University Staff Directory The University of Adelaide Australia
Faculties & Divisions | People A to Z | Media Expertise | Phonebook
Public browsing [Login]
Text Zoom: S | M | L

Associate Professor Phillip Cassey

Telephone +61 8 8313 4042
Building Benham
Floor/Room 1 06
Campus North Terrace
Org Unit School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

To link to this page, please use the following URL:

Biography/ Background

Please look at our lab website for current information:

My research has been built on the subject of human contributions to changes in biodiversity through the dual processes of species extinction and introduction. As a trans-disciplinary scientist, I bring critical analytical techniques to the study of invasion biogeography: an area characterized by complexity and uncertainty. I have consequently developed a broad range of analytical, conceptual, and applied skills for conducting high impact research and presenting results in exciting and innovative ways. My research has led to significant advances in the discipline of global change biology and has directly elucidated the traits of exotic species influencing the successful transition of phases through the invasion pathway.

‘Avian Invasions: The ecology and evolution of exotic birds', co-authored with Tim Blackburn and Julie Lockwood, was published by Oxford University Press in June 2009.

My PhD thesis (Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia) developed models for explaining variability in the establishment success of globally distributed exotic bird species. I subsequently worked as a post-doctoral researcher in France, United Kingdom, and United States. In 2006 was awarded an RCUK Research Fellowship in Quantitative Ecology at University of Birmingham (UK). Currently I hold an ongoing Australian Research Council Future Fellowship in the School of Earth & Environmental Sciences at the University of Adelaide.

As well as my ongoing research into the influences of global processes on changes in biodiversity, my laboratory is studying the variation in reproductive maternal investment among bird species. Our aim is to use exotic bird populations as a model for studying the flexibility in behavioural and physiological traits during different stages of the invasion process.


Teaching Interests


Two Phd positions are currently available in 'Invasion Biogeography' and 'Evolution of Species Traits during Invasion Colonisation'. Please contact me for details and send expressions of interest with current CVs.



To date, my primary scientific output (over 100 research publications) has covered a wide variety of research topics including environmental sciences & ecology, life sciences & biomedicine, evolutionary biology, zoology, and mathematics.

A select range of key publications representing different research interests are listed below:

Cassey, P., Portugal, S.J., Maurer, G., Ewen, J.G., Boulton, R.L., Hauber, M.E., and Blackburn, T.M. (2010) Variability in avian eggshell colour: a comparative study of museum eggshells. PLoS ONE, 5, e12054.

Blackburn, T.M., Cassey, P., and Lockwood, J.L. (2009) The role of species traits in overcoming small population sizes in exotic birds. Global Change Biology, 15, 2852-2860.

Cassey, P. (2009) Biological optics: Seeing colours in the dark. Current Biology, 19, R1083-R1084.

Duncan, R.P., Cassey, P., and Blackburn, T.M. (2009) Does climate constrain species’ distributions? A manipulative test using dung beetle introductions. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, 276, 1449-1457.

Reynolds, S.J., Martin, G.R., and Cassey, P. (2009) Is sexual selection blurring the functional significance of eggshell coloration hypotheses? Animal Behaviour, 78, 209-215.

Cassey, P., Honza, M., Grim, T., and Hauber, M.E. (2008) The modelling of avian visual perception predicts behavioural rejection responses to foreign egg colours. Biology Letters, 4, 515-517.

Armstrong, D.P., and Cassey, P. (2007) Estimating the effect of inbreeding on survival. Animal Conservation, 10, 487-492.

Cassey, P., Lockwood, J.L., and Fenn, K.H. (2007) Using long-term occupancy information to inform the management of Cape Sable seaside sparrows in the Everglades. Biological Conservation, 139, 139-149.

White, C.R., Blackburn, T.M., and Cassey, P. (2007) Allometric exponents do not support a universal metabolic allometry. Ecology, 88, 315-323.

Blackburn, T.M., Cassey, P., and Gaston, K.J. (2006) Variations on a theme: sources of heterogeneity in the form of the interspecific relationship between abundance and distribution. Journal of Animal Ecology, 75, 1426-1439.

Lockwood, J.L., Cassey, P., and Blackburn, T.M. (2005) Is propagule pressure the ‘missing link’ in predicting invasions? Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 20, 223-228.

Sol, D., Duncan, R.P., Blackburn, T.M., Cassey, P., and Lefebvre, L. (2005) Big brains, enhanced cognition and response of birds to novel environments. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105, 5460-5465.

Sol, D., Duncan, R.P., Cassey, P., Blackburn, T.M., and Clavell, J. (2005) The ecology and impact of avian introductions. In Handbook of the Birds of the World, Volume 10. (eds) J. del Hoyo, A. Elliot, and J. Sargatal. Birdlife International, Cambridge.

Tully, T., Cassey, P., and Ferrière, R. (2005) Functional response: rigorous estimation and test of robustness. Oikos, 111, 479-487.

Blackburn, T.M., Cassey, P., Duncan, R.P., Evans, K.L., and Gaston, K.J. (2004) Avian extinction and mammalian introductions on oceanic islands. Science, 305, 1955-1958.

Cassey, P., and Blackburn, T.M. (2004) Publication and rejection among successful ecologists. Bioscience 54, 236-241.

Cassey, P., Blackburn, T.M., Russell, G., Jones, K.E., and Lockwood, J.L. (2004) Influences in the transport and establishment of traded bird species: a comparative analysis of the parrots (Aves: Psittacidae) of the world. Global Change Biology 10, 417-426.

Cassey, P., Blackburn, T.M., Sol, D., Duncan, R.P., and Lockwood, J.L. (2004) Global patterns of Introduction Effort and Establishment Success in Birds. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, 271, S405-408.

Cassey, P., Ewen, J.G., Blackburn, T.M., and Møller, A.P. (2004) A survey of publication bias within evolutionary ecology. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, 271, S451-S454.

Cassey, P. (2002) Life history and ecology influences establishment success of introduced land birds. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 76, 465-480.

Cassey, P., and McArdle, B.H. (1999) An assessment of distance sampling techniques for estimating animal abundance. Environmetrics 10, 261-278.


Entry last updated: Friday, 16 May 2014

The information in this directory is provided to support the academic, administrative and business activities of the University of Adelaide. To facilitate these activities, entries in the University Phone Directory are not limited to University employees. The use of information provided here for any other purpose, including the sending of unsolicited commercial material via email or any other electronic format, is strictly prohibited. The University reserves the right to recover all costs incurred in the event of breach of this policy.