Dr. Kamran Safi

Group Leader
IMPRS Faculty
Department of Migration
Research Group Safi
+49 7531 945 05 25
Konstanz - Bücklestraße

Main Focus

My research interests lie in understanding the causes and consequences of biological patterns at various scales and from different perspectives. I am an ecologist by training with research interest in movement ecology, macro-ecology and macro-evolution. In movement ecology, I am interested in relating individual animals to the environmental conditions they operate under to learn the causes and consequences of environmental fluctuation on animal movement across scales. Methodologically I am deeply interested in combining and fusing data from the wild, using a wide range of sensors deployed on animals, with remote sensing and other sources of information at large spatial and temporal scales. My work is both method driven as well as grounded in the frame work of (movement) ecology and is based on computer-intense simulation and probabilistic analysis methods. Scaling up from individuals, to collectives, populations, species and species communities, my macro-ecological ambitions are eventually to understand the scale effects associated with extrapolations from individuals to on higher taxonomic levels. Beyond that I am interested in the relationship of various diversity measures and what they can tell about how biological diversity has evolved and is maintained. Finally, from an macro-evolutionary perspective I am interested in the intersection of traits and occurrence where species, populations and individuals not only are adapted to their environments, but also the environment filters for certain traits and combinations thereof, shaping the evolutionary landscape.

International collaborations

  • Frederic Bartumeus, CEAB, Blanes, Spain
  • Gil Bohrer, The Ohio State University, USA
  • Nathalie Pettorelli, Zoological Society of London, United Kingdom
  • Jeroen B Smaers, University College London, London, UK


  • · Co-organisor and lecturer of AniMove, a two week summer school 2013 for movement ecology and remote sensing (www.animove.org)
  • Advanced Course Organismal biology: Going Wild (SS 2013, BIO-11490-20131)
  • Advanced Course Organismal biology: Going Wild (SS 2013, BIO-11500-20131)
  • Kolloquium of the computational ecology lab (SS 2013 , BIO-11780-20131)
  • R coding sessions (SS 2013 , BIO-11950-20131)
  • R for Biologists II: Visualisation and analysis of spatial information (SS 2013 , BIO-12390-20131)
  • Master- und Doktorandenseminar (Arbeitsgruppe Safi) (WS 2012, BIO-11930-20122)
  • Intense 1 week course “R for Biologists I” University of Konstanz 2012 (WS 2012, BIO-12210-20122)
  • Co-lecturer Ökologie für Fachfremde (organised by Marc Van Kleunen) (WS 2012, BIO-10005)
  • Advanced Course Organismal biology: Going Wild (University of Konstanz 2011, 2012, 2013)
  • Lectures on animal migration at the University of Konstanz, Germany 2010
  • Graduate courses in Conservation Biology at the Zoological Society of London. 2008
  • Field courses: Ornithological excursions for beginners and advancers (2001-2004)
  • Undergraduate courses: Animal behaviour (University of Zürich) (2001-2004)

Curriculum Vitae

2020 – Appointed Group leader of the Animal-Environment Interactions Lab.
2018 – Elect chairperson of the work council.
2014 – Permanent position as a senior researcher (prinicipal investigator) at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior (former MPI for Ornithology until June 2019)  heading the Computational Ecology lab.
2013 - Faculty board member and vice-spokesperson of the International Max Planck Research School for Organismal Biology.
2015 Visiting scientist at the Charles Darwin Foundation in Galàpagos Ecuador.
2014 Visiting scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panamà.
2009 - 2020 Max Planck Institute for Ornithology. Head of the computational ecology group. Faculty member of the International Max Planck Research School.
2009 - 2011 Honoury research fellow Zoological Society of London, Institute of Zoology.
2007 - 2009 Postdoctoral fellow: Zoological Society of London, Institute of Zoology with Dr. Kate E. Jones on the project "Adding history to Ecology".
2006 - 2007 Head of scientific application at NewBehavior AG.
2002 - 2007 PhD thesis „ Social sexual segregation in the absence of size dimorphism: causes and consequences” Supervised by PD. Dr. G. Kerth and Prof. B. König at the university of Zürich, Zoological Institute, Animal Behaviour. Conducted as a part of the interdisciplinary graduate school: “Wissensgesellschaft und Geschlechterbeziehungen” at the University of Zürich.
2000 - 2001 MSc in Biology “Olfactory communication in the Bechstein’s bat” Supervised by PD. Dr. G. Kerth and Prof. B. König at the university of Zürich, Zoological Institute, Animal Behaviour.
1996 - 2000 Studies of Biology at the University of Zürich / Switzerland
1996 Graduation from High school
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