Marcel Eens

Marcel Eens
University of Antwerp | UA · Department of Biology

PhD

About

490
Publications
83,666
Reads
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15,633
Citations
Citations since 2016
181 Research Items
7280 Citations
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201620172018201920202021202202004006008001,000

Publications

Publications (490)
Article
Full-text available
While low serotonergic activity is often associated with psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, mood, and personality disorders, variations in serotonin also contribute to normal personality differences. In this study, we investigated the role of blood DNA methylation levels at individual CpG sites of two key serotonergic genes (serot...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the known persistence and bioaccumulation potential of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), much uncertainty exists regarding their bioavailability in the terrestrial environment. Therefore, this study investigated the influence of soil characteristics and PFAS concentrations on the adsorption of PFAS to soil and their influence on the PFAS bi...
Article
Full-text available
Self-directed behaviours (SDBs) are widely used as markers of emotional arousal in primates, and are commonly linked to negative arousal, or are used as indicators of stress or poor welfare. However, recent studies suggest that not all SDBs have the same function. Moreover, lateralisation in the production of these behaviours has been suggested to...
Article
Full-text available
Although infectious disease outbreaks represent a serious threat for wildlife population viability, the environmental factors that underlie such outbreaks are poorly investigated. The French Guiana breeding population of Magnificent frigatebird Fregata magnificens is subjected to recurrent episodes of chicks’ mortality likely caused by a viral dise...
Article
Rapid anthropogenic transformation of environments exposes organisms to diverse disturbance factors, including anthropogenic noise pollution and artificial light at night (ALAN). These sensory pollutants interfere with acquisition of, and response to, environmental cues and can be perceived as stressors. Noise pollution and ALAN are often experienc...
Article
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are anthropogenic chemicals that have been globally distributed. Biological time series data suggest variation in temporal PFAS concentrations due to regulations and the phase-out of multiple PFAS analytes. Nonetheless, biomonitoring temporal trends of PFAS concentrations in raptors has only been done spor...
Article
Identifying the environmental drivers of variation in fitness‐related traits is a central objective in ecology and evolutionary biology. Temporal fluctuations of these environmental drivers are often synchronized at large spatial scales. Yet, whether synchronous environmental conditions can generate spatial synchrony in fitness‐related trait values...
Article
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The chemical industry is the leading sector in the EU in terms of added value. However, contaminants pose a major threat and significant costs to the environment and human health. While EU legislation and international conventions aim to reduce this threat, regulators struggle to assess and manage chemical risks, given the vast number of substances...
Article
Full-text available
Humans are generally exposed to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) through their diet. Whilst plenty of data are available on commercial food products, little information exists on the contribution of self-cultivated food, such as home-produced eggs (HPE), to the dietary PFAS intake in humans. The prevalence of 17 legacy and emerging PFAS i...
Article
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There is increasing evidence that individuals are consistent in the timing of their daily activities, and that individual variation in temporal behavior is related to the timing of reproduction. However, it remains unclear whether observed patterns relate to the timing of the onset of activity or whether an early onset of activity extends the time...
Article
In this study, we investigated factors that influence the differences in exposure of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) from eight species of Antarctic seabirds, including Pygoscelis penguins, Stercorarius maccormicki, and Macronectes giganteus. We analyzed the relationship between foraging ecology (based on δ13C, δ15N, and δ34S values) and PFAAs accumul...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental contaminants pose a global threat to humans and biodiversity conservation worldwide. Yet little is known about contaminant levels in tropical seabird communities located in key biodiversity points. French Guiana is a hotspot of biodiversity and is one of the regions experiencing a rampant increase in mercury (Hg) contamination. This r...
Article
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This study aimed to construct a composite model of Dyadic Cofeeding Tolerance (DCT) in zoo-housed bonobos and chimpanzees using a validated experimental cofeeding paradigm and to investigate whether components resulting from this model differ between the two species or vary with factors such as sex, age, kinship and social bond strength. Using dime...
