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About us Practical matters How to find us prof. dr. ir. C. (Christiaan) Both

prof. dr. ir. C. (Christiaan) Both

Professor of Animal Ecology

Personal information


Born in 1969 in The Netherlands, I grew up with a naturalist father, who taught me at an early age the birds in our neighbourhood. From 1988-1993 I studied Biology at the universities of Wageningen, Groningen and Oxford, focusing on avian reproductive ecology. I finished my PhD at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology in 1998 on density dependence and individual optimisation of avian reproductive rates. Since then I have worked as post-doctoral researcher at the universities of Bangor (UK), Groningen, California (Santa Cruz) and again at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology. Since 2004 I joined the Animal Ecology Group of Groningen University again, and in 2007 I obtained a personal research fellowship from the Dutch research council (NWO).



Both, C., Bijlsma, R.G. & Ouwehand, J. (2016) Repeatability in spring arrival dates in Pied Flycatchers varies among years and sexes. Ardea, In press.

Nicolaus, M., Tinbergen, J.M., Ubels, R., Both, C. & Dingemanse, N.J. (2016) Density fluctuations represent a key process maintaining personality variation in a wild passerine bird. Ecology Letters: In press.

Ouwehand, J., Ahola, M. P., Ausems, A. N. M. A., Bridge, E. S., Burgess, M. D., Hahn, S., Hewson, C. M., Klaassen, R. H. G., Laaksonen, T., Lampe, H. M., Velmala, W., & Both, C. (2015) Light-level geolocators reveal migratory connectivity in European populations of pied flycatchers Ficedula hypoleuca. J. Avian. Biol.In Press,


Recent publications


Kentie, R., Both, C., Hooijmeijer, J. C. E. W., & Piersma, T. (2015) Management of modern agricultural landscapes increases nest predation rates in Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa. Ibis 157, 

Laaksonen, T., Sirkiä, P. M., Calhim, S., Adamik, P., Artemyev, A. A., Belskii, E., Both, C., Burês, S., Burgess, M. D., Doligez, B., Forsman, J. T., Grinkov, V. G., Hoffmann, D., Ivankina, E. V., Král, M., Lampe, H. M., Moreno, J., Nord, A., Potti, J., Ravussin, P.-A., & Sokolov L.V. (2015) Character displacement and gradual change in plumage trait complex of the pied and collared flycatcher. Journal of Evolutionary Biology,

Tonra, C. M., Both, C., & Marra, P. P. (2015) Incorporating site and year-specific deuterium ratios (d2H) from precipitation into geographic assignments of a migratory bird. J. Avian. Biol. 45

Visser, M. E., Gienapp, P., Husby, A., Morrisey, M., de la Hera, I., Pulido, F., & Both, C. (2015) Effects of spring temperatures on the strength of selection on timing of reproduction in a long-distance migratory bird. Plos Biology 13: e1002120 doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1002120


Kentie, R, Both, C., Hooijmeijer, J.C.E.W. & Piersma, T. (2014) Age-dependent dispersal and habitat choice in black-tailed godwits Limosa limosa limosa across a mosaic of traditional and modern grassland habitats. Journal of Avian Biology 45: 396-405.

Samplonius, J. & Both, C. (2014) A case of a three species mixed brood after two interspecific nest takeovers. Ardea , 102:105-107

Winkler, D.W., Jørgensen, C., Both, C., Houston, A.I., McNamara, J.M., Levey, D.J.,Partecke, J., Fudickar, A., Kacelnik, A., Roshier., D and Piersma, T. (2014) Cues, strategies, and outcomes: how migrating vertebrates track environmental change. Movement Ecology 2:10


Burger, C., Nord, A., Nilsson, J. A., Gilot-Fromont, E., & Both, C. (2013) Can latitudinal dispersal of locally maladapted individuals speed up adaptation to climate change? Plos One,8, e83176-

Kuhn, K., Schwenk, K., Both, C., Canal, D., Johansson, U. S., van der Mije, S., Toepfer, T., & Paeckert, M. (2013) Differentiation in neutral genes and a candidate gene in the pied flycatcher: using biological archives to track global climate change. Ecology and Evolution,3, 4799-4814.

Michler, S. P. M., Nicolaus, M., van der Velde, M., Radersma, R., Ubels, R., Both, C., Komdeur, J., & Tinbergen, J. M. (2013) Local offspring density and sex ratio affect sex allocation in the great tit. Behavioral Ecology,24, 169-181.


Both, C. (2012) Implications of climate change for habitat use by birds. Birds and habitat: relationships in a changing landscape. (ed. R. A. Fuller), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. PDF

Both, C., van der Jeugd, H., & Robinson, R. A. (2012) Long-distance dispersal in migratory pied flycatchers is relatively common between the UK and The Netherlands. Journal of Avian Biology, 43, 193-197. PDF. Picture male colourmorphs.

