Bálint Üveges

Bálint Üveges
Bangor University · Molecular Ecology and Evolution at Bangor

PhD
I am studying evolutionary ecology of snake venoms, using meadow viper (Vipera ursinii) venoms as a model system

About

20
Publications
4,119
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234
Citations
Introduction
I am mainly interested in evolutionary ecology of poisonous and venomous animals, and especially in investigating how environmental factors, such as predation pressure drive their evolution. Currently, I am studying evolutionary ecology of snake venoms, using meadow viper (Vipera ursinii) venoms as a model system. Previously I have studied phenotypic plasticity of chemical defences in common toads (Bufo bufo).
Additional affiliations
December 2012 - May 2020
Centre for Agricultural Research Hungary
Position
  • Research Associate
August 2008 - August 2011
University of Debrecen
Position
  • PhD Student
June 2004 - June 2011
MME BirdLife Hungary
Position
  • Hungarian Meadow Viper LIFE Program
Education
September 2008 - August 2011
University of Debrecen
Field of study
  • PhD Studies
September 2003 - June 2008
University of Debrecen
Field of study
  • Ecology

Publications

Publications (20)
Article
Full-text available
Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) causes chytridiomycosis, an infectious disease of amphibians, which has contributed to population declines in hundreds of species worldwide. Common toads (Bufo bufo) exhibit low resistance and relatively high tolerance to Bd infection, which may partly be attributable to bufadienolide toxins secreted in their gra...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic environmental changes are affecting biodiversity and microevolution worldwide. Ectothermic vertebrates are especially vulnerable, since environmental changes can disrupt their sexual development and cause sex reversal, a mismatch between genetic and phenotypic sex. This can potentially lead to sex‐ratio distortion and population decli...
Preprint
Full-text available
Anthropogenic environmental changes are affecting biodiversity and microevolution worldwide. Ectothermic vertebrates are especially vulnerable, since their sexual development can be disrupted by environmental changes, which can cause sex reversal, a mismatch between genetic and phenotypic sex, potentially leading to sex-ratio distortion and populat...
Article
Animals living in groups with high conspecific densities typically decrease their level of plastic anti‐predatory defence, because its benefits diminish with reduced per capita predation risk (a benefit of aggregation), whereas its costs increase due to intensifying competition and increased infection risk. Furthermore, phenotypic responses that pr...
Article
Populations of ectothermic vertebrates are vulnerable to environmental pollution and climate change because certain chemicals and extreme temperatures can cause sex reversal during early ontogeny (i.e. genetically female individuals develop male phenotype or vice versa), which may distort population sex ratios. However, we have troublingly little i...
Article
1.Inducible defences are ubiquitous in the animal kingdom, but little is known about facultative changes in chemical defences in response to predators, especially so in vertebrates. 2.We tested for predator‐induced changes in toxin production of larval common toads (Bufo bufo), which are known to synthesize bufadienolide compounds. 3.The experiment...
Article
Full-text available
Many organisms use inducible defenses as protection against predators. In animals, inducible defenses may manifest as changes in behavior, morphology, physiology, or life history, and prey species can adjust their defensive responses based on the dangerousness of predators. Analogously, prey may also change the composition and quantity of defensive...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the well-documented effects of human-induced environmental changes on the morphology, physiology, behaviour and life history of wild animals, next to nothing is known about how anthropogenic habitats influence anti-predatory chemical defence, a crucial fitness component of many species. We investigated the amount and composition of defensiv...
Article
Many chemical pollutants have endocrine disrupting effects which can cause lifelong reproductive abnormalities in animals. Amphibians are the most threatened group of vertebrates, but there is little information on the nature and quantity of pollutants occurring in typical amphibian breeding habitats and on the reproductive capacities of amphibian...
Article
Inducible defences are a form of phenotypic plasticity by which organisms respond to and mitigate the threat posed by predators, parasites and competitors. While anti-predatory defences are often in trade-off with anti-competitor responses, chemicals that deter predators may have negative effects on competitors as well. Allelopathy is well known in...
Article
Full-text available
Background Chemical defences are widespread in animals, but how their production is adjusted to ecological conditions is poorly known. Optimal defence theory predicts that inducible defences are favoured over constitutive defences when toxin production is costly and the need for it varies across environments. However, if some environmental changes...
Article
Full-text available
Amphibians are the most threatened vertebrates today, experiencing worldwide declines. In recent years considerable effort was invested in exposing the causes of these declines. Climate change has been identified as such a cause; however, the expectable effects of predicted milder, shorter winters on hibernation success of temperate-zone Amphibians...
Article
Full-text available
Defensive toxins are widespread in nature, yet we know little about how various environmental factors shape the evolution of chemical defense, especially in vertebrates. In this study we investigated the natural variation in the amount and composition of bufadienolide toxins, and the relative importance of ecological factors in predicting that vari...
Article
Vipera ursinii graeca is a restricted-range, endemic snake of the Pindos mountain range in the southwestern Balkans. The subspecies was previously reported from eight localities in Greece and one locality in southern Albania. We used species distribution modelling based on climate data from known localities in Greece to estimate the potential distr...
Article
The objective of our research was to determine the heritability of head scale numbers of Vipera ursinii rakosiensis. 430 specimens (177 males and 253 females) were included in the analysis, most of which were born and raised in the Hungarian Meadow Viper Conservation Centre between 2004 and 2008. Due to the controlled breeding conditions, the dams...
Article
Full-text available
Snakes have a variety of defensive behaviours. Some snakes try to defend themselves by biting their aggressors (predators, captors). This antipredatory behaviour is usually a response to stress or predators and the most commonly observed defensive behaviour in vipers. In some of the cases venomous snakes deliver 'dry bites' without envenoming, beca...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
We study phenotypic plasticity of chemical defences using tadpoles of the common toad (Bufo bufo).