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Dr. Matteo Griggio †

Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology
Department of Integrative Biology and Evolution
University of Veterinarian Medicine Vienna
Savoyenstr. 1a
A-1160 Vienna

"If I had to die - I have had a wonderful life" (Matteo Griggio)

Sadly, Matteo left this life unexpectedly and suddenly on 14 May 2020. Our obituary.


  • Multiple signals and Ornament-armament model
  • Male mate choice and female quality
  • Female condition and variation in female choice of mates
  • Preening behaviour and plumage colours

Research Summary

My research has focused primarily on the use of visual signals (plumage colours) in birds communication (both intrasexual and intersexual selection). Based on recent studies a new hypothesis has been developed to explain the evolution of female ornaments independent of male showiness. In this case female ornamentation could be influenced by sexual selection through direct male choice or female-female competition even apart from the classical case of sex-role reversed species. Moreover, female phenotypes may influence the final result of the mate choice because the direct costs and benefits of mating with certain males vary among females. Condition-dependent variation in mate choice may have important evolutionary implications, not only within the same population, but also among populations. There are relatively few experiments, however, of how condition and/or genotype influences female mate choice decisions. Using different study species I'm investigating these two areas of sexual selection.

Current Projects

  • Sparkling-Science Project: Vögel als Bioindikatoren
  • Sparkling Science Project: Klimawandel: Auswirkung auf unsere Vogelwelt Grant # SPA/01/2007/51/A/Klimawandel
  • Female ornamentation and directional male mate choice in a passerine bird (In collaboration with Prof. Andrea Pilastro, University of Padova and Dr. Herbert Hoi)

Curriculum Vitae

  • Date of birth: 6th September 1976
  • Nationality: Italian

Postdoctoral positions & Education

  • Post-Doc 2007 - : Sexual selection, condition-dependent mate preferences and female quality. Konrad Lorenz Institute for Ethology, Vienna.
  • Post-Doc 2006-2007: Project on multiple traits and sexual selection. University of Padova.
  • Ph.D in Evolutionary Biology (2006), University of Padova. Dissertation title: Sexual conflict, mating strategies and honest indicators of mate quality in the rock sparrow (Petronia petronia), (in English).
  • MS in Natural Sciences (2002), University of Padova. M.S. Thesis: Female ornamentation and male mating strategies in the Rock sparrow (Petronia petronia). This project was conducted during three breeding seasons.