Dr. PhD
Petra Sumasgutner

associate scientist

Research projects at the Natural History Museum Vienna


Viennese kestrel project (link: https://www.facebook.com/TurmfalkenprojektWien):

Initiated in 2010 as a collaborative project between the University of Vienna and the Natural History Museum Vienna (co-Is: Dr Petra Sumasgutner and PD Dr Anita Gamauf (†)) to understand fitness consequences associated with potential trade-offs emerging from the exposure to urban stressors, dietary shifts or changes in parasite assemblages (including avian malaria).

Current students:

Sarah Plank
“Spatial distribution of Eurasian Kestrels (Falco tinnunculus) breeding sites in Vienna [internship for University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (Universität für Bodenkultur Wien)]

Katharina Huchler
“Effects of annual variation in weather conditions on breeding phenology of urban Eurasian Kestrels (Falco tinnunculus)”, since 2018, University of Vienna [supervisors: Dr Petra Sumasgutner & Assoc Prof Christian Schulze]

Graduated students:

Laura Wemer
MSc 2019 – “Kestrels as city slickers? Unravelling physiological mechanisms of how avian top predators cope with urban life”, University of Vienna [supervisor: Dr Petra Sumasgutner]

Marius Adriøn
MSc 2016 – “Parasites, body condition, immune competence and genetic diversity of Common Kestrels (Falco tinnunculus) in Vienna”, University of Vienna [supervisors: Dr Petra Sumasgutner & PD Dr Anita Gamauf (†)] – published in PlosOne Anna Kreiderits MSc 2015 – “The influence of alternative diet composition in an urban habitat on the breeding success of Eurasian Kestrels (Falco tinnunculus) in Vienna”, University of Vienna [supervisors: Dr Petra Sumasgutner & PD Dr Anita Gamauf (†)] – published in Bird Study

Population genetics of Golden Eagles in Central Asia

To assess the genetic diversity of the potentially distinct steppe population (represented through the subspecies Aquila chrysaetos daphanea, or Central Asian Golden Eagle locally called ‘Berkut’) which might be distinct due to the proposed existence of several glacial refugia in the region during the last Ice Age.

Collaborators: PD Dr Elisabeth Haring, PD Dr Frank Zachos, Dr Shane McPherson (University of KwaZUlu Natal), Dr Megan Murgatroyd (HawkWatch International), Prof Dr Gombobaatar Sundev (National University of Mongolia)

Current Students:

Carina Nebel (PhD candidate, University of Cape Town)

since 10/2019: University Assistant (post doc) Department of Cognitive Biology and Behavioural Biology at the Konrad Lorenz Research Station Grünau/Almtal, University of Vienna, Austria

2019: L’Oréal UNESCO For Women in Science post-doctoral fellowship Natural History Museum of Vienna, Austria (based at University of Cape Town, South Africa)

2017-2018: Claude Leon post-doctoral fellowship FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology (FIAO) and Centre for Statistics in Ecology, Environment and Conservation (SEEC), University of Cape Town 2016: Finnish Cultural Foundation post-doctoral fellowship Turku University, Finland

2014-2015: Centre of Excellence post-doctoral fellowship FIAO, University of Cape Town

December 2014: PhD in Zoology, University of Vienna [advisory team: Prof Harald Krenn (University of Vienna), PD Dr Anita Gamauf (Natural History Museum), Prof Erkki Korpimäki (Turku University]

2011-2014: Lecturer in Ecology, Zoology, Cell Biology and Genetics, University College of Teacher Education Vienna (Pädagogische Hochschule Wien)

2009-2011: World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), trainer in environmental education in Neusiedler See / Seewinkel National Park, Austria

April 2009: Diploma degree in Evolutionary Biology [Supervisors: Prof Harald Krenn (University of Vienna), DI Thomas Zuna-Kratky (Auring Hohenau)]

2008-2010: Tutor in Practical Lab Courses at University of Vienna

2007-2011: Biology teacher Maturaschule Dr Rampitsch Vienna

2004-2009: Biology and Environmental Studies and French (Secondary School Teacher), University of Vienna

Peer-reviewed publications:

Nebel C, Harl J, Pajot AP, Weissenböck H, Amar A, Sumasgutner P (in press): High prevalence and genetic diversity of Haemoproteus columbae (Haemosporida: Haemoproteidae) in an urban population of feral pigeons Columba livia in Cape Town, South Africa. Springer Parasitology Research

Sumasgutner P, Koeslag A, Amar A (2019): Senescence in the city: exploring ageing patterns of a long‐lived raptor across an urban gradient. Journal of Avian Biology doi: 10.1111/jav.02247