Article
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The phenology of many species shows strong sensitivity to climate change; however, with few large scale intra-specific studies it is unclear how such sensitivity varies over a species’ range. We document large intra-specific variation in phenological sensitivity to temperature using laying date information from 67 populations of two co-familial Eur...
Article
Chimpanzees have consistent individual differences in behaviour, also referred to as personality. Similar to human personality structure, five dimensions are commonly found in chimpanzee studies that show evidence for convergent and predictive validity (Dominance, Openness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Reactivity/Undependability). These dimensi...
Article
In this study, we evaluated the suitability of body feathers, preen oil and plasma for estimation of organohalogen compound (OHC) exposure in northern goshawk Accipiter gentilis nestlings (n = 37; 14 nests). In addition, body feathers received further examination concerning their potential to provide an integrated assessment of (1) OHC exposure, (2...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract To acquire a fundamental understanding of animal communication, continuous observations in a natural setting and at an individual level are required. Whereas the use of animal‐borne acoustic recorders in vocal studies remains challenging, light‐weight accelerometers can potentially register individuals’ vocal output when this coincides wit...
Article
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During the Anthropocene, Earth has experienced unprecedented habitat loss, native species decline, and global climate change. Concurrently, greater globalisation is facilitating species movement, increasing the likelihood of alien species establishment and propagation. There is a great need to understand what influences a species’ ability to persis...
Article
The emotional Stroop task is a paradigm commonly applied in human studies to investigate how emotionally laden stimuli interfere with cognitive processes. Recent modifications of this task have enabled researchers to study similar Stroop effects in zoo-housed primates. Across three experiments using a pictorial emotional Stroop task, we investigate...
Article
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Understanding underlying genetic variation can elucidate how diversity in behavioral phenotypes evolves and is maintained. Genes in the serotonergic signaling pathway, including the serotonin transporter gene ( SERT ), are candidates for affecting animal personality, cognition and fitness. In a model species, the great tit ( Parus major ), we reeva...
Article
Full-text available
Infectious diseases can be considered a threat to animal welfare and are commonly spread through both direct and indirect social interactions with conspecifics. This is especially true for species with complex social lives, like primates. While several studies have investigated the impact of sociality on disease risk in primates, only a handful hav...
Article
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Based on their social bonding hypothesis, Savage et al. predict a relation between “musical” behaviors and social complexity across species. However, our qualitative comparative review suggests that, although learned contact calls are positively associated with complex social dynamics across species, songs are not. Yet, in contrast to songs, and ar...
Preprint
Full-text available
During the Anthropocene, Earth has experienced unprecedented habitat loss, native species decline, and global climate change. Concurrently, greater globalisation is facilitating species movement, increasing the likelihood of alien species establishment and propagation. There is a great need to understand what influences a species' ability to persis...
Article
Tropical forest degradation affects host-parasite interactions, determining the probability of animals acquiring an infection. The activation of an immune response to fight off infections requires energy and other resources such as antioxidants which may be redirected from growth and reproduction. A key question is how selective logging—the most co...
Article
Full-text available
Social tolerance in group‐living animals can be viewed as a counterweight against competitive interests necessary to obtain coexistence equilibrium and maintain group cohesion. As such, it forms an interesting phenomenon to study at the group level, but how can this be done most informatively? Here, we use three group‐level co‐feeding assays and so...
Article
Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are a group of synthetic persistent chemicals with distinctive properties, such as a high thermal and chemical stability, that make them suitable for a wide range of applications. They have been produced since the 1950s, resulting in a global contamination of the environment and wildlife. They are resistant to biodegrad...
Article
Full-text available
Quantifying variation in behaviour-related genes provides insight into the evolutionary potential of repeatable among-individual variation in behaviour (i.e. personality). Yet, individuals typically also plastically adjust their behaviour in response to environmental conditions and/or age, thereby complicating the detection of genotype-phenotype as...
