Gábor Herczeg

Date of birth:
MSc in Applied Zoology (2001, Szent István University)
PhD in Ecology (2006, Eötvös Loránd University)
assistant professor

Research interests

  • Evolution of behavioural consistency (animal personalities, behavioural syndromes).
  • Adaptive divergence in nine-spined sticklebacks (Pungitius pungitius): the effects of predation and competition.
  • Sexual selection in European green lizards (Lacerta viridis): visual and chemical signalling.
  • Adaptive divergence in common frogs (Rana temporaria) along a latitudinal gradient.


Kovács, T., Herczeg, G., Hettyey, A. (2017). Responses in the diet composition of the Common frog (Rana temporaria) to the stochastic gradiation of autumnal moth (Epirrita autumnata) larvae. Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae. (in press)
Li, Z., Guo, B., Yang, J., Herczeg, G., Gonda, A., Balázs, G., Shikano, T., Calboli, F.C.F., Merilä, J. (2017). Deciphering the genomic architecture of the stickleback brain with a novel multi-locus gene-mapping approach. Molecular Ecology. (in press)
Horváth, G., Martín, J., López, P., Garamszegi, L.Z., Herczeg, G. (2017). Food and vitamin D3 availability affects lizard personalities: an experiment. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology 71:27.
Herczeg, G., Ab Ghani, N.I., Merilä, J. (2016). On plasticity of aggression: influence of past and present predation risk, social environment and sex. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 70:179-187.
Ab Ghani, N.I., Herczeg, G., Merilä, J. (2016). Effects of perceived predation risk and social environment on the development of three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 118:520-535.
Horváth, G., Martín, J., López, P., Garamszegi, L.Z., Bertók, P., Herczeg, G. (2016). Blood parasite infection intensity covaries with risk-taking personality in male Carpetan rock lizards (Iberolacerta cyreni). Ethology 122:355-363.
Molnár, O., Bajer, K., Szövényi, G., Török, J., Herczeg, G. (2016). Space use strategies and nuptial colorin European green lizards. Herpetologica 72:40-46.
Vaskuti, É., Zsebők, S., Herczeg, G., Blázi, Gy., Laczi, M., Nagy, G., Török, J., Garamszegi, L.Z. (2016). A kulturális evolúció nyomai az örvös légykapó (Ficedula albicollis) énekében. Állattani Közlemények 101:25-41.
Balázs, G., Lewarne, B., Herczeg, G. (2015). In situ underwater tagging of aquatic organisms: a test using the cave-dwelling olm, Proteus anguinus. Annales Zoologici Fennici 52:160-166.
Kopena, R., Herczeg, G., López, P., Martín, J. (2015). Escape strategy of Screiber’s green lizard (Lacerta schreiberi) is determined by the environment but not season or sex. Behaviour 152:1527-1542.
Garamszegi, L.Z., Zagalska-Neubauer, M. Canal, D., Markó, G., Szász, E., Zsebők, S., Szöllősi, E., Herczeg, G., Török, J. (2015). Malaria parasites, immune challenge, MHC variability, and predator avoidance in a passerine bird. Behavioral Ecology 26:1292-1302. (DOI:10.1093/beheco/arv077)
Bajer, K., Horváth, G., Molnár, O., Török, J., Garamszegi, L.Z., Herczeg, G. (2015). European green lizard (Lacerta viridis) personalities: linking behavioural types to ecologically relevant traits at different ontogenetic stages. Behavioural Processes 111:67-74. (DOI 10.1016/j.beproc.2014.11.020)
Garamszegi, L.Z., Markó, G., Szász, E., Zsebők, S., Azcárate, M., Herczeg, G., Török, J. (2015). Among-year variation in the repeatability, within- and between-individual, and phenotypic correlations of behaviors in a natural population. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 69:2005–2017. (DOI 10.1007/s00265-015-2012-z)
Urszán, T.J., Garamszegi, L.Z., Nagy, G., Hettyey, A., Török, J., Herczeg, G. (2015). No personality without experience? A test on Rana dalmatina tadpoles. Ecology and Evolution 5:5847-5856. (DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1804) (open access)
Herczeg, G., Gonda, A., Balázs, G., Noreikiene, K., Merilä, J. (2015). Experimental evidence for sex-specific plasticity in adult brain. Frontiers in Zoology 12:38.
