Dr Gabriel Machovsky-Capuska

PhD in Ecology; BSc (Hons) in Marine Biology; Loxton Senior Research Fellow in Nutritional Ecology;
Sydney School of Veterinary Science
Charles Perkins Centre
School of Life and Environmental Sciences

D17 - Charles Perkins Centre
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 8020
Fax +61 2 9351 3056

Website Personal website

Research interests

My primary research interest addresses the nutritional and sensory ecology of marine and terrestrial animals. My current research aims to understand the effects of nutrient balance on the behavior, physiology, life history and fitness of animals. My interests extend beyond pure research to include also applied goals, including the conservation of endangered species and pest management. I particularly interest on the relationship between foraging strategies, decision making process and nutrient intake. To answer these multidisciplinary questions I use a wide range of different research techniques in both the field and laboratory. These include behavioural observations and video footage analysis, deployment of miniaturised data-loggers, analyses of animal diet and faecal compositions, heavy metals and nutritional modelling. My work experience also includes research on breeding, diet and foraging behaviour of marine and terrestrial species from Argentina, Antarctica and New Zealand.

I am part of an international collaborative team led by Prof. David Raubenheimer working towards the application of the Right-angled Mixture Triangle (RMT models) as a framework for field biologists interested in nutritional ecology using marine predators, primates and common myna birds as a model system.

Teaching and supervision

Nutritional Ecology of marine and terrestrial animals (marine predators, primates and common myna birds)

Current research students

Project title Research student
Characterisation of factors influencing male reproductive success in the eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus). Georgia THOMAS

Current projects

Nutrition in Marine predators

The role of Nutrition in invasive species

Nutritional Ecology of urban avian species

Associations

  • Member of the Research Development Committee, Faculty of Veterinary Science (The University of Sydney)
  • The Australasian Society for the Study of the Animal Behaviour (ASSAB). Life member
  • International Society for Behavioral Ecology. Member
  • Member of the International Society for Behavioural Ecology and International Society for Neuroethology

Awards and honours

  • 2016 Faculty of Veterinary Science, A certificate for recognising publication of a paper in a high impact journal…
  • 2013 member of the Research Development Committee, Faculty of Veterinary Science ( The University of Sydney).
  • 2012 Invited student speaker of the Australasian Society of Animal Behavior Conference in Victoria
  • 2012 Student representative for the College of Science, Massey University, Auckland New Zealand.
  • 2011 Research Excellence Award. Institute of Advance Study and Massey University, New Zealand.
  • 2011 Invited speaker of the Australasian Society of Animal Behavior Conference in Victoria 2012.
  • 2011 Fellowship from Gordon Research Conference Neuroethology: Behavior, Evolution & Neurobiology.
  • 2008- 2012 Doctoral Scholarship from theInstitute of Natural Sciences,Massey University, New Zealand.
  • 2008 Fellowship from Australian National University. ARC Centre of Excellence in Vision Science. Summer Course on Animal Navigation.

In the media

The Adelaide Advertiser reported on a world-first study by the University of Sydney and the University of Alaska Southeast that trialled a custom-made non-invasive camera to capture the social behaviours of dolphins. Dr Gabriel Machovsky-Capuska from the Charles Perkins Centre and Dr Peter Jones from the School of Electrical and Information Engineering were quoted.

Mar 2017

New York Magazine (US) and Quartz (US) reported on a world-first study by the University of Sydney and the University of Alaska Southeast that trialled a custom-made non-invasive camera to capture the social behaviours of dolphins. The website republished video footage courtesy of the University and quoted Dr Gabriel Machovsky-Capuska from the Charles Perkins Centre and Dr Peter Jones from the School of Electrical and Information Engineering

Mar 2017

International Business Times (UK), Yahoo! Finance (US), Digital Trends (US), El Español (Spain) and Vocativ (US) reported on a world-first study by the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre and the University of Alaska Southeast that trialled a custom-made non-invasive camera to capture the social behaviours of dolphins. The websites republished video footage courtesy of the University.

