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BioScience paper out

NC3 mechanisms produce changes in the individualized niche
Copyright © 2022, Oxford University Press

The concepts cloud paper on the NC3 mechanisms and individualized niches is now out in BioScience! The paper provides a unifying framework and definitions for the NC3 mechanisms and discuss how they affect organism-environment match, fitness, and the individualized niche.

Pia interviewed by Kanal 21

Fire salamander
Fire salamander © Pia Oswald

A marvellous interview by Pia on Kanal 21 about her PhD thesis and the software "Amphibian and Reptile Wildbook".

Check out the video on youtube, time slot 19:58-23:11.

20. Nachtansichten - 20th Night Views

Three people talking to scientist
Meet the Scientists © Antje Herde

It's the night of museums, galleries and churches.
On 30 April from 6 pm to 1 am, many different cultural venues in Bielefeld will open their doors. Our exhibition "Tierisch individuell" will also be part of it!

18.00 – 23.00 Meet the Scientists



You can buy tickets in advance.

Links: Namu Program Bielefeld Marketing

Nature communications paper published

Abtract of the paper: A natural timeless polymorphism allowing circadian clock synchronization in “white nights”
© Nature communications

Evolution here and now: Angélique Lamaze and colleagues demonstrate how fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) can maintain their clock function and rhythmic behaviour at northern latitudes. Learn more about the role of the clock gene "timeless", here in the article.


Related links:

Press release WWU

Pressemitteilung WWU

Welcome new members!

Team of researches finding an adult fire salamander at night
Project A04 sends first successful observations of adult fire salamanders. Good luck with your field work Pia, Laura & Max! © Pia Oswald

Welcome to all new NC3 members who have just started or will soon start their projects. We wish you a successful start and look forward to many fruitful discussions.


Exhibition opening at the namu in Bielefeld!

© Antje Herde

Come and visit our exhibition "Tierisch individuell" at the namu. Discover the research on animals that choose, conform and construct their individual niches!

The exhibition will be on view at the namu from 13 March to 11 September 2022.

The opening of the exhibition will take place on 13.03.2022 from 10-17 h. Entrance is free!


Workshop: Individual recognition software Wildbook

Logo Wildbook
© Pia Oswald

Using crowdsourced images to enable continuous and automated monitoring of both population size and geographic range of amphibians and reptiles to establish effective conservation plans - sounds like a dream?
Within project A04, a software called Amphibian and Reptile Wildbook has been developed to do just that.

More information on the Wildbook project can be found on the homepage.

On Saturday, 05.03.2022, a workshop will be held to introduce this software. The workshop will be held in German. Here you find the program.

Cortisol levels and domiance rank

Guinea pigs sitting in front of a screen and observe other guinea pigs
© Taylor Rystorm

Cortisol response to an acute challenge is known to be repeatable and correlated with social behaviour in males of many mammalian species. Taylor Rystrom and colleagues have now investigated whether these patterns are also consistent in female guinea pigs (Cavia aperea f. porcellus).

Take a look at what Taylor and her colleagues discovered, here.


Behavioral Ecology paper on the effects of clerodanoids out

experimental design showing the four different treatment levels and an illustration of the general hypotheses
Behavioural Ecology

An inspiring study in which Sarah Paul & Caroline Müller demonstrate the importance and potential of studying agonistic intersexual interactions over non-reproductive resources. Learn more about the agonistic nibbling behaviour of turnip sawfly (Athalia rosae) here.

Collaborative research center on the individual niche has been extended

We are very happy to announce that our "NC³" enters its second funding phase. Over the next four years, we will continue to work in an interdisciplinary team of philosophers, theoretical biologists, statisticians, ecologists, evolutionary and behavioral biologists, to define and establish the niche concept at the level of the individual and to understand the ecological and evolutionary consequences.

New job announcements can be found here: NC³


Related links:

Press release DFG

Sonderforschungsbereich zur individuellen Nische verlängert

Press release WWU Münster

Visit us at the Museum of Natural History in Münster!

Universität Bielefeld/Maximilian Weihs

We are very, very proud to present "Tierisch individuell", an exhibition all about animals chosing, conforming to and constructing their individual niches!


Update: The exhibition at the LWL-Museum für Naturkunde in Münster ended in October. "Tierisch individuell" will open again at the namu/Naturkundemuseum in Bielefeld in March 2022!

ERC Starting Grant

Universität Bielefeld

Congratulations to Toni Gossmann! He has won the European Research Council's prestigious Starting Grant. Toni will use this to continue unravelling the mysteries of DNA methylation, and how these can be inherited. We are thrilled and are looking forward to the next years working with Toni.

Paper on code availability draws wide attention

75% of ecological journals require code-sharing, but only 27% of articles comply with this rule, as a recent paper by Alfredo Sánchez-Tójar and colleagues recently showed. This result is now being widely shared and discussed.

Collaborative TREE paper out!

The conceptual paper from the NC³ cloud on molecular and physiological mediators has been published. For everything you want to know on the importance on infochemicals for choosing, conforming to and constructing of individualised niches, and for highly useful definitions of terms all around NC³!

Odyssey home

Corona has shut many doors - especially those of airports. We are very glad to have Rebecca Nagel back from her field trip to the Antarctic. Her journey home took 75 days, as she recently told the Bielefelder Zeitung.

Researching to improve animal welfare

Looking for an excellent in-depth science podcast (in German)? Hear Helene Richter explain recent developments on the 3 R (replace, reduce, refine) of animal use in research.

Helene covers a wide range of this fascinating topic in great detail, from the numbers of animals used in science and food production and the laws regulating this use, to the problem of reproducibility and current trends in animal welfare research. Head to WWUcast to listen.

Hormones may teach an old guinea pig new tricks

Group-living requires different social skills than living in pairs. Advantageous behavioural types developed under such different social conditions are regulated by hormones. Alexandra Mutwill and colleagues have now been able to show that guinea pig males can readjust their hormonal setup according to a new social situation even in adulthood.

Open synthesis attracts more attention

The open synthesis revolution continues! Alfredo Sánchez Tójar talked to Hertz 87,9 about the reproducibility crisis and the revolutionary solution he and others recently suggested.

Norbert Sachser's book in award-winning project at WWU

Münster University will see an exciting series of public events in the next winter term. A lecture series, discussion forum and poetry, art and science slams will all focus on animal behaviour, based on Norbert Sachser's recent book "Der Mensch im Tier" (The human animal). This is part of the "Eine Uni - ein Buch" (One university - one book) initiative of the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft. Münster University was one of ten to win the competition this year. This will be a great opportunity to discuss all things animal behaviour and animal welfare with the public. We are very much looking forward to all the events!

Re-thinking the scientific environment for faster, safer results

Universität Bielefeld

Literature reviews and meta-analyses have long been plagued by publication bias and other problems. This week, Dr Alfredo Sánchez-Tójar and 21 co-authors published a far-reaching suggestion to revolutionise the way primary researchers and synthesists work. They suggest creating open synthesis communities where primary researchers and synthesists work hand in hand, and where synthesis is recognized as the end goal and updated continuously. "Bridging the divide between primary researchers and synthesists will lead to less research waste, more collaboration, faster research progress and better engagement."

Latest `e-vite a Prof!´

Helene Richter

Helene Richter recently met with local activists working on animal welfare to present her work on this topic. As 'Nestwerk' activists advise pet keepers on welfare, this was an important exchange, and we are looking forward to future events.

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