Wisdom starts with wonder

With each question I answer, new questions appear. The fate of a scientist. A beautiful fate, because it makes you humble. You realize that there is still a lot you do not know. Being a scientist, a biologist, is the most amazing job I could wish for. I get to be curious as a profession. 


Below you can find the ‘results’ of my curiosity, my publications. Inspired by the creativity of Prof Hanna Kokko, I decided to make a haiku for each one of them, trying to phrase the essence of the paper in 5-7-5 syllables.


Remember those friends

that disappeared when they got hitched?

Not barnacle geese.

Kurvers R.H.J.M., Prox L., Farine D.R., Jongeling C., Snijders L. (2019) PREPRINT: Season-specific carry-over of early-life associations in a monogamous bird species. BioRxiv


When you are hungry,

hanging out with females helps.

They will show the way.

Snijders L., Kurvers R.H.J.M, Krause S., Tump A.N., Ramnarine I.W., Krause J. (2019) Females facilitate male patch discovery in a wild fish population. Journal of Animal Ecology: published online – Preprint on BioRxiv

[PDF] [Popular Press]

It’s not what I sing

It’s how I sing it better

Just listen to me

Naguib M., Diehl J., van Oers K., Snijders L. (2019) Repeatability of signalling traits in the avian dawn chorus. Frontiers in Zoology 16: 1-11


Wildlife management

Which interventions help us

To reduce conflict?

Snijders L., Greggor A.L., Hilderink F., Doran C. (2019) Effectiveness of animal conditioning interventions in reducing human-wildlife conflict: a systematic map protocol. Environmental Evidence 8: 1-10


Are you a person?

We discuss, but we all know:

You are not a thing!

van Leeuwen E.J.C., Snijders L. (2019) A comment on Thompson “Supporting Ape Rights: Finding the Right Fit Between Science and the Law”. ASEBL Journal 14: 46-48


We want to review

what works in conservation.


Berger-Tal O., Greggor A.L., Macura B., Adams C.A., Blumenthal A., Bouskila A., Candolin U., Doran C., Fernandez-Juricic E., Gotanda K.M., Price C., Putman B., Segoli M., Snijders L., Wong B.B.M., Blumstein D.T. (2019)

Systematic maps and reviews as tools for applying behavioral ecology to management and policy. Behavioral Ecology.


Systematic evidence synthesis as part of a larger process: a response to comments on Berger-Tal et al. Behavioral Ecology.


Following your friends 

can get you to new places

with lots of good food.

Snijders L, Kurvers R.H.J.M, Krause S., Ramnarine I.W.,  Krause J. (2018) Individual- and population-level drivers of consistent foraging success across environments. Nature Ecology & Evolution 2: 1610-1618 – Preprint on BioRxiv

[PDF] [SI] [Popular press] [Popular press 2]

Do you understand

how we link to each other?

Our network matters.

Snijders L., Blumstein D.T., Stanley C.R., Franks D.W. (2017) Social Network Theory Can Help Wildlife Conservation. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 32: 567-577

[PDF] [Popular press]

Scientists track us

but sometimes it’s just too much.

Always be careful.

Snijders L., Nieuwe Weme L.E., de Goede P., Savage J.L., van Oers K., Naguib M. (2017) Context‐dependent effects of radio transmitter attachment on a small passerine. Journal of Avian Biology 48: 650–659 

[PDF] [Popular press]

I can come closer,

or sing you a pretty song.

Maybe I’ll do both.

Snijders, L., Naguib, M. (2017) Communication in animal social networks: a missing link? Advances in the Study of Behavior 49: 297–359.


Even when I change,

my dominance rank will tell,

how social I am.

Snijders, L., Naguib, M., van Oers, K. (2017) Dominance rank and boldness predict social attraction in great tits. Behavioral Ecology 28: 398-406.


I am a fit male,

can you hear it in my song?

Ladies come closer.

Snijders L, van Oers K, Naguib M. (2017) Sex-specific responses to territory intrusions in a communication network: evidence from radio-tagged great tits. Ecology and Evolution 7: 918-927.

[PDF] [Popoluar press]

You like to explore,

I can hear it in your voice.

Sing to me baby.

Naguib M., Van Rooij E.P., Snijders L., van Oers K. (2016) To sing or not to sing: seasonal changes in singing varies with personality in wild great tits. Behavioral Ecology 27: 932-938.

