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Dr. Ingolf P. Rick

Coordinator M.Sc. Program OEP-Biology

Staff member

Institute of Zoology

Meckenheimer Allee 169 (Poppelsdorfer Schloss)

53115 Bonn - Germany

Room: 3.018

Phone: +49 228 73 57 49

Email: [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.]


M.Sc. OEP-Biology

Information about: 

Master of Science in Organismic Biology, Evolutionary Biology and Palaeobiology (OEP-Biology)


Research interests

Visual communication in fish

  • receiver physiology and colour signals in intraspecific communication
  • adaptive value of short-term and long-term changes in the expression of visual signals 

Mechanisms underlying inter- and intrasexual selection

  • identification of sensory mechanisms involved in sexual selection
  • behavioural syndromes, cognitive abilities and mating preferences

Behavioural lateralisation in fish

  • genetic and non-genetic influences on lateralisation
  • lateralisation of cognitive processes

Solar ultraviolet radiation as environmental stressor in aquatic habitats

  • direct effects of enhanced UV levels on physiological and immunological functions
  • effects of enhanced UV levels on behaviour and life history 




John, L., Rick, I. P., Vitt, S. & Thünken, T. (2021) Body coloration as a dynamic signal during intrasexual communication in a cichlid fish. BMC Zool., published online

Hiermes, M., Marder, M. B., Reher, S., Rick, I. P., Vitt, S., Bakker T. C. M. (2021) Influence of lighting environment on social preferences in sticklebacks from two different photic habitats. II. shoaling and mate preferences of lab-bred fishes. Curr. Zool., published online

Schluessel, V., Rick, I. P., Seifert, F. D., Baumann, C., Davies, W. I. L. (2021) Not just shades of grey: life is full of colour for the ocellate freshwater river stingray (Potamotrygon motoro). J. Exp. Biol., published online

Hiermes, M., Reher, S., Rick, I. P., Bakker, T. C. M. (2021) Influence of lighting environment on social preferences in sticklebacks from two different photic habitats. I. mate preferences of wild-caught females. Curr. Zool., published online

Vitt, S., Bakker, T. C. M. & Rick, I. P. (2020) Differential investment in pre- and post-mating male sexual traits in response to prolonged exposure to ambient UVB radiation in a fish. Sci. Total Environ. 712:136341

Vitt, S., Mehlis-Rick, M., Bakker, T. C. M. & Rick, I. P. (2019). Enhanced ambient UVB radiation affects post-mating, but not pre-mating sexual traits in a fish. Oecologia 190:355-366. 

Rystrom, T. L., Bakker, T. C. M. & Rick, I. P. (2019). Mate assessment behavior is correlated to learning ability in female threespine sticklebacks. Curr. Zool. 65:295-304.

Thünken, T., Rick, I. P. & Frommen, J. G. (2018). Contributions in honour of Theo CM Bakker: Testing, not guessing. Evol. Ecol. Res. 19:477-586.

Mehlis-Rick, M., Thünken, T., Krings, M., Käfer, S. & Rick, I. P. (2018) Cerebral lateralization and quantity discrimination abilities in the threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculaetus). Evol. Ecol. Res. 19:487-501.

Rystrom, T. L., Clement, V. F., Rick, I. P., Bakker, T. C. M. & Mehlis, M. (2018). Shoal sex composition and predation risk influence sub-adult threespine stickleback shoaling decisions. Behav. Process. 157:495-501.

Rahn, A. K., Vitt, S., Drolshagen, L., Scharsack, J. P., Rick, I. P. & Bakker, T. C. M. (2017). Parasitic infection of the eye lens affects shoaling preferences in three-spined stickleback. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 123:377-387.

Vitt, S., Zierul, J. E., Bakker T. C. M. & Rick, I. P. (2017). Long-term UVB exposure promotes predator-inspection behaviour in a fish. Biol. Lett. 13:20170497.

Vitt, S., Rahn, A. K., Drolshagen, L., Bakker, T. C. M., Scharsack J. P. & Rick, I. P. (2017). Enhanced ambient UVB light affects growth, body condition and the investment in innate and adaptive immunity in three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus). Aquat. Ecol. 51: 499-509. 

