Dr Myriam Hirt

Myriam Hirt

Research Interest


From processes to systems - predicting global change impacts on ecological networks

Life on earth is interconnected. Plants and animals interact with each other and with their environment and are therefore linked in tight networks consisting of direct and indirect flows of energy and information. External stressors to ecosystems, such as those caused by global change, affect not only the individual, but the entire system in which they are integrated. Therefore, we need to understand (1) how these systems are interconnected, (2) what mechanisms constitute their stability, and (3) how changes in individual physiology and performance cascade through these systems, ultimately influencing their stability and, more importantly, their ecosystem services to the planet and to us humans.

Movement is a fundamental process of most organisms that enables interactions with their environment and other species. It allows accessing resources, searching for mating partners, connecting spatially separated habitats, and seeking shelter from predators or climatic stress. While global change drivers such as climate warming or habitat fragmentation directly affect the physiology of animals and thus their fundamental needs, movement realizes these changes in interactions and ultimately in entire networks and ecosystems. My main research questions are therefore how we can use information about animal behavioral and physiological responses to global change to predict the consequences for ecological communities and their provision of ecosystem services to humans. I use both empirical and theoretical approaches to answer this question. This type of empirically grounded theory helps make large-scale predictions from small-scale experiments on fundamental processes.

Short CV


Since 2019
Postdoc in the Theory in Biodiversity group at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity
Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Germany.

2015 - 2018   
Doctoral researcher in the Theory in Biodiversity group at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity
Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Germany.

2013 -2014    
Teaching assistant in the Systemic Conservation Biology group at the Georg-August-University Göttingen

2010 – 2013    
Master of Science in Biological Diversity, Ecology and Evolution at the Georg-August-University Göttingen

2007 – 2010    
Bachelor of Science in Biodiversity and Ecology at the Georg-August-University Göttingen

iDiv publications


Li, J., Luo, M., Wang, S., Gauzens, B., Hirt, M. R., Rosenbaum, B., Brose, U.

(2022): A size-constrained feeding-niche model distinguishes predation patterns between aquatic and terrestrial food webs. Ecology Letters

Antunes, A. C., Montanarin, A., Gräbin, D. M., dos Santos Monteiro, E. C., de Pinho, F. F., Alvarenga, G. C., Ahumada, J., Wallace, R. B., Ramalho, E. E., Barnett, A. P. A., Bager, A., Lopes, A. M. C., Keuroghlian, A., Giroux, A., Herrera, A. M., de Almeida Correa, A. P., Meiga, A. Y., de Almeida Jácomo, A. T., de Barros Barban, A., Antunes, A., de Almeida Coelho, A. G., Camilo, A. R., Nunes, A. V., dos Santos Maroclo Gomes, A. C., da Silva Zanzini, A. C., Castro, A. B., Desbiez, A. L. J., Figueiredo, A., de Thoisy, B., Gauzens, B., Oliveira, B. T., de Lima, C. A., Peres, C. A., Durigan, C. C., Brocardo, C. R., da Rosa, C. A., Zárate-Castañeda, C., Monteza-Moreno, C. M., Carnicer, C., Trinca, C. T., Polli, D. J., da Silva Ferraz, D., Lane, D. F., da Rocha, D. G., Barcelos, D. C., Auz, D., Rosa, D. C. P., Silva, D. A., Silvério, D. V., Eaton, D. P., Nakano-Oliveira, E., Venticinque, E., Junior, E. C., Mendonça, E. N., Vieira, E. M., Isasi-Catalá, E., Fischer, E., Castro, E. P., Oliveira, E. G., de Melo, F. R., de Lima Muniz, F., Rohe, F., Baccaro, F. B., Michalski, F., Paim, F. P., Santos, F., Anaguano, F., Palmeira, F. B. L., da Silva Reis, F., Aguiar-Silva, F. H., de Avila Batista, G., Zapata-Ríos, G., Forero-Medina, G., Neto, G. D. S. F., Alves, G. B., Ayala, G., Pedersoli, G. H. P., El Bizri, H. R., do Prado, H. A., Mozerle, H. B., Costa, H. C. M., Lima, I. J., Palacios, J., de Resende Assis, J., Boubli, J. P., Metzger, J. P., Teixeira, J. V., Miranda, J. M. D., Polisar, J., Salvador, J., Borges-Almeida, K., Didier, K., de Lima Pereira, K. D., Torralvo, K., Gajapersad, K., Silveira, L., Maioli, L. U., Maracahipes-Santos, L., Valenzuela, L., Benavalli, L., Fletcher, L., Paolucci, L. N., Zanzini, L. P., da Silva, L. Z., Rodrigues, L. C. R., Benchimol, M., Oliveira, M. A., Lima, M., da Silva, M. B., dos Santos Junior, M. A., Viscarra, M., Cohn-Haft, M., Abrahams, M. I., Benedetti, M. A., Marmontel, M., Hirt, M. R., Tôrres, N. M., Junior, O. F. C., Alvarez-Loayza, P., Jansen, P., Prist, P. R., Brando, P. M., Perônico, P. B., do Nascimento Leite, R., Rabelo, R. M., Sollmann, R., Beltrão-Mendes, R., Ferreira, R. A. F., Coutinho, R., da Costa Oliveira, R., Ilha, R., Hilário, R. R., Pires, R. A. P., Sampaio, R., da Silva Moreira, R., Botero-Arias, R., Martinez, R. V., de Albuquerque Nóbrega, R. A., Fadini, R. F., Morato, R. G., Carneiro, R. L., Almeida, R. P. S., Ramos, R. M., Schaub, R., Dornas, R., Cueva, R., Rolim, S., Laurindo, S., Espinosa, S., Fernandes, T. N., Sanaiotti, T. M., Alvim, T. H. G., Dornas, T. T., Piña, T. E. N., Caetano Andrade, V. L., Santiago, W. T. V., Magnusson, W. E., Campos, Z., Ribeiro, M. C.