Feb 2017

Australian Geographic interviewed Dr Gabriel Machovsky-Capuska about a world-first study by the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre and the University of Alaska Southeast that trialled a custom-made non-invasive camera to capture the social behaviours of dolphins. The website republished video footage courtesy of the University.

Feb 2017

UPI(US), Europa Press (Spain) and Science Daily(US)reported experts from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre trialled custom-made non-invasive cameras with suction cups to capture and analyse footage of dolphins. Dr Gabriel Machovsky-Capuskawas quoted.

Feb 2017

Channel 7 (Sydney, Perth) andABC (24, News Breakfast, Sydney, Canberra, Radio Australia) reported on a world-first study involving a team of researchers from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre and the University of Alaska Southeast that trialled a custom-made non-invasive camera to capture the social behaviours of dolphins. Dr Gabriel Machovsky-Capuska from the Charles Perkins Centre and Dr Peter Jones from the School of Electrical and Information Engineering were interviewed about the multi-disciplinary research.ABC Online, Adelaide Advertiser and Business Insider reported on the study and published video footage of the dolphins courtesy of the University.Dr Machovsky-Capuska was also interviewed on ABC Radio Sydney about the study

Feb 2017

Dolphin-mounted cameras give scientists a glimpse of mammal's underwater life

Feb 2017

Stuff.co.nz (NZ) interviewed Professor Gabriel Machovsky-Capuska from the Charles Perkins Centre and Faculty of Veterinary Science about his research into feeding patterns amongst Farewell Spit gannets.

Jun 2016

Gannet study at Farewell Spit reveals surprising feeding patterns

Jun 2016

That would give you a headache! Tiny cameras capture moment masked boobies dive headfirst into the ocean at over 60mph

May 2016

Tiny cameras show food challenges of plunge diving boobies

May 2016

Ecology redefined in a game changing nutrition research

Mar 2016

Eating habits of myna birds to help with population control

Oct 2015

Protein on the menu

Oct 2015

Best Places for Seafood: was highlighted by the New York Times

Dec 2013

TV3 News, New Zealand

New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Geographic

Australian Geographic

Massey University News

Themes

Wildlife and conservation

Selected grants

2016

  • Mitigating the unknown: unravelling drivers of human-shark conflict; Machovsky-Capuska G, Raubenheimer D; Department of Primary Industries (NSW)/NSW Shark Management Strategy (SMS).

2015

  • Development and testing of the Dolphin Cam: a short-term video camera attachment system for dusky dolphins; Pearson H, Lundquist D, Witteveen B, Machovsky-Capuska G, Jones P, Srinivasan M; National Geographic Society/Waitt Research Grant.

2014

  • The cost of Protein in companion animal foods.; Machovsky-Capuska G; Margot Roslyn Flood/Bequest.
  • Plunging into a balance diet; Machovsky-Capuska G; Whitehead Bequest in Wildlife Conservation/Faculty of Veterinary Science Bequest.
  • Nutritional Ecology and real world problems.; Machovsky-Capuska G; DVC Research/Bridging Support Grant.

2013

  • Nutritional Ecology of Masked boobies.; Machovsky-Capuska G; Department of Environment and Heritage (NSW)/Bridging Research Support.
  • What diet makes a successful invader?; Raubenheimer D, Machovsky-Capuska G; Whitehead Bequest in Wildlife Conservation/Faculty of Veterinary Science Bequest.
  • Do top marine predators balance their nutrient intake?; Machovsky-Capuska G; The Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney/Bridging Research Support.

2011

  • Are gannets the capuchin monkeys of the ocean?; Machovsky-Capuska G; Australasian Society of Animal Behavior/Research Grant.

2009

  • National Geographic Society/Waitt Grant; Machovsky-Capuska G; National Geographic Society/Research Grant.

2008

  • Massey University Research Fund; Machovsky-Capuska G; Massey University/Research Grant.

