Professor Rob Heinsohn researches animal behaviour and conservation biology at the Fenner School of Environment and Society.

He is an expert in animal behaviour and conservation biology of threatened animal species. His conservation research centres around programs aimed at saving endangered bird species from extinction.

Professor Heinsohn’s research in animal behaviour looks at cooperation and social behaviour in birds in general, and tool use and other forms of intelligence in parrots.

Fields of expertise



Chough love: what’s behind the strange antics of the white-winged chough?

They have bulging red eyes, gather in packs and engage in gang warfare. And they can be found…


Palm cockatoos beat to their own drum 

Australia’s palm cockatoos are well-known for their unique love of drumming, but they don’t just have great rhythm…


Climate change is leaving African elephants desperate for water

African elephant numbers have dropped from about 26 million in the 1800s to 415,000 today. While this is largely due to European colonisation, poaching…


Captive breeding impacts chances of survival in the wild

Animals bred in captivity can experience significant changes to their bodies, behaviour and health, which affects their chances…


What will it take to save the regent honeyeater?

New research from The Australian National University (ANU) shows unless conservation actions are urgently stepped up, one of our most beautiful songbirds,…


Parrot poachers striking while the market’s hot

“Pretty” parrots are more likely to be snatched up for Indonesia’s illegal wildlife trade, a new study reveals.…


Ringo Starr of the bird world heading for extinction

New research from The Australian National University (ANU) shows palm cockatoos, renowned for their human-like musical drumming behaviour, are threatened…


Swift action needed to help critically endangered parrot

There could be fewer than 300 swift parrots left in the wild, according to new research from The…

2 December 2020

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