Michael Schaub


Michael Schaub
Michael Schaub (Foto © Archiv Vogelwarte)
PD Dr Michael Schaub
Swiss Ornithological Institute
Seerose 1
6204 Sempach

++41 41 462 97 66 (Telephone)
++41 41 462 97 10 (Fax)


Head of ecology department


  • Capture-recapture models
  • Integrated population models
  • Population dynamics
  • Bayesian inference
  • Farmland birds

Current Projects


Fitsum Abadi, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Raphael Arlettez, University of Bern, Switzerland
David Fletcher, University of Dunedin, New Zealand
Olivier Gimenez, CNRS Montpellier, France


2007 Habilitation thesis, University of Bern: “Population dynamics of declining species: methodological advances and empirical evidence”.
1995 - 2000 PhD thesis, University of Zürich: “Palaearctic-African songbird migration: the analysis of ecological conditions for different migration strategies in selected species”. Supervised by PD L. Jenni and Prof. H.-U. Reyer.
1996 Diploma thesis, University of Basel: “Time budget and hunting behaviour of woodchat shrikes Lanius senator in northern Switzerland”. Supervised by Prof. Dr. B. Bruderer

Since 2011 Head of the ecology department at the Swiss Ornithological Institute
2002 - 2010 Head of section population dynamics at the Swiss Ornithological Institute
2002 - 2010 Scientific assistant (Oberassistent) at the University of Bern (Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Division Conservation Biology)
2000 - 2001 Postdoctoral research fellow, CNRS Montpellier, France
2000 Scientific assistant at the Swiss Ornithological Institute




In press

  • Schmidt, B.R., Itin, E., andSchaub, M. Seasonal and annual survival of the salamander Salamandra salamandra salamandra. Journal of Herpetology.


  • Schaub, M. 2012. Spatial distribution of wind turbines is crucial for the survival of red kite populations. Biological Conservation 155: 111-118.
  • Schaub, M. 2012. Populationsbiologie als zentrales Element der Naturschutzforschung. Der Ornithologische Beobachter 109: 185-200.
  • Schaub, M. and Kéry, M. 2012. Combining information in hierarchical models improves inferences in population ecology and demographic population analyses. Animal Conservation 15: 125-126.
  • Schmidt, B., Hödl, W., and Schaub, M. 2012. From metamorphosis to maturity in complex life cycles: equal performance of different juvenile life history pathways. Ecology 93: 657-667.
  • Bötsch, Y., Arlettaz, R., and Schaub, M. 2012. Breeding dispersal of Eurasian Hoopoes within and between years in relation to reproductive success, sex and age. Auk 129: 283-295.
  • Abadi, F., Gimenz, O., Jakober, H., Stauber, W., Arlettaz, R. and Schaub, M. 2012. Estimating the strength of density dependence in the presence of observation errors using integrated population models. Ecological Modelling 242: 1-9.
  • Arlettez, R., Maurer, M., Mosimann-Kampe, P., Nusslé, S., Abadi, F., and Schaub, M. 2012. New vineyard cultivation practices benefit a vulnerable ground-foraging farmland bird, the Woodlark: guidelines for optimal habitat management. Journal of Ornithology 153: 229-238
  • Schaub, M., Reichlin, T.S., Abadi, F., Kéry, M., Jenni, L., and Arlettaz, R. The demographic drivers of local population dynamics in two rare migratory birds. Oecologia 168: 97-108.
  • Fletcher, D., Lebreton, J.-D., Marescot, L., Schaub, M., Gimenez, O., Slooten, L., and Dawson, S. 2012. Bias in estimation of adult survival and asymptotic population growth rate caused by undetected capture heterogeneity. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 3: 206-216.
  • Tagmann-Ioset, A., Schaub, M., Reichlin, T.S., Weisshaupt, N., and Arlettaz, R. 2012. Bare ground as a crucial habitat feature for a rare terrestrially foraging farmland bird of Central Europe. Acta Oecologica 39: 25-32.
  • Papadatou, E., Pradel, R., Schaub, M., Dolch, D., Geiger, H., Ibañez, C., Kerth, G., Popa-Lisseanu, A., Schorcht, W., Teubner, J., and Gimenez, O. Multilevel analysis of mark-recapture data: comparing survival among species.Ecography 35: 153-161.


