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Prof. Dr. Jana Anja Eccard



University of Potsdam / Animal Ecology
Maulbeerallee 1
Room 1.02
14469 Potsdam


consulting hours
Wednesday 14:00-15:00

Research interests

In my group we use different ecological, life-history and behavioural tools to better understand the evolutionary adaptation of animals to their environment. We are specifically interested in animal behaviour and look at it regarding different aspects and scales. The topics we are researching range from fundamental research topics, like for example the connection between inter-individual differences and learning, coexistence, movement-mediated biodiversity research and the landscape of fear, to more applied topics, like for example behavioural adaptions to urbanisation, lightpollution and the connection between biodiversity and disease transmission.

Besides these topics I am  interested in behavioural adaptions to invasion processe and the relationship between population density, season and animal personality.



University of Potsdam / Animal Ecology
Maulbeerallee 1
Room 1.02
14469 Potsdam


consulting hours
Wednesday 14:00-15:00

Academic career

2019                      Research sabbatical at Trinity College Dublin, Zoology

since 2008           Full professor for Animal Ecology at the University of Potsdam

2007                       Habilitation in Zoology , University of Bielefeld

2004 - 2008         Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Behavior, University of Bielefeld

2002 and 2005   Maternity leave

2002 - 2004         Junior Researcher, Centre of Excellency in Evolutionary Ecology, Jyväskylä University (Finland)

2002                       PhD, University of Jyväskylä, Finland

1998                       Diploma, University of Jena. Studies of Biology and Sociology at Universities of Jyväskylä (FI), Jena, Dublin (IRL), Kaiserslautern and


DFG Projekte

Behavioural adaptations to invasion processes
Rodent biodiversity and rodent-born diseases
Inter-individual differences and coexistence
Effects of density and season on animal personality

Learning and decision-making in small mammals

Long-term project: Bioperturbation

Burrowing animals perturbate soils and transport nutrients up and down. Tunnels may affect evaporation, water transport and water run-off. Processes are studied in experimental and natural setups

Wilske B, Eccard JA, Zistl-Schlingmann M, Hohmann M, Methler A, et al. (2015) Effects of Short Term Bioturbation by Common Voles on Biogeochemical Soil Variables. PLoS ONE 10(5): e0126011. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0126011



Publications AG Animal Ecology


Schlägel UE, Grimm V, Blaum N, Colangeli P, Dammhahn M, Eccard JA, Hausmann SL, Herde A, Hofer H, Joshi J, Kramer‐Schadt S, Litwin M, Lozada‐Gobilard SD, Müller MEH, Müller T, Nathan R, Petermann JS, Pirhofer‐Walzl K, Radchuk V, Rillig MC, Roeleke M, Schäfer M, Scherer C, Schiro G, Scholz C, Teckentrup L, Tiedemann R, Ullmann W, Voigt CC, Weithoff G, Jeltsch F (2020) Movement-mediated community assembly and coexistence. Biological Reviews 95:1073–1096 .

Riebold D, Russow K, Schlegel M, Wollny T, Thiel J, Freise J, Hüppop O, Eccard JA, Plenge-Bönig A, Loebermann M, Ulrich RG, Klammt S, Mettenleiter TC, Reisinger EC (2019) Occurrence of Gastrointestinal Parasites in Small Mammals from Germany. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases 20:125–133 .

Sander MM, Eccard JA, Heim W (2017) Flight range estimation of migrant Yellow-browed Warblers Phylloscopus inornatus on the East Asian Flyway. Bird Study 64(4):1-4. DOI:10.1080/00063657.2017.1409696 Schneider A-K, van Schaik L, Zangerlé A, Eccard JA, Schröder B (2016) Which abiotic filters shape earthworm distribution patterns at the catchment scale? European Journal of Soil Science. DOI: 10.1111/ejss.12346

Eccard JA, Meißner JK, Heurich M (2015) European Roe Deer Increase Vigilance When Faced with Immediate Predation Risk by Eurasian Lynx. Ethology 121:1-11. DOI:10.1111/eth.12420

