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László Zsolt Garamszegi



Department of Evolutionary Ecology

Estación Biológica de Doñana-CSIC

c/ Americo Vespucio, 26

41092, Seville, Spain

Tel: +34 954 466 700 ext. 1111



Behavioural Ecology Group (

Modern Phylogenetic Comparative Methods (


My principal interest focuses on the evolutionary ecology of birds. The topics that are central in my researches include questions about the evolution of bird song, the adaptive role of behavioural variations and host-parasite interactions. Large part of my studies relies on the field  study of the collared flycatcher, but I frequently apply phylogenetic comparative approaches to investigate interspecific patterns.


I also like developing and teaching statistical approaches for the behavioural ecologist community.




I am a researcher in an intermediate carrier stage with a permanent position ("associate professor") at the Estación Biológica de Doñana - CSIC. My main scientific interests focus on major topics in behavioural ecology and evolutionary biology.  More specifically, during my PhD (1999-2002, Laboratoire d'Ecologie, Université Pierre at Marie Curie, Paris, France), I investigated the role of pathogens in mediating sexual signalling by using birds as a model. I applied field experiments with a passerine bird (the collared flycatcher, Ficedula albicollis) relying on physiological and behavioural measurements as well as comparative phylogenetic methods. I continued this line of researches as a post-doc (2002-2009, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium), while I further broadened my research scope by asking various evolutionary questions in relation to bird song and animal behaviour.  These questions involved the role of maternal effects, stress factors, age- and senescence effects, neural space and sex hormones on vocal signalling. Most recently, my interest has also turned towards animal personality and behavioural syndromes (i.e. the interplay between behavioural plasticity and consistency) focusing on different levels of variations in behaviour (risk-taking, aggression, exploration and song) in a natural population of the collared flycatcher.  In a broader context, I also worked on other projects within evolutionary biology, including brain-behaviour interactions, the evolution of mating systems, hybridization, host-parasite coevolution and reproductive physiology. In terms of methodology, I applied interspecific approaches, field and lab experiments and meta-analyses. I am interested in developing novel statistical approaches relying on research philosophical considerations.


Current projects: 

The evolutionary ecology of phenotypic plasticity of morphological, life history and behavioural traits in wild birds (Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, Madrid, Spain)


Evolutionary analysis of behavior in wild birds: separating variance components at different hierarchical levels (National Research, Development and Innovation Office, Budapest, Hungary)




(the complete list can be found here:


Garamszegi, L.Z., Møller, A.P. (2017). Partitioning within-species variance in behaviour to within- and between-population components for understanding evolution. Ecology Letters (in press)


Koerner, L., Garamszegi, L.Z., Heethoff, M., Betz, O. (2017) Divergent morphologies of adhesive predatory mouthparts of Stenus species (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) explain differences in adhesive performance and resulting prey-capture success. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society (in press)


Horváth, G., Martín, J., López, P., Garamszegi, L.Z., Herczeg, G. (2017). Food and vitamin D3 availability affects lizard personalities: an experiment. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology 71:27.


Jablonszky, M., Szász, E., Markó, G., Török, J., Herczeg, G., Garamszegi, L.Z. (2017). Escape ability and risk-taking behaviour in a Hungarian population of the collared flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis)., Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 71:54. 


Allegue, H., Araya-Ajoy, Y.G.,Dingemanse, N.J.,Dochtermann, N.A., Garamszegi, L.Z., Nakagawa, S., Réale, D., Schielzeth, H., Westneat, D.F. (2017). Statistical Quantification of Individual Differences (SQuID): an educational and statistical tool for understanding multilevel phenotypic data in linear mixed models. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 8:257-267.


Winternitz, J., Abbate, J.L., Huchard, E., Havlí?ek, J., Garamszegi, L.Z. (2017). Patterns of MHC-dependent mate selection in humans and nonhuman primates: a meta-analysis. Molecular Ecology 26:668-688.