Dr. Alexander Scheuerlein

Applied Zoology and Nature Conservation

Loitzerstrasse 26
17489 Greifswald




Research Interests

Bat demography and conservation

Bats in the northern temperate zones lie at the slow end of the slow-fast life history continuum: they characteristically have low rates of annual fertility, but can survive for a long time as adults. This makes them generally vulnerable to environmental change, either directly by alteration of habitats, or indirectly, via climate change. Thus, all species of bats in Germany are strictly protected by environmental law, which makes the close surveillance of bat populations crucial. Many populations are monitored and surveyed, but little comparative work has been done. To get a comprehensive picture of the actual status of the populations in Germany, my colleague Marcus Fritze and I compile and digitize data on bat demographic parameters such as population sizes, mortality, and fertility throughout Germany. Using modern demographic methods we standardize these data to produce a detailed picture on the actual status of bat populations throughout Germany.


  1. Lemaitre, J.-F.; Ronget, V.; Tidiere, M.; Allaine, D.; Berger, V.; Cohas, A.; Colchero, F.; Conde, D.A.; Garratt, M.; Liker, A.; Marais, G.A.B.; Scheuerlein, A.; Szekely, T.; Gaillard, J.-M. (2020) Sex differences in adult lifespan and aging rates of mortality across wild mammals. PNAS. doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1911999117.
  2. Reusch, C.; Gampe, J.; Scheuerlein, A.; Meier, F.; Grosche, L.; Kerth, G. (2019) Differences in seasonal survival suggest species-spesific reactions to climate change in two sympatric bat species. Ecology and Evolution. doi.org/10.1002/ece3.5292.
  3. Conde, D.A.; Staerk, J.; Colchero, F.; da Silva, R.; Schöley, J.; Baden, H.M.; Jouvet, L.; Fa, J.E.; Syed, H.; Jongejans, E.; Meiri, S.; Gaillard, J.-M.; Chamberlain, S.; Wilcken, J.; Jones, O.R.; Dahlgren, J.P.; Steiner, U.K.; Bland, L.M.; Gomez-Mestre, I.; Lebreton, J.-D.; Gonzales Vargas, J.; Flesness, N.; Canudas-Romo, V.; Salguero-Gomez, R.; Byers, O.; Bjørneboe Berg, T.; Scheuerlein, A.; Devillard, S.; Schigel, D.S.; Ryder, O.A.; Possingham, H.P.; Baudisch, A.; Vaupel, J.W. (2019) Data gaps and opportunities for comparative and conservation biology. PNAS. doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1816367116.
  4. Fleischer, T.; Gampe, J.; Scheuerlein, A.; Kerth, G. (2017) Rare catastrophic events drive population dynamics in a bat species with negligible senescence. Scientific Reports 7:7370 www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-06392-9
  5. Schaible, R.; Ringelhan, F.; Kramer, B.H.; Scheuerlein, A. (2017) Hydra: Evolutionary and biological Mechanisms for Non-senescence. In: The Evolution of Senescence in the Tree of Life. Eds: Shefferson, R.P.; Salguero-Gomez, R.; Jones, O.R. Cambridge University Press.
  6. Colchero, F.; Rau, R.; Scheuerlein, A.; Schwentker, B.; Vaupel, J.W.(2017)Sterbealter gleichen sich an – Lifespans becoming more similar. MPG Jahrbuch 2017.
  7. Colchero, F.; Rau, R.; Jones, O.R.; Barthold, J.A.; Conde, D.A.; Lenart, A.; Nemeth, L.; Scheuerlein, A.; Schoeley, J.; Torres, C.; Zarulli, V.; Altmann, J.; Brockman, D.K.; Bronikowski, A.M.; Fedigan, L.M.; Pusey, A.E.; Stoinski, T.S.; Strier, K.B.; Baudisch, A.; Alberts, S.C.; Vaupel, J.W.(2016) The emergence of longevous populations. PNAS. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1612191113. - Awarded with the 2016 PNAS Cozzarelli Prize Class V recognizing „recently published PNAS papers of outstanding scientific excellence and originality“..
  8. Kramer, B.H.; Schaible, R.; Scheuerlein, A.(2016) Worker lifespan is an adaptive trait during colony establishment in the long-lived ant Lasius niger. Experimental Gerontology 85: 18-23.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exger.2016.09.008
  9. Salguero-Gomez, R.; Jones, O. R.; Archer, C.R.; Bein, C.; De Buhr, H.; Farack, C.; Gottschalk, F.; Hartmann, A.; Henning, A.; Hoppe, G.; Römer, G.; Ruoff, T.; Sommer, V.; Wille, J.; Voigt, J.; Zeh, S.; Vieregg, D.; Buckley, Y.M.; Che-Castaldo, J.; Hodgson, D.; Scheuerlein, A.; Caswell, H.; Vaupel, J.W.(2016) COMADRE: a global data base of animal demography. Journal of Animal Ecology 85(2): 371-384. Elton Award by the British Ecological Society.