Wilske B, Eccard JA, Zistl-Schlingmann M, Hohmann M, Methler A, et al. (2015) Effects of Short Term Bioturbation by Common Voles on Biogeochemical Soil Variables. PLoS ONE 10(5): e0126011. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0126011

Zehe E, Ehret U, Pfister L, Blume T, Schröder B, Westhoff M, Jackisch C, Schymanski S J, Weiler M, Schulz K, Allroggen N, Tronicke J, van Schaik L, Dietrich P, Scherer U, Eccard J, Wulfmeyer V, and Kleidon A (2014) HESS Opinions: From response units to functional units: a thermodynamic reinterpretation of the HRU concept to link spatial organization and functioning of intermediate scale catchments, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 4635-4655, doi:10.5194/hess-18-4635-2014, 2014.

Jeltsch F, Bonte D, Pe'er G, Reineking B, Leimgruber P, Balkenhol N, Schröder B, Buchmann C M, Mueller T, Blaum N, Zurell D, Böhning-Gaese K, Wiegand T, Eccard JA, Hofer H, Reeg J, Eggers U (2013) Integrating movement ecology with biodiversity research-exploring new avenues to address spatiotemporal biodiversity dynamics. Movement Ecology, 1, 1-6 doi:10.1186/2051-3933-1-6

Reil D, Imholt C, Schmidt S, Rosenfeld UM, Ulrich RG, Eccard JA, Jacob J (2011) Relationship between bank vole abundance, seroprevalence and human hantavirus infections. Julius-Kühn-Archiv 432:197

Eccard JA (2011) Foraging in risk-homogeneous landscapes–a spatial model for pest species distribution and damage in agriculture? Julius-Kühn-Archiv 96



Eccard JA, Fey K, Caspers BA, Ylönen H (2011) Breeding state and season affect interspecific interaction types: indirect resource competition and direct interference. Oecologia 1-11. DOI: 10.1007/s00442-011-2008-y

Haupt, M, Eccard, JA, Winter, Y (2010) Does spatial learning ability of common voles (Microtus arvalis) and bank voles (Myodes glareolus) constrain foraging efficiency?  Animal Cognition 13: 783-91. DOI: 10.1007/s10071-010-0327-8

Eccard, JA, Wolf, JBW (2009) Effects of brood size on multiple paternity rates: a case for paternity share as an offspring-based estimate, and its confidence intervals. Animal Behaviour 78: 563-571.

Eccard, JA, Liesenjohann, T (2008) Foraging decisions in risk-uniform landscapes. PLoS ONE 3(10): e3438.


South Africa

Blumroeder J, Eccard JA, Blaum N (2012) Behavioural flexibility in foraging mode of the spotted sand lizard (Pedioplanis l. lineoocellata) seems to buffer negative impacts of savanna degradation. Journal of Arid Environments, 77(0):149-152.

Eccard, JA, Dean, WRJ, Wichmann, M, Huttunen, S, Eskelinen, E, Jeltsch, F, Moloney, K (2006) Use of large Acacia trees by the cavity dwelling Black-tailed Tree Rat in the Southern Kalahari. Journal of Arid  Environments 64: 604-615.

Eccard, JA, Walther, RB, Milton, SJ (2000) How livestock grazing affects vegetation structures and small mammal distribution in the semi-arid Karoo. Journal of Arid Environments 46: 103-106.



Klemme I, Bäumer J, Eccard JA and Ylönen H (2014), Polyandrous females produce sons that are successful at post-copulatory competition. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 27: 457–465. doi: 10.1111/jeb.12334

Eccard J A, Klemme I (2013) Reducing mortality of shrews in rodent live trapping - a method increasing live-trap selectivity with shrew exits. Annals of Zoologi Fennici, 50, 371-376

Klemme I, Kataja-aho S, Eccard JA, Ylonen H (2012) Variable mode of estrus affects female decision for multiple mating. Behavioural Ecology 23:361-367 DOI: 10.1093/beheco/arr193

Eccard, JA, Jokinen I and Ylönen H (2011) Loss of density-dependence and incomplete control by dominant breeders in a territorial species with density outbreaks BMC Ecology , 11:16 doi:10.1186/1472-6785-11-16

