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General and Systematic Zoology

© Isabel Barwisch
© Lisa Männer
© Isabel Barwisch

EOU in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (2019)

© Isabel Barwisch
© Swantje Furtak
© Ole Kracht

Research on breeding behaviour

© Isabel Barwisch
© Swantje Furtak

Geometric morphometrics

© Isabel Barwisch

The research of our group (@AG_Vogelwarte) focuses on a wide spectrum of ecological as well as phylogenetic and population genetic questions in birds, but also gastropods. We are interested in the relationships of organisms with their environment including other organisms as well as in their individual and evolutionary genetic relationships. Accordingly, our methodological spectrum encompasses classical ecological as well as molecular approaches. For more details concerning ongoing research projects, please visit the “Research” section.


Zoological Institute and Museum
Vogelwarte Hiddensee

Building 6.2

Soldmannstrasse 23
17489 Greifswald

Tel.: +49 (0)3834 86 4348 or
Tel.: +49 (0)3834 86 4347
angela.schmitzuni-greifswaldde or

Looking for available theses topics?

Here, you can find all open topics for malacological or ornithological based theses.

Recent publications

Long-term monitoring data reveal effects of age, population density, and environmental aspects on hatching success of Common Cranes (Grus grus)

Barwisch, I., Mewes, W. & Schmitz Ornés, A. 2022. Avian Research

Facing climate and land use change, a species’ ability to successfully adapt to changing environments is crucial for its survival. Extensive drainage and intensification of agriculture and forestry set wetlands and associated species at risk of population declines. The population of Common Cranes (Grus grus) has experienced considerable fluctuations over the last century. Despite increasing population numbers, hatching success seemed to have decreased over the last years. The aim of this study was to identify factors influencing hatching success and nest survival of Common Cranes based on analyses of long-term individual-based monitoring data from northeastern Germany and evaluate the species ability to adapt to changing environments. ...


Revealing different migration strategies in a Baltic Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) population with light‑level geolocators

Piro, S. & Schmitz Ornés, A. 2022. Journal of Ornithology

The Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) is one of Germany’s farthest migrating bird species. Ringing studies have shown the use of the East Atlantic flyway, and according to their main wintering areas at the western and southern African coasts, German and European Common Tern populations have been divided into two allohiemic groups. However, first ring recoveries of German Common Terns in Israel indicated that some of the birds breeding in eastern Germany cross central Europe and migrate along the eastern African coast. To investigate the migratory behavior of Common Terns from East Germany, we fitted 40 Common Terns breeding in a colony at the German Baltic coast with light-level geolocators. ...


Crossing the polar front—Antarctic species discovery in the nudibranch genus Tritoniella (Gastropoda)

Schächinger, P. M., Schrödl, M., Wilson, N. G. & Moles, J. 2022. Organisms Diversity & Evolution

Tritoniella belli is the only valid species of a nudibranch genus endemic to the Southern Ocean. Recent exhaustive sampling and molecular analyses led to the discovery of several new lineages. A total of 69 specimens were collected from 25 sites across the Weddell and Scotia Seas, from 5 to 751 m depth. In this study, we provide morphological and anatomical characters to describe five new Tritoniella species, namely T. gnocchi n. sp., T. prinzess n. sp., T. gnathodentata n. sp., T. schoriesi n. sp., T. heideae n. sp. Detailed descriptions of colouration, external morphology, digestive and reproductive organs, distribution, and ecology are presented in a systematic context. ...

History of the Vogelwarte

Bird of the Year (2022)

Eurasian hoopoe (Upupa epops) Photo: Silke Fregin

Mollusc of the Year (2022)

Bayerische Zwergdeckelschnecke (Sadleriana bavarica) Photo: Alexander Mrkvicka
Data protection information for Twitter

Data protection information for Twitter

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