Leibniz-IZW Seminars

The Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research regularly organizes scientific seminars on various topics, in which invited speakers or IZW scientists present their work in the form of a lecture. The free lectures take place in the lecture hall of the IZW and are also broadcast live via video.
Interested persons are cordially invited to attend the Leibniz-IZW seminars in person or online. You are welcome to sign up for our seminar newsletter at izwseminar@izw-berlin.de. The lectures will be held mostly in English.

Upcoming events

15th Febr. 2023, 1 pm
Dr. Eduardo Eizirik (Pontifícia Universidade Caólica do Rio Grande do Sul), Host: Dr. Camila Mazzoni
Evolutionary and conservation genomics of wild carnivorans
The talk will describe our studies employing whole-genome sequences to investigate the evolutionary history and genomic diversity of several species of carnivorans (Mammalia, Carnivora), with emphasis on Neotropical taxa. The examples will include earlier studies focusing on jaguars and pumas, and then highlight recent articles and unpublished data on jaguars, small cats, otters and canids. These studies report phylogenomic and population-oriented analyses addressing the phylogeny, biogeography, demographic history, and current diversity of the target species. In several cases there are conservation implications of the observed findings, such as the validation of species-level status for an endemic tropical African otter, the detection of carnivoran species and populations with low levels of genomic diversity and long runs of homozygosity, and the assessment of anthropogenic impacts on the origin and dynamics of two hybrid zones identified between wild cats and wild foxes in South America. This set of studies provides foundations for in-depth genomic analyses of these and other carnivoran groups, including efforts to employ genome-enabled approaches to improve conservation planning and action on behalf of endangered populations.

22th Febr. 2023, 1 pm
Dr. Rafael Mateo Soria (Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos (IREC) - Institute for Game and Wildlife Research, Spain), Host: Dr. Oliver Krone
Title tba

1th March 2023, 1 pm
Dr. Danai Papageorggiou (Max Planck Institute of animal behavior, Radolfzell), Host: Dr. Teja Curk
Social structure, collective decision-making and responses to inequality in animal societies
Abstract: Animals living in stable and cohesive groups acquire resources critical for survival while moving together. Such groups differ from each other in size and composition and need to cope with challenges induced by environmental heterogeneity. To shed light on the effects of the social and the physical environment on collective behavior, I studied social groups of vulturine guineafowl (Acryllium vulturinum) that range freely in the Kenyan savannah. I used a combination of methods, including high-resolution GPS tracking, field observations of habituated and non-habituated groups, video tracking and environmental data. Multi-level societies, where stable social groups associate preferentially with each other to form super-groups, have primarily been found in large-brained mammals. However, my collaborative work has shown that vulturine guineafowl, and potentially also other bird species, can form such complex societies. We also found that habitat features and seasonality shape those inter-group associations. At the same time, guineafowl groups vary in size and composition, with groups of intermediate size expressing optimal ranging behaviour and higher reproductive success. Furthermore, extreme environmental conditions, such as droughts, substantially increase the areas the groups use. Despite the variation in environmental conditions, guineafowl groups maintain cohesion by following shared decision-making rather than despotic processes. Open access to decisions allows group members to satisfy their needs even when conflicts over food arise. When such conflicts disproportionately benefit one group member, collective responses to the rise of inequality play a crucial role in maintaining the benefits of group-living among many species, beyond guineafowl. In summary, this multi-scale approach (within-groups, between-groups, population-level) highlights that the interaction between the social and the physical environment can shape both the outcomes and the micro-dynamics of collective behaviour in wild group-living animals.

29th March 2023, 1 pm
Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Behr (German Primate Center), Host: Dr. Jennifer Schön
Germ cell development in the marmoset monkey: basic and translational aspects

19th April 2023, 1 pm
Dr. Gregory Albery (Georgetown University Washington, DC), Host: Dr. Gábor Czirjak
Title tba

26th April 2023, 1 pm
Dr. Ulrich Steiner (FU Berlin), Host: Dr. Viktoriia Radchuk
Environmental perturbance and heterogeneity in individual life courses

Last Update: 2th Febr. 2023