Urszán, T.J., Török, J., Hettyey, A., Garamszegi, L.Z., Herczeg, G. (2015). Behavioural consistency and life history of Rana dalmatina tadpoles. Oecologia 178:129-140. (DOI: 10.1007/s00442-014-3207-0)
Noreikiene, K., Herczeg, G., Gonda, A., Balázs, G., Husby, A., Merilä, J. (2015). Quantitative genetic analysis of brain size variation in sticklebacks: support for the mosaic model of evolution. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 282:20151008.
Saarikivi, J., Herczeg, G. (2014). Do hole-nesting passerine birds fare well at artificial suburban forest edges? Annales Zoologici Fennici 51:488-494
Laine, V.N., Herczeg, G., Shikano, T., Vilkki, J., Merilä, J. (2014). QTL analysis of behavior in Nine-spined sticklebacks (Pungitius pungitius). Behavior Genetics 44:77-88.
Garamszegi, L.Z., Mueller, J.C., Markó, G., Szász, E., Zsebők, S., Herczeg, G., Eens, M., Török, J. (2014). The relationship between DRD4 polymorphisms and phenotypic correlations of behaviors in the collared flycatcher. Ecology and Evolution 4:1466-1479. (open access)
Karhunen, M., Ovaskainen, O., Herczeg, G., Merilä, J. (2014). Bringing habitat information into statistical tests of local adaptation in quantitative traits: a case staudy of nine-spined sticklebacks. Evolution 68:559-568.
Herczeg, G., Välimäki, K., Gonda, A., Merilä, J. (2014). Evidence for sex-specific selection in brain: a case study of the nine-spined stickleback. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 27:1604-1612
Garamszegi, L.Z., Markó, G., Herczeg, G. (2013). A meta-analysis of correlated behaviors with implications for behavioral syndromes: relationships between particular behavioral traits. Behavioral Ecology 24:1068–1080.
Shikano, T., Laine, V.N., Herczeg, G., Vilkki, J., Merilä, J. (2013). Genetic architecture of parallel pelvic reduction in ninespine sticklebacks. Genes, Genomes, Genetics 3:1833-1842.
Gonda, A., Herczeg, G., Merilä, J. (2013). Evolutionary ecology of intraspecific brain size variation: a review. Ecology and Evolution 3:2751–2764.
Herczeg, G., Ab Ghani, N.I., Merilä, J. (2013). Evolution of stickleback feeding behaviour: genetics of population divergence at different ontogenetic stages. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 26:955-962.
Ab Ghani, N.I., Herczeg, G., Leinonen, T., Merilä, J. (2013). Evidence for genetic differentiation in timing of maturation among nine-spined stickleback populations. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 26:775-782.
Aikio, S., Herczeg, G., Kuparinen, A., Merilä, J. (2013). Optimal growth strategies under divergent predation pressure. Journal of Fish Biology 82:318–331.
Loehr, J., Herczeg, G., Leinonen, A., Gonda, A., Van Dongen, S., Merilä, J. (2013). Asymmetry in threespine stickleback lateral plates. Journal of Zoology 289:279-284.
Laine, V.N., Shikano, T., Herczeg, G., Vilkki, J., Merilä, J. (2013). Quantitative trait loci for growth and body size in the nine-spine stickleback Pungitus pungitius L. Molecular Ecology 22:5861-5876.
Bruneaux, M., Johnston, S.E., Herczeg, G., Merilä, J., Primmer, C.R., Vasemägi, A. (2013). Molecular evolutionary and population genomic analysis of the nine-spined stickleback using a modified RAD tag approach. Molecular Ecology 22:565-582.
Molnár, O., Bajer, K., Mészáros, B., Török, J., Herczeg, G. (2013). Negative correlation between nuptial throat colour and blood parasite load in male European green lizards supports the Hamilton–Zuk hypothesis. Naturwissenschaften 100:551-558.
Markó, G., Azcárate, M., Hegyi, G., Herczeg, G., Laczi, M., Nagy, G., Senar, J.C., Török, J., Garamszegi, L.Z. (2013). Behavioural responses to handling stress in the Great Tit: within-individual consistency and the effect of age, sex and body condition. Ornis Hungarica 21:12-25.
Ab Ghani, N.I., Herczeg, G., Merilä, J. (2012). Body size divergence in nine-spined sticklebacks: disentangling additive genetic and maternal effects. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 107:521-528.
Saarinen, P.K., Pahlberg, J., Herczeg, G., Viljanen, M., Karjalainen, M.E., Shikano, T., Merilä, J., Donner, K. (2012). Spectral tuning by selective chromophore uptake in rods and cones of eight populations of nine-spined stickleback (Pungitius pungitius). Journal of Experimental Biology 215:2760-2773.
