University of Debrecen
Magyarul  |  in English
Dr. Péter László Pap
Biologist / PhD (János Bolyai Fellow)

Research interests:

Functional morphology of feathers

Ecophysiology in birds

The study of life history strategies in birds

Comparative analyses


Study site, studied species

Different house sparrow populations//Aviaries for house sparrows and other birds (University Campus, Cluj Napoca)//A barn swallow population in Transylvania, Romania//Various bird species captured and found dead across Romania

Selected publications:

International journals:

54. Osváth G., Vincze O., David D.C., Nagy L.J., Lendvai Z.Á., Nudds R.L., Pap P.L. (in press). Morphological characterization of flight feather shafts in four bird species with different flight styles. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society

53. Vágási C.I., Fülöp A., Osváth G., Pap P.L., Pénzes J., Benkő Z., Lendvai Á.Z., Barta Z. (2020). Varietas delectat: groups with diverse personalities mitigate physiological stress in a songbird. bioRxiv

52. Pap P.L., Fülöp A., Adamkova M., Cepak C., Michalkova R., Safran R.J., Stermin A.N., Tomasek O., Vágási C.I., Vincze O., Wilkins M.R., Albrecht T. (2019). Selection on multiple sexual signals in two Central- and Eastern-European populations of the barn swallow. Ecology and Evolution 9: 11277-11287.

51. Vincze O., Vágási C.I., Pap P.L., Palmer C., Møller A.P. (2019). Wing morphology, flight type and migration distance predict accumulated fuel load in birds. Journal of Experimental Biology .

50. Pap P.L., Vincze O., Vágási C.I., Salamon Z., Pándi A., Bálint B., Nord A., Nudds R.L., Osváth G. (2019). Vane macrostructure of primary feathers and its adaptations to flight in birds. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 126: 256–267.

49. Vágási C.I., Vincze O., Pătraș L., Osváth G., Pénzes J., Haussmann M., Barta Z., Pap P.L. (2019). Longevity and life history coevolve with oxidative stress in birds. Functional Ecology 33: 152-161.

48. Vágási C.I., Pătraș L., Pap, P.L., Vincze O., Mureșan C., Németh J., Lendvai Á.Z. (2018). Experimental increase in baseline corticosterone level reduces oxidative damage and enhances innate immune response. PLoS ONE 13: e0192701.

47. Wilkins M.R., Scordato E.S.C., Semenov G.A., Karaardıç H., Shizuka D., Rubtsov A., Pap P.L., Shen S-F., Rebecca J. (2018). Global song divergence in barn swallows (Hirundo rustica): exploring the roles of genetic, geographic, and climatic distance in sympatry and allopatry. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 123: 825-849.

46. Pap P.L., Vincze O., Fülöp A., Székely-Béres O., Pătraș L., Pénzes J., Vágási C.I. (2018). Oxidative physiology of reproduction in a passerine bird: a field experiment. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology 72: 18.

45. Osváth G., Daubner T., Dyke G., Fuisz T.I., Nord A., Pénzes J., Vargancsik D., Vágási C.I., Vincze O., Pap P.L. (2018). How feathered are birds? Environment predicts both the mass and density of body feathers. Functional Ecology 32: 701-712.

44. Fülöp A., Vágási C.I. Pap P.L. (2017). Cohabitation with farm animals rather than breeding effort increases the infection with feather-associated bacteria in the barn swallow Hirundo rustica. Journal of Avian Biology 48: 1005-1014.

43. Pap P.L., Vincze O., Wekerle B., Daubner T., Vágási C.I., Nudds R.L., Dyke G.J., Osváth G. (2017). A phylogenetic comparative analysis reveals correlations between body feather structure and habitat. Functional Ecology 31: 1241-1251.

42. Geue J.C., Vágási C.I., Schweizer M., Pap P.L., Thomassen H.A. (2016). Environmental selection is a main driver of divergence in house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in Romania and Bulgaria. Ecology and Evolution 6: 7954-7964.

41. Wilkins M.R., Karaardıç H., Vortman Y., Parchman T.L., Albrecht T., Petrželková A., Özkan L., Pap P.L., Hubbard J.K., Hund A.K., Safran R.S. (2016). Phenotypic differentiation is associated with divergent sexual selection among closely related barn swallow populations. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 29: 2410-2421.

40. Safran R.J., Scordato E.S.C., Wilkins M.R., Hubbard, J.K., Jenkins, B.R., Albrecht T., Flaxman S.M., Karaardıç H., Vortman Y., Lotem A., Nosil P., Pap P.L., Shen S., Chan, S-F., Parchman T., Kane N.C. (2016). Genome-wide differentiation in closely related populations: the roles of selection and geographic isolation. Molecular Ecology 25: 3865-3883.

