Prof. dr. Marc Naguib


Contact information

T: +31 317 473 400


  • Behavioural Ecology, Life history strategies
  • Sexual Selection, Animal Personality
  • Animal Communication, Bioacoustics, Cognition

Visiting address

Droevendaalsesteeg 10
6708 PB Wageningen
T +31-317-473400
The Netherlands

Postal address

P.O. Box 50
6700 AB Wageningen
The Netherlands


Marc Naguib studied biology at the University Freiburg and the Freie Universität Berlin in Germany and received his Diplom in Biology in 1991 at the Freie Universität in Berlin. He received his PhD in 1995 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA. He subsequently held positions in Animal Behaviour at the Freie Universität Berlin (1995-1999) and the University Bielefeld (2000-2007), where he was promoted to the rank of professor in 2007. From 2008 to 2011 he was senior researcher at the Department of Animal Ecology of the NIOO. Since December 2011 he is apointed as professor to chair the newly established Behavioural Ecology group at the Animal Science Department of Wageningen University.

For new website see:
Behavioural Ecology Chair Group, Wageningen University






Social networks and personality  in great tits

in this NWO funded project we focus on communication networks and social networks in relation to personality. We use a field population of personality-typedgreat tits (Parus major) to unravel how networks in great tits are structured, based on both, signalling behaviour and social encounters as connecting links. To do so we track birds continuously using The Encounternet digital tracking system as wel as a network of automatized song recorders. This is a cooperation with Dr Kees van Oers. PhD student: Lysanne Snijders

For further details see Social networks in great tits on my Wageningen University website


Project group Movement Ecology

Universal movement laws in terrestrial, marine and freshwater animals: the link with prey distribution and individual strategies
In this project, we address the universal significance of power-law distributions to describe the spatial foraging characteristics of foragers found in marine, freshwater and terrestrial habitats. Power-laws, in the form of so-called Lévy walks, have been put forward as a generic description for the foraging trajectories of free-ranging predators and herbivores, as an alternative concept to the traditional random walk based on Gaussian or Rayleigh distributions. Lévy walks are specialized random walks giving rise to scale-free movement trajectories that are hypothesized in literature to present a superior solution for searching for food in complex landscapes. However, so-far, an appropriate comparison with alternative models, such as the more mechanistic mixed-model random walks, is lacking. Moreover, the links with prey distribution, and how the adaptive value of foraging modes varies among individual organisms, so far remains largely unstudied. In this proposal, we plan to test the hypotheses that (a) Lévy walks are the most parsimonious description of foraging in natural-like complex landscapes as compared to the traditional random walks or mixed-model walks, and (b) Lévy walks are mostly adaptive to subdominant organisms that are pushed to less predictable, sub-optimal resource landscapes. The project will combine a theoretical study of animal movement in explicit resource landscapes with laboratory and field experiments that address the importance of individual variation and resource heterogeneity. We will investigate our hypotheses in terrestrial, marine and freshwater systems, to ensure universality of the obtained results. Our project will test the mechanistic
Funding: KNAW strategy fund for joint project with Bart Nolet (CL), Johan van de Koppel (CME)
Post Doc: Andrea Költzsch


Selected publications

Reparaz, L.B., van Oers, K., Naguib, M., Doutrelant, C., Visser, M. E., Caro, S. P. 2014
Mate preference of female blue tits varies with experimental photoperiod
PloS one 9(3): e92527

Brust, V., Krüger, O., Naguib, M., Krause, E. T. 2014
Lifelong consequences of early nutritional conditions on learning performance in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)
Behavioural Processes 103, 320-326

Krause, E. T., Naguib, M., 2014.
Effects of parental and own early developmental conditions on the phenotype expression in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).
Evolutionary Ecology 28, 263-275

Rothenberg, D., Roeske, T. C., Voss, H. U., Naguib, M., Tchernichovski, O., 2014.
Investigation of musicality in birdsong.
Hearing Research 308, 71-83

Sprau, P., Roth, T., Amrhrein, V., Naguib, M., 2014.
Effects of previous intrusion pressure on territorial responses in nightingales,
Journal of Ornithology 155, 111-119

Sprau, P., Roth, T., Amrhrein, V., Naguib, M., 2013.
The predictive value of trill performance in a large repertoire songbird, the nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos).
Journal of Avian Biology 44, 567-574

Naguib, M., Price, J.J. 2013
The Evolution of Communication.
Behaviour 150, 951–955.

