Institution or affiliation:
Bielefeld University Department of Animal Behaviour Morgenbreede 45, 33615 Bielefeld, Germany
I was born and raised in Bulgaria, and retain close ties to my home country including for avian research. I studied Biology at Jena University, Germany, and obtained my PhD at Bielefeld University, Germany. After spending time as a Marie-Curie-Fellow at Lund University, Sweden, I returned to Bielefeld, where I am now Assistant professor.
I have been captivated by bird behavior since in my early childhood. Ever since, I’ve been on a rather straightforward journey to understanding what makes them tick. During my school and undergraduate years, I have become increasingly focused on the interplay between birds and their diverse parasites. After a strong initiation period in the ornithological community of Bulgaria, I moved to Germany for my undergraduate and PhD studies, and continued for a postdoc stay in Sweden. Now, I am back to Germany while maintaining strong collaborations with the communities at all my stops. Both my thinking and research are strongly based on trans-European networking and collaboration.
As an undergraduate, I had the opportunity to be a helper in the local organisation team at the EOU conference in Chemnitz, 2003. This was my first big international meeting and left a lasting impression, influencing my scientific growth since. The conference in Turku convinced me that the EOU covers both the community and the topics where I feel native. Currently, my main research topics are polymorphism maintenance, population genetics, all aspects of host-vector-parasite coevolution. I consider myself a field biologist and address these topics through extensive field surveys and sampling, but also increasingly with lab experiments, genomic, and comparative approaches.
Before starting my PhD studies I, along with activists of the local environmental community, invested two years in founding and the growth of the Greens as a political party in Bulgaria. As a member of the national council of the party, I was confronted with diverse environmental malpractices and crimes. This reinforced my strong belief that scientists are never allowed to stay silent on the sidelines. Especially ornithologists, working with some of the most charismatic organisms, are predestined to be prominent voices for the preservation of unique biodiversity heritage. I believe there is more work to be done and the EOU can be a driving force in this direction.
I therefore apply to be member of the EOU council and would be delighted to contribute more to the organization and development of the European ornithological community in the future.
by Martin Muir | Nov 6, 2019