Anneke Paijmans


My core interests are in animal behaviour, evolution and conservation. In my PhD project, I plan to combine all three by using genetic and genomic techniques to gain a better understanding of the  effects of climate change on Antarctic fur seals. These seals were hunted to near extinction in the 18th and 19th century, but managed to recover to a population size in the millions. However, due to climate change the species is on the decline again. I want to investigate how climate change affects this species on a genomic level. My project is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) in the framework of the priority programme “Antarctic Research with comparative investigations in Arctic ice areas” SPP 1158.

Previous Research and Other Interests

After working for several years in nature legislation and marine policy, I decided I wanted to pursue a career in academia. To gain a better understanding of animal behaviour and evolution, I chose to participate in the MSc program “Behaviour: From neural mechanisms to evolution”. As part of this course, I participated in research looking at the frequency of a mutation in the MC1R gene (responsible for blonde coat colourisation) in Antarctic fur seals from different breeding sites. The project aims to gain a better understanding of how the mutant allele spread in the population. This motivated me to learn more about the use of genetic tools in evolution and conservation biology.

In my Master’s thesis I used microsatellite genotyping to gain a better understanding of the population structure and demography of Antarctic fur seals. Little is known about how recolonization of their former sites occurred after the period of intensive sealing. We used 39 loci to analyse population structure and genetic variation within this species. The results show strong population structure, suggesting that multiple populations have survived sealing.

In my free time I love reading books, traveling, dancing and horseback riding.


Prof. Dr. Joe Hoffman, University of Bielefeld

Curriculum Vitae
  • 2018–Present: PhD student – University of Bielefeld, Germany
  • 2015–2017: MSc ‘Behaviour: From neural mechanisms to evolution’ – University of Bielefeld, Germany
  • 2011–2015: Marine ecologist – IMARES, The Netherlands
  • 2010–2011: Ecological consultant – Dienst Landelijk Gebied, The Netherlands
  • 2008–2010: Ecological consultant – Grontmij, The Netherlands
  • 2005–2008: MSc Biology, Specialisation: Animal Biology – Wageningen University, The Netherlands
  • 2001–2005: BSc Biology, specialisation: Ecology – Wageningen University, The Netherlands


Scientific Articles

11) Vendrami, D.L.J., Gossmann, T.I., Chakarov, N., Paijmans, A.J., Litzke, V., Eyre-Walker, A., Forcada, J. & Hoffman, J.I. (2022) Signatures of selection on mitonuclear integrated genes uncover hidden mitogenomic variation in fur seals.  Genome Biology and Evolution, 14: evac104.  Doi:
10) Hoffman, J.I., Chen, R., Vendrami, D.L.J., Paijmans, A.J., Dasmahapatra, K.K. & Forcada, J. (2022) Demographic reconstruction of Antarctic fur seals supports the krill surplus hypothesis. Genes Special Issue “Polar Genomics”, 13: 541.  Doi: 10.3390/genes13030541
9) Nagel, R., Kaiser, S., Stainfield, C., Toscani, C., Fox-Clarke, C., Paijmans, A.J., Costa, C., Vendrami, D.L.J., Forcada, J.† & Hoffman, J.I.† (2022) Low heritability and high phenotypic plasticity of salivary cortisol in response to environmental heterogeneity in fur seals.  Ecology and Evolution,12: e8757.  Doi: 10.1002/ece3.8757 † Joint senior authors
8) Nichols, H.J., Fuchs, B., Paijmans, A.J., Lewis, G., Bonin, C., Goebel, M.† & Hoffman, J.I.† (2022) Where are the beachmasters? Unexpectedly weak polygyny among southern elephant seals on a South Shetland island.  Journal of Zoology. † Joint senior authors.
7) Humble, E., Paijmans, A.J., Forcada, J. & Hoffman, J.I. (2020)  A new 85k SNP array reveals inbreeding and cryptic relatedness in an Antarctic fur seal breeding colony.  G3: Genes | Genomes | Genetics, 10: 2787–2799.  Doi: 10.1534/g3.120.401268
6) Paijmans, A.J., Stoffel, M.A., Bester, M.N., Cleary, A., De Bruyn, P.J.N., Forcada, J., Goebel, M.E., Goldsworthy, S.D., Guinet, C., Kovaks, K.M., Lowther, A. & Hoffman, J.I. (2020)  The genetic legacy of extreme exploitation in a polar vertebrate.  Scientific Reports, 10: 5089. Doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-61560-8
5) Groβer, S., Sauer, J., Paijmans, A., Caspers, B.A., Forcada, J., Wolf, J.B.W.* & Hoffman, J.I.* (2019) Fur seal microbiota are shaped by the social and physical environment, show mother-offspring similarities and are associated with host genetic quality.  Molecular Ecology, 28: 2409-2422. Doi: 10.1111/mec.15070
4) Stoffel, M.A., Humble, E., Paijmans, A.J., Acevedo-Whitehouse, K., Chilvers, B.L, Dickerson, B., Galimberti, F., Gemmell, N., Goldsworthy, S.D., Nichols, H.J., Krüger, O., Negro, S., Osborne, A., Pastor, T., Robertson, B.C., Sanvito, S., Schultz, J., Shafer, A.B.A., Wolf, J.B.W. & Hoffman, J.I. (2018) Demography and genetic diversity across pinnipeds are shaped by human exploitation, ecology and life-history.  Nature Communications, 9: 4836.  Doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-06695-z
3) Hoffman, J.I., Bauer, E., Paijmans, A.J., Humble, E., Beckmann, L.M., Kubetschek, C., Christaller, F., Kröcker, N., Fuchs, B., Moreras, A., Shihlomule, Y., Bester, M.N., Cleary, A.C., De Bruyn, P.J.N., Forcada, J., Goebel, M.E., Goldsworthy, S.D., Guinet, C., Hoelzel, A.R., Lydersen, C., Kovaks, K.M., Lowther, A. (2018)  A global cline in a colour polymorphism suggests a limited contribution of gene flow towards the recovery of a heavily exploited marine mammal.  Royal Society Open Science, 5: 181227.  Doi: 10.1098/rsos.181227. 2
2) Piet, Gerjan J., Ruud H. Jongbloed, Antony M. Knights, Jacqueline E. Tamis, Anneke J. Paijmans, Marieken T. van der Sluis, Pepijn de Vries, and Leonie A. Robinson (2015) Evaluation of Ecosystem-Based Marine Management Strategies Based on Risk Assessment. Biological Conservation 186: 158–66. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2015.03.011.
1) Schutter, M., J. Crocker, A.J. Paijmans, M. Janse, R. Osinga, A. Verreth, and R. Wijffels (2010) The Effect of Different Flow Regimes on the Growth and Metabolic Rates of the Scleractinian Coral Galaxea Fascicularis. Coral Reefs 29, 3: 737–48. doi:10.1007/s00338-010-0617-2.


Paijmans, A.J., Stoffel, M.A., Bester, M.N., Cleary, A., De Bruyn, P.J.N., Forcada, J., Goebel, M.E., Goldsworthy, S.D., Guinet, C., Kovaks, K.M., Lowther, A. & Hoffman, J.I. (2019) The genetic legacy of extreme exploitation in the Antarctic fur seal. World Marine Mammal Conference 2019, Barcelona


Paijmans, A.J., Cleary, A.C., Humble, E., Forcada, J., de Bruyn, P.J.N., Bester, M.N, Lydersen, C., Guinet, C., Goldsworthy, S.D., Kovacs, K.M., Lowther, A.D., Hoffman J.I. (2017) Population structure in the Antactic fur seal: Recolonisation by a recovering population. 110th Annual Meeting of the German Zoological Society, Bielefeld

Paijmans, A.J., V. Swakman, F. Groenewoud, S.M. Amininasab, R.S. Marfull, J. Komdeur, P. Korsten (2015) Fair Sharing? Incomplete parental compensation for increased brood demand does not skew the distribution of food among nest mates. 10th International Conference on Behaviour, Physiology and Genetics of Wildlife, Berlin

For a full list of publications, including technical reports, see ResearchGate (link below).

Contact Details

Department of Animal Behaviour
Bielefeld University
Postfach 100131
33501 Bielefeld

e-mail: a.paijmans[at]
researchgate: Anneke Paijmans
orcid: A.J. Paijmans