Department of Migration and Immuno-Ecology
The world has become a small and crowded place. And yet life on earth remains mysterious and full of surprises and wonders we wish to understand. The essence of life is movement -'panta rhei' (everything moves, Heraklit).
Here, at the Department of Migration and Immuno-Ecology, we have the privilege and task to study how living animals move across the globe, how they survive their perilous journey through time and space, and how and why they die. This includes investigations into the physiology, social interactions, and environmental parameters influencing the individual decisions of animals on the move.
The results from our studies will allow us to understand how interconnected life is, from viruses at Lake Constance to cranes crossing the highest Himalayan mountains to Galapagos giant tortoises embarking for centuries on long return migrations. Our results and technical developments support the basic scientific understanding of wild animals and are applied to safeguard a healthy planet.
Animals move constantly and most of the time we do not know where they are or what they are doing. We ought to know, because animals safeguard our food, they delight us, but also endanger us by carrying diseases such as avian flu. We belive we need to understand the individual decisions of animals on the move to predict what will be happening to us and the planet. Thus, we need to read the animals mind and body remotely, and let tem be our eyes, ears, and noses around the world, even in places no human being would like to go.
The only way to do this is through miniature black-box bio-loggers carried by animals that can be read anywhere from space. Empowering people to experience the world through their beloved animals will forever change how humans deal with precious life on earth.