Doctor Justin Welbergen

 

Dr Justin WelbergenJustin is an evolutionary and animal ecologist with strong parallel interests in conservation and climate change biology.

He conducted his PhD in Zoology at the University of Cambridge, and following various prestigious research fellowships in the UK and Australia, he joined the HIE as a Senior Lecturer in 2014, where he now leads the Lab of Animal Ecology (opens in a new window).

My research is concerned with the ways animals respond adaptively to changes in their social, ecological, and physical environment...

Grey-Headed Flying Foxes

Teaching Expertise

  • Animal Ecology
  • Evolution
  • Climate Change Biology
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Behavioural Ecology
  • Evolutionary Ecology

Research

Evolutionary ecology:

Reed warblers' nest that has been parasitised by cuckoos

  • Coevolution – the ecological and evolutionary interactions between species: brood parasite-host dynamics (e.g. Science 2009; Current Biol 2009; Behav Ecol 2012; 2011; Proc Roy Soc B 2008a; Anim Behav 2008a; Behav Ecol 2001)
  • Social organisation – the ecological and evolutionary interactions within species: social aggregations, mating systems and family dynamics (e.g. Behav Ecol and Sociobiol 2009; 2006; Anim Behav 2008; Proc Roy Soc B 2006; PhD thesis)
  • Life history – drivers of patterns of investment in survival and reproduction (e.g. Oecologia 2011; J. Mammalogy 2010)

Conservation and climate change:

Black Saturday Meteorology Map

  • Extreme events – the ecological and evolutionary impacts of extreme climate and weather events on biodiversity (e.g. Proc Roy Soc B 2008b, and current ARC Discovery and 'NERP' grants)
  • Conservation planning – identifying biodiversity and areas vulnerable to climate change to facilitate adaptation action (e.g. Nature Climate Change 2013; current 'NERP' and 'NARP' grants)
  • Endangered species biology – population genetics and dynamics of endangered species (such as the Razo lark, a Critically Endangered species endemic to one small island in Cape Verde) (e.g. J Mol Evol 2010; Anim Conserv 2012)

Recent Grants

  • Climate change and the impacts of extreme climatic events on Australia's Wet Tropics biodiversity  (opens in a new window)
    Chief Investigator: Justin A. Welbergen; Co-investigator: Andrew Krockenberger
    Partner/Funding Body: National Environment Research Program ('NERP')
    Period: 2011-2014
  • Global climate change and the impacts of temperature extremes on terrestrial biodiversity  (opens in a new window)
    Chief Investigators: Justin A. Welbergen, Stephen Williams, Luke Shoo & Jeremy VanDerWal
    Partner/Funding Body: ARC Discovery
    Period: 2011-2014
  • Climate change refugia for terrestrial biodiversity: The role of refugia in ecosystem resilience and maintenance of terrestrial biodiversity in the face of global climate change  (opens in a new window)
    Co-researchers: Prof Stephen Williams, Dr Reside, Dr VanDerWal, Dr Phillips, Dr Welbergen, Dr Shoo, Dr Rosauer, Dr Anderson, Prof Moritz, Dr Ferrier, Dr Harwood, & Dr Yvette Williams
    Partner/Funding Body: National Adaptation Research Plan ('NARP') / National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF)
    Period: 2011-2013
  • Climate change adaptation strategies for Australian birds (opens in a new window)
    Co-researchers: Donald Franklin, Glenn Ehmke, Jeremy VanDerWal, Lauren Hodgson, Chris Pavey, April Reside, Justin Welbergen, Stuart Butchart, Genevieve Perkins, Stephen Williams
    Partner/Funding Body: National Adaptation Research Plan ('NARP') / National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF)
    Period: 2011-2013

Selected Awards & Recognition

  • Research Fellow of Darwin College, Cambridge (2006-2010)
  • King's College Teaching Associate (2004-2010)
  • Murray-Edwards College Teaching Associate (2005-2010)
  • Newnham College Teaching Associate (2005-2010)
  • Runner up for the Thomas Henry Huxley Award, Zoological Society of London

In the media (2014)

Popular articles:

Interviews:

Since joining the HIE, Justin has been interviewed on several occasions, including for live radio (Radio New Zealand; ABC Radio National PM), for a documentary by the Climate Reality Project (chaired by Al Gore), and for various popular science articles, such as the Huffington Post, The Verge, AAAS , and BBC News, among others..

