Dr. Wolfgang Fiedler

Group Leader
IMPRS Faculty
Department of Migration
Research Group Fiedler
+49 7732 1501-60

Main Focus

I am primarily interested in the phenology of bird migrations and the consequences associated with migratory behavior for both the bird and its environment. The first aspect comprises morphological adaptations of the flight apparatus (wing shape, ultrastructures on the wing) and of the immune system as well as behavioural adaptations e.g. in distance and timing of migration, movement strategies, temporal schedules and the incorporation of movement in the annual calendar where also time for breeding and moulting is needed. With respect to the effects of bird migration on the environment my current main interest focusses on the seed dispersal of frugivores and the disperal of pathogens through migrating waterbirds.

Curriculum Vitae

  • 2008 until May 2019 Research Scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, since June 2019 Research scientiest of the Max Planck Institute for Animal Behavior which evolved from the Radolfzell branch of the MPIO.
  • since March 2000 scientific head of the Bird Ringing Centre at Vogelwarte Radolfzell
  • January 2005 until restructuring of the department 2008 head of Vogelwarte Radolfzell at Max Planck Institute for Ornithology
  • January 1998 - December 2004 scientific coworker of Prof. Peter Berthold at the former Max Planck Institute of Behavioural Physiology, now reorganized as Max Planck Institute for Ornithology

Honorary Offices

  • 1992 - 1998 chairman of the Nature Conservation Society (NABU) of the western District of Constance
  • since 1986 expert for bat conservation in the District of Constance
  • 1997 - 2016 Secretary of the Society for the Support of the Biological Station Rybachy
  • 2001 - 2017 Board Member of the European Union for Bird Ringing, 2003 - 2011 General Secretary of EURING, 2011 - 2017 EURING Chairman
  • 2001 - 2005 Secretary of the European Ornithologists Union
  • 2002 - 2011 General Secretary of the German Ornithologists’ Society (DO-G)
  • Since 2006 committee member of the International Ornithological Conference
  • since 2019 President of the German Ornithologists' Society (DO-G)


  • Februray 1994 - December 1997 PhD at the Max Planck Institute of Behavioural Physiology, Dept. "Vogelwarte Radolfzell". Title: The flight apparatus of the Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla): Registration methods, intraspecific variability, geno- and phenotypical variance, causes of selection and ecophysiological significance
  • June - December 1993 Diploma Thesis at the Max Planck Institute of Behavioural Physiology and the Biological Station Rybachy of the Institute of Zoology, St. Petersburg / Russia. Title: Migration passage of small birds in a stopover area in Rybachy (Rossitten) on the Courish Spit (Kaliningrad Area, Russia)
  • December 1992 Diploma Examinations (main subject: Zoophysiology, other subjects: Botany, Geology, Psychology)
  • October 1986 - January 1994 Study of Biology at the Eberhard-Karls-University of Tuebingen, Germany

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