Cave Bear



Macroevolution of Birds and Mammals

Emmy Noether Junior Research Group
Head: Dr. Susanne Fritz

We investigate a broad range of topics, bringing together large-scale biogeographical patterns and macroevolutionary processes. We work on biodiversity dynamics in time (geological time scales) and space (usually regional or global scale) of terrestrial vertebrates, in particular mammals and birds.

Please see here for more details on our four main themes:

1) Macroevolution of ecological niches, seasonal migration, and diversification in passerine birds
2) Diversity in time and space: integrating across fossil and living mammalian species
3) Global macroevolution, macroecology, and biogeography – the big picture
4) Past, current, and future human impacts on biodiversity

The group has existed since 2014 and works closely with other groups at Senckenberg BiK-F, in particular the working groups of Katrin Böhning-Gaese, Thomas Mueller and Matthias Schleuning.

We are entirely funded through different third-party grants:

Since 2018 Leibniz Competition grant to Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung, Leibniz professorship for Susanne Fritz (P52/2017): “Geobiodiversity: assessing the impacts of mountain building and climate change on evolution and ecology of mammals and birds“

Since 2015 Alexander von Humboldt Foundation postdoctoral fellowship to Shan Huang: “Biodiversity-environment association in space and time: How Cenozoic climate influenced large mammals in the Northern Hemisphere”

Since 2014 Emmy Noether grant to Susanne Fritz from the DFG (German Research Foundation / Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft FR 3246/2): “Macroevolution of climatic niches in birds”

Dr. Susanne Fritz – Head of group
Dr. Shan Huang – PostDoc
Alison Eyres – PhD student
Katrin Müller – Master student

Selected publications
Eyres, A., Böhning-Gaese, K. & S. A. Fritz (2017): Quantification of climatic niches in birds: adding the temporal dimension. Journal of Avian Biology 48: 1517-1531, doi: 1111/jav.01308
Huang, S., Eronen, J. T., Janis, C. M., Saarinen, J. J., Silvestro, D. & S. A. Fritz (2017). Mammal body size evolution in North America and Europe over 20 Myr: similar trends generated by different processes. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 284: 20162361, doi: 10.1098/rspb.2016.2361
Pearse, W. D., Barbosa, A. M., Fritz, S. A., Keith, S. A., Harmon, L. J., Harte, J., Silvestro, D., Xiao, X. & T. J. Davies (2018). Building up biogeography: pattern to process. Journal of Biogeography 45: 1223-1230, doi: 10.1111/jbi.13242