I am interested in the intersection of animal behavior and ecology: how does ecology affect the behavior of animals and how can the behavior of animals affect their ecosystems? To this end, I’ve studied a variety of mammal species such as: ring-tailed and white-nosed coatis, beach mice, agoutis, raccoons, and capuchin monkeys. My work has focused on social behavior, predator-prey interactions, seed dispersal, urban ecology, movement ecology, and disease ecology. My current research seeks to understand basic and applied behavioral ecology questions in the Queensland wet tropics region.

  • BS1001: Introduction to Biological Processes (Level 1; TSV)
  • BS2460: Fundamentals of Ecology (Level 2; TSV)
  • BS5460: Fundamentals of Ecology (Level 5; TSV)
  • BZ2440: Ecology and Conservation (Level 2; TSV)
  • BZ2450: Biodiversity of Tropical Australia (Level 2; TSV)
  • BZ3220: Population and Community Ecology (Level 3; TSV)
  • BZ5220: Population and Community Ecology (Level 5; TSV)
  • BZ5440: Ecology and Conservation (Level 5; TSV)
  • Behavioral ecology Seed dispersal Predator-prey interactions Social behavior Urban ecology Movement ecology Disease ecology
  • 2014 to 2015 - Post-doctoral researcher, University of Florida (Pensacola, FL)
  • 2011 to 2014 - Post-doctoral researcher, The Ohio State University (Columbus, OH)
  • 2008 to 2011 - Post-doctoral researcher, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (Panama)
  • 2007 to 2008 - Post-doctoral fellow, Smithsonian Institute (Washington DC)
  • 2007 - Resident professor, Organization for Tropical Studies (Costa Rica)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 29+ research outputs authored by Dr Ben Hirsch from 2002 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Skyrail Rainforest Foundation - Research Funding

Evolution and ecological adaptations of microornamentation in Australian geckos (Gekkota, Squamata)

Indicative Funding
The Project aims to investigate the adaptive radiation of skin microstructures (microornamentation), in Australian geckos. Geckos are widely distributed across Australia, covering all kind of ecosystems and habitat types. The microornamentation will be examined in three ways: at first, the function must be clarified. Then the evolution of these structures will be reconstructed with phylogenetic methods. Afterwards, the microornamentation will be analysed regarding the ecology (habitat use, lifestyle, abiotic factors) of the species, to detect and define ectomorphs. This will help us to understand, who reptiles cope to adapt to different and changing environmental conditions.
Jendrian Riedel, Lin Schwarzkopf and Ben Hirsch (College of Science & Engineering)
Microornamentation; Evolution; Gekkota; Ecomorphology

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Understanding the Biological Significance of Problem Solving in Wild Animals using an Australian Rodent Melomys Cervinipes (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Life in the Canopy in a Changing Climate: What Factors Increase Species Vulnerability to Climate Change in Tropical Forest Canopies and how does this Effect Species Interactions in the Canopy Community? (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Ecology and management of Chital Deer in North Queensland (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Evolution and ecological adaptations of skin morphology of geckos (squamata, Gekkota) (PhD , Secondary Advisor)

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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