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Research

I am an evolutionary ecologist with a general interest in life-history theory and a fascination for ecological- and thermal physiology. I study these subjects in wild passerine birds (blue tits and great tits mainly). My main interest so far has been the effect of different biotic and abiotic factors on energy expenditure and variation in body temperature in these small birds and specifically how they deal with thermal “extremes”. For example: what determines body temperature in a small bird during a cold winter night? How do parents avoid overheating when working hard during breeding?

I am also interested in the effect of ongoing climate change on avian ecology and physiology. In many bird species, warmer springs have co-occurred with earlier egg laying – but will more extreme weather events also affect birds living in temperate areas in the northern hemisphere? How physiologically flexible are those birds, in terms of dealing with such changes? How will breeding and nestling development change?

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