Julia Slezacek, MSc

PhD Student

Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna

My PhD research is looking at the stopover physiology of avian migration with a focus on the role of the gut hormone ghrelin. Specifically, I am interested in understanding the mechanisms by which ghrelin influences migration and whether genetic variability in the ghrelin pathway could explain differences in stopover-behaviour. In addition, I am very interested in studying the possible involvement of the bird gut microbiome in the physiological control of migration and a possible link between the gut microbiome and the gut endocrine system.
My major study site is the island of Ponza (Italy), a main spring stopover site for large numbers of Western Palearctic migrants, and my main study species are small passerines.

Current project: Stopover biology: How does ghrelin mediate migratory decision?
FWF Stand-Alone Grant P31037-B29