  10. Kramer, B.H.; Schrempf, A.; Scheuerlein, A.; Heinze, J. (2015)Ant colonies do not trade-off reproduction against maintenance. PLoS One 10(9): e0137969. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0137969
  11. Salguero-Gomez, R.; Jones, O.R.; Archer C.R.; Buckley, Y.M.; Che_Castaldo, J.; Caswell, H.; Hodgson, D.; Scheuerlein, A.; Conde, D.A.; Brinks, E.; deBuhr, H.; Farack, C.; Gottschalk, F.; Hartmann, A.; Henning, A.; Hoppe, G.; Römer, G.; Runge, J.; Ruoff, T.; Wille, J.; Zeh, S.; Vieregg, D.; Baudisch, A.; Altwegg, R.; Colchero, F.; Dong, M.; deKroon, H.; Lebreton, J.-D.; Metcalf, J.E.; Neel, M.; Perker, I.; Takada, T.; Valverde, T.; Velez-Espino, L.A.; Wardle, G.M.; Franco. M.; Vaupel, J.W. (2015) The COMPADRE plant matrix database: an open online repository for plant demography. Journal of Ecology 103(1): 202-218. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.12334
  12. Schaible, R.; Scheuerlein, A. (shared first-authorship with Schaible, R.); Danko, M.J.; Gampe, J.; Martínez, D.E.; Vaupel, J.W. (2015) Constant mortality and fertility over age in Hydra. PNAS, 112(51): 15701-15706. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1521002112
  13. Jones, O.R.; Scheuerlein, A.(shared first-authorship with Jones, O.R.); Salguero-Gomez, R.; Camarda, C.G.; Schaible, R.; Casper, B.B.; Dahlgren, J.P.; Ehrlen, J.; Garcia, M.B.; Menges, E.; Quintana-Ascencio, P.F.; Caswell, H.; Baudisch, A.; Vaupel, J.W.(2014) Diversity of ageing across the tree of life. Nature, 505, 169-173. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature12789
  14. Conde Ovando, D.A.; Flesness, N.; Colchero, F.; Jones, O.R.; Scheuerlein, A.(2011) Zoos and Captive Breeding – Response. Science 332: 1150-1151.   http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.332.6034.1150
  15. Conde Ovando, D.A.; Flesness, N.; Colchero, F.; Jones, O.R.; Scheuerlein, A.(2011) An emerging role of zoos to conserve biodiversity. Science 331:1390-1391. http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1200674
  16. Conde Ovando, D.A.; Flesness, N.; Colchero, F.; Jones, O.R.; Scheuerlein, A. (2011) Zoos can lead the way with Ex situ conservation. WAZA magazine 12, 26-29.
  17. Schwabl, H.; Holmes, D.; Strasser, R.; Scheuerlein, A.(2011) Embryonic exposure to maternal testosterone influences age-specific mortality patterns in a captive passerine bird. AGE, 34(1): 87-94. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11357-011-9222-8
  18. Schaible, R.; Rebke, M.; Cassens, I.; Scheuerlein, A.(2010) Leben, Altern und Sterben: Ein Blick über die Artengrenzen. MPG Jahrbuch.
  19. McNamara, J.M.; Houston, A.I,; Barta, Z.; Scheuerlein, A.; Fromhage, L(2009) Deterioration, death and the evolution of reproductive restraint in late life. Proc R Soc. Lond. B. 276: 4061-4066. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2009.0959
  20. Wikelski, M.; Martin II, L. B.; Robinson, M. T.; Robinson, N. D.; Scheuerlein, A.; Hau, M.; Gwinner, E.(2008) Avian circannual clocks: Adaptive significance and possible proximate control by energy turnover. Phil. Trans. R Soc. Lond. 363 (1490): 411-423. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2007.2147
  21. Scheuerlein, A.; Gwinner, E. (2006) Reduced nestling growth of East African Stonechats (Saxicola torquata axillaris) in the presence of a predator. Ibis 148(3): 468-476. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1474-919x.2006.00549.x
  22. Matson, K.D.; Cohen, A.A.; Klasing, K.C.; Ricklefs, R.E.; Scheuerlein, A.(2006) No simple answers for ecological immunology: relationships among immune indices at the individual level break down at the species level in waterfowl. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B. 273, 815-822. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2005.3376
  23. Ricklefs, R.E.; Swanson, B.I.; Fallon, S.M.; Martinez-Abrain, A.; Scheuerlein, A.; Gray, J.; Latta, S.C.(2005) Community relationships of avian malaria parasites in southern Missouri. Ecological Monographs 75(4): 543-559. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/04-1820
  24. Goymann, W.; Moore, I.T.; Scheuerlein, A.; Hirschenhauser, K.; Grafen, A.; Wingfield, J.C. (2004) Testosterone in tropical birds: effects of environmental and social factors. The American Naturalist 164(3), 324-334. http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/422856
  25. Scheuerlein, A. & Ricklefs, R.E. (2004): Prevalence of Blood Parasites in European Passeriformes. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B. 271, 1363-1370. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2004.2726
  26. Wikelski, M.; Spinney, L.; Schelsky, W.; Scheuerlein, A.; Gwinner, E.(2003) Slow pace of life in tropical birds: a common-garden experiment on four stonechat populations from different latitudes. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B. 270, 2383-2388. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2003.2500
  27. Ricklefs, R. E.; Scheuerlein, A.;  Cohen, A.A.(2003) Age-related patterns of fertility in captive populations of birds and mammals. Experimental Gerontology 38, 741-745. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0531-5565(03)00101-3
  28. Ricklefs, R.E. & Scheuerlein, A.(2003) Life span in the light of avian life histories. Population and Development Review 29, Suppl.71-98.
  29. Martin II, L.B. Scheuerlein, A.; Wikelski, M. (2003) Immune activity elevates energy expenditure in house sparrows: a link between direct and indirect costs? Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B. 270, 153-158. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2002.2185
  30. Scheuerlein, A. & Scheuerlein, H. (2002) Faunistic changes in the Kilimanjaro-Meru region: indicators and consequences of hydrological change. In: IET-IAHR international Conference and IET annual general meeting (ed. M. A. M. Victor), pp. 39-43. Arusha, Tanzania: The Institution of Engineers Tanzania.
  31. Tella, J.L., Scheuerlein, A.; Ricklefs, R.E. (2002) Is cell-mediated immunity related to the evolution of life-history strategies in birds? Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B. 269, 1059-1066. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2001.1951
  32. Scheuerlein, A. & Gwinner, E. (2002) Is food availability a circannual zeitgeber in tropical birds? A field experiment on stonechats in Africa. Journal of Biological Rhythms. 17(2), 171-180.
  33. Ricklefs, R.E. & Scheuerlein, A.(2002) Biological implications of the Weibull and Gompertz model of aging. Journals of Gerontology: Biological Sciences 57A, 2 B69-B76. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/074873002129002465
  34. Scheuerlein, A., Van’t Hof, T.J.; Gwinner, E. (2001) Predators as stressors? - Physiological and reproductive consequences of predation risk in tropical stonechats (Saxicola torquata axillaris). Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B. 268, 1575-1582. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2001.1691
  35. Ricklefs, R. E. & Scheuerlein, A.(2001) Comparison of aging-related mortality among birds and mammals. Experimental Gerontology 36, 845-857. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0531-5565(00)00245-x
  36. Hemp, C., Winter, J.C.; Scheuerlein, A. (1999) Ethnozoologische Feldforschung am Kilimanjaro: Säugetiere, Vögel, Amphibien und Reptilien. In: Bayreuther Institut für terrestrische Ökosystemforschung (Ed.) Vegetationsökologische, ethnobotanische und -faunistische Beiträge ueber Äquatorial-Afrika, vol. 64 pp. 149-165. Bayreuth: Bayreuther Forum Ökologie.
  37. Gwinner, E. & Scheuerlein, A. (1999) Photoperiodic responsiveness of equatorial and temperate-zone Stonechats. Condor 101, 347-359. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1369998
  38. Scheuerlein, A. & Gwinner, E. (1999) Proximate and ultimate aspects of photoperiodic sensitivity in equatorial Stonechats Saxicola torquata axillaris. In: Adams, N.J. & Slotow, R.H. (eds) Proc. 22 Int. Ornithol. Congr., Durban: 1756-1766.
  39. Gwinner, E. & Scheuerlein, A. (1998) Seasonal changes in day-light intensity as a potential Zeitgeber of circannual rhythms in equatorial Stonechats. Journal of Ornithology 139, 407-412. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/bf01653467
  40. Scheuerlein, A., Magotto, J.; Schmidl, D.(1997) Wild Dogs in Arusha National Park, Tanzania. African Journal of Ecology, 35, 378-380. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2028.1997.085-89085.x
  41. Dettner, K., Scheuerlein, A.; Fabian, P.; Schulz, S.; Francke, W. (1996) Chemical defense of the giant springtail Tetrodontophora bielanensis (WAGA) (Insecta: Collembola). Journal of Chemical Ecology 22(5) 1051-1074. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/bf02029954
  42. Scheuerlein, A. & Nitsche, G. (1994) Breeding population and distribution of the Stonechat Saxicola torquata in the Prealpine Area of Bavaria. Ornithologischer Anzeiger 33: 19-23