Burger, C., Belskii, E., Eeva, T., Laaksonen, T., Magi, M., Mand, R., Qvarnstrom, A., Slagsvold, T., Veen, T., Visser, M. E., Wiebe, K. L., Wiley, C., Wright, J., & Both, C. (2012) Climate change, breeding date and nestling diet: how temperature differentially affects seasonal changes in pied flycatcher diet depending on habitat variation. Journal of Animal Ecology, 81, 926-936.   PDF

Hegemann, A., Matson, K. D., Both, C., & Tieleman, B. I. (2012) Immune function in a free-living bird varies over the annual cycle, but seasonal patterns differ between years. Oecologia, In Press. PDF

Lehtonen, P. K., Laaksonen, T., Artemyev, A. A., Belskii, E., Berg, P. R., Both, C., Buggiotti, L., Bures, S., Burgess, M. D., Bushuev, A. V., Krams, I., Moreno, J., Magi, M., Nord, A., Potti, J., Ravussin, P.-A., Sirkiä, P. M., Saetre, G. P., Winkel, W., & Primmer, C. R. (2012) Candidate genes for colour and vision exhibit signals of selection across the pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) breeding range. Heredity, 108, 431-440. PDF

Nicolaus, M., Michler, S. P. M., Jalvingh, K. M., Ubels, R., van der Velde, M., Komdeur, J., Both, C., & Tinbergen, J. M. (2012a) Social environment affects juvenile dispersal in great tits (Parus major). Journal of Animal Ecology, 81, 827-837. PDF

Nicolaus, M., Michler, S. P. M., Ubels, R., van der Velde, M., Bouwman, K., Both, C., & Tinbergen, J. M. (2012b) Local sex ratio affects the cost of reproduction. Journal of Animal Ecology, 81, 564-572. PDF

Nicolaus, M., Tinbergen, J. M., Bouwman, K. M., Michler, S. P. M., Ubels, R., Both, C., Kempenaers, B., & Dingemanse, N. J. (2012) Experimental evidence for adaptive personalities in a wild passerine bird. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences,279, 4885-4892.

Schroeder, J., Piersma, T., Groen, N. M., Hooijmeijer, J. C. E. W., Kentie, R., Lourenco, P. M., Schekkerman, H., & Both, C. (2012) Reproductive timing and investment in relation to spring warming and advancing agricultural schedules. Journal of Ornithology, 153327-336.



Burger, C. & Both, C. 2011. Translocation as a novel approach to study climate change related long distance dispersal. PLoS One, 6(3): e18143. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0018143. PDF

Knudsen, E., Linden, A., Both, C., Jonzen, N., Pulido, F., Saino, N., Sutherland, W. J., Bach, L., Coppack, T., Ergon, T., Gienapp, P., Gill, J. A., Gordo, O., Hedenstrom, A., Lehikoinen, A., Marra, P. P., Moller, A. P., Nilsson, A. L. K., Peron, G., Ranta, E., Rubolini, D., Sparks, T. H., Spina, F., Studds, C. E., Saether, S. A., Tryjanowksi, P., & Stenseth, N. C. 2011. Challenging claims in the study of migratory birds and climate change. Biological Reviews,   86, 928–946 Link.

Michler, S. P. M., Nicolaus, M., Ubels, R., van der Velde, M., Both, C., Tinbergen, J. M., & Komdeur, J. (2011a) Do sex-specific densities affect local survival of free-ranging great tits? Behavioral Ecology, 22, 869-879 PDF.

Michler, S. P. M., Nicolaus, M., Ubels, R., van der Velde, M., Komdeur, J., Both, C., & Tinbergen, J. M. (2011b) Sex-specific effects of the local social environment on juvenile post-fledging dispersal in great tits. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 65, 1975-1986 PDF.



Both, C. 2010. Why migrants fail to adapt to climate change: phenotypic plasticity masked by environmental constraints. Current Biology 20, 243-248. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2009.11.074 PDF

Both, C. 2010. Food availability, mistiming and climatic change. In Effects of Climate Change on Birds (eds. A. P. Møller, W. Fiedler & P. Berthold). Oxford Univ Press  PDF Link

Both, C., van Turnhout, C. A. M., Bijlsma, R. G., Siepel, H., Van Strien, A. J. & Foppen, R. P. B. 2010. Avian population consequences of climate change are most severe for long-distance migrants in seasonal habitats. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 277, 1259-1266 PDF

Michler, S. P. M., Bleeker, M., van der Velde, M., Both, C., Komdeur, J., & Tinbergen, J. M. (2010) Parental provisioning in relation to offspring sex and sex ratio in the great tit (Parus major). Behaviour, 147, 1355-1378 PDF.

Schroeder, J., Kentie, R., van der Velde, M., Hooijmeijer, J., Both, C., Haddrath, O., Baker, A. J. & Piersma, T. 2010. Linking intronic polymorphism on the CHD1-Z gene with fitness correlates in black-tailed godwits. Ibis  152, 368-377 PDF.   