(2022): AMAZONIA CAMTRAP: A data set of mammal, bird, and reptile species recorded with camera traps in the Amazon forest. Ecology

Bauer, B., Berti, E., Ryser, R., Gauzens, B., Hirt, M. R., Rosenbaum, B., Digel, C., Ott, D., Scheu, S. and Brose, U.

(2022): Biotic filtering by species’ interactions constrains food-web variability across spatial and abiotic gradients. Ecology Letters

Antunes, A. C., Gauzens, B., Brose, U., Potapov, A. M., Jochum, M., Santini, L., Eisenhauer, N., Ferlian, O., Cesarz, S., Scheu, S., Hirt, M. R.

(2022): Environmental drivers of local abundance–mass scaling in soil animal communities. Oikos

Hirt, M. R., Barnes, A. D., Gentile, A., Pollock, L. J., Rosenbaum, B., Thuiller, W., Tucker, M. A. and Brose, U.

(2021): Environmental and anthropogenic constraints on animal space use drive extinction risk worldwide. Ecology Letters

Ryser, R., Hirt, M. R., Häussler, J., Gravel, D., Brose, U.

(2021): Landscape heterogeneity buffers biodiversity of simulated meta-food-webs under global change through rescue and drainage effects. Nature Communications

Berti, E., Davoli, M., Buitenwerf, R., Dyer, A., Hansen, O. L. P., Hirt, M., Svenning, J.-C., Terlau, J. F., Brose, U. and Vollrath, F.

(2021): The r package enerscape: A general energy landscape framework for terrestrial movement ecology. Methods in Ecology and Evolution

Hirt, M. R., Tucker, M., Müller, T., Rosenbaum, B., Brose, U.

(2020): Rethinking trophic niches: Speed and body mass colimit prey space of mammalian predators. Ecology and Evolution

Brose, U., P. Archambault, A. D. Barnes, L.-F. Bersier, T. Boy, ..., C. Digel, A. Dissanayake, A. A. V. Flores, K. Fussmann, B. Gauzens, C. Gray, J. Häussler, M. R. Hirt, U. Jacob, ..., E. Latz, K. Layer-Dobra, P. Legagneux, Y. Li, ..., B. C. Rall, B. Rosenbaum, R. Ryser, A. Silva, E. H. Sohlström, ..., S. Wang, J. M. Wefer, ..., A. C. Iles

(2019): Predator traits determine food-web architecture across ecosystems. Nature ecology & evolution

Hirt, M. R., Grimm, V., Li, Y., Rall, B. C., Rosenbaum, B., Brose, U.

(2018): Bridging Scales: Allometric Random Walks Link Movement and Biodiversity Research. Trends in Ecology & Evolution

Brose, U., Blanchard, J. L., Eklöf, A., Galiana, N., Hartvig, M., Hirt, M. R., Kalinkat, G., Nordström, M. C., O'Gorman, E. J., Rall, B. C., et al.

(2017): Predicting the consequences of species loss using size-structured biodiversity approaches. Biological Reviews

Hirt, M. R., Jetz, W., Rall, B. C., Brose, U.

(2017): A general scaling law reveals why the largest animals are not the fastest. Nature Ecology & Evolution

Hirt, M. R., Lauermann, T., Brose, U., Noldus, L. P. J. J., Dell, A. I.

(2017): The little things that run: a general scaling of invertebrate exploratory speed with body mass. Ecology
Icon address

Puschstrasse 4
04103 Leipzig

Icon roomnumber


Icon phone
+49 341 9733206
Icon institutes

Friedrich Schiller University Jena

Share this site on:
iDiv is a research centre of theDFG Logo