Population Ecology at University of Zurich

meerkatWe investigate the demographic processes governing the dynamics and persistence of natural populations. Our aim is to contribute to ecological and evolutionary theory, and to provide scientific guidance for biodiversity conservation. A central theme in our research is to understand how natural populations respond to temporal and spatial heterogeneity in their environment. Such population responses can manifest themselves in several forms (such as demographic, phenotypic, phenological, behavioural), and we focus on ecological and evolutionary mechanisms underlying these responses to better understand population persistence in changing environments. To investigate these mechanisms, we integrate ecological and evolutionary theory, employ a rich biodemography toolset, and analyse life-history data from several natural and experimental populations.

Population Ecology Group
Department of Evolutionary Biology & Environmental Studies
University of Zurich


Selected Work

  • van Benthem KJ, Bruijning M, Bonnet T, Jongejans E, Postma E, Ozgul A (in press) Disentangling evolutionary, plastic and demographic processes underlying trait dynamics: A review of four frameworks. Methods in Ecology and Evolution [link]
  • Cornioley T, Börger L, Ozgul A, Weimerskirch H (2016) Impact of changing wind conditions on foraging and incubation success in male and female wandering albatrosses. Journal of Animal Ecology 85: 1318–1327 [link]
  • Clements CF, Ozgul A (2016) Including trait-based early warning signals helps predict population collapse. Nature Communications 7: 10984 [link]
  • Brooks ME, Mugabo M, Rodgers GM, Benton TG, Ozgul A (2016) How well can body size represent effects of the environment on demographic rates? Disentangling correlated explanatory variables. Journal of Animal Ecology 85: 318–328 [link]
  • Cruickshank SS, Ozgul A, Zumbach S, Schmidt BR (2016) Quantifying population declines based on presence-only records for Red List assessments. Conservation Biology 30: 1112–1121 [link]