Hiermes, M., Rick, I. P., Mehlis, M. & Bakker, T. C. M. (2016). The dynamics of color signals in male threespine sticklebacks Gasterosteus aculeatus. Curr. Zool. 62:23-31.

Hiermes, M., Bakker, T. C. M., Mehlis, M. & Rick, I. P. (2015). Context-dependent dynamic UV signaling in female threespine sticklebacks. Sci. Rep. 5:17474.

Mehlis, M., Rick, I. P. & Bakker, T. C. M. (2015). Dynamic resource allocation between pre- and postcopulatory episodes of sexual selection determines competitive fertilization success. Proc. R. Soc. B 282:20151279.

Hiermes, M., Vitt, S., Rick, I. P. & Bakker, T. C. M. (2015). Shoal choice and UV reflections in stickleback populations from different photic habitats. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 116:761-772. 

Hiermes, M., Mehlis, M., Rick, I. P. & Bakker, T. C. M. (2015). Habitat-dependent olfactory discrimination in three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus). Anim. Cogn. 18:839-846.

Schluessel, V., Rick, I. P., Plischke, K. (2014). No rainbow for grey bamboo sharks: evidence for the absence of colour vision in sharks from behavioural discrimination experiments. J. Comp. Physiol. A. 200:939-947. 

Rick, I. P., Mehlis, M., Eßer, E. & Bakker, T. C. M. (2014). The influence of ambient ultraviolet light on sperm quality and sexual ornamentation in three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus). Oecologia 174:393-402.

Pfaender, J., Gray, S. M., Rick, I. P., Chapuis, S., Hadiaty, R. K. & Herder, F. (2013). Spectral data reveal unexpected cryptic colour polymorphism in female sailfin silverside fish from ancient Lake Matano. Hydrobiologia 739:155-161.

Modarressie, R., Rick, I. P. & Bakker, T. C. M. (2013). Ultraviolet reflection enhances the risk of predation in a vertebrate. Curr. Zool. 59:151-159.

Meuthen, D., Rick, I.P., Thünken, T. & Baldauf S. A. (2012). Visual prey detection by near-infrared cues in a fish. Naturwissenschaften 99:1063-1066.

Rick, I. P., Bloemker, D. & Bakker, T. C. M. (2012). Spectral composition and visual foraging in the threespine stickleback (Gasterosteidae: Gasterosteus aculeatus L.): elucidating the role of ultraviolet wavelengths. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 105:359-368.

Rick, I. P. , Mehlis, M. & Bakker, T. C. M.(2011). Male red ornamentation is associated with female red sensitivity in sticklebacks. PLoS One 6:e25554.

Rick, I. P. & Bakker, T.C.M. (2010). Ultraviolet light influences habitat preferences in a fish under predation risk. Evol. Ecol. 24:25-37. 

Rick, I. P. & Bakker T. C. M. (2008). Color signaling in conspicuous red sticklebacks: do ultraviolet signals surpass others? BMC Evol. Biol. 2008, 8:189.

Rick, I. P. & Bakker, T.C.M. (2008). Males do not see only red: UV wavelengths and male territorial aggression in the three-spined stickleback. Naturwissenschaften 95:631-638.

Rick, I. P. & Bakker T. C. M. (2008). UV wavelengths make female three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) more attractive for males. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 62:439-445.

Modarressie, R., Rick, I. P. & Bakker, T. C. M. (2006). UV matters in shoaling decisions. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 273: 849-854.

Rick, I. P., Modarressie, R. & Bakker, T. C. M. (2006). UV-wavelengths affect female mate choice in three-spined sticklebacks. Anim. Behav. 71:307-313.

Rick, I. P., Modarressie, R. & Bakker, T. C. M. (2004). Male three-spined sticklebacks reflect in ultraviolet light. Behaviour 141:1531-1541. 

PhD thesis:

Rick, I. P. (2008). Ultraviolet light and visual communication in the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus L.). PhD-thesis, University of Bonn, Germany.

Diploma thesis: 

Rick, I. P. (2003). Haben ultraviolette Signale eine Funktion bei der Partnerwahl des Dreistachligen Stichlings (Gasterosteus aculeatus)? Diploma-thesis, University of Bonn, Germany.