Contact Dr. WILLIAM feeney

Use the form on the right to get in touch. I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

United Kingdom

William E Feeney is a field biologist based at the University of Queenlsand (AUS). His research focuses on understanding why animals are the way they are, and do the things they do.


William E Feeney is a field biologist based between the University of Cambridge (UK) and the University of Queenlsand (AUS). His research focuses on understanding why animals are the way they are, and do the things they do.

peer-reviewed Publications

Links to article PDFs (when available) are provided below. If you do not have access to any of these articles and would like a copy, please feel free to email me. Citation rates for these articles can be found on my Google Scholar page.

† Indicates student

* Indicates equal contribution

26. Brooker RM, Feeney WE, Sih TL, Ferrari MCO, Chivers DL (2019) Comparative diversity of anemone-associated fauna in a Caribbean coral reef and seagrass system. Marine Biodiversity In Press

25. Sikkel PC, Richardson M, Sun D, Navaez P, Feeney WE, Grutter A (2019) Changes in abundance of fish-parasitic gnathiid isopods associated with warm-water bleaching events on the northern Great Barrier Reef. Coral Reefs In Press

24. Kennerley JA†, Grundler MR†, Richardson NM†, Marsh M†, Grayum J†, Feeney WE (2019) Observations on the behaviour and ecology of the Pallid Cuckoo Heteroscenes pallidus in south-east Queensland. Australian Field Ornithology In Press

23. Feeney WE, Riehl C (2019) Monogamy without parental care? Social and genetic mating systems of avian brood parasites. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 1769: 20180201. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2018.0201

22. Feeney WE*, Brooker RM*, Johnston LN, Gilbert J, Besson M, Lecchini D, Dixson DL, Cowman PF, Manica A (In Press) Predation drives recurrent convergence of an interspecies mutualism. Ecology Letters 22: 256-264. doi: 10.1111/ele.13184

- Featured in: Australia’s Science Channel, Cosmos Magazine, Eurekalert, Get STEM, Labroots, myScience,, The Conversation, Topix French Polynesia

- Article featured on the journal cover

21. Feeney WE, Ryan TA, Kennerley J, Poje C, Clarke L, Scheuering M, Webster MS (2018) A photographic guide for ageing nestlings of two species of Australian brood parasitic cuckoo: the fan-tailed (Cacomantis flabelliformis) and Horsfield’s bronze (Chalcites basalis) cuckoos. Australian Field Ornithology. 35: 8-12. doi:

20. Feeney WE (2017) Evidence of coevolution before the egg is laid: the frontline of the arms race. In: Avian brood parasitism – behaviour, ecology, evolution and coevolution (Ed. Manuel Soler). Springer Publishing. pp. 307-324.

19. Feeney WE (2017) Rejection thresholds. In: Encyclopedia of evolutionary psychological science (Eds. Todd K Shackelford & Vivian Weekes-Shackelford). Springer Publishing doi:10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2679-1

18. Feeney WE (2017) Egg rejection. In: Encyclopedia of evolutionary psychological science (Eds. Todd K Shackelford & Vivian Weekes-Shackelford). Springer Publishing doi:10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2678-1

17. Feeney WE (2017) Egg mimicry. In: Encyclopedia of evolutionary psychological science (Eds. Todd K Shackelford & Vivian Weekes-Shackelford). Springer Publishing doi:10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2677-1

16. Feeney WE, Brooker RM (2017) Anemonefishes. Current Biology. 27: R6-R8 doi:10.1016/j.cub.2016.07.046

15. Grutter AS, Feeney WE (2016) Equivalent cleaning in a juvenile facultative and obligate cleaning wrasse: an insight into the evolution of cleaning in labrids? Coral Reefs. 35:991-997 doi:10.1007/s00338-016-1460-x

14. Brooker RM, Feeney WE, White JR, Manassa RP, Johansen JL, Dixson DL (2016) Using insights from animal behaviour and behavioural ecology to inform marine conservation initiatives. Animal Behaviour. 120: 211-221. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2016.03.012

13. Feeney WE, Troscianko J, Langmore NE, Spottiswoode CN (2015) Evidence for aggressive mimicry in an adult brood parasitic bird, and generalised defences in its host. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 282: 20150795.
doi: 10.1098/rspb.2015.0795    PDF

   - Featured in Australian National University, Cambridge University, EurekAlert, IFLScience, myScience, Nature,, ScienceDaily, The Conversation

12. Cortesi F, Feeney WE, Ferrari MCO, Waldie PA, Phillips GAC, McClure EC, Genevieve AC, Sköld HN, Salzburger W, Marshall NJ, Cheney KL (2015) Phenotypic plasticity confers multiple fitness benefits to a mimic. Current Biology 25: 949-954. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2015.02.013

   - Featured in Advanced Aquarist, Alpha Galileo, Archy News, Belfast Telegraph, BBC Earth, Bernama, Big News Network, Blick News, Business StandardCambridge University, Customs Today, Digital Reefs, EurekAlert, IDW, IFLScience, Irish Examiner, Market Business News, Motherboard,, ScienceDaily, Speigel Online, Storiented Blog, Sverigs radio, Tech Times, The Conversation, The Frisky, The Washington Post, Tierwelt, University of Basel, VBiO, World Science, Xinhau, Z News

