Behavioural Ecology
Universität Bielefeld > biologie > Animal Behaviour > Behavioural Ecology

Behavioural Ecology

Oliver Krüger
Professor of Animal Behaviour


The unifying feature of my different research projects is life history strategy evolution, the way natural selection optimises the entire life of an organism. Differences between individuals and their life histories are evaluated by natural selection on the basis of fitness. Hence it is of paramount importance to measure fitness if we want to attach biological meaningfulness to animal behaviour. However, animal behaviour and life history strategies do not evolve in isolation. Individual behaviour is bound to have consequences at the population level and, conversely, populations set the stage for the evolution of life history strategies and animal behaviour. As a consequence, by studying life history strategies, my research is encompassed by a triangle of evolution, ecology and ethology. Only detailed knowledge of individual fitness allows one to decompose individual behavioural variation into components of genotypic and phenotypic quality, as well as environmental effects.


Research interests

Evolution of life histories in birds of prey
Host-parasite coevolution in cuckoos
Evolution at the large scale: modern comparative approaches


Research projects


Raptors & Owls

Buzzards, eagles and eagle owls: these are the stars of a long-term research project aiming to understand life and death in wild animals living in cultivated landscapes. Why we need catapults, truck canopies, and your help in order to do this, you can find out here.

A Final Note

I very much welcome applications from students and Postdocs who would like to work with me. If you are interested in any of the projects described above, please contact me.


Oliver Krüger

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