I hate intruders.

By singing vigorously,

I might keep them out.

Snijders, L., van Rooij, E., Henskens, M., van Oers, K., Naguib, M. (2015) Dawn song predicts behaviour during territory conflicts in personality-typed great tits. Animal Behaviour 109: 45-52.


Should I stay or go?

When I watch the way you move,

it says everything.

Clément, R., Wolf, M., Snijders, L., Krause, J., Kurvers, R.H.J.M. (2015) Information transmission via movement behaviour improves decision accuracy in human groups. Animal Behaviour 105: 85-93.

We sing during dawn,

different from our neighbors.

Are we out of tune?

Snijders, L., van Rooij, E.P., van der Eijk, J., de Goede, P., van Oers, K., Naguib, M. (2015) Song trait similarity in great tits varies with social structure. Plos One 10: e0116881.

[PDF] [Popular press]

We like our own space,

but connect to others too.

Bold birds more than shy.

Snijders, L., van Rooij, E. P., Burt, J., Hinde, C. A., van Oers, K., Naguib, M. (2014) Social networking in territorial great tits: slow explorers have the least central social network positions. Animal Behaviour 98: 95-102.

[PDF] [Popular press]

We care for our young,

until spring migration comes.

Enough is enough!

Jonker, R. M., Kuiper, M. W., Snijders, L., Van Wieren, S. E., Ydenberg, R. C., & Prins, H. H. (2011) Divergence in timing of parental care and migration in barnacle geese. Behavioral Ecology 22: 326-331.

If you can’t access the full text of the article please check my ResearchGate profile page.

Online research profiles


Summary of research interest and experience

The social and spatial dynamics of animal populations are my main research interests. During my first MSc thesis at Wageningen University & Research (Netherlands), I investigated parental care differences between migrating and non-migrating barnacle geese and during my second MSc thesis at The Simon Fraser University (Canada), I studied if anthropogenic structures and activities affect the spatial distribution of dabbling ducks in agricultural fields. I have a special interest in how individuals weigh the risk and benefits of particular situations, especially social situations. As part of my PhD at Wageningen University and the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), I used a novel tracking system and a self-designed video-playback experiment to study the effects of personality on proximity and communication networks in great tits.
I additionally collaborated with the lysanne5Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB-Berlin), examining how social information transmission improves the decision accuracy in human groups and discovery of novel food items in wild Trinidadian guppies. Subsequently, I worked on a one-year IGB-Postdoc fellowship, studying social network dynamics in guppies. During this time I also became part of an international group of behavioural ecologists, passionate to contribute their knowledge and skills to wildlife conservation. Together we conduct systematic reviews on the effectiveness of animal behaviour-based conservation interventions and examine the relevance of animal behaviour for conservation in general. At the moment I am a guest-researcher at the IGB-Berlin and on a two-year Alexander von Humboldt Postdoc Fellowship with the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW-Berlin). At the IZW I study the role of personality and sociality in the migration ecology of Noctule bats.

Employment history

  • 2018-2020 – Alexander von Humboldt Postdoc Fellow Evolutionary Ecology Department; Leibniz IZW-Berlin & Guest Researcher at Leibniz IGB-Berlin.
  • 2017-2018 – IGB Postdoc Fellow Biology and Ecology of Fishes Department; Leibniz IGB-Berlin
  • 2016-2017  – Post-doc Behavioural Ecology Group; Animal Sciences Department; Wageningen University & Guest Researcher Animal Ecology Department; Netherlands Institute of Ecology.
  • 2012-2016 – PhD student Behavioural Ecology Group; Animal Sciences Department; Wageningen University & Guest Researcher Animal Ecology Department; Netherlands Institute for Ecology.
  • 2009-2010 – Student assistant, Environmental Systems Analyses Group; Wageningen University.