Article
Selective logging is the main anthropogenic disturbance in tropical forests, driving shifts in species abundances. Body size and body condition are important metrics of fitness that may be affected by habitat degradation. We conducted a four-year study to investigate how selective logging impacted the body size and body condition index (BCI) of 55...
Article
The bioaccumulation and toxicity of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have raised scientific and public concern in recent decades, leading to regulatory measures for some PFAS (e.g. perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)). In addition, the discovery of new PFAS alternatives in the environment has led to growing...
Article
Anthropogenic noise is an ubiquitous disturbance factor, which, owing to the extensive nature of transportation networks, and ability of sound waves to penetrate distances, has wide-reaching impacts on biological communities. Research effort on biological effects of anthropogenic noise is extensive, but has focused on waking behavior, and to our kn...
Article
Humans have unique cognitive capacities that, compared with apes, are not only simply expressed as a higher level of general intelligence, but also as a quantitative difference in sociocognitive skills. Humans' closest living relatives, bonobos (Pan paniscus), and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), show key between-species differences in social cogniti...
Article
Personality (i.e., among-individual variation in average behavior) often covaries with fitness, but how such personality-fitness relationships come about is poorly understood. Here, we explore potential mechanisms by which two female personality traits (female-female aggression and female nest defense as manifested by hissing behavior) were linked...
Article
Behaviour is often both repeatable among individuals (i.e. personality) and plastically adjusted within individuals according to environmental conditions or age. Yet, little is known about the repeatability and age-related plasticity in behavioural traits across the lifetime of free-living animals, which is, however, crucial for understanding the d...
Article
Anthropogenic noise exposure has well-documented behavioral, physiological and fitness effects on organisms. However, whether different noise regimes evoke distinct responses has rarely been investigated, despite implications for tailoring noise mitigation policies. Urban animals might display low responsiveness to certain anthropogenic noise regim...
Article
Full-text available
A wide range of species, including marine mammals, seabirds, birds of prey, fish and bivalves, were investigated for potential population health risks resulting from contemporary (post 2000) mercury (Hg) exposure, using novel risk thresholds based on literature and de novo contamination data. The main geographic focus is on the Baltic Sea, while da...
Article
Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are a focus of scientific and regulatory attention nowadays. However, PFAAs dynamics in the environment and the factors that determine wildlife exposure are still not well understood. In this study we examined PFAAs exposure in chicks of a generalist seabird species, the lesser black-backed gull (Larus fuscus), breeding...
Article
Full-text available
1. The integration and synthesis of the data in different areas of science is drastically slowed and hindered by a lack of standards and networking programmes. Long‐term studies of individually marked animals are not an exception. These studies are especially important as instrumental for understanding evolutionary and ecological processes in the w...
Article
Eggs of terrestrial bird species have often been used to biomonitor both legacy and emerging anthropogenic contaminants , such as perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs). However, few, if any, studies have examined whether results obtained in a given model species can be generalized across bird species. Therefore, we compared potential differences in egg PFAA...
Article
Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large, diverse group of chemicals and several perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are known environmental contaminants. Wildlife exposure to PFAAs and precursors has been shown, but less is known regarding replacements such as shorter-chain PFAS. In the present study, exposure to a suite of PFAAs and associations wit...
Article
We studied the relationship between temperature and the coexistence of great tit Parus major and blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus, breeding in 75 study plots across Europe and North Africa. We expected an advance in laying date and a reduction in clutch size during warmer springs as a general response to climate warming and a delay in laying date and a...
Preprint
Full-text available
The phenology of many species shows strong sensitivity to climate change; however, with few large scale intra-specific studies it is unclear how such sensitivity varies over a species' range. We document large intra-specific variation in phenological sensitivity to temperature using laying date information from 67 populations of two European songbi...
Preprint
Full-text available
The integration and synthesis of the data in different areas of science is drastically slowed and hindered by a lack of standards and networking programmes. Long-term studies of individually marked animals are not an exception. These studies are especially important as instrumental for understanding evolutionary and ecological processes in the wild...
