Susi Jenni-Eiermann


    Susi Jenni-EiermannDr. phil. Susi Jenni-Eiermann
    Swiss Ornithological Institute
    Seerose 1
    6204 Sempach

    ++41 41 462 97 61 (Phone)
    ++41 41 462 97 10 (Fax)


    • Head of laboratory
    • Head of the department eco-physiology
    • Secretary of the European Ornithologists‘ Union
    • Secretary of the International Ornithologists‘ Union


    • migration physiology
    • stress physiology

    Current Projects

    Interactions of genetic, maternal and early developmental effects on stress sensitivity, personality and survival of offspring

    Validation of the analysis of corticosterone in feathers

    Effect of leisure-time activities on abundance, breeding success and behaviour of birds



    1983 PhD at University of Basel, Switzerland
    1980 Diploma in Biology (M.Sc.) at University of Basel, Switzerland
    1975-1980 Studies in Biology at University of Basel, primary subject physiology, secondary subjects anatomy, biochemistry

    Current and past positions

    2005 Head of the department eco-physiology
    2000 Head of the laboratory
    1985 Researcher at the Swiss Ornithological Institute
    1983-1985 Post-Doctoral Assistant, Department of Biochemistry, University of Basel, Switzerland

    Further Training

    1998 Zoological Institute of the University of Washington at Seattle (Prof. Wingfield) for 8 months
    2000 University of California at Davis (Prof. B. Lasley), Institute of Toxicology & Environmental Health, Wildlife Health Center for 1.5 weeks
    2002, 2003 University of Vienna, Dept. of Veterinary Medicine (Prof. R. Palme), for twice 2 weeks
    2005 University of Texas at Austin, Dept. of Integrative Biology (Prof. C. Breuner), for 2 weeks


