ASSAB 2023 Conference



Australasian Society for the Study of Animal Behaviour 2023 Conference

26 – 28 June 2023: Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia


We are delighted to invite you all to attend the 2023 ASSAB conference.


Download the Conference Program and Abstract Booklet.


Plenary speakers


Profile pic Nov 2021 squareDr Rachael Shaw, Victoria University of Wellington

Understanding animal minds and harnessing cognition for conservation

Dr Rachael Shaw is a Senior Lecturer in Behavioural Ecology at Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University of Wellington. Rachael completed her BSc Hons at the University of Auckland. She was awarded a PhD at the University of Cambridge where she investigated the mental lives of Eurasian jays. Her current research examines how selection shapes cognitive traits in New Zealand's endemic bird species, as well as how cognitive traits might aid in conservation management in urban landscapes.



beetlerelease (2)Dr Amanda Franklin, University of Melbourne

Dazzling displays: function and perception of iridescence and gloss

Dr Amanda Franklin is a Melbourne Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Melbourne researching animal visual systems and animal colour patterns. She is currently investigating the evolution and function of gloss and iridescence, and how these visual effects are perceived by animals. Previously, Amanda completed her PhD as a Fulbright Science and Technology fellow at Tufts University in Boston, where she researched visual communication and camouflage in stomatopod crustaceans.



Public Lecture

resourceProf Dieter Hochuli, University of Sydney

Stop, stare and share: how animal behaviour helps us understand how nature thrives in cities

Professor Dieter Hochuli leads the Integrative Ecology research group at the University of Sydney. His research focuses on how biodiversity responds to the unique pressures of urbanisation, with a particular interest in the ecology of iconic birds, mammals, insects and spiders of cities, and their interactions with the environment and the humans who share their world with them


Date: June 27; Time: 5.30-6.30pm

Venue: Mason Theatre, Macquarie University, Sydney.

This is free to attend for all conference participants. Please indicate on the registration page if you plan to attend.



The conference will be held at the Mason Theatre, Wallumattagal Campus (North Ryde), Macquarie University. All presentations will be held here. Poster and art displays will be held outside the theatre alongside tea/coffee stations. Mason theatre is adjacent to the Central Courtyard precinct which has food and beverage outlets along with casual outdoor and indoor seating, which we hope will act as excellent networking locales.

There are plenty of public transport options to reach the University. Details here.

You can use your credit card to tap on and off to complete a trip on buses, trains and metros during your visit. More information on NSW Transport.

Registrations is closed

Registration includes all days at the conference, evening welcome reception, workshops, lunches, morning & afternoon tea.


  Early Bird
Last date: June 1
Last date: June 17
Student 75 AUD 130 AUD
(5 years since PhD, self nominated)
125 AUD 225 AUD
Mid- & Senior Career researchers 220 AUD 350 AUD


Cancellation and refund: If you need to cancel your registration, we are able to provide a full refund. The last date for this is June 10.

Presentation Options and Abstract Submission

Full length talks: 12 min

Lightning talks: 3 min

Poster: landscape or portrait orientation is fine. We recommend A0 size, but any size will suit!

The scientific program committee will go through all submissions and prepare the program. While we will make all attempts to meet your presentation preference, there may be some changes to ensure fair distribution of topics, seniority and gender.



Art Competition

As participants of ASSAB 2023, the organising committee invites you to take part in this year's display competition. Displays may include photographs, illustrations, doodles, paintings etc. Only requirement is that they need to be mounted on poster/display boards. We will provide display boards and pins. The artworks will be displayed for the entire duration of the conference. 

Similar to previous years, all attendees will have the opportunity to vote on the best art under the following categories. 

  • Best invertebrate
  • Best vertebrate
  • An animal (or plant) doing something to another animal
  • From the eye of the beholder: artwork from the animal's perspective

Entries are limited to one artwork per person per category

Please print (any size) and bring your artwork to the conference with your name written on the back.


  • Animal pose tracking from videosTrevor Murray
  • Beyond P-values: effect size estimation and visualisation with the Durga R package - Jim McLean & Kawsar Khan

These workshops will be held during the breaks. More details about these will be included in the program.

Welcome Reception

June 26, 5-8 pm

UBar, Macquarie University Campus

Conference dinner (extra cost):

June 27, 7.30 pm-late

Epping Hotel. This is just one stop away on the metro from Macquarie University, followed by a 10-min walk.

$45 pp; informal buffet style; followed by music, dance. Dinner is optional. Please choose whether you would like to join us for dinner while registering.

Cancellation and Refund

If you have registered and cannot attend the conference, the last date for requesting full refund is June 10.



If you have any questions or comments, please contact us: assab2023conference AT



Stay COVID safe. Managing the response to COVID-19 is everyone’s responsibility, and we strongly encourage all conference attendees to keep up to date with the latest NSW Health advice.