Välimäki, K., Herczeg, G., Merilä, J. (2012). Morphological antipredation defences in the nine-spined stickeleback: consititutive, induced or both? Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 107:854-866.
Molnár, O., Bajer, K., Török, J., Herczeg, G. (2012). Individual quality and nuptial throat colour in male European green lizards Journal of Zoology 287:233-239.(DOI:10.1111/j.1469-7998.2012.00916.x)
Välimäki, K., Herczeg, G. (2012). Ontogenetic and evolutionary effects of predation and competition on nine-spined stickleback (Pungitius pungitius) body size. Journal of Animal Ecology 81: 859-867.
Laine, V., Primmer, C., Herczeg, G., Merilä, J., Shikano, T. (2012). Isolation and characterization of 13 new nine-spined stickleback, Pungitius pungitius, microsatellites located nearby candidate genes for behavioural variation. Annales Zoologici Fennici 49:123-128.
Herczeg, G., Garamszegi, L.Z. (2012). Individual deviation from behavioural correlations: a simple approach to study the evolution of behavioural syndromes. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology 66:161-169.
Garamszegi, L.Z., Herczeg, G. (2012). Behavioural syndromes, syndrome deviation and the within- and between-individual components of phenotypic correlations: when reality does not meet statistics. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology 66:1651-1658.
Gonda, A., Välimäki, K., Herczeg, G., Merilä, J. (2012). Brain development and predation: plastic responses depend on evolutionary history. Biology Letters 8:249-252.
Trokovic, N., Herczeg, G., Ab Ghani, N.I., Shikano, T., Merilä, J. (2012). High levels of fluctuating asymmetry in isolated stickleback populations. BMC Evolutionary Biology 12:115.
Herczeg, G., Gonda, A., Kuparinen, A., Merilä, J. (2012). Contrasting growth strategies of pond versus marine populations of nine-spined stickleback (Pungitius pungitius): a combined effect of predation and competition? Evolutionary Ecology 26:109-122.
Garamszegi, L.Z., Markó, G., Herczeg, G. (2012). A meta-analysis of correlated behaviours with implications for behavioural syndromes: mean effect size, publication bias, phylogenetic effects and the role of mediator variables. Evolutionary Ecology 26:1213-1235.
Leinonen, T., McCairns, R.J.S., Herczeg, G., Merilä, J. (2012). Multiple evolutionary pathways to decreased lateral plate coverage in freshwater threespine sticklebacks. Evolution 66:3866-3875.
Laine, V.N., Herczeg, G., Shikano, T., Primmer, C.R. (2012). Heterozygosity-behaviour correlations in nine-spined stickleback (Pungitius pungitius) populations: contrasting effects at random and functional loci. Molecular Ecology 21:4872-4884.
Hjernquist, M.B., Söderman, F., Jönsson, K.I., Herczeg, G., Laurila, A., Merilä, J. (2012) Seasonality determines patterns of growth and age structure over a geographic gradient in an ectothermic vertebrate. Oecologia 170:641-649.
Bajer, K., Molnár, O., Török, J., Herczeg, G. (2012). Temperature, but not available energy, affects the expression of a sexually selected ultraviolet (UV) colour trait in male European green lizards, Lacerta viridis. PLoS ONE 7(3): e34359. (DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0034359)
Loehr, J., Leinonen, T., Herczeg, G., O’Hara, R.B., Merilä, J. (2012). Heritability of asymmetry and lateral plate number int he threespine stickleback. PLoS ONE 7:e39843.
Bajer, K., Molnár, O., Török, J., Herczeg, G. (2011). Ultraviolet nuptial colour determines fight success in male European green lizards. Biology Letters 7:866-868.
Gonda, A., Herczeg, G., Merilä, J. (2011). Population variation in brain size of nine-spined sticklebacks (Pungitius pungitius) – local adaptation or environmentally induced variation? BMC Evolutionary Biology 11:75.
Shikano, T., Herczeg, G., Merilä, J. (2011). Molecular sexing and population genetic inference using a sex-linked microsatellite marker in the nine-spined stickleback (Pungitius pungitius). BMC Research Notes 4:119.
Leinonen, T., Herczeg, G., Cano J.M., Merilä, J. (2011). Predation-imposed selection on threespines stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) morphology: a test of the refuge use hypothesis. Evolution 65: 2916-2926.
Trokovic, N., Gonda, A., Herczeg, G., Laurila, A., Merilä, J. (2011). Brain plasticity over the metamorphic boundary: carry-over effect of larval environment on froglet brain development. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 24:1380-1385.