Eccard, JA, Pusenius, J, Sundell, J, Ylönen, H, Halle, S (2008) Foraging patterns of voles at heterogeneous avian and uniform mustelid predation risk. Oecologia  157: 725-734. doi:10.1007/s00442-008-1100-4

Klemme, I, Ylönen, H, Eccard, JA (2008) Long term fitness benefits of polyandry in a small mammal, the bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 275:1095-1100. doi:10.1098/rspb.2008.0038

Klemme, I, Ylönen, H, Eccard, JA (2008) Why do female bank vole, Clethrionomys glareolus, mate multiply? Animal Behaviour 73: 623-628 doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2006.07.010

Eccard, JA, Ylönen, H (2007) Costs of coexistence along a gradient of competitor densities: an experiment with arvicoline rodents. Journal of Animal Ecology 76: 65-71. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2656.2006.01175.x

Klemme, I, Ylönen, H, Eccard, JA (2007)  Reproductive success of male bank voles (Clethrionomys  glareolus): the effect of operational sex ratio and body size. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiolgy 61: 1911-1918, DOI 10.1007/s00265-007-0431-1.

Trebaticá L, Ketola T, Klemme I, Eccard JA, Ylönen H (2007) Is reproduction really costly? Energy metabolism of bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus) females through reproductive cycle. Ecoscience 14: 306-313. DOI: 10.2980/1195-6860

von Blanckenhagen, F, Eccard, JA, Ylönen, H (2007) Animal protein as a constraint in spring reproduction in the bank vole? Ecoscience 14: 323-329. doi:10.2980/1195-6860

Eccard, JA, Ylönen, H (2006) Adaptive food choice of bank voles in a novel environment: choices benefit reproductive status during winter and spring. Annales Zoologici Fennici 43: 2-8.

Klemme, I, Eccard, JA, Ylönen, H (2006) Do female bank voles mate multiply to improve on prevoius mates? Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology 60: 415-421.

Klemme, I, Eccard, JA,  Gerlach, G, Horne, T, Ylönen, H (2006) Does it pay to be a dominant male in a promiscuous species? Annales Zoologici Fennici 43: 248–257.

Ylönen, H, Eccard, JA, Jokinen, IE, Sundell, J (2005) Is the antipredatory response in behaviour reflected in stress measured in faecal corticosteroids? Laboratory experiments on the bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology  60: 350-358.

Eccard, JA, Meyer, J, Sundell, J  (2004) Space use, circadian activity pattern, and mating system of the nocturnal tree rat Thallomys nigricauda. Journal of Mammalogy 85, 440-445.

Ylönen, H, Eccard, JA (2004) Does quality of winter food affect female spring condition and breeding in the bank vole? Ecoscience 11: 1-5.

Ylönen, H, Sundell, J, Eccard, JA, Tiilikainen, R, Horne, T (2003) Weasels' (Mustela nivalis nivalis) preference for olfactory cues of the vole (Clethrionomys glareolus). Ecology 86: 1147-1152.

Eccard, JA, Ylönen, H (2003) Who bears the costs of interspecific competition in an age structured population? Ecology 84: 3284-3293.

Eccard, JA, Ylönen, H (2003) From population size fluctuations to individuals’ fitness: Research on interspecific competition in small rodents. Evolutionary Ecology 17: 423-440.

Sundell, J, Eccard, JA, Tiilikainen, R, Ylönen, H (2003) Predation rate, prey preference and predator switching: experiments on voles and weasels. Oikos 101: 615-623.

Eccard, JA, Klemme, I, Horne, T, Ylönen, H (2002) Effects of competition and season on survival and maturation of young bank vole females. Evolutionary Ecology 16(2): 85-99.

Eccard, JA, Ylönen, H (2002) Direct interference or indirect exploitation? An experimental study of fitness costs of interspecific competition in voles. Oikos, 99: 580-590.

Eccard, JA, Ylönen, H (2001) Initiation of breeding after winter in Clethrionomys – the effects of food quality and population density. Canadian Journal of Zoology 78: 1743-1753.