  • Schaub, M., and Abadi, F. 2011. Integrated population models: A novel analysis framework for deeper insights into population dynamics. Journal of Ornithology. 152 (Suppl. 1): 227-237
  • Schaub, M., Jakober, H., and Stauber, W. Demographic response to environmental variation in breeding, stopover and non-breeding areas in a migratory passerine. Oecologia. 167: 445-459
  • Rickenbach, O., Grüebler, M.G., Schaub, M., Koller, A., Naef-Daenzer, B., and Schillerli, L. 2011.  Exclusion of ground predators improves Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus chick survival. Ibis 153: 531-542.
  • Zellweger-Fischer, J., Schaub, M., Müller, C., Rudin, M., Spiess, M., and Jenni, L. 2011. Der Bruterfolg des Turmfalken Falco tinnunculus: Resultate und Erkenntnisse aus fünf Jahren integriertem Populationsmonitoring. Ornithologischer Beobachter 108: 37-54. 
  • Weisshaupt, N., Arlettaz, R., Reichlin, T.S., Tagmann-Ioset, A., and Schaub, M. 2011. Habitat selection by foraging Wrynecks Jynx torquilla during the breeding season: identifying the optimal habitat profile. Bird Study 58: 111-119.
  • Schaub, M., Rudin, M., Birrer, S., and Jenni, L. 2011. Habitat-density associations are not geographically transferable in Swiss farmland birds. Ecography 34: 693-704.
  • Arlettaz, R., Braunisch, V., Schaub, M., and Watson, J.E.M. 2011. Change in conservation efforts. Response. BioScience 61: 93-94.
  • Pasinelli, G., Schaub, M., Häfliger, G., Frey, M., Jakober, H., Müller, M., Stauber, W., Trijanowski, P., Zollinger, J.-L., and Jenni, L. 2011. Impact of density and environmental factors on population fluctuations in a migratory passerine. Journal of Animal Ecology 80: 225-234.


