University of Debrecen
Magyarul  |  in English
Dr. Zoltán Barta
PhD in ecology
professor of biology

Contact details:

head of department
+36 52 512900 ext. 62334
barta.zoltan # science * unideb * hu
Research interests:

  • the evolution of cooperative behaviour
  • communal nesting in house mice
  • animal personality
  • environmental stochasticity and optimal annual routines
Selected publications:


  1. Végvári, Z., Bókony, V., Barta, Z., Kovács, G., 2010, Life history predicts advancement of avian spring migration in response to climate change. Global Change Biology 16 1-11.
  2. McNamara, J.M., Houston, A.I., Barta, Z., Scheuerlein, A., Fromhage, L., 2009, Deterioration, death and the evolution of reproductive restraint in late life. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 276 4061-4066.
  3. Pap, P.L., Vágási C.I., Czirják, G.A., 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.
  4. Harrison, F., Barta, Z., Cuthill, I., Székely, T. 2009, How is sexual conflict over parental care resolved? A meta-analysis. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22 1800-1812.
  5. Lendvai, Á.Z., Barta, Z., Chastel, O. 2009. Conflict over parental care in house sparrows: do females use a negotiation rule? Behavioral Ecology 20 651-656.
  6. McNamara J.M., Fromhage L., Barta Z., Houston A.I., 2009. The optimal coyness game. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 276 953-960.
  7. McNamara J.M., Z. Barta, M. Wikelski, A.I. Houston, 2008. A theoretical investigation of the effect of latitude on avian life histories. American Naturalist 172 331-345.
  8. Tökölyi J., V. Bókony, Z. Barta, 2008, Seasonal colour change by moult or by the abrasion of feather tips: a comparative study. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 94 711-721.
  9. Feró O, P.A. Stephens, Z. Barta, J.M. McNamara, A.I. Houston, 2008, Optimal annual routines: New tools for conservation biology? Ecological Applications 18 1563-1577.
  10. Barta, Z., J.M. NcNamara, A.I. Houston, T.P., Weber, A. Hedenström, and O. Feró., 2008, Optimal moult strategies of migratory birds. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B 363 211-230.
  11. McNamara, J.M., Z. Barta, L. Fromhage, A.I. Houston, 2008, The coevolution of choosiness and cooperation. Nature 451 189-192.
  12. Pap PL, Barta Z, Tokolyi J, Vagasi CI, 2007, Increase of feather quality during moult: a possible implication of feather deformities in the evolution of partial moult in the great tit Parus major. Journal of Avian Biology 38 471-478.
  13. Houston AI, McNamara JM, Barta Z, Klasing KC, 2007, The effect of energy reserves and food availability on optimal immune defence. Proceedings of Royal Society B 274, 2835-2842.
  14. Lendvai AZ, Liker A, Barta Z, 2006, The effects of energy reserves and dominance on the use of social-foraging strategies in the house sparrow. Animal Behaviour 72, 747-752.
  15. Barta, Z., A.I. Houston, J.M. NcNamara, R.K. Welham, A. Hedenström, T.P., Weber, and O. Feró., 2006, Annual routines of non-migratory birds: optimal moult strategies. Oikos 112, 580-593.
  16. Barta, Z., A. Liker, and F. Mónus 2004. The effects of predation hazard on the use of social foraging tactics. Animal Behaviour 67, 301-308.
  17. Lendvai Á., Z. Barta, A. Liker and V. Bókony, 2004, The effect of energy reserves on social foraging: hungry sparrows scrounge more. Proceedings of Royal Society B 271, 2467-2472.
  18. McNamara, J.M., Z. Barta, A.I. Houston, 2004. Variation in behaviour promotes cooperation in the Prisoner`s Dilemma game. Nature 428, 745-748.
  19. McNamara, J.M., A.I. Houston, Z. Barta, J.-L. Osorno, 2003. Should young ever be better off with one parent? Behavioral Ecology 14, 301-310.
  20. Barta, Z., A. I. Houston, J. M. McNamara, and T. Székely (2002). Sexual conflict about parental care: the role of reserves. American Naturalist 159, 687-705.
  21. Liker, A. and Z. Barta (2002). The effects of dominance on social foraging tactic use in house sparrows. Behaviour 139, 1061-1076.
  22. Barta, Z. and L.-A. Giraldeau (2001). Breeding colonies as information centres: a re-appraisal of information-based hypotheses using the producer-scrounger game. Behavioral Ecology 12, 121--127.
  23. Liker, A. and Z. Barta (2001). Male badge size predicts dominance against females in house sparrows. Condor 103, 151--157.
  24. Barta, Z. and L.-A. Giraldeau (2000). Daily patterns of optimal producer and scrounger use under predation hazard: A state-dependent dynamic game analysis. American Naturalist 155, 570--582.
  25. Barta, Z. and L.-A. Giraldeau (1998). The effect of dominance hierarchy on the use of alternative foraging tactics: A phenotype-limited producing-scrounging game. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 42, 217--223.
  26. Barta, Z., R. Flynn, and L.-A. Giraldeau (1997). Geometry for a selfish foraging group: a genetic algorithm approach. Proceedings of Royal Society B 264, 1233--1238.
  27. Barta, Z. and T. Székely (1997). The optimal shape of avian eggs. Functional Ecology 11, 656--662.
  28. Barta, Z. and T. Szép (1995). Frequency-dependent selection on information transfer strategies at breeding colonies: a simulation study. Behavioral Ecology 6, 308--310.
  29. Barta, Z. and T. Szép (1992). The role of information transfer under different food patterns: a simulation study. Behavioral Ecology 3, 318--324.

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