Bart Kempenaers


Main Focus

I am a behavioural ecologist and ornithologist. My main interest is the evolution of avian mating behaviour. I want to understand how males and females choose a mate. How do they sample potential partners? Which criteria do they use to decide to mate with a particular individual? How do they benefit from their choice? Why do they divorce? I want to understand why some individuals, and in particular females, are unfaithful to their partner. How common are extra-pair copulations? Which females seek them? Which criteria do females use to choose an extra-pair partner? How do these females benefit? How does promiscuity influence sexual selection? I want to understand the causes of variation in individual mating behaviour. Can variation in mating behaviour be linked to variation in personality traits? Is mating behaviour condition-dependent or is the variation maintained through frequency-dependent selection?

I am a field biologist. I am coordinating two long-term field studies: one on a common European songbird, the blue tit Parus caeruleus, and one on arctic-breeding shorebirds, the semipalmated sandpiper Calidris pusilla and the pectoral sandpiper Calidris melanotos

Information on Prof. Dr. Bart Kempenaers' research can be found on the website of his Department for Ornithology

Curriculum Vitae

Born in 1967 in Belgium, I studied Biology at the Universities of Limburg and Antwerp until 1989. I finished my PhD at the University of Antwerp in 1994 and held post-doctoral positions at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO, 1994) and at Queen's University, Canada (1995). From 1996 to 1998, I was employed as a researcher at the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Comparative Ethology in Vienna. I first came to the Max Planck Institute in Seewiesen in 1999 as an Independent Junior Research Group Leader and became Director of the Department in December 2003. In 2004, I was appointed Honorary Professor in Behavioural Ecology at the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich where I teach courses in behavioural ecology

Behavioural Ecology
Lecture series at the LMU, Biozentrum, Martinsried: Wintersemester 05/06
In collaboration with Prof. Dr. Susanne Foitzik
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