Naguib, M. 2013.
Living in a noisy world: indirect effects of noise on animal communication
Behaviour 150, 1069–1084

Naguib, M., van Oers, K., Braakhuis, A. Griffioen, M., de Goede, P., Waas, J.R. 2013
Noise annoys: effects of noise on breeding great tits depend on personality but not on noise characteristics.
Animal Behaviour 85, 949-956.

Naguib, M., Riebel, K. 2013
Singing in space and time: the biology of birdsong. pp 233-247
In: Biocommunication of Animals (G. Witzany, Ed). Springer Verlag.

Baugh, A.T., van Oers, K., Naguib M., Hau, M. 2013
Initial reactivity and magnitude of the acute stress response associated with personality in wild great tits (Parus major).
General and Comparative Endocrinology 189, 96-104.

van Oers, K., Naguib, M. 2013.
Avian personality.
In: Animal Personalities: Behavior, Physiology, and Evolution (Carere C, Maestripieri D; Eds.). University of Chicago Press, Chicago, p 66-95.

Amy, M., van Oers, K., Naguib, M. 2012.
Worms under cover: relationships between performance in learning tasks and personality in great tits (Parus major).
Animal Cognition 15, 763-770

Titulaer, M., van Oers, K., Naguib, M. 2012.
Personality affects learning performance in difficult tasks in a sex-dependent way.
Animal Behaviour 83, 723-730

Ritschard, M., van Oers, K., Naguib, M., Brumm, H. 2012.
Song amplitude of rival males modulates the territorial behaviour of great tits during the fertile period of their mates.
Ethology 118, 197-202

Roth, T., Sprau, P., Naguib, M. Amrhein, V. 2012.
Sexually selected signaling in birds: a case for Bayesian change point analysis of behavioural routines.
The Auk 129:660-669

Sprau, P., Roth, T., Naguib, M., Amrhrein, V. 2012.
Communication in the third dimension: Song perch height of rivals affects singing response in nightingales.
PLoS one, 7(3), e32194

Sprau, P., Roth, T., Amrhein, V., Naguib, M. 2012.
Territorial Behaviour of eavesdroppers depends on distance to neighbours and stranger behaviour in nightingales.
Animal Behaviour 84, 961-968

Naguib, M., Floercke, C., van Oers, K. 2011.
Effects of social conditions during early development on stress response and personality traits in great tits (Parus major).
Developmental Psychobiology 53, 592-600

Naguib, M., Kunc, H. P., Sprau, P., Roth, T., Amrhein, V. 2011.
Communication networks and spatial ecology in nightingales.
Advances in the Study of Behavior 43, 239-271

Krause, E.T., Honarmand, M., Naguib, M. 2011.
Zebra finch nestlings beg more under better nutritional conditions
Behaviour 148, 1239-1255

Krause, E.T., Naguib, M. 2011.
Compensatory growth affects exploratory behaviour in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).
Animal Behaviour 81, 1295-1300

Amy, M., Sprau, P., de Goede, P., Naguib, M. 2010
Effects of personality on territory defence in communication networks: a playback experiment with radio-tagged great tits.
Proceedings of the Royal Society B 277, 3685-3692

Naguib, M. Kazek, A. Schaper, S. van Oers, K., Visser, M.E. 2010
Singing activity reveals personality traits in great tits.
Ethology 116, 763-769