Both, C., van Asch, M., Bijlsma, R. G., van den Burg, A. B. & Visser, M. E. 2009. Climate change and unequal phenological changes across four trophic levels: constraints or adaptations. J. Anim. Ecol. 78, 73-83. PDF

Brouwer, L., Tinbergen, J. M., Both, C., Bristol, R., Richardson, D. S. & Komdeur, J. 2009. Experimental evidence for density-dependent reproduction in a cooperatively breeding passerine. Ecology 90, 729-741. PDF

Lehtonen, P. K., Laaksonen, T., Artemyev, A. A., Belskii, E., Both, C., Bures, S., Bushuev, A. V., Krams, I., Moreno, J., Magi, M., Nord, A., Potti, J., Ravussin, P.-A., Sirkiä, P. M., Saetre, G. P., & Primmer, C. R. (2009) Geographic patterns of genetic differentiation and plumage colour variation are different in the pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca). Mol. Ecol. 18 , 4463–4476 .

Nicolaus, M., Both, C., Ubels, R., Edelaar, P. & Tinbergen, J. M. 2009. No experimental evidence for local competition in the nestling phase as a driving force for density-dependent avian clutch size. J. Anim. Ecol. 78, 828-838. PDF

Nicolaus, M., Michler, S. P. M., Ubels, R., van der Velde, M., Komdeur, J., Both, C. & Tinbergen, J. M. 2009. Sex-specific effects of altered competition on nestling growth and survival: an experimental manipulation of brood size and sex ratio. J. Anim. Ecol. 78, 414-426. PDF

Schroeder, J., Lourenco, P. M., Hooijmeijer, J. C. E. W., Both, C. & Piersma, T. 2009. A possible case of contemporary selection leading to a decrease in sexual plumage dimorphism in a grassland-breeding shorebird. Behav. Ecol. 20, 797-807. PDF

Visser, M. E., Perdeck, A. C., van Balen, J. H. & Both, C. 2009. Climate change leads to decreasing bird migration distances. Glob. Change Biol. 15, 1859-1865. PDF



Saether, B. E., Engen, S., Grotan, V., Bregnballe, T., Both, C., Tryjanowski, P., Leivits, A., Wright, J., Moller, A. P., Visser, M. E. & Winkel, W. 2008. Forms of density regulation and (quasi-) stationary distributions of population sizes in birds. Oikos 117, 1197-1208. PDF

Schroeder, J., Lourenco, P. M., van der Velde, M., Hooijmeijer, J. C. E. W., Both, C. & Piersma, T. 2008. Sexual dimorphism in plumage and size in Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa limosa. Ardea 96, 25-37.

Van Den Brink, V., Schroeder, J., Both, C., Lourenco, P. M., Hooijmeijer, J. C. E. W. & Piersma, T. 2008. Space use by Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa limosa during settlement at a previous or a new nest location. Bird Study 55, 188-193.



Both, C. 2007. Comment on " Rapid Advance of Spring Arrival Dates in Long-Distance Migratory Birds " . Science 315, 598b. PDF

Both, C. & te Marvelde, L. 2007. Climate change and timing of avian breeding and migration throughout Europe. Climate Research 35, 93-105. PDF



Both, C., Bouwhuis, S., Lessells, C. M. & Visser, M. E. 2006. Climate change and population declines in a long distance migratory bird. Nature 441, 81-83. PDF

Both, C., Sanz, J. J., Artemyev, A. A., Blaauw, B., Cowie, R. J., Dekhuijzen, A. J., Enemar, A., Järvinen, A., Nyholm, N. E. I., Potti, J., Ravussin, P.-A., Silverin, B., Slater, F. M., Sokolov, L. V., Winkel, W., Wright, J. & Zang, H. 2006. Pied flycatchers travelling from Africa to breed in Europe: differential effects of winter and migration conditions on breeding date. Ardea 94, 511-525. PDF

Schroeder, J., Hooijmeijer, J., Both, C. & Piersma, T. 2006. Individual characteristics, timing and environmental factors influencing reproductive success in Black-tailed Godwits. Journal of Ornithology 147, 248-249.

Sinervo, B., Calsbeek, R., Comendant, T., Both, C., Adamopoulou, C. & Clobert, J. 2006. Genetic and maternal determinants of effective dispersal: The effect of sire genotype and size at birth in side-blotched lizards. Am. Nat. 168, 88-99.



ESF-travel grant (1998) used to visit University of Wales

NATO-science fellowship (1998) used to visit Univ California

N.W.O. 3-year post-doc grant (2001) (with M.E. Visser).

N.W.O. PhD-studentship (2002) (with J. Komdeur & J.M. Tinbergen).

N.W.O. 3-year post-doc grant (2004) (with N.J. Dingemanse)

Research grant Prins Bernhard Fund (2005)

N.W.O. VIDI personal research fellowship  (2006), starting 1 January 2007

Ministery of Agriculture (2007): Field research Black-tailed Godwits



Ardea, International journal of Ornithology, : 2000-; Journal of Animal Ecology: 2006-



TIME Magazine, National Geographic, Scientific American, New Scientist, Al Gore Movie, numerous international and national newspapers and radio interviews.

Last modified:25 June 2022 2.39 p.m.