  • Indermaur, L., Schaub, M., Jokkela, J., Tockner, K. and Schmidt, B.R. 2010. Differential response to abiotic conditions and predation risk rather than competition avoidance determine breeding site selection by anurans. Ecography 33: 887-895. 
  • Arlettaz, R., Schaub, M., Fournier, J., Reichlin, T.S., Sierro, A., Watson, J.E.M, and Braunisch, V. 2010. From publications to public actions: when conservation biologists bridge the gap between research and action. BioScience 60: 835-842.
  • Schaub, M., Martinez, N., Tagmann-Ioset, A., Weisshaupt, N., Maurer, M.L., Reichlin, T.S., Abadi, F., Zbinden, N., Jenni, L., and Arlettaz, R. 2010. Patches of bare ground as a staple commodity of declining ground-foraging insectivorous farmland birds. Plos ONE5(10): e13115
  • Arlettaz, R., Schaad, M., Reichlin, T.S., and Schaub, M. 2010. Impact of weather and climate variation on Hoopoe reproductive ecology and population growth. Journal of Ornithology 151: 889-899.
  • Schaub, M., Aebischer, A., Gimenez, O., Berger, S., and Arlettaz, R. 2010. Massive immigration balances high anthropogenic mortality in a stable eagle owl population: lessons for conservation. Biological Conservation 143: 1911-1918.
  • Coudrain, V., Arlettaz, R., and Schaub, M. 2010. Food or nesting place? Identifying factors limiting wryneck populations. Journal of Ornithology 151: 867-880.
  • Arlettaz, R., Krähenbühl, M., Almasi, B., Roulin, A. and Schaub, M. 2010. Wildflower areas within revitalized agricultural matrices boost small mammal populations but not breeding Western Barn Owls. Journal of Ornithology 151: 553-564.
  •  Indermaur, L., Schmidt, B.R., Tockner, K. and Schaub, M. 2010. Abiotic and biotic factors determine spatial variation in anuran body size at metamorphosis in a dynamic floodplain. Oecologia 163: 637-649.
  •  Reichlin, T.S., Hobson, K.H., Wassenaar, L.I., Schaub, M., Tolkmitt, D., Becker, D., Jenni, L., and Arlettaz, R. 2010. Migratory connectivity in a declining bird species: Using feather isotopes to inform demographic modelling. Diversity and Distributions 16: 643-654.
  • Servanthy, S., Choquet, R., Baupet, E., Brandt, S., Gaillard, J.-M., Schaub, M., Toigo, C., Lebreton, J.-D., Buoro, M., and Gimenez, O. 2010. Assessing whether mortality is additive using marked animals: a Bayesian state-space modeling approach. Ecology 91: 1916-1923.
  •  Kéry, M., Royle, J.A., Schmid, H., Schaub, M., Volet, B., Häfliger, G. and Zbinden, N. 2010. Correcting population trend estimates from opportunistic observations for observation effort using site-occupancy modeling. Conservation Biology 24: 1388-1397.
  • Korner-Nievergelt, F., Sauter, A., Atkinson, P.W., Guélat, J., Kania, W., Kéry, M., Köppen, U., Robinson, R.A., Schaub, M., Thorup, K., van der Jeugd, H. and van Noordwijk, A.J. 2010. Improving the analysis of movement data from marked individuals through explicit estimation of observer heterogeneity. Journal of Avian Biology 41: 8-17.
  •  Roulin, A., Altwegg, R., Jensen, H., Steinsland, I. and Schaub, M. 2010. Sex-dependent selection on an autosomal melanic female ornament promotes the evolutions of sex ratio bias. Ecology Letters 13: 616-626.
  • Bächler, E., Hahn, S., Schaub, M., Arlettaz, R., Jenni, L., Fox, J.W., Afanasyev, V. and Liechti, F. 2010. Year-round tracking of small trans-Saharan migrants using light-level geolocators. PloS One 5(3): e9566
  • Abadi, F., Gimenez, O., Ullrich, B. Arlettaz, R., and Schaub, M. 2010. Estimation of immigration rate using integrated population models. Journal of Applied Ecology 47: 393-400.
  • Zingg, S., Arlettaz, R., and Schaub, M. 2010. Nestbox design influences territory occupancy and reproduction in a declining, secondary cavity-breeding bird. Ardea 98: 67-75.
  • Korner-Nievergelt, F., Schaub, M., Thorup, K., Vock, M., and Kania, W. 2010. Estimation of bird distribution based on ring re-encounters: Precision and bias of the division coefficient and its relation to multi-state models. Bird Study 57: 56-68.
  • Abadi, F., Gimenez, O., Arlettaz, R., and Schaub, M. 2010. An assessment of integrated population models: bias, accuracy, and violation of the assumption of independence. Ecology 91: 7-14.


  • Baillie, S.R., and Schaub, M. 2009. Understanding changes in bird populations – the role of bird marking. Ringing & Migration 24: 189-198.
  • Bairlein, F., and Schaub, M. 2009. Ringing and the study of mechanisms of migration. Ringing & Migration 24: 162-168.
  • Mermod, M., Reichlin, T.S., Arlettaz, R., and Schaub, M. 2009. The importance of ant rich habitats the persistence of the wryneck Jynx torquilla on farmland. Ibis 151: 731-742.
  • Schorcht, W. Bontadina, F., and Schaub, M. 2009. Variation of adult survival drives population dynamics in a migrating forest bat. Journal of Animal Ecology 78: 1182-1190.
  • Indermaur, L. Winzeler, T., Schmidt, B.R., Trockner, K, and Schaub, M. 2009. Differential resource selection within shared habitat types across spatial scales in sympatric toads. Ecology 90: 3430-3444.
  • Reichlin, T.S., Schaub, M., Menz, M.H.M., Mermod, M., Portner, P., Arlettaz, R., and Jenni, L. 2009. Migration patterns of hoopoe Upupa epops and wryneck Jynx torquilla: an analysis of European ring recoveries. Journal of Ornithology 150: 393-400.
  • Schaub, M., and von Hirschheydt, J. 2009. Effect of current reproduction on apparent survival, breeding dispersal and future reproduction in barn swallows assessed by multistate capture-recapture models. Journal of Animal Ecology 78: 625-635.
  • Schaub, M., Zink, R., Beissmann, H., Sarrazin, F., and Arlettaz, R. 2009. When to end releases in reintroduction programmes: demographic rates and population viability analysis of bearded vultures in the Alps. Journal of Applied Ecology 46: 92-100.
  • Schaub, M. 2009. Estimation of cause-specific mortality rates from ring recovery data: a Bayesian evaluation. In Thomson, D.L., Cooch, E.G., and Conroy, M.J. (eds): Modeling demographic processes in marked populations, pp. 1081-1097. Springer Series 3: Environmental and Ecological Statistics


