

Selected Peer Reviewed Publications

Dorph A, McDonald PG. (2017). The acoustic repertoire and behavioural context of the vocalisations of a nocturnal dasyurid, the eastern quoll (Dasyurus viverrinus). PLoS ONE 12: e0179337. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0179337

Farrow LF, Doohan SJ, McDonald PG. (2017). Alarm calls of a cooperative bird are referential and elicit context-specific antipredator behavior. Behavioral Ecology 28: 724–31. https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arx020

Beckmann C, McDonald PG. (2016). Placement of re-nests following predation: are birds managing risk? Emu 116: 9–13. http://www.publish.csiro.au/mu/mu15064

McEvoy JF, Hall GP, McDonald PG. (2016). Evaluation of unmanned aerial vehicle shape, flight path and camera type for waterfowl surveys: disturbance effects and species recognition. PeerJ 4: e1831. https://peerj.com/articles/1831/

Wright J, McDonald PG. (2016). Bell miners: Kin-selected helping decisions. Cooperative breeding in vertebrates: Studies of ecology, evolution, and behavior. Cambridge University Press Cambridge, UK, p272–93. https://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&lr=&id=iCN0CwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA165&dq=info:pdfjNQLaRG4J:scholar.google.com&ots=6jhobanVig&sig=sLPNdb_1ssmMD27IBF56Rpwgayg&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

McDonald PG. (2012). Cooperative bird differentiates between the calls of different individuals, even when vocalizations were from completely unfamiliar individuals. Biology Letters 8: 365–8. http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/8/3/365.short

McDonald PG, Griffith SC. (2011). To pluck or not to pluck: the hidden ethical and scientific costs of relying on feathers as a primary source of DNA. Journal of Avian Biology 42: 197–203. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1600-048X.2011.05365.x/full

McDonald PG, Wright J. (2011). Bell miner provisioning calls are more similar among relatives and are used by helpers at the nest to bias their effort towards kin. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 278(1723): 3403–11. http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/278/1723/3403.short