Dr. Lisa Gill


82319 Seewiesen


Dr. Lisa Gill

Dr. Lisa Gill

Dr. Lisa Gill


Postdoctoral Researcher


  • +49 8157 932-388




Main Focus

Vocal interactions and hormones
Vocal communication has been extensively studied in many animal species and has very often proven vital for individual survival and reproduction. In songbirds, there is a growing body of studies emphasizing the importance of the interaction patterns in which vocalizations occur, e.g. as indicators of aggressive intent in males. However, these studies often come from solitary bird species. Thus, there is little knowledge on vocal interactions in group-living birds. Although almost ubiquitous in many species, there is also very little known on quiet calls that occur between individuals acting at close range. The main goal of my PhD is to record different vocalizations of individual birds inside a group in different social or ecological settings. In the first part of my study, I recorded different vocalizations including quiet ones from single individuals within four groups of eight zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) in captivity. Using these individual acoustic recordings in addition to behavioral observations, breeding success and hormone data, I would like to describe temporal vocal interactions within the entire group and analyze their role especially for pairs, at different stages of the breeding cycle and according to other social and environmental factors. For the second part of my PhD, I will carry out a field study on free-living jackdaws (Corvus monedula) in a breeding colony at Leutstetten, Germany. As breeding pairs seem to be a highly important unit within a colony in this long-lived species, I am particularly interested in the coordination between pair members during parental care, in terms of spatial use and of vocal communication inside their group. Therefore, we will equip the jackdaws with individual microphone and GPS recorders (data loggers), observe their behavior during focal samples and in specific contexts and will monitor their breeding success in order to gain an insight into their specific ecology, including the repertoire and spatio-temporal usage as well as pair-specific aspects of vocalizations and their role in pair synchronization.

Curriculum Vitae

  • Mar 2011 Diplom in Biology, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany
  • Aug-Dec 2008 Biology, University of Glasgow, UK
Awards & Scholarships
  • Feb 2014: Eberhard Gwinner Award for the best student poster, 9th Topical Meeting of the Ethologische Gesellschaft, Tutzing, Germany
  • Jul 2014: Audience award for the 2nd best student talk, ECBB 2014 - 7th European Conference on Behavioural Biology, Prague, Czech Republic

Organizational Unit (Department, Group, Facility):

  • Department Gahr
  • IMPRS Alumni
  • MPI for Ornithology Seewiesen
loading content