Sumasgutner P, Terraube J, Villers A, Chakarov N, Coulon A, Kruckenhauser L, Korpimäki E (2019): Agricultural intensification and cyclic fluctuations of main prey trigger maladaptive habitat selection of a raptor in boreal landscapes. Frontiers in Zoology doi: 10.1186/s12983-019-0331-z

Nebel C, Sumasgutner P, Pajot A, Amar A (2019): Reaction time to an approaching avian predator varies according to light levels and background but is independent of predator morph. Royal Society Open Science doi: 10.1098/rsos.190677

Stofberg M, Cunningham S, Sumasgutner P, Amar A (2019): Juggling a junk food diet: Foraging strategies in city-dwelling birds under fluctuating conditions. Urban Ecosystems doi: 10.1007/s11252-019-00885-3

Reynolds SJ, Ibáñez-Álamo JD, Sumasgutner P, Mainwaring MC (2019): Urbanisation and nest building in birds: A review of threats and opportunities. Journal of Ornithology doi: 10.1007/s10336-019-01657-8

Sumasgutner P, Adriøn M, Gamauf A (2018): Carotenoid colouration and health status of urban kestrels (Falco tinnunculus). PlosOne doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0191956

Sumasgutner P, Rose S, Koeslag A, Amar A (2018): Exploring the influence of urbanization on morph distribution and morph-specific breeding performance in a polymorphic African raptor. Journal of Raptor Research 52: 19–30

Rose S*, Sumasgutner P*, Koeslag A, Amar A (2017). Does seasonal decline in breeding performance differ for an African raptor across an urbanisation gradient? Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution doi: 10.3389/fevo.2017.00047 *contributed equally to the manuscript (shared first authorship)

Tate G, Sumasgutner P, Koeslag A, Amar A (2017): Pair complementarity influences reproductive output in the polymorphic black sparrowhawk (Accipiter melanoleucus). Journal of Avian Biology 48: 387–398

Suri J, Sumasgutner P, Hellard E, Koeslag A, Amar A (2017): Stability in prey abundance may buffer Black Sparrowhawks from potential negative health impacts of urbanisation. Ibis 159: 38–54

Sumasgutner P, Tate GJ, Koeslag A, Amar A (2016): Family morph matters: factors determining survival and recruitment in a long-lived polymorphic raptor. Journal of Animal Ecology 85: 1043–1055

Sumasgutner P, Millán J, Curtis O, Koelsag A, Amar A (2016): Is multiple nest building an adequate strategy to cope with inter-species nest usurpation? BMC Evolutionary Biology 16: 97

Sumasgutner P, Tate G, Koeslag A, Amar A (2016). Seasonal home ranges of black sparrowhawks (Accipiter melanoleucus) breeding in an urban environment. Bird Study 63: 430–435

Kreiderits A, Gamauf A, Krenn HW, Sumasgutner P (2016): Investigating the influence of local weather conditions and alternative prey composition on the breeding performance of urban Eurasian kestrels (Falco tinnunculus). Bird Study 63: 369–379

Mitter G, Sumasgutner P, Gamauf A (2015): Niche-partitioning in three Apodemus species in an urban environment. Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, B 117: 37–46

Sumasgutner P, Vasko V, Varjonen R, Korpimäki E (2014): Public information revealed by prey remains in nest-sites is more important than
ectoparasite avoidance in the settlement decisions of Eurasian kestrels (Falco tinnunculus). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 68: 2023–2034

Sumasgutner P, Schulze CH, Krenn HW, Gamauf A (2014): Conservation related conflicts in the nest-site selection of the Eurasian Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) and the distribution of its avian prey. Landscape and Urban Planning 127: 94–103

Sumasgutner P, Nemeth E, Tebb G, Krenn HW, Gamauf A (2014): Hard times in the city - attractive nest sites but insufficient food supply lead to low reproduction rates in a bird of prey. Frontiers in Zoology 11: 48

Sumasgutner P, Rubin I, Gamauf A (2014): Collecting blood samples in Eurasian Kestrels (Falco tinnunculus) (Aves: Falconidae) via blood‐sucking bugs (Insecta: Hemiptera: Reduviidae) and their use in genetics and leucocyte profiles. Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, B 116: 247–257

Book chapters:

Reynolds C, Byrne M, Chamberlain D, Howes CG, Seymour C, Sumasgutner P, Taylor P, Twine W (in press): Urban Green Infrastructure & Biodiversity: patterns & processes – Animal Diversity. In: Shackleton C, Cilliers S, Davoren E, du Toit M (eds) Urban Ecology in the Global South

Amar A, Buji R, Suri J, Sumasgutner P, Virani MZ (2018): Conservation and ecology of African raptors. In: Sarasola JH, Grande JM, Negro JJ (eds), Birds of Prey: Springer. pp 419–455.