  • 2012-2016 – PhD Degree with distinction (cum laude): awarded to the top 3%
  • 2009-2011 – Master Biology with distinction (cum laude): awarded when all courses are graded with an 8 or higher on average and the MSc Thesis graded with a 9, Wageningen University
  • 2005-2009 – Bachelor Biology, Utrecht University (2007: Minor Management and Organization)
  • 1999-2005 – Pre-University Education (Gymnasium)

PhD Thesis

coverDefence date: 29-04-2016; cum laude: awarded to the top 3%
Supervisors: Prof. Marc Naguib (promotor) and Dr Kees van Oers (co-promotor)

Wageningen University & Research, PhD Thesis PDFDefence video

MSc Theses

  • 2010-2011 – Differences in anti-predator behaviour between day and night for dabbling ducks in the Fraser Delta B.C. Canada. Centre for Wildlife Ecology of Simon Frasier University, Canada.
  • 2009 – Behavioural features of a migratory Barnacle goose population (Branta leucopsis). Resource Ecology Group, Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands.

Awards and fellowships

  • NWO-Veni 2019
  • Klaus Tschira Boost Fund (GSO) 2019
  • Humboldt Postdoc Fellowship 2017
  • IGB Postdoc Fellowship 2017
  • WIAS Postdoc Fellowship 2016
  • ISBE Travel Award 2016
  • Cum laude (top 3%) Wageningen University PhD Thesis 2016
  • Wageningen University Call for Innovation 2016 (co-applicant)
  • WIAS Graduate School PhD fellowship 2014
  • ASAB Travel Grant 2014
  • Runner up poster prize Meeting of the Ethologische Gesellschaft in Bielefeld 2013
  • For my MSc Thesis, I was granted The Alfred Russel Wallace Award in Resource Ecology: this award is bestowed once per year for the best Master’s thesis 2009

Other academic activities                                                           

  • Co-organiser of the Symposium: Human-Wildlife Interactions: Coming from Both Sides – Wildlife Research and Conservation (Berlin, 2019)
  • Instructor Academic Writing Workshops, Leibniz-IZW (2018-2019).
  • Instructor of Introduction to Animal Behaviour, Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on (2016)
  • Practical instructor of the NVG Animal Personality PhD Masterclass (Leiden, 2015)
  • Course instructor: Ecology of animal life histories (2012, 2014), Behavioural ecology (2012, 2013, 2015), Animal behaviour (2015, 2016), Life history evolution (2016)
  • Coordinator innovation of the Animal Behaviour course (2016)
  • Supervision of > 10 MSc thesis students. Wageningen University, Humboldt University Berlin, Free University Berlin. (2012 – present)
  • Organising member of the Wageningen Evolution and Ecology Seminars (; I have hosted seminars and masterclasses for internationally renowned scientists (2012-2016)
  • Manuscript reviewer for Advances in the Study of Behavior, Animal Behaviour, Journal of Avian Biology, Behavioral Ecology, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Behaviour, Ethology, Journal of Ornithology, Oikos, Methods in Ecology & Evolution, Peerage of Science and more. Visit my Publons Dashboard for my most recent reviewing activities.

International symposia, workshops and conferences

  • Wildlife Research & Conservation; Invited oral presentation – Berlin, Germany (2019)
  • Swedish Oikos Meeting; Invited plenary talk – Uppsala, Sweden (2019)
  • Goettinger Freilandtage – Social Complexity; oral presentation – Goettingen, Germany (2017)
  • Behaviour, Physiology and Genetics of Wildlife; oral presentation – Berlin, Germany (2015)
  • ISBE; 2 oral presentations – New York, USA & Exeter, UK (2014, 2016)
  • Behaviour; 3 oral presentations – New castle, UK; Cairns, Australia; Estoril, Portugal (2013, 2015, 2017)
  • Meeting of the Ethologische Gesellschaft; poster presentation and oral presentation – Bielefeld & Hamburg, Germany (2013, 2015)
  • ASAB Winter meeting; poster presentation – London, UK (2013, 2014)

International activities     

  • Postdoc research – Berlin (2017-2019): > 2 years
  • Collection of field data – Trinidad (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019): 4 x 3 weeks
  • Visiting scientist – University of Wyoming, Wyoming, USA (2015): 5 weeks
  • Laboratory visits – University of Colorado, USA (2015); IZW, Germany (2015)
  • Visiting scientist – IGB, Berlin, Germany (2012-2016): 3 months cumulative
  • Master thesis – Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada (2010-2011): 6 months
  • Coordinator – Nature Education Project, Palawan, Philippines (2010): 3 months
  • Collection of field data – Saaremaa, Estonia (2009): 2 weeks



Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research