Plenary speakers

PD Dr. Dina Dechmann

Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, Germany

If I had to categorize myself I would call myself a classical behavioral ecologist with a passion for evolution. My emerging focus is increasingly on the role that resource distribution in time and space plays for animals. What are the strategies animals use in terms of their behavior, morphology, and physiology to deal with daily, seasonal, or even rare bottlenecks in resource availability? In terms of behavior, a strong focus is on movement, for example of flying foxes, the energetics of tropical and European bats, and information transfer in a foraging context when resources are unpredictable in space and time but clumped and can be shared. I am strongly involved in the ICARUS initiative which will finally let me track the migration of my flying foxes. In terms of morphology, I like to use traits that describe the foraging ecology of animals, for example, wing shape in comparative approaches. A strong focus is also on seasonal phenological changes, especially the brain. Our group is small and international and we like it that way - contact me if you are interested in what we do!

Prof. Wilco Verberk

Radboud University, Netherlands

Wilco Verberk is an associate professor at Radboud University Nijmegen. He obtained his PhD in Freshwater Ecology in 2008, for his study on species traits to explain patterns in assemblages of aquatic invertebrates. During his 3-year post-doc in the UK studied the (respiratory) physiology of ectotherms to better understand their thermal niche and their life-history. In his research, he combines experimental studies to uncover specific mechanisms at work, and meta-analyses to test whether such knowledge can be generalized to other species.

dr hab. Piotr Łukasik

Jagiellonian University, Poland

Dr. Piotr Łukasik is an M.Sc. in Biology graduate from Jagiellonian University (2006). He obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Oxford (2011), then conducted research at Drexel University, University of Montana (U.S.A.), and Swedish Museum of Natural History before starting the Symbiosis Evolution Research Group at the Institute of Environmental Sciences of Jagiellonian University (2019). His research has focused on the biology of interactions between insects and their symbiotic microorganisms. Primary research directions include the evolution of ancient nutritional symbioses that enabled significant evolutionary transitions and the ecology of more dynamic facultative associations likely to play a role in insect responses to the ongoing climate and ecological crisis.