Article
Despite growing research effort, we have a limited understanding of how urban disturbance factors affect cognitive traits, such as innovative problem-solving. We performed an initial assessment of how metal pollution and urbanization levels on territories are related to problem-solving performance in urban great tits (Parus major), by presenting an...
Article
Feathers have been shown to be useful in the biomonitoring of environmental contaminants, such as metals and persistent organic pollutants. However, little is known regarding the levels of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) in feathers and the applicability of these structures for the biomonitoring of these compounds. In the present study, we report the...
Article
Selective logging is the dominant form of human disturbance in tropical forests, driving changes in the abundance of vertebrate and invertebrate populations relative to undisturbed old‐growth forests. A key unresolved question is understanding which physiological mechanisms underlie different responses of species and functional groups to selective...
Article
1. Selective logging is a major driver of environmental changes in the tropics. Recently, there has been increasing interest in understanding which traits make bird species resilient or vulnerable to such changes. Physiological stress mediated by the steroid hormone corticosterone (CORT) might underlie changes in local abundance of species because...
Article
Growing evidence suggests that anthropogenic noise has deleterious effects on the behavior and physiology of free-living animals. These effects may be particularly pronounced early in life, when developmental trajectories are sensitive to stressors, yet studies investigating developmental effects of noise exposure in free-living populations remain...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the spatiotemporal patterns of legacy organochlorines (OCs) is often difficult because monitoring practices differ among studies, fragmented study periods, and unaccounted confounding by ecological variables. We therefore reconstructed long-term (1939–2015) and large-scale (West Greenland, Norway, and central Sweden) trends of major l...
Article
Full-text available
The evolution and function of female trait exaggeration in species with traditional sex roles are poorly understood. Competition for social and ecological resources, rather than mating opportunities, may be a key selection pressure in females of socially monogamous species. Moreover, such pre-existing resource competition-selected traits (armaments...
Article
Full-text available
In bonobos, strong bonds have been documented between unrelated females and between mothers and their adult sons, which can have important fitness benefits. Often age, sex or kinship similarity have been used to explain social bond strength variation. Recent studies in other species also stress the importance of personality, but this relationship r...
Article
Artificial light at night (ALAN) can disrupt adaptive patterns of physiology and behavior that promote high fitness, resulting in physiological stress and elevation of steroid glucocorticoids (corticosterone, CORT in birds). Elevated CORT may have particularly profound effects early in life, with the potential for enduring effects that persist into...
Article
We reconstructed the first long-term (1968–2015) spatiotemporal trends of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) using archived body feathers of white-tailed eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) from the West Greenland (n = 31), Norwegian (n = 66), and Central Swedish Baltic coasts (n = 50). We observed significant temporal trends of perfluorooctane sulfonamide...
Article
Comprehensively understanding the factors affecting physiology and fitness in urban wildlife requires concurrently considering multiple stressors. To this end, we simultaneously assessed how metal pollution and proximity to roads affect body condition and telomere shortening between days 8 and 15 of age in nestling great tits (Parus major), a commo...
Article
Rapid urbanization is a global phenomenon that is increasingly exposing organisms to novel stressors. These novel stressors can affect diverse aspects of organismal function, including development of condition-dependent ornaments, which play critical roles in social and sexual selection. We investigated the relationship between metal pollution, pro...
Poster
Full-text available
Citation: Movalli, P., Ramello, G., Sbokos, J., Dekker, R., Vrezec, A., Shore, R.F., García-Fernández, A.J., Wernham, C., Krone, O., Alygizakis, N., Aradis, A., Badry, A., Barbagli, F., Berry, P., Biesmeijer, K., Boano, G., Bond, A.L., Choresh, Y., Kristensen, J.B., Cincinelli, A., Danielsson, S., Dias, A., Dietz, R., Eens, M., Espín, S., Eulaers,...
