Sleep is a prominent behaviour in the lives of animals. Yet surprisingly, our understanding of the functions of sleep and sleep states remains incomplete. The Sleep Ecophysiology Group @ La Trobe University focuses on studies of sleep behaviour and neurophysiology in a diverse selection of animals, including birds and mammals, reptiles and amphibians, and invertebrates, often in naturalistic or wild environments. Using this strong comparative approach that integrates behavioural ecology with neuroscience, we aim to provide insight into the:
(1) Evolution of sleep and sleep functions
(2) Phylogenetic extent of animals that forgo sleep when competing demands favour extended wakefulness
(3) Role of ecological factors, such as predation risk, in determining where, when and how long animals sleep
(4) Ecological relevance of sleep in the lives of wild animals
(5) Impacts of light pollution on sleep in birds and mammals
For more information, please contact Dr John Lesku.
[Illustration ©Damond Kyllo]