    • Jenni-Eiermann, S., Jenni, L., Olano Marin, J., Homberger, B. 2020. Seasonal changes in yolk hormone concentrations carry over to offspring traits. Gen Comp Endocrinol  287
    • Huffeldt, NP., Merkel, FR., Jenni-Eiermann, S., Goymann, G., Helm, B. 2020. Melatonin and corticosterone profiles under polar day in a seabird with sexually opposite activity-rhythms. GCE, 285
    • Hegyi, G., Jenni-Eiermann, S., Boross, N., Garamszegi, L., Laczi, M., Kötél, D., Krenhardt, K., Jablonszky, M., Marko, G., Nagy, G., Rosivall, B., Szász, E., Torok, J., 2019. Ornaments and condition: plumage badge sizes, nutritional reserve state, reserve accumulation and reserve depletion. Beh Ecol and Sociobiology, 73: 89.
    • Sorensen, MC, Dixit, T, Newton, J, Kardynal, K, Hobson, K, Bensch, Jenni-Eiermann, S, Spottiswoode, CN. 2019. Migration distance does not predict blood parasitism in a Palearctic-African migratory bird. Ecology and Evolution 9: 8294.8304, DOI: 10.1002/ece3.5404
    • Jerem, Paul, Jenni-Eiermann, Susi, McKeegan, Dorothy, McCafferty, Dominic, Nager, Ruedi. 2019. Eye region surface temperature dynamics during acute stress relate to baseline glucocorticoids independently of environmental conditions. Physiology & Behavior, 210.
    • Ganz, K., Jenni, L., David Jenny, Thomas Kraemer, S. Jenni-Eiermann. 2018. Feathers as a temporal archive of stress events and environmental pollutants: prospects and pitfalls. J of Ornithol
    • Jenni-Eiermann, S., Srygley R. B. 2018. Physiological Aeroecology: Anatomical and physiological adaptations for flight. Chapter 5, pp87-115, in Aeroecology, Chilson P., Frick W.F., Kelly J., Liechti F. (eds), Springer Intern. Publishing AG, part of Springer nature 2017.
    • Paul Jerem, P. Jenni-Eiermann, S., Herborn, K., McKeegan, D., McCafferty, D., Nager, R. 2018. Lower body surface temperatures relate to elevated plasma glucocorticoid levels in a wild bird. Scientific Reports 8: 1907 doi:10.1038/s41598-018-20240-4
    • Jenni-Eiermann, S. 2017 Energy metabolism during endurance flight and the post-flight recovery phase. J Comp Physiol A, 203: 431-438 DOI 10.007/s00359-017-1150-3
    • Mulero-Pázmány, M., Jenni-Eiermann, S., Strebel, N., Sattler, T., Negro, J.J., Tablado, Z. 2017.Unmanned Aircraft Systems as a new source of disturbance for wildlife: a review. PLoS ONE 12(6): e0178448.
    • Sorensen, M.C., Fairhurst, G.D., Jenni-Eiermann, S., Newton, J., Yohannes, E., Spottiswoode, C.N. 2016. Seasonal rainfall at long-term migratory staging sites modifies carry-over effects in a Palearctic-African migratory bird. BMC Ecology 16:41. Doi 10.1186/s12898-016-0096-6
    • Sorensen, M.C., Jenni-Eiermann, S., Spottiswoode, C. N. W. 2016. Why do migratory birds sing on their tropical wintering grounds? Am. Nat. 187(3) doi:10.1086/684681
    • van Wijk, R.E , Souchay, G., Jenni-Eiermann, S., Bauer, S., Schaub, M. 2016. No detectable effects of lightweight geolocators on a Palaearctic-African long-distance migrant, J Ornithol 157:255–264 DOI 10.1007/s10336-015-1274-6
    • Sorensen, M., Asghar, M., Bensch, S., Fairhurst, G.D., Jenni-Eiermann, S., Spottiswoode, C.N. 2016. A rare study from the wintering grounds provides insight into the costs of malaria infection for migratory birds. J Avian Biol. 47:001-008
    • Jenni, L., Almasi, B., Duplain, J., Homberger, B., Lanz, M., Korner-Nievergelt, F., Schaub, M., Jenni-Eiermann, S. 2015. Transport and release procedures in reintroduction programs: stress and survival in grey partridges. Animal Conservation 18: 62-72. doi: 10.1111/acv.12136
    • Arlettaz, R., Nusslé, S., Baltic, M., Vogel, P., Palme, R., Jenni-Eiermann, S., Patthey, P., Genoud, M. 2015. Disturbance of wildlife by outdoor winter recreation: allostatic stress response and altered activity-energy budgets", Ecological Applications, 25(5):1197-1212