39. Vágási C.I., Vincze O., Pătraș L., Osváth G., Marton A., Bărbos L., Sol D., Pap P.L. (2016). Large-brained birds suffer less oxidative damage. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 29: 1968-1976.

38. Paștiu A.I., Pap P.L., Vágási C.I., Niculae M., Páll E., Domșa C., Brudașcă F.G., Spînu M. (2016). Wild birds in Romania are more exposed to West Nile virus than to Newcastle Disease virus. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases 16: 176-180.

37. Vágási C.I., Pap P.L., Vincze O., Osváth G., Erritzøe J., Møller A.P. (2016). Morphological adaptations to migration in birds. Evolutionary Biology 43: 48-59.

36. Fülöp A., Czirják G.Á., Pap P.L., Vágási C.I. (2016). Feather-degrading bacteria, uropygial gland and feather quality in House Sparrows Passer domesticus. Ibis 158: 362-370.

35. Vincze O., Vágási C.I., Pap P.L., Osváth G., Møller A.P. (2015). Brain regions associated with visual cues are important for bird migration. Biology Letters 11: 20150678.

34. Pap P.L., Osváth G., Aparicio J.M., Bărbos L., Matyjasiak P., Rubolini D., Saino N., Vágási C.I., Vincze O., Møller A.P. (2015). Sexual dimorphism and population differences in structural properties of barn swallow (Hirundo rustica) wing and tail feathers. PLoS ONE 10: e0130844.

33. Pap P.L., Pătraș L., Osváth G., Buehler D.M., Versteegh M.A., Sesarman A., Banciu M., Vágási C.I. (2015). Seasonal patterns and relationships among coccidian infestations, measures of oxidative physiology, and immune function in free-living house sparrows over an annual cycle. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 88: 395-405.

32. Pap P.L., Osváth G., Sándor K., Vincze O., Bărbos L., Marton A., Nudds R.L., Vágási C.I. (2015). Interspecific variation in the structural properties of flight feathers in birds indicates adaptation to flight requirements and habitat. Functional Ecology 29: 746-757. Spotlighted paper in the 29(6) issue of Functional Ecology.

31. Pap P.L., Vágási C.I., Vincze O., Osváth G., Veres-Szászka J., Czirják G.Á. (2015). Physiological pace of life: the link between constitutive immunity, developmental period, and metabolic rate in European birds. Oecologia 177: 147-158.

30. Diaz-Real J., Serrano D., Pérez-Tris J., Fernández-González S., Bermejo A., Calleja J.A., De la Puente J., De Palacio D., Martínez J.L., Moreno-Opo R., Ponce C., Frías Ó., Tella J.L., Møller A.P., Figuerola J., Pap P.L., Kovács I., Vágási C.I., Meléndez L., Blanco G., Aguilera E., Senar J.C., Galván I., Atiénzar F., Barba E., Cantó J.L., Cortés V., Monrós J.S., Piculo R., Vögeli M., Borràs A., Navarro C., Mestre A., Jovani R. (2014). Repeatability of feather mite prevalence and intensity in passerine birds. PLoS ONE 9: e107341.

29. Pap P.L., Sesarman A., Vágási C.I., Buehler D.M., Pătraș L., Versteegh M.A., Banciu M. (2014). No evidence for parasitism-linked changes in immune function or oxidative physiology over the annual cycle of an avian species. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 87: 729-739.

28. Bókony V., Lendvai Á.Z., Vágási C.I., Pătraș L., Pap P.L., Németh J., Vincze E., Papp S., Preiszner B., Seress G., Liker A. (2014). Necessity or capacity? Physiological state predicts problem solving performance in house sparrows. Behavioral Ecology 25: 124-135.

27. Møller A.P., Merino S., Soler J.J., Antonov A., Badás E.P., Calero-Torralbo M.A., de Lope F., Eeva T., Figuerola J., Flensted-Jensen E., Garamszegi L.Z., González- Braojos S., Gwinner H., Hanssen S.A, Heylen D., Ilmonen P., Klarborg K., Korpimäki E., Martínez J., Martínez-de la Puente J., Marzal A., Matthysen E., Matyjasiak P., Molina-Morales M., Moreno J., Mousseau T.A., Nielsens J.T., Pap P.L., Rivero-de Aguilar J., Shurulinkov P., Slagsvold T., Szép T., Szöllősi E., Török J., Vaclav R., Valera F., Ziane N. (2013). Assessing the effects of climate on host-parasite interactions: A comparative study of European birds and their parasites. PLoS ONE 8: e82886.

