My research interests are ranging from mating systems, reproductive success, sexual selection, mate choice and parental care over general population genetics to the effects of in- and outbreeding , particularly in natural amphibian populations.
Main study organisms:
Current research projects:
“Behavioural Flexibility in Anuran Amphibians”
Funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), Project: T699 Firnberg-Program
Duration: 2015-2018, € 223.500
The aim of this project is to investigate mechanisms of behavioural flexibility in anuran amphibians. Field and laboratory experiments will be performed on two anuran model species. Comparing the results to findings in other taxa shall provide important insights into the evolution of behavioural plasticity in parental care and sexual selection, not only in anuran amphibians but also in vertebrates in general.
“Determinants of fitness in species with complex life cycles”
Funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), Project: P24788-B22
Duration: 2012-2017, € 355.383,54
Amphibians hold a unique position as the only vertebrate group where basically all members feature complex live cycles with two distinct free-living stages that have to face entirely different challenges in their respective environment. In this project we investigate determinants of fitness in the Neotropical frog Allobates femoralis, by exploring the effects of parental relatedness and parental investment on individual reproductive success at various life cycle stages and the associated patterns of space use. To this end we have installed an experimental population of A. femoralis on a river island of ~5 ha in size. Additionally, we perform specific breeding and behavioural experiments with an ex-situ breeding population at the University of Vienna.
more information: www.femoralisproject.info