Stephan Leu

Dr Stephan Leu


School of Animal and Veterinary Science

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.

Sheep at Fowlers Gap Research StationTiliqua rugosa

I am interested in animal behaviour in an evolutionary ecological framework. In my research I ask fundamental questions about the emergence, maintenance and consequences of social structure in animal populations. I typically track animals with GPS loggers, which provides deep insight into animals' spatial behaviour. My research questions sit at the interface of three exciting and growing research areas, and specifically address the complex interconnection between them:

1) Animal social networks. Which factors drive animal social structure, and collective behaviour, and what are the consequences for health and fitness?
2) Movement ecology. Social structure can emerge as a consequence of animal movement and space use. I investigate how movement decisions at the individual and group level affect the probability of interacting with other conspecifics and how this ultimately leads to the emergence of social structure.
3) Disease ecology. How do spatial and social interactions predict pathogen transmission through populations?

You can find out more details on my research page.

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2020 - ongoing Lecturer in Animal Behaviour University of Adelaide
    2017 - 2020 ARC DECRA Fellow Macquarie University
    2017 - 2017 Postdoctoral Research Fellow Georgetown University
    2016 - 2016 Postdoctoral Endeavour Research Fellow Georgetown University
    2011 - 2016 Earlier Postdoctoral positions Australia
  • Language Competencies

    Language Competency
    English Can peer review
    German Can peer review
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    Flinders University Australia PhD
    University of Göttingen Germany MSc - Biology (Diplom Biologe)
  • Research Interests


2017 - 2020 DECRA Fellowship - Australian Research Council

2016             Postdoctoral Endeavour Research Fellowship - Australian Department of Education and Training

I am teaching in the Bachelor of Science (Animal Behaviour) program.

-  Advanced Applications in Animal Behaviour III: course coordinator and lecturer

- Foundations in Animal Behaviour II: lecturer

- Principles in Animal Behaviour Welfare Ethics I: lecturer

- Science or Fiction I: lecturer

  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2024 Co-Supervisor Heat tolerance and reproduction of rams and ewes that shed Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Sarah Myfanwy Hughes
    2023 Principal Supervisor Understanding the effect of the social environment on conservation success Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Apoorva Gopinath
    2022 Principal Supervisor Living in an urban environment: the relationship between chronic stress, anxiety and cognitive ability in the Common Brushtail Possum Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Sarah Tia Bartsch
    2020 Co-Supervisor Evaluating heat stress in Merino ewes Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Bobbie Emilia Lewis Baida
  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2018 - 2022 Co-Supervisor Bacterial and parasitic effects on the performance of lizards Macquarie University - Doctorate Full Time Ko-Huan Lee
    2018 - 2019 Principal Supervisor The role of personality on spatial behaviour in merino sheep (Ovis aries). Macquarie University - Master - Molly Gilmour
  • Position: Lecturer
  • Phone: 83132823
  • Email:
  • Campus: Roseworthy
  • Building: J.S Davies, floor G 09
  • Org Unit: School of Animal and Veterinary Science

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