26. Vincze O., Vágási C.I., Kovács I., Galván I., Pap P.L. (2013). Sources of variation in uropygial gland size in European birds. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 110: 543-563.

25. Møller A.P., Vágási C.I., Pap P.L. (2013). Risk-taking and the evolution of mechanisms for rapid escape from predators. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 26: 1143-1150.

24. Czirják G.Á., Pap P.L., Vágási C.I., Giraudeau M., Mureşan C., Mirleau P., Heeb P. (2013). Preen gland removal increases plumage bacterial load but not that of feather-degrading bacteria. Naturwissenschaften 100: 145-151.

23. Pap P.L., Vágási C.I., Bărbos L., Marton A. (2013). Chronic coccidian infestation compromises flight feather quality in house sparrows Passer domesticus. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 108: 414-428.

22. Pap P.L., Adam C., Vágási C.I., Benkő Z., Vincze O. (2013). Sex ratio and sexual dimorphism of three lice species with contrasting prevalence parasitizing the house sparrow. Journal of Parasitology 99:24-30.

21. Vágási C.I., Pap P.L., Vincze O., Benkő Z., Marton A., Barta Z. (2012). Haste Makes Waste but Condition Matters: Molt Rate-Feather Quality Trade-Off in a Sedentary Songbird. PLoS ONE 7: e40651.

20. Galván I., Aguilera E., Atiénzar F., Barba E., Blanco G., Cantó J.L., Cortés V., Frías Ó., Kovács I., Meléndez L., Møller A.P., Monrós J.S., Pap P.L., Piculo R., Senar J.C., Serrano D., Tella J.L., Vágási C.I., Vögeli M., Jovani R. (2012). Feather mites and body condition of their avian hosts: a large correlative study. Journal of Avian Biology 43: 273-279.

19. Marzal A., Ricklefs R.E., Valkiūnas G., Albayrak T., Arriero E., Bonneaud C., Czirják G.A., Ewen J., Hellgren O., Horakova D., Iezhova T.A., Jensen H., Križanauskienė A., Lima M.R., de Lope F., Magnussen E., Martin L.B., Møller A.P., Palinauskas V., Pap P.L., Pérez-Tris J., Sehgal R.N.M., Soler M., Szöllősi E., Westerdahl H., Zetindjiev P., Bensch S. (2011). Diversity, Loss, and Gain of Malaria Parasites in a Globally Invasive Bird. PLoS ONE 6: e21905.

18. Pap P.L., Vágási C.I., Czirják G.Á., Titilincu A., Pintea A., Osváth G., Fülöp A., Barta Z. (2011). The effect of coccidians on the condition and immune profile of molting house sparrows (Passer domesticus). The Auk 128: 330–339.

17. Vágási C.I., Pap P.L., Tökölyi J., Székely E., Barta Z. (2011). Correlates of variation in flight feather quality in the Great Tit Parus major. Ardea 99: 53–60.

16. Vágási C.I., Pap P.L., Barta Z. (2010). Haste makes waste: Accelerated molt adversely affects the expression of melanin-based and depigmented plumage ornaments in house sparrows. PLoS ONE 5: e14215.

15. Pap P.L., Vágási C.I., Osváth G., Mureşan C., Barta Z. (2010). Seasonality in the uropygial gland size and feather mite abundance in house sparrows: natural covariation and an experiment. Journal of Avian Biology 41: 653-661.

14. Pap P.L., Czirják G.Á., Vágási C.I., Barta Z., Hasselquist D. (2010). Sexual dimorphism in immune function changes during the annual cycle in the house sparrows. Naturwissenschaften 97: 891-901.

13. Pap P.L., Vágási C.I., Tökölyi J., Czirják G.Á., Barta Z. (2010). Variation in haematological indices and immune function during the annual cycle in the Great Tit Parus major. Ardea 98: 105-112.

12. Pap P.L., Vágási C.I., Czirják G.Á., Titilincu A., Pintea A., Barta Z. (2009). Carotenoids modulate the effect of coccidian infection on the condition and immune response in moulting house sparrows. Journal of Experimental Biology 212: 3228-3235.

11. Pap P.L., Vágási C.I., Czirják G.Á., Barta Z. (2008). Diet quality affects postnuptial molting and feather quality of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus): interaction with humoral immune function? Canadian Journal of Zoology 86: 834-842.

