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  3. Department of Zoology
  4. Research
  5. Ethology


In the Ethology division we study animal behavior mainly based on Tinbergen’s four questions. This means we are interested in i) the function and fitness effects of variation in behavior, ii) the developmental background to variation in behavior, iii) the mechanisms behind variation in behavior and iv) the phylogenetic patterns of variation in behavior. For this, we use an array of techniques spanning across field observations, lab experiments and phylogenetic comparative analyses to study behavior in different taxa.

Foraging decisions

Animal personality

Fish brain. Photo: Alex Kotraschal.

Brain evolution

Willow warbler. Photo: Johanna Hedlund.

Climate Change and Behaviour

Collective Behaviour


Adaptive colouration


Dogfish shark

Sexual Selection

Social Behaviour

Our latest publications

Alberto Corral López. 2017. The link between brain size, cognitive ability, mate choice and sexual behaviour in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata). Doctoral thesis. Department of Zoology, Stockholm University.

Patrick B. Finnerty, Rebecca S. Stutz, Catherine J. Price, Peter B. Banks, Clare McArthur. 2017. Leaf odour cues enable non-random foraging by mammalian herbivores. Journal of Animal Ecology 86: 1317-1328.

Baharan Kazemi. 2017. Evolution of Mimicry and Aposematism Explained: Salient Traits and Predator Psychology. Doctoral thesis. Department of Zoology, Stockholm University.

Laura J. A. Van Dijk, Niklas Janz, Alexander Schäpers, Gabriella Gamberale-Stille, Mikael A. Carlsson. 2017. Experience-dependent mushroom body plasticity in butterflies - consequences of search complexity and host range. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, Biological Sciences 284.

Alexander Kotrschal, Amy E. Deacon, Anne E. Magurran, Niclas Kolm. 2017. Predation pressure shapes brain anatomy in the wild. Evolutionary Ecology 31: 619-633.

Martina Magris, Gabriela Cardozo, Francesco Santi, Alessandro Devigili, Andrea Pilastro. 2017. Artificial insemination unveils a first-male fertilization advantage in the guppy. Animal Behaviour 131: 45-55.