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How do environmental factors influence sheep movement, space use and social behaviour?

This animal behaviour honours project aims to identify how environmental factors influence movement, space use and social behaviour in Merino sheep.

Sheep Roseworthy

The environment fundamentally influences animal behaviour. Merinos, like all mobile animals, move through the environment to fulfil their basic resource requirements, such as to forage or seek shelter. 

This project will compare movement, space use and the typical sheep social network structure between environmental conditions – for example, paddocks that are topographically simple versus complex and rugged. This will provide important insight into the relationship between the environment and sheep behaviour.

GPS data collected from collars worn by each individual of a sheep flock will help determine individual sheep characteristics.  Using data from existing database, you will develop high-level analytical skills as you explore individual sheep behavioural types.

Opportunities to help with fieldwork and further data collection may be possible.

Stephan Leu

Supervisor

Dr Stephan Leu

Research area: Animal social behaviour and networks, Animal movement, Disease ecology and transmission networks

Recommended honours enrolment: Honours in Animal Science

Tagged in Honours projects - Animal science, Honours in Animal Science subtheme - Production animal health, Honours projects - Stephan Leu, Honours projects - Ecology and environmental science, Honours in Animal Science subtheme - Animal and veterinary bioscience, Honours in Animal Science subtheme - Animal behaviour

Competition: Young Scientist of the Year

How do we feed the world’s growing population? How do we save our wildlife from extinction? Got an idea that will build a brighter, greener world?

Australian high school students are invited to submit a short video about one of Australia’s big science challenges.

Video competition