Peter Schausberger

Univ.-Doz. Dr. 

until February 2019: Guest Professor University of Tsukuba, Japan
Funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF)

Phone: +43-1-4277-54430
Mail: peter.schausberger[at]univie.ac.at

Research interests


I am a multi- and trans-disciplinarily working zoologist with a focus on behavioral ecology-related topics and multi-trophic interactions. My current research comprises and links elements of animal behavior, ecology, evolution and biological control. Plant-inhabiting mites such as herbivorous spider mites (Tetranychidae) and eriophyoid mites (Eriophyidae), and predatory mites of the family Phytoseiidae are the main organisms I work with. These mites are, due to their ubiquity, small size and ease of rearing, widely used model animals in the above-mentioned disciplines. Predatory mites are key players in natural and biological control of herbivorous mites and insects in natural as well as agricultural ecosystems such as orchards, vineyards and greenhouse crops, making them perfectly suited animals for research on predator-prey interactions, multi-trophic interactions and pest management. 

I have a keen interest in fundamental processes in behavioral ecology (learning, species and kin recognition, cannibalism, anti-predation, sexual selection, linkage between behavioral and life history traits) and examine direct and indirect interactions in multi-trophic systems (or subsystems thereof) consisting of predatory mites, herbivorous mites and insects, plants and micro-organisms. My investigations take place in the laboratory, walk-in environmental and greenhouse chambers, and the open field. The organizational and spatial levels looked at range from individuals and their interactions (in small-scale artificial cages, on detached leaves and leaf discs), to populations (on detached leaves and whole plants) and communities (on whole plants and plant groups). I primarily conduct manipulative experiments and use methodological procedures and tools such as direct observations, analyses of videotaped behaviors (EthoVision XT), olfactometer tests, and molecular/chemical analys

Curriculum vitae


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