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Sarah Zala, PhD

Senior Scientist

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

T +43 (1) 25077 7352
F +43 (1) 25077 94 7352

E-Mail an Sarah Zala senden


Google Scholar Profile


I am a behavioral biologist, and my interests include sexual selection, animal communication, and host-parasite interactions. I mainly study house mice (Mus musculus) and stickleback fish (Gasterosteus aculeatus).

  • Sexual selection
  • Sexual dimorphisms
  • Ecological immunity
  • Life-history evolution
  • Animal signals (chemical, acoustic and visual)
  • Social learning
  • Host-parasite interactions

    Current projects

    • Adaptive functions of ultrasonic vocalizations in male mice (Austrian Science Foundation (FWF, Co-author, grant)
    • Sexual Selection in stickleback fish
    • Sounds and pheromones: neural networks merging olfactory and acoustic cues in sexual imprinting (grant funded by the Human Frontier Science Program, contributor, grant)
    • Voice Prints: Individual Signatures and Recognition in Mice (Austrian Science Foundation (FWF, Principal Investigator, grant)  

    Behavioural Biology Lab


    I lead the institute's Journal Club (topics in behavioral and evolutionary ecology), and give practical courses in Experimental Design and Behavioral Ecology, which are also offered for credit at the University of Vienna. I offer another practical course in Behavioral Physiology at the University of Vienna.Lehre

    Curriculum Vitae


    1999-2003Ph.D., Biology, Department of Biology, University of Utah, USA
    1993-1998M.S., Biology with Major in Zoology, Division of Behavioral Ecology, Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Bern, Switzerland


    2011-presentSenior scientist, Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria (including one year of working part-time)
    2003-2010Research scientist, Konrad Lorenz Institute for Ethology, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna, Austria (including ca. one year of working part-time and four years of maternity leave)
    2002Teaching assistant in Ecology and Evolution, Department of Biology University of Utah, USA
    2000Teaching assistant in Behavioral Ecology, Department of Biology, University of Utah, USA
    1998Research Assistant, Department of Biology, University of Utah, USA
    1996-1998Several student assistantships, Division of Behavioral Ecology, Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Bern, Switzerland


    Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB)
    European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB)
    International Society for Behavioral Ecology (ISBE)
    Ethologische Gesellschaft