  • Geiser, s., Arlettaz, R., and Schaub, M. 2008. Impact of weather variation on feeding behaviour, nestling growth and brood survival in wrynecks Jynx torquilla. Journal of Ornithology 149: 597-606.
  • Schaub, M., Jenni, L., and Bairlein, F. 2008. Fuel stores, fuel accumulation and the decision to depart from a migration stopover site. Behavioral Ecology 19: 657-666.
  • Revaz, E., Schaub, M., and Arlettaz, R. 2008. The ecological performance of a revitalized, intensively cultivated vs an historical, traditionally cultivated agro-ecosystem evaluated through the breeding biology of an indicator insectivorous passerine, the Stonechat. Journal of Ornithology 149: 301-312.
  • Buner, F., and Schaub, M. 2008. How do different releasing techniques affect the survival of re-introduced grey partridges Perdix perdix? Wildlife Biology 14: 26-35.


  • Schmidt, B.R., Schaub, M., and Steinfartz, S. 2007. Apparent survival of the salamander Salamandra salamendra is low because of high migratory activity. Frontiers in Zoology 4: 19.
  • Schaub, M., Gimenez, O., Sierro, A., and Arlettaz, R. 2007. Use of integrated modelling to enhance estimates of population dynamics obtained from limited data. Conservation Biology 21: 945-955.
  • Arlettaz, R., Patthey, P., Baltic, M., S., Leu, Schaub, M., Palme, R., and Jenni-Eiermann, S. 2007. Spreading free-riding snow sports represent a novel growing stressful threat for wildlife. Proc. R. Soc. B 274: 1219-1224.
  • Pasinelli, G., Müller, M., Schaub. M., and Jenni, L. 2007. Causes and consequences of philopatry and breeding dispersal in red-backed shrikes. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology 61: 1061-1074.
  • Bächler, M. and Schaub, M. 2007. The effects of encounter technique and permanent local emigration on stopover duration estimates as revealed by telemetry. The Condor 109: 142-154.
  • Altwegg, R., Schaub, M. and Roulin, A. 2007. Age-specific fitness components and their temporal variation in the western barn owl. American Naturalist 169: 47-61.
  • Salewski, V., Thoma, M., and Schaub, M. 2007. Stopover of migrating birds: simultaneous analysis of different marking methods enhances the power of capture-recapture analyses. Journal of Ornithology 148: 29-37
  • Salewski, V., and Schaub. M. 2007. Stopover duration of Palaearctic passerine migrants in the western Sahara – independent of fat stores? Ibis 149: 223-236.


  • Schaub, M., Ullrich, B., Knötzsch, G., Albrecht, P., and Meisser, C. 2006. Local population dynamics and the impact of scale: a case study on different little owl populations. Oikos 115: 389-400.
  • Schaub, M. 2006. How to study departure decisions of migrants from stopover sites using capture-recapture data. Acta Zoologica Sinica 52(suppl.): 602-605.


