Animal Ecology & Human Biology Group

Welcome to the Animal Ecology Group

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Image: Julia Hoffmann

Under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Jana Eccard, our group investigates 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. Hereby, we also focus on human altered landscape and the impact of urbanisation on animal ecology.
Our model organisms include free-ranging rodents such as bank vole (Myodes glareolus), common vole (Microtus arvalis), or field vole, as well as other small mammals such as bats.

Our working group is supplemented by the human ecology group, led by Dr. Christiane Scheffler, which investigates phenotypic adaptations of humans to changing environmental and social conditions based on anthropometric data. 

The biological station Gülpe (Contact person: Dr. Christiane Scheffler) belongs to the working group as well.

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Image: Julia Hoffmann


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!

Prof. Dr. Eccard is on a sabbatical at the Trinity College Dublin where she works on the behaviour of invasive rodents in Irland.


Summer school "Human Growth - Data Analysis and Statistics", 19.-24.7.2021, led by PD Dr. Christiane Scheffler

11.09.2020  Interdisziplinary meeting on wetland research at the ecological station Gülpe. We welcomed new Co-workers, new parties involved and presented new initiatives, as well as establish a  research advisory board to promote research activities and to facilitate the scientific exchange.

 Previous interdisziplinary meeting on wetland research 2019 at the ecological station Gülpe (in German)


Photo: AG Tierökologie
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Joint Meeting6. ICRBM & 16. Rodens et Spatium

Potsdam, 3-7 Sept 2018

Organised by Prof. Jens Jakob, Prof. Jana Eccard and Dr. Daniela Reil

The joint meeting is an international forum for all involved in basic and applied rodent research. It provides a platform for exchange in various aspects including rodent behaviour, taxonomy, phylogeography, disease, management, genetics and population dynamics.

Plenary speakers were: Hannu Ylönen (behaviour), James Ross (pest control in New Zealand), Charles Krebs (ecology and population dynamics), Rick Ostfeld (ecology and diseases) und Simone Sommer (EcoHealth).

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13. Annual Meeting of the Ethological Society

Potsdam, 26. - 28. February 2018

Behaviour under Risk and Fear

Keynote speakers:

  • Joel Brown (Chicago) Landscape of fear
  • Marion East (IZW Berlin) Risk in human altered habitats
  • Jutta Schneider (Hamburg) Cooperative foraging in group-living spiders
  • Jens Krause (IGB Berlin) Proto-Cooperation in Billfishes
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