Research Supervisor Connect

Ecologically relevant heuristics and problem-solving by mammals


Foraging involves decision-making and problem-solving, and this is especially relevant in novel landscapes such as cities exploited by native species or natural landscapes invaded by pest species. This project explores how animals such as brushtail possums, wallabies and rats solve problems and make decisions about which foods to consume. It blends studies of animal behavior and cognition with ecologically relevant scenarios, to understand which food (prey/plant) types are vulnerable to being consumed as a function of how animals think. The project may also explore how individual variation in behavior (i.e. personality) alters the above.


Professor Clare McArthur.

Research location

School of Life and Environmental Sciences

Program type



Involves research with captive and/or free-ranging animals, with motion-triggered cameras and manipulative experiments. Study sites include Ku-Ring-Gai National Park and university campuses.

Additional information

HDR Inherent Requirements

In addition to the academic requirements set out in the Science Postgraduate Handbook, you may be required to satisfy a number of inherent requirements to complete this degree. Example of inherent requirement may include:

- Confidential disclosure and registration of a disability that may hinder your performance in your degree;
- Confidential disclosure of a pre-existing or current medical condition that may hinder your performance in your degree (e.g. heart disease, pace-maker, significant immune suppression, diabetes, vertigo, etc.);
- Ability to perform independently and/or with minimal supervision;
- Ability to undertake certain physical tasks (e.g. heavy lifting);
- Ability to undertake observatory, sensory and communication tasks;
- Ability to spend time at remote sites (e.g. One Tree Island, Narrabri and Camden);
- Ability to work in confined spaces or at heights;
- Ability to operate heavy machinery (e.g. farming equipment);
- Hold or acquire an Australian driver’s licence;
- Hold a current scuba diving license;
- Hold a current Working with Children Check;
- Meet initial and ongoing immunisation requirements (e.g. Q-Fever, Vaccinia virus, Hepatitis, etc.)

You must consult with your nominated supervisor regarding any identified inherent requirements before completing your application.

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 2289

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