10. Pap P.L., Barta Z., Tökölyi J., Vágási C.I. (2007). Increase of feather quality during moult: a possible implication of feather deformities in the evolution of partial moult in the great tit. Journal of Avian Biology 38: 471-478.

9. Szép T., Møller A.P., Piper S., Nuttall R., Szabó D.Z., Pap P.L. (2007). Migratory connectivity in barn swallows and other hirundines. Journal of Ornithology 148: 257-260.

8. Stokke B.G., Hafstad I., Rudolfsen G., Bargain B., Beier J., Campas D.B., Dyrcz A., Honza M., Leisler B., Pap P.L., Patapavicius P., Prochazka P., Schulze-Hagen K., Thomas R., Moksnes A., Møller A.P., Røskaft E., Soler M. (2007). Host density predicts presence of cuckoo parasitism in reed warblers. Oikos 116: 913-922.

7. Møller A.P., Chabi Y., Cuervo J.J., de Lope F., Kilpimaa J., Kose M., Matyjasiak P., Pap P.L., Saino N., Sakraoui R., Schifferli L., von Hirschheydt J. (2006). An analysis of continent-wide patterns of sexual selection in a passerine bird. Evolution 60: 856-868.

6. Szép T., Møller A.P., Piper S., Nuttall R., Szabó Z.D., Pap P.L. (2006). Searching for potential wintering and migration areas of a Danish Barn Swallow population in South Africa by correlating NDVI with survival estimates. Journal of Ornithology 147: 245-253.

5. Pap P.L., Szép T., Tökölyi J., Piper S. (2006). Habitat preference, escape behavior and cues used by feather mites to avoid molting wing feathers. Behavioral Ecology 17: 277-284.

4. Pap P.L., Tökölyi J., Szép T. (2005). Host-symbiont relationship and abundance of feather mites in relation to age and body condition of the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica): an experimental study. Canadian Journal of Zoology 83: 1059-1066.

3. Pap P.L., Tökölyi J., Szép T. (2005). Frequency and consequences of feather holes in Barn Swallows Hirundo rustica. Ibis 146: 169-175.

2. Pap P.L., Márkus R. (2003). Cost of reproduction, T-lymphocyte mediated immunocompetence and health status in female and nestling Barn Swallows Hirundo rustica. Journal of Avian Biology 34: 428-434.

1. Pap P.L. (2002). Breeding time and sex-specific health status in the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica). Canadian Journal of Zoology 80: 2090-2099.


Local journals:

9. Vágási C.I., Vincze O., Pap P.L., Barta Z. (2015) Oxidatív stressz és öregedés madaraknál. Magyar Tudomány 5: 608-615.

8. Vincze O., Daróczi J.Sz., Kelemen A.M., Kovács I., Pap P.L., Papp T., Sándor D.A., Zeitz R. (2011). The avifauna of the Giurgeu Depression. In: Markó B.. Sarkany-Kiss E. (eds.) A Gyergyói-medence: egy mozaikos táj természeti értékei, Editura Presa Universitară Clujeană, Cluj-Napoca, pp. 183-214. (in Hungrian with English abstract).

7. Muresan C., Pap P.L., Czirják G.Á., Bolfa P. (2009). Excision of the uropygial gland in the house sparrow. Lucrari Stiintifice, Medicina Veterinara, Timisoara, 17: 111-114.

6. Muresan C., Czirják G.Á., Pap P.L., Köbölkuti L.B. (2008). Ketamine and xylazine anaesthesia in the house sparrow. Bulletin UASVM, Veterinary Medicine 65: 193-195.

5. Pap P.L., Szabó D.Z. (1999). The influence of weather on the nestling growth of the Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica). Múzeumi Füzetek 8: 122-130. (in Hungarian with English abstract)

4. Kósa F., Munteanu D., Pap P.L., Sándor D.A., Szabó D.Z. (1998). Results of White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) Census in Cluj County in 1996. Studia 43: 65-70. (in Romanian with English abstract)

3. Pap P.L., Szabó D.Z. (1998). Clutch- and egg size variation in the Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) during the breeding season. Collegium Biologicum 2: 75-89. (in Hungarian with English abstract)

2. Pap P.L., Szabó D.Z., Ambrus L. (1998). The study of food composition of the Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica): the question of load size. Collegium Biologicum 1: 49-54. (in Hungarian with English abstract)

1. Pap P.L., Ambrus L., Szabó D.Z. (1997). The study of the breeding biology of the Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) in a county in the Transsylvanian Plateau. Múzeumi Füzetek 6. (in Hungarian with English abstract)