Department of Behavioural Ecology

Evolution in Africa Everyday!

Who we are?

We are research group at the Faculty of Biology of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poland established by Tomasz Osiejuk and Piotr Tryjanowski (now in Institute of Zoology, University of Life Sciences, Poznań) on 1st December 2004.

Research in our lab focuses on the behavioural ecology and animal communication in particular. The most significant topics of our previous studies involved individual recognition, territorial defence, mechanisms maintaining honesty of acoustic signals, links between signals' structure and functional significance, and geographic variation in signals.

We focus heavily on birds' vocalizations but we do not hesitate to expand to other taxa and communication channels. For example, some of the current projects concern also evolution of behavioural syndromes in guppies and signal perception in humans. We are also interested in using acoustic animal signals studing ecology and biology conservation.

Mountain rainy forest in Cameroon - one of the places we do research
Mountain rainy forest in Cameroon - one of the places we do research

Current projects in brief: what, where and why

Most of our projects have strong field work component. We think that observing naturally behaving animals in their environments is often a key for understaning functions and evolution of behaviour. We work on several species models around the World. In Europe, we work - among other species - on the Corncrake and Emberiza buntings. These studies address such issues as territory defence (individual recognition, conflict resolution, costs maintaining signal honesty) as well as spatial signal variation at different scales, or use of individual recognition for conservation purposes.

In recent years, more and more attention is devoted to avian research in tropics. We conduct research on duetting species inhabiting mountain rainy forest of Cameroon (Chubb's cisticola, Yellow-breasted boubou and Bangwa warbler). Cameroon and Mozambique are also our testing ground for research on bioacoustics assessement of avian diversity. Recently, we started project on Turtur doves species which will be conducted in several subsaharian countries in Africa.

The multimodal communication (acoustic and visual) is studied with use of two model bird species: magpie lark in Australia and starling in Europe. The only animal model we currently study in lab is a guppy. This fish is a very useful model for studying effects of induced mutations and inbreeding on behavioural traits and the role of associative learning in originating mating preferences.

2019 papers from our lab

[20] Budka, M., Jobda, M., Piórkowski, H. () Effect of agri-environment measure for the aquatic warbler on bird biodiversity in the extensive managed landscape of Biebrza Marshes (Poland). Biological Conservation accepted

[19] Herdegen-Radwan, M. (2019) Does inbreeding affect personality traits? Ecology and Evolution DOI: 10.1002/ece3.5487

[18] Deoniziak, K., Osiejuk, T.S. (2019) Habitat-related differences in song structure and complexity in a songbird with a large repertoire. BMC Ecology 19:40 DOI: 10.1186/s12898-01909255-7

[17] Żurawlew, P., Michalczuk, W., Aftyka, S., Długosz, I., Gargoła, W., Kusal, K., Mazepa, J., Mazgaj, S., Mielczarek, S., Przybyłowicz, Ł., Szymański, P. (2019) [Occurence of Migratory locust Locusta migratoria (Linnaeus, 1758) (Orthroptera: Acrididae) in 2001-2017 in Poland]. Przegląd Przyrodniczy XXX, 1: 66-76

[16] Osiejuk, T., Łosak, K., Steifetten, Ø., Dale, S. (2019) Songbird presumed to be age-limited learner may change repertoire size and composition throghout their life. Journal of Zoology DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12717

[15] Orłowski, G., Karg, J., Jerzak, L., Bocheński, M., Profus, P., Książkiewicz-Parulska, Z., Zub, Karol, Ekner-Grzyb, A., Czarnecka, J. (2019) Linking land cover satellite data with dietary variation and reproductive output in an opurtunistic forager: Arable land use can boost an ontogenic trophic bottleneck in the White Stork Ciconia ciconia. Science of the Total Environment 646: 491-502.