Honarmand, M. Goymann, W., Naguib, M. 2010.
Stressful dieting: Nutritional conditions but not compensatory growth elevate corticosterone levels in zebra finch nestlings and fledglings.
PLoS one 5(9): e12390

Naguib M, Mennill, D.J. 2010
The signal value of bird song: empirical evidence suggests song overlapping is a signal.
Animal Behaviour 80, e11-e15

Sprau, P., Roth, T., Schmidt, R., Amrhein, V., Naguib, M. 2010.
Communication accross territory boundaries: distance dependent responses in nightingales.
Behavioral Ecology 21: 1011-1017

Sprau, P., Schmidt, R., Roth, T., Amrhein, V., Naguib, M. 2010.
Effects of rapid broadband trills on responses to song overlapping in nightingales.
Ethology 166, 300-308

Naguib, M., Kober, M., Trillmich, F. 2010.
Mother is not like mother: concurrent pregnancy reduces lactating guinea pigs' responsiveness to pup calls
Behavioural Processes 83, 79-81

Riebel, K., Naguib, M. Gil, D. 2009.
Experimental manipulation of the rearing environment influence adult female zebra finch song preferences.
Animal Behaviour 78, 1397-1404

Brumm, H., Naguib, M. 2009
Environmental acoustics and the evolution of bird song
Advances in the Study of Behavior 40: 1-33

Naguib, M. Clayton, N., Zuberbühler, K. Janik, V. M. (Eds.) 2009.
Acoustic communication in birds and mammals (Advances in the Study of Behavior; special volume). Elsevier, Oxford, UK

Krause, E.T., Honarmand, M., Wetzel, J., Naguib, M. 2009
Early fasting is long lasting: Differences in early nutritional conditions reappear under stressful conditions in adult female zebra finches
PLoS one 4(3): e5015

Roth, T., Sprau, P., Schmidt, R., Naguib, M., Amrhein, V. 2009 Sex-specific timing of mate searching and territory prospecting in the nightingale: nocturnal life of females.
Proceedings of the Royal Society B 276: 2045-2050; highlighted also in Nature 2009, Vol 458, p10

Naguib, M., Schmidt, R., Sprau, P., Roth, T., Floercke, C., Amrhein, V., 2008 The ecology of vocal signaling: male spacing and communication distance of different song traits in nightingales.
Behavioral Ecology 19: 1034-1040

Schmidt, R., Kunc, H., Amrhein, V., Naguib, M. 2008
Aggressive responses to broadband trills are related to subsequent mating success in nightingales.
Behavioral Ecology 19: 635-641

Naguib, M., Heim, C., Gil, D. 2008
Effects of early developmental conditions on male attractiveness in zebra finches.
Ethology 114: 255-261

Kober, M., Trillmich, F., Naguib, M. 2008
Vocal mother-offspring communication in guinea pigs: females adjust maternal responsiveness to litter size.
Frontiers in Zoology 5: 13

Krause, E. T., Naguib, M., Petow, S. 2008
Effects of intra-hippocampal D-AP5 injections on the one trial passive avoidance learning in adult laying hens (Gallus gallus domesticus)
Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis 68: 494-501

Naguib, M., Nemitz, A. 2007
Living with the past: nutritional stress in juvenile males has immediate effects on their plumage ornaments and adult attractiveness in zebra finches.
PLoS ONE Vol. 2(9), e901

Schmidt, R., Kunc, H.P., Amrhein, V., Naguib, M. 2007
The day after: Effects of vocal interactions on territory defence in nightingales.
Journal of Animal Ecology 76: 168-173

Amrhein, V., Kunc, H.P., Schmidt, R., Naguib, M. 2007
Temporal patterns of territory settlement and detectability in mated and unmated Nightingales Luscinia megarhynchos.
Ibis 149: 237-244

Kunc, H.P., Amrhein, V., Naguib, M. 2007
Vocal interactions in common nightingales ( Luscinia megarhynchos ): males take it easy after pairing
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 61: 557-563