    • Barrett, R. T., Erikstad, K. E., Sandvik, H. Myksvoll, M. S., Jenni-Eiermann, S., Kristensen, D. L., Moum, T., Reiertsen, T. K., Vikebød, F. 2015. The stress hormone corticosterone in a marine top-predator reflects short-term changes in food abundance. Ecology and Evolution 5: 1306–1317.
    • Jenni-Eiermann, S., Helfenstein, F., Vallat, A., Glauser, G., Jenni, L. Corticosterone: Effects on feather quality and deposition into feathers. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 2015, 6: 237-246
    • Jenni-Eiermann, S., Jenni, L. Smith, S. Costantini, D. 2014. Oxidative stress in endurance flight: an unconsidered factor in bird migration. PloS ONE 9(5): e97650. Doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0097650
    • Homberger, B., Jenni-Eiermann, S., Jenni, L. 2015. Distinct responses of baseline and stress-induced corticosterone levels to genetic and environmental factors. General and Comparative Endocrinology 210: 46-54.
    • Jenni-Eiermann, S., D. Heynen, M. Schaub (2014): Effect of an ultrasonic device on the behaviour and the stress hormone corticosterone in feral pigeons. J. Pest Sci. 87: 315-322 DOI 10.1007/s10340-014-0553-y
    • Kristensen, L.D., Erikstad, K.E., Reiertsen T.K., Moum, T., Barett, R.T., Jenni-Eiermann, S. 2013. Are female offspring from a single-egg seabird more costly to raise? Behavioral Ecology 24: 136-143
    • Cornelius, J. M., T. Boswell, S. Jenni-Eiermann, C. W. Breuner, M. Ramenovsky (2013): Contributions of endocrinology to the migration life history of birds. Gen Comp Endocrinol 190: 47–60.
    • Kristensen, D. L., K. E. Erikstad, T. K. Reiertsen, T. Moum, R. T. Barrett & S. Jenni-Eiermann (2013): Are female offspring from a single-egg seabird more costly to raise? Behav. Ecol. 24: 136–143.
    • Homberger, B., S. Jenni-Eiermann, A. Roulin & L. Jenni (2013): The impact of pre- and post-natal contexts on immunity, glucocorticoids and oxidative stress resistance in wild and domesticated grey partridges. Funct. Ecol. 27 (4): 1042–1054.
    • Schmid, B., L. Tam-Dafond, S. Jenni-Eiermann, R. Arlettaz, M. Schaub & L Jenni (2013): Modulation of the adrenocortical response to acute stress with respect to brood value, reproductive success and survival in the Eurasian hoopoe. Oecologia 173 (1): 33–44.
    • Almasi, B.; Roulin, A.; Korner-Nievergelt, F.; Jenni-Eiermann, S.; Jenni, L. 2012. Coloration signals the ability to cope with elevated stresshormones: effects of corticosterone on growth of barn owls are associated with melanism. J of Evolutionary Biology 25:1189-1199.
    • Comparative physiology of fasting, starvation, and food limitation. M. D. McCue (ed.) Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012. Chapter 11: Fasting in birds: general patterns and the special case of endurance flight, pp171-192.
    • Cerere, J.G., Spina, F., Jenni-Eiermann, S., Boitani, L. 2011. Nectar: an energy drink used by European songbirds during spring migration. J. Ornithol. 152: 923-931
    • Thiel, D., Jenni-Eiermann, S., Palme, R., Jenni, L. 2011. Winter tourism increases stress hormone levels in the Caipercaillie Tetrao urogallus. Ibis 153: 122-133
    • Jenni-Eiermann, S., Almasi, B., Maggini, I., Salewski, V., Bruderer, B., Liechti, F., Jenni, L. 2011. Numbers, foraging and fattening of passerine migrants at a stopover site in the western Sahara: diverse strategies to cross a desert. J Ornithol 152 (Suppl 1):S113-S128
    • Müller, C., Jenni-Eiermann, S., Jenni, L. 2011. H/L-ratio and circulating corticosterone do not indicate the same stress imposed on Eurasian kestrel Falco tinnunculus nestlings. Funct. Ecol. 25: 566-576
