Honorary Research Associates

Assoc. Prof Amanda Ridley

Assoc. Prof. Amanda Ridley
PhD (Cantab)

(Based at University of Western Australia)

Email: or

Activities and research interests

Assoc. Prof. Amanda Ridley is a behavioural ecologist with a specific interest in cooperative breeding behaviour. She works on populations in the wild, primarily involving bird species. Amanda is based at the University of Western Australia, but remains an Honorary Research Associate at the FitzPatrick Institute. Amanda established and is Principal Investigator of the Pied Babbler Research Project, a long-term research project that studies the dynamics of cooperation, including the causes and consequences of helping behaviour, population dynamics, interspecific interaction and communication, kin recognition and life-history strategies (for more information, see Amanda has also established the Western Magpie Research Project in Perth, which focusses on the relationship between cognition and sociality. Her other research activities are on seabird population dynamics on offshore islands in the Pilbara region, and population dynamics in the Arabian babbler.

Current students

Mentor to the following postdoctoral fellows

Dr Peter Santema (research assistant at Arabian Babbler study site)


Oded Keynan (Macquarie University): The effect of group size and composition on individual behaviour, group dynamics and population regulation in the Arabian Babbler (Turdoides squamiceps)

Benjamin Ashton (University of Western Australia): The relationship between cognition, cooperation and fitness in cooperative magpies.

Elizabeth Wiley (University of Western Australia): Population dynamics and vocal coordination in cooperatively breeding pied babblers.

Melanie Mirville (University of Western Australia): Intergroup interaction and social dynamics in the Mountain Gorilla

Phillip Allen (University of Western Australia): Foraging range, colony dynamics and reproductive success of pelagic seabirds in a changing climate in the Pilbara.

Sabrina Engesser (Zurich University, on panel of co-supervisors to this student): The evolution of language in a cooperative society.

Recent peer-reviewed publications

Mandy Ridley's list of publications:

Nelson-Flower, M.J., Wiley, E., Flower, T.P. & Ridley, A.R. in press. Individual dispersal decisions in a cooperative breeder: ecological constraints, the benefits of philopatry, and the social queue for dominance. Journal of Animal Ecology

Wiley, E.M. & Ridley, A.R. in press. The benefits of pair bond tenure in the cooperatively breeding pied babbler (Turdoides bicolor). Ecology and Evolution

Engesser, S., Ridley, A.R. Manser, M., Manser, A., Townsend, S. in press. Internal acoustic structuring in pied babbler recruitment cries specifies the form of recruitment. Behavioral Ecology.

Nelson-Flower, M.J., Flower, T.P. & Ridley, A.R. 2018. Sex differences in the drivers of reproductive skew in a cooperative breeder. Molecular Ecology 27, 2435-2446.

Engesser, S., Ridley, A.R. and Townsend, S.W. 2016. Meaningful call combinations and compositional processing in the southern pied babbler. PNAS 113(21): 5976-5981.

Humphries, D.J., Finch, F.M., Bell, M.B.V. and Ridley, A.R. 2016. Vocal cues to identity: pied babblers produce individually distinct but not stable loud calls. Ethology 122: 609-619.

Edwards, M.K., Mitchell, N.J. and Ridley, A.R. 2015. The impact of high temperatures on foraging behaviour and body condition in the Western Australian Magpie Cracticus tibicen dorsalis. Ostrich 86:137-144.

Nelson-Flower, M.J. and Ridley, A.R. 2015. Male-male competition is not costly to dominant males in a cooperatively breeding bird. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

Flower, T.P., Gribble, M. and Ridley, A.R. 2014. Deception by flexible alarm mimicry in an African birds. Science 344:513-516.

Ridley, A.R., Wiley, E.M. and Thompson, A.M. 2014. The ecological benefits of interceptive eavesdropping. Functional Ecology 28:197-205.