Article
Metal pollution is a global problem, which threatens to seriously disrupt behavioral patterns and health in humans and wildlife. Nonetheless, little is known regarding how exposure to metal pollution affects animal personalities, as defined by repeatable among-individual differences in behavior. We used a large dataset to investigate the relationsh...
Article
1.Ecological niche theory predicts sympatric species to show segregation in their spatio‐temporal habitat utilization or diet as a strategy to avoid competition. Similarly, within species individuals may specialise on specific dietary resources or foraging habitats. Such individual specialisation seems to occur particularly in environments with pre...
Article
The widespread use of perfluoroalkylated acids (PFAAs) has led to a global presence in the environment, in which they accumulate and may cause detrimental effects. Although soils are known sinks for many persistent organic pollutants, still little is known on the behaviour of PFAAs in soils. Furthermore, studies that examine the relationships betwe...
Article
The spatiotemporal trends of mercury (Hg) are crucial for the understanding of this ubiquitous and toxic contaminant. However, uncertainties often arise from comparison among studies using different species, analytical and statistical methods. The long-term temporal trends of Hg exposure were reconstructed for a key sentinel species, the white-tail...
Article
Full-text available
Due to increasing amounts of hazardous chemicals released into the environment, there is a high demand for developing easy and non-destructive biomonitoring tools. In a recent paper published in Trends in Analytical Chemistry, Rutkowska et al. (2018) concluded that feathers are a good matrix for biomonitoring of environmental pollutants in birds. I...
Article
Full-text available
Predation is the primary source of reproductive failure in many avian taxa and nest defence behaviour against predators is hence an important aspect of parental investment. Nest defence is a complex trait that might consistently differ among individuals (personality), while simultaneously vary within individuals (plasticity) according to the reprod...
Article
Artificial light at night (ALAN) is an increasingly pervasive anthropogenic disturbance factor. ALAN can seriously disrupt physiological systems that follow circadian rhythms, and may be particularly influential early in life, when developmental trajectories are sensitive to stressful conditions. Using great tits (Parus major) as a model species, w...
Article
Although long chained PFASs have been phased-out in several countries, their persistence in the environment and bioaccumulative potential cause the environmental and biotic concentrations to remain high, highlighting the need to further monitor these pollutants. Currently several methods are used for the quantification of perfluoroalkyl substances...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual conflict over parental investment can result in suboptimal reproductive output. A recent hypothesis suggests that equality in investment, and hence conflict resolution, may be reached via coordination of parental activities like alternating nest visits. However, how robust patterns of care within couples are against temporal disturbances tha...
Article
Full-text available
Outbreaks of wildlife diseases are occurring at an unprecedented rate. In French Guiana, recurrent episodes of frigatebird chicks’ mortality due to a viral disease that first appeared in 2005 have recently turned into massive mortality episodes (85–95%) of chicks. One of the suggested hypotheses behind the appearance of the disease is food limitati...
Article
The ubiquity of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) contrasts with the limited information about their effects. We report here PFAA plasma concentrations in wild populations of great tits (Parus major) settled at and in the vicinity of a fluorochemical plant in Antwerp (Belgium). Using two generations we obtained novel results on some poorly known issues...
Article
Perfluoroalkylated acids (PFAAs) are persistent chemicals that have been detected globally in the environment and in wildlife. Although it is known that PFAAs sorb to solid matrices, little is known on PFAA concentrations in soils. PFAA pollution has often been studied in aquatic invertebrates. However, this has rarely been done on terrestrial spec...
Article
Over the past decades, there has been growing scientific attention and public concern towards perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs), due to their widespread presence in the environment and associations with adverse effects on various organisms. Bird eggs have often been used as less-invasive biomonitoring tools for toxicological risk assessments of persiste...
Article
Animal personalities, as defined by repeatable among individual differences in behavior, can vary across urbanization gradients. However, how urbanization affects personalities remains incompletely understood, especially because different urban stressors could affect personality traits in opposing ways, whereas most previous studies have considered...