Dr. Kaja Wierucka

Kaja Wierucka, Dr.

Tel.: +41 44 635 54 13


Research Interests

I am a behavioural ecologist, specialising in animal communication. I am particularly interested in how and why animals combine various types of information (often from different sensory modalities) to inform their actions, as well as how sensory cues and signals can be used and adjusted in various contexts.

Currently, I am a member of the Evolutionary Cognition Group, and under the NCCR Evolving Language I am investigating the intricacies of vocal accommodation in marmosets.


Wolff JO, Wierucka K, Uhl G, Herberstein ME (2021). Building behaviour does not affect rates of phenotypic evolution in spiders. In Press: PNAS.

Wierucka K, Henley MD, Mumby HS (2021) Acoustic cues to individuality in wild male adult African savannah elephants (Loxodonta Africana). PeerJ 9:e10736.

Wierucka K, Barthes N, Harcourt R, Schaal B, Charrier I, Pitcher BJ (2019) Chemical fingerprints suggest direct familiarisation rather than phenotype matching during olfactory recognition in Australian sea lions (Neophoca cinerea). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 517, 49-53.

Wierucka K, Barthes N, Pitcher BJ, Schaal B, Charrier I, Harcourt R. (2019) Chemical profiles of integumentary and glandular substrates in Australian sea lion pups (Neophoca cinerea). Chemical Senses 44(3), 205-214.

Wierucka K, Pitcher BJ, Harcourt R, Charrier I (2018) Multimodal mother-offspring recognition – the relative importance of sensory cues in a colonial mammal. Animal Behaviour 146, 135-142.

Wierucka K, Charrier I, Harcourt RG, Pitcher BJ (2018) Visual cues do not enhance sea lion pups’ response to multimodal maternal cues. Scientific Reports 8:9845.

Carthey AJR, Bucknall MP, Wierucka K, Banks PB (2017) Novel predators emit novel cues: A mechanism for prey naivety towards alien predators. Scientific Reports 7:16377.

Wierucka K, Pitcher BJ, Harcourt R, Charrier I (2017) The role of visual cues in mother–pup reunions in a colonially breeding mammal. Biology Letters 13:20170444.

Halupka L, Wierucka K, Sztwiertnia H, Klimczuk E (2017) Conditions at autumn stopover sites affect survival of a migratory passerine. Journal of Ornithology 158:979–988.

Verborgh P, Gauffier P, Esteban R, Cañadas A, García P, Luis Murcia J, Morata A, Debons E, Brévart C, Carbou M, Meade R, Wierucka K, Colmant L, Masski H, Giménez J, de Stephanis R (2017) Efecto de una epidemia de morbillivirus sobre la supervivencia de diferentes grupos de calderones comunes en el mediterráneo occidental. Almoraima. Revista de Estudios Campogibraltareños, 47: 13-20.

Wierucka K, Halupka L, Klimczuk E, Sztwiertnia H (2016) Survival during the breeding season: Nest stage, parental sex, and season advancement affect reed warbler survival. PLoS One 11:e0148063.

Wierucka K, Siemianowska S, Woźniak M, Jasnosz K, Kieliszczyk M, Kozak P, Sergiel A (2016) Activity budgets of captive Cape fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus) under a training regime. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science 19:62c72.

Wierucka K, Verborgh P, Meade R, Colmant L, Gauffier P, Esteban R, de Stephanis R, Cañadas A (2014) Effects of a morbillivirus epizootic on long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas) in Spanish Mediterranean waters. Marine Ecology Progress Series 502: 1-10. (Feature Article)

Gottfried I, Apoznański G, Gottfried T, Wierucka K (2014) Skład gatunkowy nietoperzy na obszarze sieci Natura 2000 "Dąbrowy Krotoszyńskie" (Species composition of bats in the Natura 2000 site "Dąbrowy Krotoszyńskie"). Chrońmy Przyrodę Ojczystą 70 (5): 431-436.