Kober, M., Trillmich, F., Naguib, M. 2007
Responses of guinea pig mothers to offspring vocalizations: effects of maternal reproductive state
Animal Behaviour 73: 917-925

Gil, D., Naguib, M., Riebel, K., Rutstein, A., Gahr, M. 2006
Early condition, song learning and the volume of brain song nuclei in the zebra finch ( Taeniopygia guttata )
Journal of Neurobiology 66: 1602-1612

Naguib, M., Nemitz, A., Gil, D. 2006
Maternal developmental stress reduces reproductive success of female offspring in zebra finches
Proceedings of the Royal Society B 273: 1901-1905; highlighted in Current Biology 2006: 16(9)R309

Kunc, H.P., Amrhein, V., Naguib, M. 2006
Vocal interactions in nightingales ( Luscinia megarhynchos ): more aggressive males have higher pairing success
Animal Behaviour 72: 25-30

Schmidt, R., Kunc, H.P., Amrhein, V., Naguib, M. 2006
Responses to interactive playback predict future mating status in nightingales
Animal Behaviour 72: 1355-1362

Naguib, M., Kipper, S. 2006
Effects of different levels of song overlapping on singing behaviour in male territorial nightingales ( Luscinia megarhynchos )
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 59: 419-426

Krause, E.T., Naguib, M., Trillmich, F., Schrader, L. 2006
The effects of short term enrichment on learning in chickens from a laying strain ( Gallus gallus domesticus )
Applied Animal Behaviour Science 101: 318-327

Naguib, M. 2006
Methoden der Verhaltensbiologie
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Full article:



Naguib, M. (ed.: Brown, K.) 2006
Animal communication: dialogues
Encyclopaedia for language and linguistics, Second edition, Vol. 1 p270-272
Publisher: Elsevier

Naguib, M. (ed.: Brown, K.) 2006
Animal Communication: Overview.
Encyclopedia for language and linguistics - Second edition, Vol. 1 p276-284
Publisher: Elsevier

Naguib, M., Riebel, K. (ed.: Brown, K.) 2006
Bird song: a key model in animal communication
Encyclopedia for language and linguistics - Second edition, Vol. 2. p40-53
Publisher: Elsevier

Naguib, M., Gil, D. 2005
Transgenerational effects on body size caused by early developmental stress in zebra finches
Biology Letters 1, 95-97

Kunc, H.P., Amrhein, V., Naguib, M. 2005
Seasonal variation of dawn song and its relation to mating success in the nightingale ( Luscinia megarhynchos )
Animal Behaviour 70, 1265-1271

Kunc, H.P., Amrhein, V., Naguib, M. 2005
Acoustic features of song categories of the nightingale ( Luscinia megarhynchos ) and its implications for communication
Behaviour 142, 1083-1097

Naguib, M. (ed.: McGregor, P.K.) 2005
Singing interactions in song birds: implications for social relations, territoriality and territorial settlement
Communication networks p300-319
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Naguib, M., Riebel, K., Marzal, A., Gil, D. 2004
Nestling immunocompetence and testosterone covary with brood size in a songbird
Proceedings of the Royal Society B 271, 833-838

Gil, D., Heim, C., Bulmer, E., Rocha, M., Puerta, M., Naguib, M. 2004
Negative effects of early developmental stress on yolk testosterone levels in a passerine bird
Journal of Experimental Biology 207, 2215-2220

Amrhein, V., Kunc, H.P., Naguib, M. 2004
Non-territorial nightingales prospect territories during the dawn chorus
Proceeding of the Royal Society B (Suppl.) 271, S167-S169

Amrhein, V., Kunc, H.P., Naguib, M. 2004
Seasonal patterns of singing activity vary with time of day in the nightingale
The Auk 121, 110-117

Naguib, M., Amrhein, V., Kunc, H.P. 2004
Effects of territorial intrusions on eavesdropping neighbors: communication networks in nightingales
Behavioral Ecology 6, 1011-1015