    • Reperant, L.A., van de Bildt, M.W.G., van Amerongen, G., Buehler, D.M., Osterhaus, A.D.M.E., Jenni-Eiermann,S., Piersma T., Kuiken, T. 2011. Migratory state affects susceptibility to infection and spread of the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus H5N1 infection in a long-distance migrant shorebird. PloS ONE Vol 6(11):e27814 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0027814
    • Almasi, B., Jenni, L., Jenni-Eiermann, S., Roulin, A. 2010. Regulation of stress-response is heritable and functionally linked to sexually selected melanin-based coloration. J. Evol. Biol, 23(5): 987-996
    • Hegyi, G., Szollosi, E., Jenni-Eiermann, S.,Torok, J., Eens, M., Garamszegi, L. 2010. Nutritional reserve dynamics and sexual selection in the multiple signal system of male collared flycatchers. Naturwissenschaften 97: 567-576
    • Müller, C., Jenni-Eiermann, S., Jenni, L. 2010. Development of the adrenocortical response to stress in Eurasian kestrel nestlings Falcotinnunculus: the importance of condition in brood hierarchy. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 168: 474-483
    • Jenni-Eiermann, S., Almasi, B., Maggini, I., Salewski, V., Bruderer, B., Liechti, F., Jenni, L.2011. Numbers, foraging and fattening of passerine migrants at a stopover site in the western Sahara: diverse strategies to cross a desert. J. Ornithol. 152 (Suppl 1): S113-S128
    • Müller, C., Jenni-Eiermann, S., Jenni, L. 2010. H/L-ratio and circulating corticosterone do not indicate the same stress imposed on Eurasian kestrel Falco tinnunculus nestlings. Funct. Ecol. 25: 566-576
    • Bize, P., Stocker, A., Jenni-Eiermann, S., Gasparini, J., Roulin, A. 2010. Daily weather but not sibling competition affects baseline corticosterone levels in nestling Alpine swifts. Horm. Behav., 58: 591-598
    • Müller, C., Almasi, B., Roulin, A., Breuner, C.W., Jenni-Eiermann, S., Jenni, L. 2009. Effects of corticosterone pellets on baseline and stress-induced corticosterone and corticosteroid-binding-globulin. Gen Comp Endo 160: 59-66.
    • Dietz, M.W., Jenni-Eiermann S., Piersma T. 2009. Validation of the use of plasma metabolites to predict weekly body mass change in red knots. Condor 111: 88-99
    • Müller, C., Jenni-Eiermann, S., Jenni, L. 2009. Effects of a short period of elevated circulating corticosterone on postnatal growth in free-living Eurasian kestrels Falco tinnunculus. J. Exp. Biol. 212: 1405-1412
    • Jenni-Eiermann, S., Hasselquist, D., Lindström, Å., Koolhaas, A., Piersma T. 2009. Are birds stressed during long-term flights? A windtunnel study on circulating corticosterone in the red knot. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 164: 101-106
    • Falsone, K., Jenni-Eiermann, S., Jenni, L. 2009. Corticosterone in migrating songbirds during endurance flight. Horm. Behav. 56: 548-556
    • Piault, R., Gasparini, J., Bize, P., Jenni-Eiermann, S., Roulin, A. 2009. The degree of phaeomelanin-based coloration reflects adaptation to variation in food supply and parasitism. Am. Naturalist 174: 548-556
    • Almasi, B., Roulin, A., Jenni-Eiermann, S., Jenni, L. 2009. Regulation of free corticosterone and CBG capacity under different environmental condition in altricial nestlings. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 164: 117-124
    • Henshaw, I., Fransson, T., Jakobsson, S., Jenni-Eiermann, S., Kullberg, S. 2009. Information from the geomagnetic field triggers a reduced adrenocortical response in a migratory bird. J. Exp. Biol. 212: 2902-2907.
    • Müller, C., Jenni-Eiermann, S., Blondel, J., Perret, P., Caro, S.P., Lambrechts, M., Jenni, L. 2007. Circulating Corticosterone levels in breeding blue tits Parus caeruleus differ between island and mainland populations and between habitats. Gen. Com. Endrocrinol. 154: 128-136
    • Jenni-Eiermann, S., Glaus, E., Grüebler, M., Schwabl, H., Jenni, L. 2008. Glucocorticoid response to food availability in breeding barn swallows (Hirundo rustica). Gen. Com. Endrocrinol. 155: 558-565
