Dr. Lara Keicher

IMPRS Alumni
International Fieldwork Coordinator
Department for the Ecology of Animal Societies
+49 7732 1501-913
+49 174 6793978

Main Focus

Energetics of small mammals

I am particularly interested in the physiology and energy saving mechanisms of small mammals. Fluctuations in resources and environmental changes create challenges in which small mammals must adjust their behavior and physiological processes according to their demands during certain periods of their annual cycle. 

In my PhD, I focused on the daily and yearly energetics of the insectivorous common noctule bat (Nyctalus noctula) in the region of Lake Constance (Germany) and in Białowieża (Poland). The sexes have temporally shifted costs of reproduction, and the females perform long-distance migration while males are sedentary. I measure energetic expenditures and heart rate in the lab and use these results to quantify energetic strategies of free-ranging animals during different seasons.

I'm currently working as International Fieldwork Coordinator in the Department for the Ecology of Animal Societies. 

Curriculum Vitae

  • October 2011 - August 2014 Bachelor Student in Biological Sciences at the University of Constance, Bachelor Thesis: “Sex-based differences in Dehnel’s Phenomenon”
  • October 2014 - February 2017 Master Student in Biological Sciences with focus on Ecology and Evolution at the University of Constance, Master Thesis: “Energetics of the common shrew”
  • September - October 2015: Field assistant in the Mammal Research Institute in Białowieża (Poland) under supervision of Karol Zub (“Energetics of Mustela nivalis”)
  • March 2017 - September 2017: Animal caretaker and vet assistance at the MPIO Radolfzell
  • October 2017 - August 2018: Employee in MaxCine (Outreach Center of the MPIO Radolfzell)
  • September 2018: Received a PhD Stipend from the "Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes"
  • September 2018 - September 2023: PhD candidate at the MPIAB under supervision of Dina Dechmann, Dissertation: “The energetic year of the common noctule, Nyctalus noctula - Investigating sex-differences in strategies to deal with seasonally changing resource demands in European bats”
  • September 2023- December 2023: Post-Doc at MPIAB
  • From January 2024: International Fieldwork Coordinator (Department for the Ecology of Animal Societies)
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