Welcome to the personal scientific website of Prof. Theo C. M. Bakker, University of Bonn, Germany. It gives an overview of my research and publications, emphasizing my work on sticklebacks during the past 35 years.

Perceived predation risk during development may affect mate choice patterns.
expeimental set-up for testing mate choice
Meuthen et al 2019 Fig1a.jpg
Cichlids reared in isolation performed better in a maze than group fish

Congratulations to Denis Meuthen on his latest paper in Behaviour. Cichlid fish that grew up in the presence of alarm cues differed from control fish in their contest behaviour. The effects were especially pronounced in alarm cue-exposed fish that lost a contest: they generally displayed lower aggression than winners but also lower aggression than losers of the control treatment.

Congrats to Denis Meuthen for another interesting paper on phenotypic plasticity that just appeared in Animal Behaviour "High perceived predation risk during development affects mutual mate choice in a cichlid fish."

• High-risk males but not females assess potential mates for a shorter time.

• High-risk fish of both sexes are unselective regarding their mate.

• In both sexes, control fish show disassortative preferences for high-risk mates.

Congratulations to Saskia Hesse. The last chapter of her PhD-dissertation just came out in Behavioural Pocesses


She found marked differences in performance contingent upon social rearing-environment: isolation fish ran successful trials (i.e. locating the food reward) significantly more often than group fish and were faster during trials, also in a reversed maze. 

Publication in 
Behavioural Processes
on phenotypic plasticity in


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