Molecular Behavioural Ecology
Universität Bielefeld > biologie > animalbehaviour > Molecular Behavioural Ecology

Molecular Behavioural Ecology

Dr Joe Hoffman


Our research uses state of the art genomic approaches including high-throughput sequencing, transcriptomics, high density SNP arrays and whole genome resequencing to understand the genetic basis of fitness variation in and among natural populations. Our programme currently has two main thrusts: (i) using long-term, highly detailed, individual-based studies of wild vertebrate populations to understand the relationship between heterozygosity and fitness and how this feeds into mating systems; and (ii) combining genomics and transcriptomics with geographical, time series and experimental approaches to explore the genetic basis of adaptation to climate change in marine invertebrate populations. These two themes coincided in a recent Nature paper in which we could show that climate change has been increasingly selecting for heterozygosity in an Antarctic fur seal population.

For our new website, which includes details of our research projects, group member's pages and downloadable PDFs of all publications, please go to:

The Hoffman group website



Research interests

Population, evolutionary and conservation genetics
Behavioural ecology of pinnipeds
Relationship between heterozygosity and fitness
Population structure of Antarctic invertebrates


As I am currently building up a research group in Bielefeld, I would very much welcome applications from students or postdocs who would like to work with me. If you are interested in any of the research topics described above, or have your own ideas for related projects, please contact me at: joseph.hoffman (at)


Dr Joe Hoffman

University of Bielefeld
Department of Animal Behaviour
PO Box 10 01 31
33501 Bielefeld