11. Feeney WE, Langmore NE (2015) Superb fairy-wrens, Malurus cyaneus, increase vigilance near their nest with the perceived risk of brood parasitism. The Auk 132: 359-364. doi: 10.1642/AUK-14-218.1

10. Shaw RC, Feeney WE, Hauber ME 2014 Nest destruction elicits indiscriminate brood parasitism in a captive bird. Ecology & Evolution. doi: 10.1002/ece3.1243    PDF

   - Featured in Answers In Genesis, Nature World News, The Conversation

9. Feeney WE, Welbergen JA, Langmore NE. 2014b. Advances in the study of coevolution between avian brood parasites and their hosts. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 45: 227-246. doi: 10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-120213-091603    PDF

8. Feeney WE, Stoddard MC, Kilner RM, Langmore NE. 2014a. 'Jack of all trades' egg mimicry in the brood parasitic Horsfield's bronze-cuckoo? Behavioral Ecology 25: 1365-1373. doi: 10.1093/beheco/aru133    PDF

   - Featured in The Conversation

7. Feeney WE, Medina I, Somveille M, Heinsohn R, Hall ML, Mulder RA, Stein JA, Kilner RM, Langmore NE. 2013. Brood parasitism and the evolution of cooperative breeding in birds. Science 342: 1506-1508. doi: 10.1126/science.1240039    PDF

   - Featured in ABC ScienceAustralian National University,  Canberra Times, PhysorgNational Geographic, The Australian, The Conversation

6. Feeney WE, Langmore NE. 2013. Social learning of a brood parasite by its host. Biology Letters 9: 20130443. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2013.0443    PDF

    - Featured in ABC Science , ANU News , Science Alert ,ScienceNow , ScienceUpdate (audio interview) and The Conversation

5. Carter AJ, Feeney WE, Marshall HH, Cowlishaw G, Heinsohn R. 2013. Animal personality: What are behavioural ecologists actually measuring? Biological Reviews 88: 465-475. doi: 10.1111/brv.12007    PDF

4. Feeney WE, Lönnstedt O, Bosiger Y, Martin J, Jones GP, Rowe R, McCormick MI. 2012b. High rate of prey consumption in a small predatory fish on coral reefs. Coral Reefs 31: 909-918. doi:10.1007/s00338-012-0894-z   PDF

3. Carter AJ*, Feeney WE*. 2012. Taking a comparative approach: Analysing personality as a multivariate behavioural response across species. PLoS ONE 7:e42440 doi: 10.137/journal.pone.004224    PDF

* Both authors contributed equally

2. Feeney WE, Welbergen JA, Langmore NE. 2012a. The frontline of avian brood parasite-host coevolution. Animal Behaviour 84: 3-12. doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2012.04.011    PDF

1. Langmore NE, Feeney WE, Crowe-Riddell J, Luan H, Louwrens KM, Cockburn A. 2012. Learned recognition of brood parasitic cuckoos in the superb fairy-wren, Malurus cyaneus. Behavioral Ecology 23: 798-805. doi: 10/1093/beheco/ars033    PDF


Popular publications

I think it's really important for scientists to try to promote science. While I don't do this as much as I'd like, I do write articles for The Conversation when I can.

16. Feeney WE. 2015. Natural selection in black and white: how industrial pollution changed moths. The Conversation. link

15. Coretsi F, Feeney WE. 2015. A master class con-artist among fishes. Biosphere Magazine.

14. Feeney WE. 2015. Things some birds will do to avoid a cuckoo finch in their nest. The Conversation. link

13. Feeney WE, Coresti F. 2015. The dusky dottyback, a master of disguise in the animal world. The Conversation. link

12. Feeney WE. 2015. Strange tale of fish eye evolution shows how new species could be born. The Conversation. link

11. Feeney WE. 2014. Bad parenting could give zebra finches the evolutionary edge. The Conversation. link

10. Feeney WE. 2014. Egg colours make cuckoos masters of disguise. The Conversation. link

9. Feeney WE. 2014. Cuckoos beat competition by laying cryptic eggs. The Conversation. link

8. Feeney WE, Langmore NE. 2013. How birds cooperate to defeat cuckoos. The Conversation. link

7. Feeney WE. 2013. Personality matters: when saving animals, fortune favours the bold. The Conversation. link

6. Feeney WE. 2013. Introducing species to change ecosystems is a balancing act. The Conversation. link

5. Feeney WE. 2013. Silk Road trading helped produce the modern horse. The Conversation. link

4. Feeney WE. 2013. Alaskan frogsicles take winter in their stride. The Conversation. link

3. Feeney WE. 2013. Hungry baboons are a lesson in human personality. The Conversation. link

2. Feeney WE 2013 Leaders, fliers and foragers: the politics of being a pigeon. The Conversation. link

1. Feeney WE 2013 Superb fairy-wrens recognise an adult cuckoo ... with some help. The Conversation. link


Environmental Futures Research Institute

Griffith University, Nathan 4111