  • Balança, G., and Schaub, M. 2005. Post-breeding migration ecology of Reed Acrocephalus scirpaceus, Moustached A. melanopogon and Cetti's Warbler Cettia cetti at a Mediterranean stopover site. Ardea 93: 245-257.
  • Pradel, R., Schaub, M., Jenni, L., and Lebreton, J.-D. 2005. Migrating birds stop over longer than usually thought: Reply. Ecology 86: 3418-3419.
  • Schaub, M., Köppen, U., and Kania, W. 2005. Variation of primary production during winter induces synchrony in survival rates in migratory white storks Ciconia ciconia. Journal of Animal Ecology 74: 656-666.
  • Schmidt, B.R., Feldmann, R., and Schaub, M. 2005. Demographic processes underlying population growth and decline in Salamandra salamandra. Conservation Biology 19: 1149-1156.
  • Kéry, M., Gregg, K.M, and Schaub, M. 2005. Demographic estimation methods for plants with unobservable life-states. Oikos 108: 307-320.


  • Schaub, M., and Lebreton, J.-D. 2004. Testing the additive versus the compensatory hypothesis of mortality from ring recovery data using a random effects model. Animal Biodiversity and Conservation 27.1: 73-85.
  • Schaub, M., Gimenez, O., Schmidt, B., and Pradel, R. 2004. Estimating survival and non-random temporary emigration in the multistate capture-recapture framework. Ecology 85: 2107-2113.
  • Schaub, M., and Pradel, R. 2004. Assessing the relative importance of different sources of mortality from recoveries of marked animals. Ecology 85: 930-938.
  • Schaub, M., Pradel, R., and Lebreton, J.-D. 2004. Is the reintroduced White Stork Ciconia ciconia population in Switzerland self-susstainable? Biological Conservation 119: 105-114.
  • Schaub, M., Liechti, F., and Jenni, L. 2004.Taking-off behaviour of migrating Robins Erithacus rubecula from a stopover site in relation to wind and rain. Animal Behaviour 67: 229-237.


  • Jenni, L., and Schaub, M. 2003. Behavioural and physiological reactions to environmental variation in bird migration: a review. In Berthold, P., Gwinner, E., and Sonnenschein, E. (eds): Avian Migration, pp. 155-171. Springer Verlag, Berlin.


  • Schmidt, B.R., Schaub, M., and Anholt, B.R. 2002. Why you should use capture-recapture methods when estimating survival and breeding probabilities: on bias, temporary emigration, overdispersion and common toads. Amphibia-Reptilia 23: 375–388.


  • Schaub, M., and Jenni, L. 2001. Variation of fuelling rates among sites, days and individuals in migrating passerine birds. Functional Ecology 15: 584–594.
  • Schaub, M., and Vaterlaus-Schlegel, C. 2001. Annual and seasonal variation of survival rates in the garden dormouse Eliomys quercinus. Journal of Zoology (London) 255: 89-96.
  • Schaub, M., and Amann, F. 2001. Saisonale Variation der Überlebensraten von Sumpfmeisen Parus palustris. Der Ornithologische Beobachter 98: 223-235.
  • Schaub, M., and Jenni, L. 2001. Stopover durations of three warbler species along their autumn migration route. Oecologia 128: 217-227.
  • Schaub, M., Pradel, R., Jenni, L., and Lebreton, J.-D. 2001. Migrating birds stop over longer than usually thought: an improved capture-recapture analysis. Ecology 82: 852-859.


  • Schaub, M., and Jenni, L. 2000. Body mass of six long-distance migrant passerine species along the autumn migration route. Journal für Ornithologie 141: 441-460.
  • Schaub, M., and Jenni, L. 2000. Fuel deposition of three passerine bird species along the migration route. Oecologia 122: 306-317.

1999 and earlier

  • Schaub, M., Schwilch, R., and Jenni, L. 1999. Does tape-luring of migrating Eurasian Reed-Warblers increase number of recruits or capture probability? The Auk 116: 1047-1053.
  • Schaub, M. 1997. Massenzug von Vierflecklibellen (Libellula quadrimaculata) entlang der Kuri­schen Nehrung. Libellula 16: 181-184.
  • Schaub, M. 1996. Jagdverhalten und Zeitbudget von Rotkopfwürgern (Lanius senator) in der Nord­westschweiz. Journal für Ornithologie 137: 213-227.
  • Kéry, M., and Schaub, M. 1994. Onychogomphus costae (Sel.) and Gomphus graslini (Ramb.) in NE Spain. Notululae Odonatologicae, Vol. 4, No. 3: 53-54.