Sumasgutner P, Gamauf A, Krenn HW (2017): Urbane Jäger im Aufwind? Habitatnutzung, Brutbiologie und Nahrungsökologie des Turmfalken (Falco tinnunculus) in Wien. Populationsökologie Greifvögel- und Eulenarten, Halle/Saale, Band 7: 197–212.

Sumasgutner P, Thoby A (2011): Das Greifvogel- und Schwarzstorchvorkommen der March-Auen - Bestandsveränderungen, Habitatwahl und Schutzstrategien. In: Steiner E, Dietrich C (eds) Zu neuen Ufern: Hydrodynamik und Biodiversität in den March-Thaya-Auen. Amt der Niederösterreichischen Landesregierung, Abt. Kultur und Wissenschaft, St. Pölten, Band 22: 99–128.

Urban raptor ecology: coordination of long-term monitoring projects on Eurasian Kestrels and Black Sparrowhawks (link: http://www.fitzpatrick.uct.ac.za/fitz/research/programmes/maintaining_global/urban_raptors), additional collaboration with Dr Shane McPherson in Crowned Eagle Research Project (University of KwaZulu Natal; link: https://www.facebook.com/CrownedEagleResearch/) and Dr Andrew Jenkins in Cape Peninsula Peregrine Falcon Project

Maintenance of color polymorphism (link: http://www.fitzpatrick.uct.ac.za/fitz/research/programmes/understanding/colour_polymorphism): within the Black Sparrowhawk Research Project (link: https://www.facebook.com/BlackSparrowhawkProject/) at the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town; focus on the mechanisms by which several plumage morphs can maintain within the same population

Anthropogenic induced environmental change (link: http://www.fitzpatrick.uct.ac.za/fitz/research/programmes/mainting_global/global_change_urban_birds): mechanistic approaches to understand the potential vulnerability of different bird species to global change, which includes urbanization and climate change; behavioral and ecophysiological responses, fitness consequences of exposure to urban stressors, dietary shifts or changes in parasite assemblages; collaboration with Lund University Sweden, and The Hot Birds Research Project (https://hbresearchproject.wixsite.com/hbresearchproject)

2019/2020: Guest Editor for “Urban Bird” Special Issue in Ostrich (link: https://https://www.nisc.co.za/news/124/special-issue-announcement-ahead-of-paoc-2020)

Since 2017: Associated Editor in Ibis

Since 2017: Council member of the European Ornithologist Union

Recent Awards: Dean Amadon Grant, Raptor Research Foundation USA (2019); Theodor-Körner Preis Austria (2019); L’Oréal for Women in Science Grant, UNESCO Commission and Austrian Academy of Science GZ: 121/18-tww (2018); The Royal Society Research Grant RG2017R1 (2017); South Africa (NRF) / Sweden (STINT) science and technology research collaboration, STINT 160909188048 (2016); Forschungsförderung der Deutschen Ornithologen Gesellschaft (2016); Leslie Brown Memorial Grant, Raptor Research Foundation USA (2015); Wissenschaftlicher Förderpreis der Wiener Umweltschutzabteilung (2015)

1. zoology

Ahnelt Harald
associate scientist
Berg Hans-Martin
collection manager
Bibl Alexander
collection manager
Bogutskaya Nina
scientific assistant
Gassner Georg
collection manager
Grillitsch Heinz
associate scientist
Grunstra Nicole D. S.
associate scientist
Haring Melina
Hengl Marietta
project researcher
Herzig Barbara
associate scientist
Hofmann Gerhard
Illek Robert
head taxidermist
Kirchner Sandra
project researcher
Kothbauer Renate
scientific assistant
Lutz Daniela
contract worker (CMS, databases)
Mikschi Ernst
head of department
Palandacic Anja
collection manager
Pilat Melanie
scientific assistant
Reier Susanne
project researcher
Renner Swen
Curator, Senior Scientist
Riedel Bettina
Collection assistant, Scientific collaborator
Rubin Iris
model and dioramic maker
Saliari Konstantina
scientific employee and curator
Schiller Katharina
employee project digitization
Schweiger Silke
curator, staff scientist
Sontag Walter, A.
associate scientist
Stefke Katharina
assistant to the head of the collection
Taschler Nadine
taxidermy trainee
Wallner Nathalie
Weiß Veronika
taxidermy trainee
Wicke Johannes
Zachos Frank Emmanuel
Curator, staff scientist