Selected publications

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Journals

  • Pearson, H., Jones, P., Srinivasan, M., Lundquist, D., Pearson, C., Stockin, K., Machovsky-Capuska, G. (2017). Testing and deployment of C-VISS (cetacean-borne video camera and integrated sensor system) on wild dolphins. Marine Biology, 164(3), 42. [More Information]
  • Cockrem, J., Candy, E., Potter, M., Machovsky-Capuska, G. (2016). Corticosterone responses to capture and restraint in Australasian Gannets, Morus serrator, at Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand. Emu, 116(1), 86-90. [More Information]
  • Machovsky-Capuska, G., Priddel, D., Leong, P., Jones, P., Carlile, N., Shannon, L., Portelli, D., McEwan, A., Chaves, A., Raubenheimer, D. (2016). Coupling bio-logging with nutritional geometry to reveal novel insights into the foraging behaviour of a plunge-diving marine predator. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 50(3), 418-432. [More Information]
  • Machovsky-Capuska, G., Senior, A., Zantis, S., Barna, K., Cowieson, A., Panyda, S., Pavard, C., Shiels, M., Raubenheimer, D. (2016). Dietary protein selection in a free-ranging urban population of common myna birds. Behavioral Ecology, 27(1), 219-227. [More Information]
  • Gosper, E., Raubenheimer, D., Machovsky-Capuska, G., Chaves, A. (2016). Discrepancy between the composition of some commercial cat foods and their package labelling and suitability for meeting nutritional requirements. Australian Veterinary Journal, 94(1-2), 12-17. [More Information]
  • Senior, A., Grueber, C., Machovsky-Capuska, G., Simpson, S., Raubenheimer, D. (2016). Macronutritional consequences of food generalism in an invasive mammal, the wild boar. Mammalian Biology, 81(5), 523-526. [More Information]
  • Machovsky-Capuska, G., Coogan, S., Simpson, S., Raubenheimer, D. (2016). Motive for Killing: What Drives Prey Choice in Wild Predators? Ethology, 122(9), 703-711. [More Information]
  • Machovsky-Capuska, G., Senior, A., Benn, E., Tait, A., Schuckard, R., Stockin, K., Cook, W., Ogle, M., Barna, K., Melville, D., Wright, B., Raubenheimer, D., et al (2016). Sex-specific macronutrient foraging strategies in a highly successful marine predator: the Australasian gannet. Marine Biology, 163(4), 1-14. [More Information]
  • Machovsky-Capuska, G., Senior, A., Simpson, S., Raubenheimer, D. (2016). The Multidimensional Nutritional Niche. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 31(5), 355-365. [More Information]
  • Raubenheimer, D., Machovsky-Capuska, G., Chapman, C., Rothman, J. (2015). Geometry of nutrition in field studies: an illustration using wild primates. Oecologia, 177(1), 223-234. [More Information]
  • Raubenheimer, D., Machovsky-Capuska, G., Gosby, A., Simpson, S. (2015). Nutritional ecology of obesity: from humans to companion animals. British Journal of Nutrition, 113, 26-39. [More Information]
  • Srinivasan, M., Dassis, M., Benn, E., Stockin, K., Martinez, E., Machovsky-Capuska, G. (2015). Using non-systematic surveys to investigate effects of regional climate variability on Australasian gannets in the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand. Journal of Sea Research, 99, 74-82. [More Information]
