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Animal Ecology & Human Biology Group

Welcome to the Animal Ecology Group

Logo Animal Ecology
Picture: Julia Hoffmann

Under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Jana Eccard, our group investigates research topics broadly grouped around the "Landscape of Fear". We use different ecological, life-history and behavioural tools to better understand the evolutionary adaptation of animals to their environment, also considering human altered landscape and the impact of urbanisation on animal ecology.
Our non-model organisms include all kinds of native small animals, from free-ranging rodents such as bank vole (Myodes glareolus), common vole (Microtus arvalis), to bats and insects.

The Biological Station Gülpe (Contact person: Dr. Katja Geißler)  Is currenly administered by our group.

Logo Animal Ecology
Picture: Julia Hoffmann

Welcome to the Human Biology Group

Logo human biology
Picture: Franziska Cobet

the Human Biology Group, led by PD Dr. Christiane Scheffler, uses anthropometric data to investigate human phenotypic adaptations to changing environmental and social conditions. Among other things, we are investigating the question: What makes humans tall? In this context, we try to understand which social environmental factors influence or regulate growth. We use self-collected data, for example from Indonesia, but also publicly available or historical data from our anthropometric database. Also of interest is the influence of modern lifestyle on, for example, the infant skeleton or the pace of physical development.


Logo human biology
Picture: Franziska Cobet


We congratulate Alexandros Vezyrakis for his talk "Uncovering the innovators: the interplay between personality, social structure and problem-solving behaviour in wild house mice" being in the top ten best student talks at the scientific conference Behaviour 2023

Congratulations to Melanie Dammhahn for becoming the new Professor for behavioural biology at the University of Münster.

We like to guide your attention to the blog of the Applied Ecologist Journal where Pro. Dr. Jana Eccards publication  "Rolling composite wildflower blocks as an alternative to wildflower strips to improve farmland biodiversity" was chosen as the Editor's choice paper this month.

We congratulate Magdalena Wlodarz to winning the Eberhard-Gwinner-Price for the best Science Slam at the 2nd virtual conference of the Ethological Society

The journal "Human Biology and Public Health" has published its second edition - Human Biology and Public Health Vol. 2

Congratulations to Melanie Dammhahn for taking over as the new department head at the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna!

We congratulate the newly founded journal "Human Biology and Public Health" to the publication of its first issue!

We like to bring the ARD podcast on the topic of "Lightpollution" to your attention. PD Dr. Franz Hölker (IGB) and our head of the group Prof. Dr. Jana Eccard contributed their expertise on the topic to the podcast. The podcast is in german.

We congratulate Dr. Rebekka Mumm to winning the Michelson-Prize for the best PhD thesis in the last year at the Faculty of Science!


The 7. International Student Summer School "Human Growth - Data Analysis and Statistics", led by PD Dr. Christiane Scheffler, will be held from July 04th - 11th 2024 in Gülpe. Further information can be found here.