Trokovic, N., Herczeg, G., McCairns, R.J.S., Ab Ghani, N.I., Merilä, J. (2011). Intraspecific divergence in the lateral line system in the nine-spined stickleback (Pungitius pungitius). Journal of Evolutionary Biology 24:1546-1558.
Herczeg, G., Välimäki, K. (2011). Intraspecific variation in behaviour: effects of evolutionary history, ontogenetic experience and sex. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 24:2434-2444.
Alho, J.S., Herczeg, G., Laugen, A.T., Räsänen, K., Laurila, A., Merilä, J. (2011). Allen’s rule revisited: quantitative genetics of extremity length in the common frog along a latitudinal gradient. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 24:59-70.
Kuparinen, A., Cano, J.M., Loehr, J., Herczeg, G., Gonda, A., Merilä, J. (2011). Fish age at maturation is influenced by temperature independently from growth. Oecologia 167:435-443.
Kopena, R., Martín, J., López, P., Herczeg, G. (2011). Vitamin E supplementation increases the attractiveness of males’ scent for female European green lizards. PLoS ONE 6(4):e19410.
Herczeg, G., Matsuba, C., Merilä, J. (2010). Sequence variation in the melanocortin-1 receptor gene (Mc1r) does not explain variation in the degree of melanism in a widespread amphibian. Annales Zoologici Fennici 47:37-45.
Waser, W., Sahoo, T.P., Herczeg, G., Merilä, J., Nikkinmaa, M. (2010). Physiological differentiation among nine-spined stickleback populations: effects of copper exposure. Aquatic Toxicology 98:188-195.
Bajer, K., Molnár, O.R., Török, J., Herczeg, G. (2010). Female European green lizards (Lacerta viridis) prefer males with high ultraviolet throat reflectance. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology 64:2007-2014. (DOI 10.1007/s00265-010-1012-2)
Herczeg, G., Turtiainen, M., Merilä, J. (2010). Morphological divergence of North-European nine-spined sticklebacks (Pungitius pungitius): signatures of parallel evolution. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 101:403-416.
Alho, J.S., Herczeg, G., Söderman, F., Laurila, A., Jönsson K.I., Merilä, J. (2010). Increasing melanism along a latitudinal gradient: local adaptation, ontogenic or environmental plasticity? BMC Evolutionary Biology 10:317.
Herczeg, G., Gonda, A., Merilä, J. (2010). Rensch’s rule inverted – female-driven gigantism in nine-spined stickleback (Pungitius pungitius). Journal of Animal Ecology 79:581-588.
Gonda, A., Trokovic, N., Herczeg, G., Laurila, A., Merilä, J. (2010). Predation- and competition-mediated brain plasticity in Rana temporaria tadpoles. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 23:2300-2308.
Shikano, T., Shimada, Y., Herczeg, G., Merilä, J. (2010). History vs. habitat type: explaining the genetic structure of European nine-spined stickleback (Pungitius pungitius) populations. Molecular Ecology 19:1147-1161.
Bajer, K., Molnár, O., Hegyi, G., Herczeg, G., Laczi, M., Török, J. (2009). Zöld gyíkok színezete és morfológiája: jelzések és funkciók. Állattani közlemények 94(2):167-176.
Herczeg, G., Gonda, A., Merilä, J. (2009). The social cost of shoaling covaries with predation risk in nine-spined stickleback (Pungitius pungitius) populations. Animal Behaviour 77:575-580.
Hettyey, A., Herczeg, G., Laurila, A., Crochet, P-A., Merilä, J. (2009). Body temperature, size, nuptial colouration and mating success in male Moor frogs (Rana arvalis). Amphibia-Reptilia 30:37-43.
Hettyey A, Herczeg G, Hoi H (2009). Testing the phenotype-linked fertility hypothesis in male Moor Frogs (Rana arvalis) exhibiting a conspicuous nuptial colouration. Amphibia-Reptilia 30:581-586.
Jönsson, K.I., Herczeg, G., O’Hara, R.B., Söderman, F., ter Shure, A.F.H., Larsson, P., Merilä, J. (2009). Sexual patterns of prebreeding energy reserves in the common frog Rana temporaria along a latitudinal gradient. Ecography 32:831-839.
Herczeg, G., Gonda, A., Merilä, J. (2009). Evolution of gigantism in nine-spined stickleback. Evolution 63:3190-3200.
Gonda, A., Herczeg, G., Merilä, J. (2009). Adaptive brain size divergence in nine-spined sticklebacks (Pungitius pungitius)? Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22:1721-1726.