  • Machovsky-Capuska, G., Hauber, M., Dassis, M., Libby, E., Wikelski, M., Schuckard, R., Melville, D., Cook, W., Houston, M., Raubenheimer, D. (2014). Foraging behaviour and habitat use of chick-rearing Australasian Gannets in New Zealand. Journal of Ornithology, 155(2), 379-387. [More Information]
  • Tait, A., Raubenheimer, D., Stockin, K., Merriman, M., Machovsky-Capuska, G. (2014). Nutritional geometry and micronutrient variation in the diets of gannets: the challenges in marine field studies. Marine Biology, 161, 2791-2801. [More Information]
  • Raubenheimer, D., Machovsky-Capuska, G., Felton, A., Simpson, S. (2014). Nutritional Geometry: From insects to ruminants. Proceedings of the Australian Society of Animal Production, 30, 32-36.
  • Machovsky-Capuska, G., Hauber, M., Libby, E., AMiot, C., Raubenheimer, D. (2014). The contribution of private and public information in foraging by Australasian gannets. Animal Cognition, 17(4), 849-858. [More Information]
  • Machovsky-Capuska, G., Vaughn - Hirshorn, R., Raubenheimer, D. (2013). Can gannets (Morus serrator) select their diving profile prior to submergence? Notornis, 60(3), 255-257.
  • Schuckard, R., Melville, D., Cook, W., Machovsky Capuska, G. (2012). Diet of the Australasian gannet (Morus serrator) at Farewell Spit, New Zealand. Notornis, 59(1-2), 66-70.
  • Aidala, Z., Huynen, L., Brennan, P., Musser, J., Fidler, A., Chong, N., Machovsky-Capuska, G., Anderson, M., Talaba, A., Lambert, D., et al (2012). Ultraviolet visual sensitivity in three distinct avian lineages: paleognaths, parrots and songbirds. Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology Sensory Neural and Behavioral Physiology, 198(7), 495-510. [More Information]
  • Machovsky Capuska, G., Howland, H., Raubenheimer, D., Vaughn - Hirshorn, R., Wursig, B., Hauber, M., Katzir, G. (2012). Visual accommodation and active pursuit of prey underwater in a plunge diving bird: the Australasian gannet. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 279(1745), 4118-4125. [More Information]
  • Machovsky-Capuska, G., Vaughn, R., Wursig, B., Katzir, G., Raubenheimer, D. (2011). Dive strategies and foraging effort in the Australasian gannet Morus serrator revealed by underwater videography. Marine Ecology - Progress Series, 442, 255-261. [More Information]
  • Machovsky-Capuska, G., Dwyer, S., Alley, M., Stockin, K., Raubenheimer, D. (2011). Evidence for fatal collisions and kleptoparasitism while plunge-diving in Gannets. Ibis, 153, 631-635. [More Information]
  • Machovsky-Capuska, G., Dwyer, S., Alley, M., Stockin, K., Raubenheimer, D. (2011). Evidence of fatal collisions and kleptoparasitism while plunge-diving in Gannets. Ibis, 153(3), 631-635. [More Information]
  • Machovsky Capuska, G., Huynen, L., Lambert, D., Raubenheimer, D. (2011). UVS is rare in seabirds. Vision Research, 51(12), 1333-1337. [More Information]
  • Machovsky Capuska, G., Rosso, P., Copello, S., Casaux, R. (2008). First observation of siblicide in brown skua (Catharacta lonnbergi) at Harmony Point, Nelson Island, Antarctica. Notornis, 55(1), 43-44.

