Dr. Davide M. Dominoni


Dr. Davide M. Dominoni


Glasgow, UK

Main Focus

Effects of artificial light at night on daily and seasonal organization of European blackbirds (Turdus merula)
Urban areas are growing faster than any other land cover types. Associated with increasing urbanization, artificial light at night is now recognized as a public health issue and in recent years new interest has risen around the ecological effects of light pollution.
Given that light through its diel and seasonal (daylength) changes is one of most important factors regulating daily and annual cycles of virtually all organisms, I hypothesized that modifications of the environment by means of artificial light at night could strongly affect important biological cycles of wild animals. In my doctoral dissertation I experimentally demonstrate the effects of light at night on the daily and seasonal cycles of an urbanized songbird, the European blackbird (Turdus merula), and describe the physiological mechanisms that may underlie such effects. My results provide insights on the physiological consequences of light at night, and call for an urgent understanding of the fitness consequences of light pollution.


  • Dominoni DM, Quetting M, Partecke J. 2013. Long-Term Effects of Chronic Light Pollution on Seasonal Functions of European Blackbirds (Turdus merula). PLoS ONE 8(12): e85069. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0085069. full article
  • Dominoni D, Carmona-Wagner EO, Hofmann M, Kranstauber B, Partecke J. 2013. Individual-based measurements of light intensity provide new insights into the effects of artificial light at night on daily rhythms of urban-dwelling songbirds. Journal of Animal Ecology DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12150 full paper
    Dominoni D, Goymann W, Helm B, Partecke J. 2013. Urban-like night illumination reduces melatonin release in European blackbirds (Turdus merula): implications of city life for biological time-keeping of songbirds. Frontiers in Zoology 10:60 doi:10.1186/1742-9994-10-60. abstract
  • Dominoni D, Helm B, Lehmann M, Dowse H, Partecke J. 2013. Clocks for the city: circadian differences between forest and city songbirds. Proc Roy Soc Lond B. 280(1763):20130593 link
  • Dominoni D, Quetting M, Partecke J. 2013. Artificial light at night advances avian reproductive physiology. Proc Roy Soc Lond B 280(1756): 20123017 link
  • Helm B, Ben-Schlomo R, Sheriff MJ, Hut R, Foster R, Barnes B, Dominoni D. 2013. Annual rhythms that underlie phenology: biological time-keeping meets environmental change. Proc Roy Soc Lond B.
    280(1765):20130016 link
  • Kronfeld-Shor N, Dominoni D, de la Iglesia H, Levy O, Herzog H, Helfrich-Förster C. 2013. Chronobiology by moonlight. Proc Roy Soc Lond B. 280(1765): 20123088 link

Curriculum Vitae

  • 2009-2013 Dissertation at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Radolfzell, Germany
  • 2008-2009 Field assistant in Australia, Washington State University, USA
  • 2008 MSc in Natural Science, University of Parma, Italy
  • 2005 BSc in Natural Science, University of Milan, Italy

Organizational Unit (Department, Group, Facility):

  • Department Wikelski
  • IMPRS Alumni
  • MPI for Ornithology Radolfzell
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