Doctor Jessica Meade

Dr Jessica MeadeJessica’s background is in animal behaviour and behavioural ecology. Her PhD at the University of Oxford (UK) under the supervision of Professor Tim Guilford involved the use of miniaturized GPS trackers to investigate short distance navigation in homing pigeons. Following her PhD she spent several field seasons working on Skomer Island with Prof. Guilford tracking Manx shearwaters, and with Professor Tim Birkhead working on the population dynamics of common guillemots. She went on to do a Post-Doc with Professor Ben Hatchwell at the University of Sheffield (UK) investigating parental and alloparental care in the cooperatively breeding long-tailed tit. In 2012 she moved to Australia to work with A/Professor Tracey Rogers at UNSW on satellite tracked leopard seals. After this she worked part-time as the assistant behavioural biologist at Taronga Conservation Society Australia, and part-time at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment (HIE) modelling the effect of extreme events on vertebrates in the Australian Wet Tropics, before moving to the HIE full time in February 2017. Jessica now works part-time (3 days a week) on projects relating to the movement ecology of flying-foxes.

Areas of research/ Teaching expertise

Jessica is an animal ecologist with a particular interest in animal behaviour, navigation and spatial ecology. Her previous research has been varied and falls into three main categories. Navigation, involving a combination of high resolution tracking and experimental manipulation to investigate the sensory basis of navigation. Spatial ecology, identifying natural patterns of movement including foraging and migration. Cooperative breeding, examining parental investment and helping behaviour.

Bushfire Research

Our research also includes the role of fire and its effects on global change. Please, see here (opens in a new window) for further details on our bushfire research.

Grants / Current Projects

Improving conservation management outcomes for the Grey-headed Flying-fox - heat stress mitigation
Co-Researchers: Justin Welbergen, Christopher Turbill
Partner/Funding Body: Department of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources
Period: 2021-2023

Improving conservation management outcomes for the Grey-headed Flying-fox - Population monitoring
Co-Researchers: Justin Welbergen
Partner/Funding Body: Department of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources
Period: 2021-2023

Improving conservation management outcomes for the Grey-headed Flying-fox - Foraging resource mapping
Co-Researchers: Justin Welbergen, Matthias Boer, James Cook
Partner/Funding Body: Department of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources
Period: 2021-2023

Assessing grey-headed flying fox roosting and foraging resource utilisation post 2019-2020 megafires
Co-Researchers: Justin Welbergen and John Martin
Partner/Funding Body: Taronga Conservation Society Australia
Period: 2021-2023

Movement ecology of flying-foxes: integrating mechanisms and patterns across multiple spatiotemporal scales
Co-Researchers: Justin Welbergen, Christopher Turbill and David Westcott
Partner/Funding Body: Australian Research Council Discovery
Period: 2017-2023

Selected publications

[see here for a complete list]

Yabsley SH, Meade J, Hibburt TD, Martin JM, Boardman WSJ, Nicolle D, Walker MJ, Turbill C, Welbergen JA, (2022) 'Variety is the spice of life: Flying-foxes exploit a variety of native and exotic food plants in an urban landscape mosaic', Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, vol.10, Article no.907966

Meade J, Martin JM, Welbergen JA, (2021) 'Fast food in the city? Nomadic flying-foxes commute less and hang around for longer in urban areas', Behavioral Ecology, vol.32, no.6, pp 1151-1162

Welbergen JA, Meade J, Field HE, Edson D, McMichael L, Shoo LP, Praszczalek J, Smith C, Martin JM, (2020) 'Extreme mobility of the world's largest flying mammals creates key challenges for management and conservation', BMC Biology, vol.18, no.1, Article no.101

Meade J, van der Ree R, Stepanian PM, Westcott DA, Welbergen JA, (2019) 'Using weather radar to monitor the number, timing and directions of flying-foxes emerging from their roosts', Scientific Reports, vol.9, Article no.10222

Meade J, VanDerWal J, Storlie C, Williams S, Gourret A, Krockenberger A, Welbergen JA, (2018) 'Substantial reduction in thermo-suitable microhabitat for a rainforest marsupial under climate change', Biology Letters, vol.14, no.12, Article no.20180189

Meade J, Ciaglia MB, Slip DJ, Negrete J, Márquez MEI, Mennucci J, Rogers TL, (2015) ‘Spatial patterns in activity of leopard seals Hydrurga leptonyx in relation to sea ice’, Marine Ecology Progress Series, vol.521, pp 265-275

Meade J, Hatchwell BJ, (2010) ‘No direct fitness benefits of helping in a cooperative breeder despite higher survival of helpers’, Behavioral Ecology, vol.21, no.6, pp 1186-1194

Meade J, Biro T, Guilford T, (2005) ‘Homing pigeons develop local route stereotypy’, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, vol.272. no.1558, pp 17 - 23