Herczeg, G., Gonda, A., Merilä, J. (2009). Predation mediated population divergence in complex behaviour of nine-spined stickleback (Pungitius pungitius). Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22:544-552.
Gonda, A., Herczeg, G., Merilä, J. (2009). Habitat-dependent and -independent plastic responses to social environment in the nine-spined stickleback (Pungitius pungitius) brain. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 276:2085-2092.
Sos, T., Herczeg, G. (2009). Sexual size dimorphism in Eastern slow-worm (Anguis fragilis cholchica, Reptilia: Anguidae). Russian Journal of Herpetology 16:304-310.
Alho, J.S., Herczeg, G., Merilä, J. (2008). Female-biased sex ratios in subarctic common frogs. Journal of Zoology 275:57-63.
Herczeg, G., Herrero, A., Saarikivi, J., Gonda, A., Jäntti, M., Merilä, J. (2008). Experimental support for the cost-benefit model of lizard thermoregulation: the effects of predation risk and food supply. Oecologia 155:1-10.
Herczeg, G., Török, J., Korsós, Z. (2007). Size-dependent heating rates determine the spatial and temporal distribution of small-bodied lizards. Amphibia-Reptilia 28:347-356.
Herczeg, G., Kovács, T., Korsós, Z., Török, J. (2007). Microhabitat use, seasonal activity and diet of the snake-eyed skink (Ablepharus kitaibelii fitzingeri) with comparisons to the sympatric lacertids in Hungary. Biologia, Bratislava 62:482-487.
Herczeg, G., Saarikivi, J., Gonda, A., Perälä, J., Tuomola, A., Merilä, J. (2007). Suboptimal thermoregulation in male adders (Vipera berus) after hibernation imposed by spermiogenesis. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 92:19-27.
Herczeg, G., Gonda, A., Perälä, J., Saarikivi, J., Tuomola, A., Merilä, J. (2007). Ontogenetic differences in the preferred body temperature of the European Adder Vipera berus (Serpentes: Viperidae). Herpetological Journal 17:58-61.
Ihász, N., Bajer, K., Kopena, R., Molnár, O., Herczeg, G., Török, J. (2006). Szemben a ragadozóval – a zöld gyík (Lacerta viridis) búvóhelyközpontú menekülési stratégiája. Állattani Közlemények 91:127-138.
Herczeg, G., Gonda, A., Saarikivi, J., Merilä, J. (2006). Experimental support for the cost-benefit model of lizard thermoregulation. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 60:405-414.
Herczeg, G., Szabó, K., Korsós, Z. (2005). Asymmetry and population characteristics in dice snakes (Natrix tessellata): an interpopulation comparison. Amphibia-Reptilia 26:422-426.
Toth, T., Kovács, T., Herczeg, G. (2005). Morphological anomalies in a Finnish Subarctic population of the adder (Vipera berus berus). Litteratura Serpentinum 25:206-215.
Hettyey, A., Laurila, A., Herczeg, G., Jönsson, K.I., Kovács, T., Merilä, J. (2005). Does testis size declines towards the subarctic? – A case study on the common frog, Rana temporaria. Naturwissenschaften 92:188-192.
Harmos, K., Herczeg, G. (2004). A pannongyík elterjedése és természetvédelmi helyzete a Központi-Cserhátban és környékén. Folia Historico-naturalia Musei Matraensis 27:349-357.
Herczeg, G., Kovács, T., Tóth, T., Török, J., Korsós, Z., Merilä, J. (2004). Tail loss and thermoregulation in the common lizard Zootoca vivipara. Naturwissenschaften 91:485-488.
Herczeg, G., Tóth, T., Kovács, T., Korsós, Z., Török, J. (2004). Distribution of Ablepharus kitaibelii fitzingeri Mertens, 1952 (Squamata: Scincidae) in Hungary. Russian Journal of Herpetology 11:99-105.
Herczeg, G., Korsós, Z. (2003). Az interspecifikus kompetíció hatása a pannongyíkra (Ablepharus kitaibelii fitzingeri) egy antropogén hatásoknak kitett élőhelyen. Állattani Közlemények 88:73-84.
Herczeg, G., Kovács, T., Hettyey, A., Merilä, J. (2003). To thermoconform or thermoregulate? An assessment of thermoregulation opportunities for the lizard Zootoca vivipara in the subarctic. Polar Biology 26:486-490.
Herczeg, G., Krecsák, Sz.L., Marsi, Z. (2002). Új bizonyító adat a haragos sikló előfordulásáról Budapest belterületén a Sas-hegyről. Folia Historico-naturalia Musei Matraensis 26:341-344.

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