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Miss Helen Mylne

Masters by Research PGR Student


 Stella Turk Building G3.06


University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Penryn, TR10 9FE

 Office hours:

Approximately 10am-11pm, but probably not at my desk!


Masters by Research student working with the Chestnut-crowned Babbler research group, considering the communication of the adult birds among themselves (flight call) and the chicks (prompt call and begging behaviour). I have previously worked as an elephant researcher in Zimbabwe, where I also studied the birds, game and predators of the Zambezi National Park.


First Class Honours in Natural Sciences with Professional Placement from the University of Bath (graduated 2018).


Research interests

My current field of study is the communcation, vocalisation, provisioning and begging behaviour of Chestnut-crowned Babblers (Pomatostomus ruficeps) at the Fowlers Gap Arid Zone Research Station, New South Wales. The flight and prompt call are mechanistically and structurally very similar, but have completely different functions - where the flight call is believed to be a communciation between adults to coordinate aerial movement, the prompt call is used by a provisioning adult (or the breeding female if she is present) to stimulate the chicks to beg for food. These functions have not been further examined to attempt to explain their structural similarity, or to determine any other potential functions that they may possess.

My other research interests include a very different, and much more well known species, the African Elephant, Loxodonta africana. I fell in love with these intelligent gentle giants when working for a year and a half with the African Lion and Environmental Research Trust (, first as a Wildilfe Conservation Intern, then as their lead elephant researcher. This is where my love for animal behaviour and communication stems from, and I hope one day to be able to tie together my current and past research interests into a single unit.


Supervision / Group

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