    • Roulin, A., Almasi, B., Rossi-Pedruzzi, A., Ducrest, A.L., Wakamatsu, K., Miksik, I., Blount, J.D., Jenni-Eiermann, S., Jenni, L. 2008. Corticosterone mediates the condition-dependent component of melanin-based coloration. Animal Behav. 75: 1351-1358
    • Thiel, D., Jenni-Eiermann, S., Braunisch, V., Palme, R., Jenni, L. 2008. Ski tourism affects habitat use and evokes physiological stress response in capercaillie Tetrao urogallus: a new methodological approach. J. Appl. Ecol. 45: 845-853
    • Thiel, D., Jenni-Eiermann, S., Jenni, L. 2008. Der Einfluss von Freizeitaktivitäten auf das Fluchtverhalten, die Raumnutzung und die Stressphysiologie des Auerhuhns Tetrao urogallus. Ornithol. Beob. 105: 85-96
    • Jenni-Eiermann, S., Arlettaz, R. 2008. Does Ski tourism affect alpine birds fauna? Highlights of analytical chemistry in Switzerland, Chimia 62, No. 1/2: 301
    • Almasi, B., Roulin A , Jenni-Eiermann, S., Jenni, L. 2008. Parental investment and its sensitivity to corticosterone is linked to plumage eumelanism in barn owls. Horm. Behav. 54: 217-223
    • Hasselquist, D., Lindström, Å., Jenni-Eiermann, S., Koolhaas, A., Piersma, T. 2007. Long flights do not influence the immune responses of a long-distance migrant bird: a wind-tunnel experiment. J. Exp. Biol. 210: 1123-1131
    • Arlettaz, R., Patthey, P., Baltic, M., Leu, T., Schaub, M., Palme, R., Jenni-Eiermann, S. 2007. Spreading free-riding snow sports represent a novel serious threat for wildlife, Proc. R. Soc. 274: 1219-1224
    • Müller, C., Jenni-Eiermann, S., Blondel, J., Perret, P., Caro, S.P., Lambrechts, M., Jenni. L. 2006. Effect of human presence and handling on corticosterone levels in breeding blue tits (Parus caeruleus) Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 148: 163-171
    • Goymann, W., Jenni-Eiermann, S. 2005. Introduction of the European Science Foundation Technical Meeting: Analysis of Hormones in Droppings and Egg Yolk of Birds. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 1046: 1-4
    • Baltic, M., Jenni-Eiermann, S., Arlettaz R., Palme, R. 2005. A non-invasive technique to evaluate human-generated stress in Black Grouse. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 1046: 81-95
    • Thiel, D., Jenni-Eiermann, S., Palme, R. 2005. Measuring corticosterone metabolites in droppings of Capercaillies (Tetrao urogallus). Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 1046: 96-108
    • Jenni-Eiermann, S. 2004. Zur Physiologie von Zugvögeln auf dem Zug: eine Übersicht. Orn. Beobachter 101: 41-45
    • Jenni-Eiermann, S., Jenni, L. 2003). Interdependence of flight and stopover in migrating birds: possible effects of metabolic constraints during refuelling on flight metabolism. In: Avian Migration, pp: 293-306, P. Berthold, E. Gwinner & E. Sonnenschein (Eds.), Springer Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
    • Jenni-Eiermann, S., Jenni, L., Piersma, T. 2002. Temporal uncoupling of thyroid hormones in Red Knots: T3 peaks in cold weather, T4 during molt. Journal für Ornithol. 143 (3): 331-340
    • Jenni-Eiermann, S., Kvist, A., Lindström, Å., Jenni, L., Piersma T. 2002. Fuel use and metabolic response to endurance exercise: a windtunnel study of a long-distance migrant shorebird. J. Exp. Biol. 205: 2453-2460
    • Jenni-Eiermann, S., Jenni, L., Piersma, T. 2002. Plasma metabolites reflect seasonally changing metabolic processes in a long-distance migrant shorebird (Calidris canutus). Zoology 105(3): 239-246
    • Jenni-Eiermann, S., Jenni, L. 2001. Post-exercise ketosis in night-migrating passerine birds. Physiol. Biochem. Zool. 74: 90-101
    • Jenni, L., Jenni-Eiermann, S., Spina, F., Schwabl, H. 2000. Regulation of protein breakdown and adrenocortical response to stress in birds during migratory flight. Am. J. Physiol. 278: R1182-R1189