Max-Planck-Institut für Ornithologie

Dr. Luke Eberhart-Phillips


82319 Seewiesen


Dr. Luke Eberhart-Phillips

Dr. Luke Eberhart-Phillips

Dr. Luke Eberhart-Phillips


Postdoctoral Researcher


  • +49 8157 932-424


Haus 5, 0.17, Seewiesen

Main Focus

I am a population ecologist with a special interest in the evolutionary relationships between social behaviour and demography. I want to understand how animal breeding systems are shaped by extrinsic social and ecological environments and by intrinsic phylogenetic constraints. To accomplish this, my work focuses largely on studying sex-specific variation in mating strategies, parental care, reproductive success, survival, and movement in wild avian populations. My main study system is the shorebirds (suborder Charadrii), whose diverse life histories and extreme tractability in the field make them ideal organisms to exemplify fundamental principles of ecology and evolutionary biology. Furthermore, as many shorebird populations worldwide are in decline and threatened, an important applied aspect of my research is to understand vital rate variation in light of population viability and conservation. Through my experiences as a field ornithologist, I understand the limitations of avian survey methods and the issue of imperfect detection. Therefore, a core component of my research is modelling population dynamics with mark-recapture methods. I strive to make my analytical work as transparent as possible using tools that facilitate collaboration and reproducibility.

Curriculum Vitae


2013 – 2017      PhD, Department of Animal Behaviour, Bielefeld University, Germany

Dissertation: “Consequences of individual variation on population dynamics: a behavioural, molecular, and demographic study of Charadrius plovers”. Supervisors: O Krüger, J Hoffman, and T Székely

2010 – 2012      MSc, Wildlife Management, Humboldt State University, California, USA

Thesis: “Population viability of snowy plovers in coastal northern California”. Supervisor: M Colwell

2006 – 2010      BSc, Wildlife Conservation and Ecology, Humboldt State University, California, USA

Professional Experience

2017 – present  Postdoctoral researcher — Research Group Küpper, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Seewiesen, Germany

2013 – 2017     Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Doctoral Fellow — Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany

2012 – 2013    Research Associate — Shorebird Ecology Lab, Humboldt State University, California, USA

2012 – 2013    Research Assistant — Raptor Ecology Lab, Boise State University, Idaho, USA

2012               Field Biologist — US Fish and Wildlife Service, Nome, Alaska, USA

2011 – 2012    Teaching Assistant — Wildlife Department, Humboldt State University, California, USA

2010               Field Biologist — Alaska Bird Observatory, Umiat, Alaska, USA

2009               Field Biologist — Alaska Bird Observatory, Denali National Park, Alaska, USA

2008               Field Biologist — US Forest Service, Lake Tahoe, California, USA

Organizational Unit (Department, Group, Facility):

  • MPI for Ornithology Seewiesen
  • Research Group Küpper
loading content
Go to Editor View