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Herr Dr. Peter Korsten

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Curriculum Vitae

Scientific Positions

  • Assistant Professor & group leader (non-tenured; Akademischer Oberrat a. Z.), Bielefeld University (from 2015)
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Groningen, The Netherlands (2011-2014)
  • Visiting Research Fellow, University of Antwerp, Belgium (2010-2011)
  • Marie Curie Intra-European Fellow, The University of Edinburgh, UK (2008-2010)
  • Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Germany (2008)
  • Postdoctoral Guest Researcher, University of Groningen, The Netherlands (2007)
  • Visiting Research Fellow (Oct-Dec), Australian National University, Australia (2006)


  • PhD in Mathematics and the Natural Sciences (Dec 2006), University of Groningen
  • MSc in Biology (Nov 1998; with distinction), University of Groningen

Aktuelle Forschungsthemen

Research background and aims

I am a behavioural and evolutionary ecologist with a strong interest in genetics, mostly using wild bird and mammal populations as model systems. I study individual variation in social behaviour from an eco-evolutionary perspective, with a particular focus on aggression, mate choice, parental care, and cooperation and conflict within the family. In my research, I combine diverse methods, ranging from behavioural observations and field experiments to using individual-based long-term population and pedigree data for quantitative genetic analyses. Ultimately, my research aims at understanding the eco-evolutionary causes and consequences of individual variation in behaviour and reproductive success (fitness).

Vosbergen Blue Tit project

As part of my PhD studies at the University of Groningen, I initiated an individual-based population study on wild blue tits (Blaumeisen) breeding in nestboxes at the Vosbergen estate in the north of the Netherlands. This long-term study has been running since 2001 until to date (in collaboration with Jan Komdeur, University of Groningen) and it provides an important model system for part of my research. More recently (2018), I also established a study of nestbox-breeding blue tits and great tits (Kohlmeisen) in the Teutoburger Wald near Bielefeld University.

Present postdoctoral researchers

  • Dr. Irene Godoy, Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, project: 'Maternal, genetic, and demographic influences on sociality in capuchin monkeys' (2020-2022)

Present PhD students

  • Stephen Salazar, DAAD PhD Scholarship, project (first supervisor): 'Understanding the evolution of among-individual variation in aggressiveness in blue tits' (2017-2021)
  • Navina Lilie, DFG-funded PhD project (first supervisor): 'Male social niche conformance: a trade-off between extra-pair mating and paternal care in zebra finches?' (2018-2021)
  • Gaoyang Yu, Chinese Government PhD Scholarship (co-supervision with J. Komdeur): 'Understanding individual variation in aggressiveness in females: what are the eco-evolutionary and physiological drivers?' (2021-2025)

Research opportunities

If you'd be interested in joining our research (BSc, MSc, PhD or postdoc projects) please contact me.

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