Veronika Zeus

Applied Zoology and Nature Conservation

Loitzer Str. 26
17489 Greifswald

Tel.: +49 (0)3834 420-4275
Fax: +49 (0)3834 420-4252

Research Interests

Influence of socio-ecology on virus transmission within and between bat species (in cooperation with the FLI Riems)

In order to evaluate virus transmission within and between species communities, factors such as ecology, occurrence, distribution and genetic diversity of hosts and associated viruses must be considered.
In this study we focus on three forest-dwelling bat species Myotis bechsteinii, Myotis nattereri and Plecotus auritus. All species occur in the same locality but differ in social structure as well as size of their colonies. We match roosting behaviour, life-history traits and genetic relatedness of the bats on individual level against genetic structure and prevalence of occurring viruses.
Our aim is to assess to what extend these aspects promote virus transmission within and between the colonies. Furthermore, we want to study whether and under what spatio-temporal conditions species barriers may be overcome.


  • Zeus V.M., Reusch C., Kerth G. (2018). Long-term roosting data reveal an unimodular social network in large fission-fusion society of the colony-living Natterer's bat (Myotis nattereri). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 72: 99
  • Zeus, V., Puechmaille, S. & Kerth, G. (2017): Con- and heterospecific social groups affect each other's resource use: a study on roost sharing among bat colonies. Animal Behaviour 123: 329-338.
  • Halczok, T., Fischer, K., Gierke, R., Zeus, V., Meier, F., Tress, C., Balkema-Buschmann, A., Puechmaille, S. & Kerth, G. (2017): Evidence for genetic variation in Natterer's bats (Myotis nattereri) across three regions in Germany but no evidence for co-variation with their associated astroviruses BMC Evolutionary Biology 17:5 DOI 10.1186/s12862-016-0856-0.
  • Fischer, K., Zeus, V., Kwasnitschka, L., Kerth, G., Haase, M., Groschup, M. & Balkema-Buschmann, A. (2015): Insectivorous bats carry host specific astroviruses and coronaviruses across different regions in Germany. Infection, Genetics and Evolution 37: 108–116.