Dr. Stefania Casagrande

Project Leader

Main Focus

My research interest is in understanding the fitness consequences of metabolic adjustments in response to environmental changes. I focus on glucocorticoids, which are metabolic hormones secreted by the adrenal glands in reaction to various stressors, and more broadly on how different types of stressors can alter an organism's energy balance. I primarily measure mitochondrial bioenergetics, telomere dynamics, oxidative status, and fitness-related traits in wild and captive birds with diverse life-history traits.

Current projects:

1.    Bioenergetic-endocrine perspective of telomere dynamics (DFG funded project granted to SC)

2.   Adaptive changes of mitochondrial bioenergetics and glucocorticoids in different environmental gradients

3.   Mitochondrial metabolic adjustments of birds to high environmental temperatures

Past project:

4.    Glucocorticoid reaction norms across diverse life history stages using a comparative approach



Curriculum Vitae

Professional positions

08/2014 - present:  Research scientist. Max Planck Institute for Biological Intelligence (formerly Max Planck Institute for Ornithology), Department of Evolutionary Physiology (Group Hau). P.I. DFG project 2017-2018
2012-2014:  Marie Curie FWO Fellow, University of Antwerp. Belgium
2008-2011:  Marie Curie ERG Fellow, University of Parma. Italy
2006-2008:  Marie Curie EIF Fellow, University of Groningen, Netherlands
2004-2005:  Post-doc, University of Parma, Italy
2003:  Post-doc, Association Ornis Italica, Rome, Italy
2000-2003:  PhD student, University of Parma, Italy

Academic appointments and editorial activity

2022 - presentAssociate editor of Journal of Avian Biology
2019 - 2022Member of the Flanders Research Foundation (FWO) board Research Funding Panel Bio 3 (Biodiversity and Ecology). FWO Board of Trustees, Brussels


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