Conferences

  • Machovsky-Capuska, G., Hauber, M., Libby, E., Schuckard, R., Melville, D., Cook, W., Houston, M., Raubenheimer, D. (2012). A comparison of foraging strategies in Australasian gannets at two colonies in New Zealand. Australasian Society for the study of Animal Behaviour Conference, Deakin University: N/A.
  • Machovsky-Capuska, G., Howland, H., Raubenheimer, D., Hauber, M., Katzir, G. (2012). Corneal power and underwater accommodation in Australasian gannets (Morus serrator. Australasian Society for the study of Animal Behaviour Conference, Deakin University: N/A.
  • Machovsky-Capuska, G., Libby, E., AMiot, C., Hauber, M., Raubenheimer, D. (2012). The use of personal and social information in foraging by the Australasian gannets (Morus serrator). Australasian Society for the study of Animal Behaviour Conference, Deakin University: N/A.

Report

  • Machovsky-Capuska, G., Schuckard, R., Raubenheimer, D. (2012). Foraging strategies in Australasian gannets at Farewell Spit colony. Department of Conservation, Nelson Conservancy.

2017

  • Pearson, H., Jones, P., Srinivasan, M., Lundquist, D., Pearson, C., Stockin, K., Machovsky-Capuska, G. (2017). Testing and deployment of C-VISS (cetacean-borne video camera and integrated sensor system) on wild dolphins. Marine Biology, 164(3), 42. [More Information]

2016

  • Cockrem, J., Candy, E., Potter, M., Machovsky-Capuska, G. (2016). Corticosterone responses to capture and restraint in Australasian Gannets, Morus serrator, at Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand. Emu, 116(1), 86-90. [More Information]
  • Machovsky-Capuska, G., Priddel, D., Leong, P., Jones, P., Carlile, N., Shannon, L., Portelli, D., McEwan, A., Chaves, A., Raubenheimer, D. (2016). Coupling bio-logging with nutritional geometry to reveal novel insights into the foraging behaviour of a plunge-diving marine predator. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 50(3), 418-432. [More Information]
  • Machovsky-Capuska, G., Senior, A., Zantis, S., Barna, K., Cowieson, A., Panyda, S., Pavard, C., Shiels, M., Raubenheimer, D. (2016). Dietary protein selection in a free-ranging urban population of common myna birds. Behavioral Ecology, 27(1), 219-227. [More Information]
  • Gosper, E., Raubenheimer, D., Machovsky-Capuska, G., Chaves, A. (2016). Discrepancy between the composition of some commercial cat foods and their package labelling and suitability for meeting nutritional requirements. Australian Veterinary Journal, 94(1-2), 12-17. [More Information]
  • Senior, A., Grueber, C., Machovsky-Capuska, G., Simpson, S., Raubenheimer, D. (2016). Macronutritional consequences of food generalism in an invasive mammal, the wild boar. Mammalian Biology, 81(5), 523-526. [More Information]
  • Machovsky-Capuska, G., Coogan, S., Simpson, S., Raubenheimer, D. (2016). Motive for Killing: What Drives Prey Choice in Wild Predators? Ethology, 122(9), 703-711. [More Information]
  • Machovsky-Capuska, G., Senior, A., Benn, E., Tait, A., Schuckard, R., Stockin, K., Cook, W., Ogle, M., Barna, K., Melville, D., Wright, B., Raubenheimer, D., et al (2016). Sex-specific macronutrient foraging strategies in a highly successful marine predator: the Australasian gannet. Marine Biology, 163(4), 1-14. [More Information]
  • Machovsky-Capuska, G., Senior, A., Simpson, S., Raubenheimer, D. (2016). The Multidimensional Nutritional Niche. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 31(5), 355-365. [More Information]

2015

  • Raubenheimer, D., Machovsky-Capuska, G., Chapman, C., Rothman, J. (2015). Geometry of nutrition in field studies: an illustration using wild primates. Oecologia, 177(1), 223-234. [More Information]
  • Raubenheimer, D., Machovsky-Capuska, G., Gosby, A., Simpson, S. (2015). Nutritional ecology of obesity: from humans to companion animals. British Journal of Nutrition, 113, 26-39. [More Information]
  • Srinivasan, M., Dassis, M., Benn, E., Stockin, K., Martinez, E., Machovsky-Capuska, G. (2015). Using non-systematic surveys to investigate effects of regional climate variability on Australasian gannets in the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand. Journal of Sea Research, 99, 74-82. [More Information]

2014

  • Machovsky-Capuska, G., Hauber, M., Dassis, M., Libby, E., Wikelski, M., Schuckard, R., Melville, D., Cook, W., Houston, M., Raubenheimer, D. (2014). Foraging behaviour and habitat use of chick-rearing Australasian Gannets in New Zealand. Journal of Ornithology, 155(2), 379-387. [More Information]
  • Tait, A., Raubenheimer, D., Stockin, K., Merriman, M., Machovsky-Capuska, G. (2014). Nutritional geometry and micronutrient variation in the diets of gannets: the challenges in marine field studies. Marine Biology, 161, 2791-2801. [More Information]
  • Raubenheimer, D., Machovsky-Capuska, G., Felton, A., Simpson, S. (2014). Nutritional Geometry: From insects to ruminants. Proceedings of the Australian Society of Animal Production, 30, 32-36.
  • Machovsky-Capuska, G., Hauber, M., Libby, E., AMiot, C., Raubenheimer, D. (2014). The contribution of private and public information in foraging by Australasian gannets. Animal Cognition, 17(4), 849-858. [More Information]

