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Sara Lupi, PhD

Konrad-Lorenz-Institute of Ethology
Department of Interdisciplinary Life Sciences
University of Veterinarian Medicine Vienna
Savoyenstr. 1a
A-1160 Vienna

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Research interests

I am interested in the physiology of bird migration and my research centers around the role of appetite-related hormones on decision-making processes, fuel metabolism and flight performance in passerine birds. During my PhD, I showed the involvement of the gut-hormone ghrelin in the regulation of migratory disposition and food intake at a spring-stopover site in a western Palearctic passerine species. The overall aim of my current project is to broaden our knowledge of the involvement of ghrelin in the rapid physiological and behavioral adjustments that enable migrants to perform prolonged non-stop flights and restore energy reserves. To answer my questions, I combine field and laboratory experiments and make use of innovative methods, such as a hypobaric climatic wind tunnel to simulate flying conditions and a multinational radio telemetry system to track large-scale movements of free-living birds.

Current Project

The hormone ghrelin: Is it a key player in regulating performance, fuel metabolism and decision-making in migratory birds?

Funded by a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship