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Dr. Stefan Fischer

Konrad-Lorenz-Institut für Vergleichende Verhaltensforschung
Department für Interdisziplinäre Lebenswissenschaften
Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
Savoyenstr. 1a
A-1160 Wien

T +43 (1) 25077 7404
F +43 (1) 25077 94 7404


Research interests

I am a behavioural ecologist particularly interested in the environmental factors that constrain or facilitate social and behavioural plasticity in highly social species. So far, my research focused on fish and mammal species that show a high degree of sociality (i.e. cooperative breeder) to understand the proximate mechanisms and ultimate fitness consequences of behavioural plasticity. For this I am committed to use an interdisciplinary research approach that combines long-term behavioural experiments with molecular and genetic analysis to gain a comprehensive understanding of the evolution of social and behavioural phenotypes.

  • Cooperation/Conflict
  • Social Behaviour
  • Phenotypic plasticity/flexibility
  • Early-life/maternal effects

Current Project

Currently, I am a WWTF (Vienna Science and Technology Fund, PI: Dr. Priv. Doz. Sabine Tebbich) funded Postdoctoral Research Associate to investigate how stress (chronic and acute) determines behavioural flexibility using the highly social cichlid, Neolamprologus pulcher.

Curriculum Vitae

2019-present: WWTF Postdoctoral Research Associate, Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology (KLIVV), University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Austria and Department of Cognitive Biology, University of Vienna, Austria. PIs: Prof. Leonida Fusani, Dr. Priv. Doz. Sabine Tebbich, Prof. Barbara Taborsky.

01.2016–12.2018: NERC Postdoctoral Research Associate, Institute of Integrative Biology, University Liverpool, UK. PIs: Prof. Paula Stockley, Prof. Jane Hurst.

06.2014–12.2015: SNSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, UK and Institute of Integrative Biology, University of Liverpool, UK. Collaborators: Prof. Tim Clutton-Brock, Prof. Paula Stockley, Prof. Jane Hurst

11.2010-02.2014: SNSF funded PhD candidate at the Department of Behavioural Ecology, Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Bern, Switzerland. Supervisor: Prof. Barbara Taborsky