Naguib, M. 2003
Reverberation of rapid and slow trills: implications for signal adaptations to long range communication
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 133, 1749-1756

Amrhein, V., Korner, P., Naguib, M. 2002
Nocturnal and diurnal singing activity in the nightingale: correlations with mating status and breeding cycle
Animal Behaviour 64, 939-944

Griessmann, B., Naguib, M. 2002
Song sharing in neighboring and non neighboring thrush nightingales ( Luscinia luscinia ) and its implications for communication
Ethology 108, 377-387

Naguib, M., Mundry, R., Hultsch, H., Todt, D. 2002
Responses to playback of whistle songs and normal songs in male nightingales: effects of song category, whistle pitch, and distance
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 52, 216-223

Naguib, M., Altenkamp, R., Griessmann, B. 2001
Nightingales in space: song and extra-territorial forays of radio tagged song birds
Journal of Ornithology 142, 306-312

Naguib, M., Hammerschmidt, K., Wirth, J. 2001
Microgeographic variation, habitat effects, and individual signature cues in calls of chiffchaffs Phylloscopus collybita canarensis
Ethology 107, 341-355

Naguib, M., Wiley, R.H. 2001
Estimating the distance to a source of sound : mechanisms and adaptations for long-range communication
Animal Behaviour 62, 825-837

Naguib, M., Klump, G.M., Hillmann, E., Griessmann, B., Teige, T. 2000
Assessment of auditory distance in a territorial songbird: accurate feat or rule of thumb?
Animal Behaviour 59, 715-721

Todt, D., Naguib, M. 2000
Vocal interactions in birds: The use of song as a model in communication.
Advances in the Study of Behaviour 29, 247-296

Naguib, M. 1999
Effects of song overlapping and alternating on nocturnally singing nightingales
Animal Behaviour 58, 1061-1067

Naguib, M., Fichtel, C., Todt, D. 1999
Nightingales respond more strongly to vocal leaders in simulated dyadic interactions
Proceedings of the Royal Society B 265, 537-542

Naguib, M., Mundry, R., Ostreiher, R., Hultsch, H., Schrader, L., Todt, D. 1999
Cooperatively breeding Arabian babblers call differently when mobbing in different predator-induced situations
Behavioral Ecology 10, 636-640

Naguib, M. 1998
Perception of degradation in acoustic signals and its implications for ranging. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 42, 139-142

Naguib, M., Todt, D. 1998
Recognition of neighbors' song in a species with large and complex song repertoires: the Thrush Nightingale.
Journal of Avian Biology 29, 155-160

Naguib, M. 1997
Ranging of songs in Carolina wrens: effects of familiarity with the song type on use of different cues.
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 40,385-393; Erratum in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 41, 203

Naguib, M. 1997
Use of song amplitude for ranging in Carolina wrens, Thryothorus ludovicianus.
Ethology 103, Issue 9, 723-731

Naguib, M., Todt, D. 1997
Effects of dyadic vocal interactions on other conspecific receivers in nightingales.
Animal Behaviour 54, 1535-1543

Naguib, M. 1996
Ranging by song in Carolina wrens Thryothorus ludovicianus : Effects of environmental acoustics and strength of song degradation.
Behaviour 133, 541-559

Naguib, M. 1996
Auditory distance estimation in song birds: Implications, methodologies and perspectives.
Behavioural Processes 38, 163-168

Naguib, M. 1995
Auditory distance assessment of singing conspecifics in Carolina wrens: the role of reverberation and frequency- dependent attenuation.
Animal Behaviour 50, 1297-1307

Naguib, M., Kolb, H. 1992
Vergleich des Strophenaufbaus und der Strophenabfolge an Gesängen von Sprosser (Luscinia luscinia) und Blaukehlchen ( Luscinia svecica).
Journal für Ornithologie 133, 133-145