Our research focuses on the physiological and behavioural underpinnings of ecology, with emphasis on how animals adjust and balance their energy budgets in a changing world, and the factors affecting energy budgets, thus linking environmental variation, energetics and the fitness of individuals. The ability of animals to respond and adjust to environmental challenges is the key concept of the Darwinian theory of natural selection, and flexibility in physiology can contribute to the success and persistence of species, ultimately determining species’ evolution and distribution, and biodiversity. On the one hand, variation in energy requirements is evident in regularly recurring ecological changes, such as in seasonal habitats or during reproduction, or can be part of long-term transformations, such as in novel environments.
In our research, we use energy expenditure as the universal “currency” to study the mechanistic link between environmental variation and the fitness of individuals, involving thermal biology, metabolism, nutrition ecology, and behaviour in different taxonomic groups (mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds).
Our weekly seminar with talks from our master and PhD students takes place every Wednesday at 13:15 o’clock in the Kosswig lecture hall, together with the research groups “Animal Ecology & Conservation” and “Behavioural Biology”. You can find the program for this semester here. Guests are always welcome!