Ole Theisinger, Ph.D.


Lecturer in Wildlife Ecology


Ph.D. in Biology
University of Hamburg (Germany)

MS.c. in Biology
University of Hamburg (Germany)


SFS 3720 Wildlife Ecology
(The School for Field Studies)

SFS 4910 Directed Research
(The School for Field Studies)

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Faculty Profile

When I started studying biology at the University of Hamburg in Germany, my love for wildlife and being outdoors quickly developed into a passion for ecology and field research. As a student, I took every chance to intern in various field projects around the globe before I got stuck in Madagascar to study the reptile diversity of this fascinating island for my Master thesis. The incredible biodiversity, life in the bush, the stunning landscape and the lovely people from the community made it an easy decision to go back to this place for my PhD. I wanted to know why species are where they are and how they cope with a variety of different environmental conditions. Finally, I spent more than 2 ½ years in the bush collecting data about behaviour, activity patterns, body temperature profiles and metabolic rate of lizards. During this time, I involved local and international students in my field research and I taught students in herpetological assessments and environmental monitoring. While writing up my PhD thesis, I worked as Research Associate with the Department of Functional Ecology at the University of Hamburg, where I supervised students during eco-physiological field courses. After finishing my PhD, I wanted to learn more about applied conservation research in Africa. I switched from reptiles to big cats and worked as Field Research Manager with Cheetah Conservation Botswana where I gained firsthand experience in human-wildlife conflict particularly on commercial and communal farmland. From there, I joined SFS Tanzania in 2019 to study the human impact on the herpetofauna and the effect of climate change on species distribution.

Academics & Research

Areas of Expertise

  • Reptile ecology
  • Reptile physiology
  • Herpetological assessments
  • African mammal surveys
  • Cheetah ecology
  • Human-wildlife conflict

Professional Affiliations

  • German Society for Tropical Ecology (member, 2013-present)


Theisinger O., Berg W. and Dausmann K.H. (2017) Compensation of thermal constraints along a natural environmental gradient in a Malagasy iguanid lizard (Oplurus quadrimaculatus). Journal of Thermal Biology, 68:21-26.
Berg W., Theisinger O. and Dausmann K.H. (2017) Acclimatization patterns in tropical reptiles: uncoupling temperature and energetics. The Science of Nature (Naturwissenschaften), 104:91.
Theisinger O. and Ratianarivo M.C. (2015) Patterns of reptile diversity loss in response to degradation in the spiny forest of southern Madagascar. Herpetological Conservation and Biology, 10:273–283.
Berg W., Theisinger O. and Dausmann K.H. (2015) Evaluation of skin temperature measurements as suitable surrogates of body temperature in lizards under field conditions. Herpetological Review, 46:157–161.
Lazdane K., Broll A., Theisinger O., Bearder S.K. and Donati G. (2014) A preliminary assessment of nematode infections in Eulemur collaris (Geoffroy, 1812) (Mammalia: Lemuridae) in remnant fragments of Malagasy littoral forest. Italian Journal of Zoology, 81:374–380.


Theisinger O., Dausmann K.H. (2015) Power napping extreme: hibernation in primates. Annual meeting of the Scandinavian Physiological Society, Aarhus, Denmark. Oral presentation.
Theisinger O., Berg W., Dausmann K.H. (2015) Maximal performance versus energy savaholics - different thermal strategies in two sympatric lizards. 9th International Congress of Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry, Krakow, Poland. Poster presentation.
Theisinger O., Ratianarivo M.C., Dausmann K.H. (2015) Patterns of reptile diversity loss in response to degradation in the spiny forest of southern Madagascar. Annual meeting of the Society for Tropical Ecology, Zurich, Switzerland. Poster presentation.
Theisinger O., Berg W., Dausmann K.H. (2014) Lizards facing climatic changes. Conference “Stress auf allen Ebenen”, Hamburg, Germany. Oral presentation.
Theisinger O., Berg W., Dausmann K.H. (2014) Thermal ecology of lizards along a steep environmental gradient. Annual meeting of the Ecological Society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Hildesheim, Germany. Oral presentation.