INVITATION: Vetmeduni Vienna - Open House 2019

Logo of the Vetmeduni Open House 2019


Saturday, 25 May 2019


10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Veterinärplatz 1, 1210 Vienna

Visitors can get a behind the scenes look at the main Campus of the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna.  The Department of Integrative Biology and Evolution will again be represented.  

More info



FIWI Annual Report 2018

You can download the FIWI annual report for the year 2018 by clicking on the picture. (Report in German only)
Cover photo of the FIWI annual report 2018








Brown bears store fat for a good winter

Seasonal lipid adjustments in body fat go hand in hand with hibernation (Photo Jon M. Arnemo)
Hibernating brown bear with half open eyes in the snow

Some people would like to hibernate through the winter - just like brown bears do every year. Hibernating bears lower their body temperature only slightly (2-5 ° C) to a value between 30 ° C and 36 ° C. The role of body fat composition on winter hibernation was now examined for the first time in wild brown bears by an international team led by researchers from the University of Strasbourg and the Vetmeduni Vienna. The two most important findings: unsaturated fatty acids play an important role during hibernation and the composition of the fat stores of large hibernating animals is very similar to that of small hibernators. As shown by Sylvain Giroud and his co-authors, the shift in lipid composition appears to be an evolutionarily conserved hibernation phenomenon that appears independent of body mass and body temperature.

The article “Lipidomics Reveals Seasonal Shifts in a Large-Bodied Hibernator, the Brown Bear 1” by Sylvain Giroud, Isabelle Chery, Fabrice Bertile, Justine Bertrand-Michel, Georg Tascher, Guillemette Gauquelin Cook, Jon M. Arnemo, Jon E. Swenson , Navinder J. Singh, Etienne Lefai, Alina L. Evans, Chantal Simon and Stéphane Blanc was published in Frontiers in Physiology.

More info 2

(Web editor, 16 May 2018)


The latest FIWI annual report is now available for download

FIWI Jahresbericht 2018
cover photo of the FIWI annual report 2018 3

The FIWI annual report 2018 summarizes the result of several of our research topics.  The report is in German language and can be downloaded from our website. 


Go to the Downloadpage 4

(Web editor, 17 April 2019)


In Svalbard reindeer the inner clock is always ticking

Svalbard reindeers stick to their natural circadian rhythm despite midnight sun and polar winter. (Photo: © dieter leve /
Reindeer herd in the snow 5

All animals have an internal clock with a cycle length that deviates slightly from 24 hours, and that synchronizes based on cues from external "timers", usually the daily change from day to night. It was uncertain whether this internal clock also functions in the Polar Regions, where there is continuous darkness for months during winter and steady light in the summer. A research team led by Walter Arnold from the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology at the Vetmeduni Vienna examined this question for wild reindeer on Svalbard, using for the first time a high-resolution telemetry system. They studied not only the behavior, but also the physiology of the animals. They found that - contrary to earlier findings - a circadian rhythm persists throughout the year.

The article “Circadian rhythmicity persists through the Polar night and midnight sun in Svalbard reindeer 6” by Walter Arnold, Thomas Ruf, Leif Egil Loe, R. Justin Irvine, Erik Ropstad, Vebjørn Veiberg and Steve D. Albon was published in Scientific Reports.

(Web editor, 16 November 2018)



News archive... 7



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Wilhelminenberg Seminar

Every Wednesday during the academic semester the "Wilhelminenberg Seminar" takes place at our house, a scientific colloquium where leading scientists from around the world present their latest research.  

Seminar programme 15


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