[14] Jiguet, F., Kardynal, K.J., Piha, M., Seimola, T., Copete, J.L., Czajkowski, M.A., Dombrovski, V., Efrat, R., Minkevicius, S., Raković, M., Skierczyński, M., Hobson, K.A. (2019) Stable isotopes reveal the common winter moult of central rectories in a long-distance migrant songbird. Journal of Ornithology DOI: 10.1007/S10336-019-01671-w

[13] Linhart, P., Osiejuk, T.S., Budka, M., Salek, M., Spinka, M., Policht, R., Syrova, M., Blumstein, D.T. (2019) Measuring individual identity information in animal signals: overview and performance of available identity metrics. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 10: 1558-1570.

[12] Jiguet, F., Robert, A., Lorriliere, R., Hobson, K.A., Kardynal, K.J., Arlettaz, R., Bairlein, F., Belik, V., Bernardy, P., Copete J.L., Czajkowski, M.A., Dale, S., Dombrovki, V., Ducros, D., Efrat, R., Alts, J., Ferrand, Y., Marja, R., Minkevicius, S., Olsson, P., Perez, M., Piha, M., Raković, M., Schmaljohann, H., Seimola, T., Selstam, G., Siblet, J-P., Skierczyński, M., Sokolov, A., Sondell, J., Moussy, C. (2019) Unravelling migration connectivity reveals unsustainable hunting of the declining ortolan bunting. Science Advances 5: eaau2642

[11] Antczak, M., Ekner-Grzyb, A., Majlath, I., Majlathova, V., Bona, M., Hromada, M., Tryjanowski, P. (2019) Do males pay more? A male-biased predation of Common Lizard (Zootoca vivipara) by Great Grey Shrike (Laniarius exhibitor). Acta Ethologica in press DOI: 10.1007/s10211-019-00318-6

[10] Osiejuk, T.S., Żbikowski, B., Wheeldon, A., Budka, M. (2019) Hey Mister Tambourine Dove, sing a song for me: simple but individually specific songs of Turtur tympanistria from Cameroon. Avian Research 10: 14, DOI: 10.1186/s40657-019-0153-x.

[9] Spinka, M., Syrova, M., Policht, R., Linhart, P. (2019) Early vocal ontogeny in a polytocous mammal: no evidence of social learning among sibling piglets, Sus scrofa. Animal Behaviour 151: 9-19.

[8] Budka, M., Matyjasiak, P., Typiak, J., Okołowski, M., Zagalska-Neubauer. M. (2019) Experienced males modify their behaviour during playback: the case of the Chaffinch. Journal of Ornitology DOI: 10.1007/s10336-019-01647-w

[6] Stowell, D., Petrusková, T., Salek, M., Linhart, P. (2019) Improving generalisation across species and recording conditions. Royal Society Interface 16: 20180940.

[5] Jakubowska, A., Osiejuk, T.S. (2019) The use of soft songs during territorial intrusion in alarm context in the ortolan bunting Emberiza hortulana. Journal of Ornithology 160: 207-216. DOI: 10.1007/s10336-018-1607-3.

[4] Kułaga, K., Budka, M. (2019) Bird species detection by an observer and an autonomous sound recorder in two different environments: Forest and farmland. PLOS ONE 14(2): e211970.

[3] Wheeldon, A., Mossman H. L., Sullivan, M. J. P., Mathenge, J., de Kort S. R. (2019) Comparison of acoustic and traditional point count methods to assess bird diversity and composition in the Aberdare National Park, Kenya. African Journal of Ecology 57: 168-176.

[2] Marin-Cudraz, T., Muffat-Joly, B., Novoa, C., Aubry, P., Desmet J-F., Mahamoud-Issa, M., Nicolé, F., F., Van Niekerk, M.H., Mathevon, N., Sébe, F. (2019) Acoustic monitoring of rock ptarmigan: A multi-year comparison with point-count protocol. Ecological Indicators 101: 710-719.

[1] Janoušek, V., Fischerová, J., Mořkovský, L., Reif, J., Antczak, M., Albrecht, T., Reifová, R. (2019) Postcopulatory sexual selection reduces Z-linked genetic variation and might contribute to the large Z effect in passerine birds. Heredity 122: 622-635. DOI: 10.1038/s41437-018-0161-3