Michelle Hall

An interest in animal behaviour acquired while growing up in South Africa led me to study science for my undergraduate degree at the Australian National University (1992), where I completed an Honours project investigating the function of duetting in Australian magpie-larks (friends studying economics and physics were bemused that someone could enjoy their university studies so much). After a few years in the ‘real world’, I returned to research to pursue my fascination with magpie-lark duets further, completing a PhD at the Australian National University (2001), supervised by Prof Robert Magrath. I then moved to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA for a postdoctoral position, and developed my skills in bioacoustic research with work in Costa Rica on the communication system of banded wrens with Prof Sandra Vehrencamp (2002-2005). An offer of a post-doc with Dr Anne Peters at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology (2006-2010) led me to abandon my migratory lifestyle, and return to duetting and a few new and fascinating topics particularly relevant to purple-crowned fairy-wrens, like the timing of breeding in tropical birds, and dispersal patterns of riparian specialists occupying patchy habitat. I currently work on fairy-wrens with A/Prof Raoul Mulder at the University of Melbourne. This work includes research on individual differences in the behaviour of superb fairy-wrens in collaboration with Prof Niels Dingemanse and Prof Bart Kempenaers, as well as song complexity and plumage colour in  Australian fairy-wrens, with a focus on females, in collaboration with Dr Naomi Langmore, Dr Kaspar Delhey, and Dr Kristal Cain. I also use bioacoustic approaches to assess the effects of artificial light at night on animal behaviour and fitness, in collaboration with Dr Theresa Jones.

Kimberley300Contact Details
School of BioSciences
University of Melbourne
VIC 3010 Australia
Email: hall.mATunimelb.edu.au

Career Summary
2011 –  2017   Research Fellow, School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne
2006 – 2010    Postdoctoral Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Germany
2002 – 2005    Postdoctoral Associate, Lab of Ornithology, Cornell University, USA
2001                 PhD, Australian National University