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:

Allobates femoralis
Allobates femoralis
Dendrobates tinctorius
Dendrobates tinctorius
Hyalinobatrachium valerioi
Hyalinobatrachium valerioi

Current research projects:


"Animal personality and sexual selection"

       Funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), Project: P 31518

Duration: 2018-2022, € 404,287.28




“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.


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