2013

  • Machovsky-Capuska, G., Vaughn - Hirshorn, R., Raubenheimer, D. (2013). Can gannets (Morus serrator) select their diving profile prior to submergence? Notornis, 60(3), 255-257.

2012

  • Machovsky-Capuska, G., Hauber, M., Libby, E., Schuckard, R., Melville, D., Cook, W., Houston, M., Raubenheimer, D. (2012). A comparison of foraging strategies in Australasian gannets at two colonies in New Zealand. Australasian Society for the study of Animal Behaviour Conference, Deakin University: N/A.
  • Machovsky-Capuska, G., Howland, H., Raubenheimer, D., Hauber, M., Katzir, G. (2012). Corneal power and underwater accommodation in Australasian gannets (Morus serrator. Australasian Society for the study of Animal Behaviour Conference, Deakin University: N/A.
  • Schuckard, R., Melville, D., Cook, W., Machovsky Capuska, G. (2012). Diet of the Australasian gannet (Morus serrator) at Farewell Spit, New Zealand. Notornis, 59(1-2), 66-70.
  • Machovsky-Capuska, G., Schuckard, R., Raubenheimer, D. (2012). Foraging strategies in Australasian gannets at Farewell Spit colony. Department of Conservation, Nelson Conservancy.
  • Machovsky-Capuska, G., Libby, E., AMiot, C., Hauber, M., Raubenheimer, D. (2012). The use of personal and social information in foraging by the Australasian gannets (Morus serrator). Australasian Society for the study of Animal Behaviour Conference, Deakin University: N/A.
  • Aidala, Z., Huynen, L., Brennan, P., Musser, J., Fidler, A., Chong, N., Machovsky-Capuska, G., Anderson, M., Talaba, A., Lambert, D., et al (2012). Ultraviolet visual sensitivity in three distinct avian lineages: paleognaths, parrots and songbirds. Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology Sensory Neural and Behavioral Physiology, 198(7), 495-510. [More Information]
  • Machovsky Capuska, G., Howland, H., Raubenheimer, D., Vaughn - Hirshorn, R., Wursig, B., Hauber, M., Katzir, G. (2012). Visual accommodation and active pursuit of prey underwater in a plunge diving bird: the Australasian gannet. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 279(1745), 4118-4125. [More Information]

2011

  • Machovsky-Capuska, G., Vaughn, R., Wursig, B., Katzir, G., Raubenheimer, D. (2011). Dive strategies and foraging effort in the Australasian gannet Morus serrator revealed by underwater videography. Marine Ecology - Progress Series, 442, 255-261. [More Information]
  • Machovsky-Capuska, G., Dwyer, S., Alley, M., Stockin, K., Raubenheimer, D. (2011). Evidence for fatal collisions and kleptoparasitism while plunge-diving in Gannets. Ibis, 153, 631-635. [More Information]
  • Machovsky-Capuska, G., Dwyer, S., Alley, M., Stockin, K., Raubenheimer, D. (2011). Evidence of fatal collisions and kleptoparasitism while plunge-diving in Gannets. Ibis, 153(3), 631-635. [More Information]
  • Machovsky Capuska, G., Huynen, L., Lambert, D., Raubenheimer, D. (2011). UVS is rare in seabirds. Vision Research, 51(12), 1333-1337. [More Information]

2008

  • Machovsky Capuska, G., Rosso, P., Copello, S., Casaux, R. (2008). First observation of siblicide in brown skua (Catharacta lonnbergi) at Harmony Point, Nelson Island, Antarctica. Notornis, 55(1), 43-44.

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