Publications

(Highlights only – see here (opens in a new window) for a complete list )

Journal articles

Dalziell AH, Welbergen JA, (2016) 'Mimicry for all modalities', Ecology Letters, vol.19, no.6, pp 609-619

Dalziell AH, Welbergen JA, Igic B, Magrath RD, (2015) 'Avian vocal mimicry: A unified conceptual framework', Biological Reviews, vol.90, no.2, pp 643-668

Keppel G, Mokany K, Wardell-Johnson GW, Phillips BL, Welbergen JA, Reside AE, (2015) 'The capacity of refugia for conservation planning under climate change', Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, vol.13, no.2, pp 106-112

Dalziell, A. H., Welbergen, J. A., Igic, B, & Magrath, R. D. (2014) Avian vocal mimicry: a unified conceptual framework (opens in a new window), Biological Reviews DOI: 10.1111/brv.12129

Feeney WE, Welbergen JA, Langmore NE, (2014) 'Advances in the study of coevolution between avian brood parasites and their hosts' (opens in a new window), Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, vol.45, pp 227-246

Storlie C, Merino-Viteri A, Phillips B, VanDerWal J, Welbergen J, Williams S, (2014) 'Stepping inside the niche: microclimate data are critical for accurate assessment of species' vulnerability to climate change', Biology letters, vol.10, no.9,  

Warren R, VanDerWal J, Price J, Welbergen JA, Atkinson I, Ramirez-Villegas J, Osborn TJ, Jarvis A, Shoo LP, Williams SE, Lowe J, (2013) 'Quantifying the benefit of early climate change mitigation in avoiding biodiversity loss' (opens in a new window), Nature Climate Change, vol.3, pp 678-682

Davies* NB, Welbergen* JA, (2009) 'Social transmission of a host defense against cuckoo parasitism' (opens in a new window), Science, vol.324, pp 1318-1320 (*authors contributed equally)

Welbergen JA, Davies NB, (2009) 'Strategic variation in mobbing as a front line of defence against brood parasitism', Current Biology, vol.19, pp 235-240

Davies NB, Welbergen JA, (2008) 'Cuckoo–hawk mimicry? An experimental test' (opens in a new window), Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, vol.275, pp 1817-1822

Welbergen JA, Klose SM, Markus N, Eby P, (2008) 'Climate change and the effects of temperature extremes on Australian flying-foxes' (opens in a new window), Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, vol.275, pp 419-425

Welbergen JA, Quader S, (2006) 'Mother guarding: how offspring may influence the extra-pair behaviour of their parents' (opens in a new window) , Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, vol.273, pp 2363-2368

Books

  • Garnett S, Franklin D, Pavey C, VanDerWal J, Ehmke G, Welbergen JA, Reside A, Perkins G, Butchart S, Williams SE, (2013) 'Climate change adaptation strategies for Australian birds', Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF)
  • Reside AE, VanDerWal J, Phillips BL, Shoo LP, Rosauer DF, Anderson BJ, Welbergen JA, Moritz C, Ferrier S, Harwood TD, Williams KJ, Mackey B, Hugh S, Williams SE, (2013) 'Climate change refugia for terrestrial biodiversity: Defining areas that promote species persistence and ecosystem resilience in the face of global climate change', Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF)

Book chapters

  • Franklin D, Welbergen JA (2013) 'The sensitivity of Australian birds to climate change', In Garnett S, et al. (ed.), 'Climate change adaptation strategies for Australian birds', Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF)

Conference proceedings

  • Welbergen JA, (2013) 'Impacts of extreme events on biodiversity – lessons from die-offs in flying-foxes', Proceedings of the International Symposium on the importance of Bats as Bioindicators, Granollers, Barcelona. ISBN: 978-84-87790-69-0
  • Eby P, Jones V, Welbergen JA, (2001) 'Social structure and the dynamics of mixed sex groups in migratory Pteropus poliocephalus', Proceedings 12th International Bat Research Conference, Bangi, Malaysia

Reports

  • Welbergen JA, Williams SE, Goosem S, (2011) 'Gap analysis of environmental research needs in the Wet Tropics, Cairns; Reef and Rainforest Research Centre Ltd. The report can be viewed here. (opens in a new window)

Selected Videos: