Hugo Eira


I am interested in studying the feedback-loop between the gut microbiome, immunity, stress and fitness. I am particularly interested in applying the ever growing knowledge of the gut microbiome, acquired from model organisms, to wild population studies.

In my PhD I will be using a wild population of the common buzzard (Buteo buteo), to investigate not only gut bacteria, but also fungal and other microbial eukaryotes this will be accomplished by rRNA gene sequencing. I will employ a series of immunity assays to infer on  immunocapacity and will measure long-term exposure to stress via glucocorticoide secretion.

Previous Research and Other Interests

My main focus has been bird evolution on oceanic islands in particular the islands of the Gulf of Guinea. I have also worked on two different projects, one focusing on bird evolution on the little known Afromontane centres (Angola and Mozambican highlands) and another on adaptation to arid environments using the Cape Verdes Sparrow as the study subject. All of these projects focused heavily on genetics data production and analysis.

I’ve been a part of a number of field work expeditions to Africa. Working on the poorly known endangered endemic birds of the Angolan Scarp Forest, with regular field expeditions to the tropical forests of São Tomé and Principe. I have also conducted regular work in South Africa monitoring the cooperative behaviour of Sociable weavers. And worked as a field assistant for the University of Melbourne studying the cooperative behaviour of the Superb fairywren.

In my free time I enjoy running, hiking, live music and a beer.


Prof. Dr. Joseph I. Hoffman, University of Bielefeld
Prof. Dr. Oliver Krüger, University of Bielefeld
Dr. Nayden Chakarov, University of Bielefeld
Prof. Dr. Tamás Székely, University of Bath, UK

Curriculum Vitae
  • 2020-Present: PhD Student – University of Bielefeld, Germany
  • 2016-2017: Field Assistant – University of Melbourne, Australia
  • 2014-2017: Research Assistant – Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources-CIBIO, Portugal
  • 2012-2014: MSc Biodiversity, Genetics and Evolution – University of Porto (Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources-CIBIO), Portugal
  • 2008-2011: BSc Applied Biology – University of Braga, Portugal

Contact Details

Department of Animal Behaviour
Bielefeld University
Postfach 100131
33501 Bielefeld

e-mail: hugo.eira[at]