Kees van Oers is a Senior Scientist at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) and since May 2018 Extraordinary Professor in Animal Personality, embedded in the Behavioural Ecology Group. He received his PhD in 2003 after finishing his thesis "On the Genetics of Avian Personalities: mechanism and structure of behavioural strategies in the great tit (Parus major)" at Utrecht University.
His main research line focuses on explaining the causes and consequences of variation in Animal Personality from an evolutionary point of view, at the crossroads of behavioural ecology and behaviour genetics. He thereby takes an integrative approach combining novel developments by engaging in fruitful national and international collaborations.
Current projects focus on unraveling the behavioural, genomic and physiological mechanisms underlying personality differences. Combining detailed molecular genetic and epigenetic studies with work on brain morphology in captivity with the fitness consequences in natural populations, enables to answer questions from detailed mechanistic levels to the evolutionary consequences.
Acknowledging that individuals differ in these responses is relevant since the world and therefore the environment is constantly changing, partly due to human influences, and we need to know how individual organisms are responding and find ways to adapt to these changes.