Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW)

Stable Isotope Laboratory

Alfred-Kowalke-Str. 17

10315 Berlin


Tel: ++49-30-5168-517

E-Mail: voigt@izw-berlin.de

Our key interests

Trophic interactions between consumers and prey, analysis of animal diets, geographical origin of animals via geo-location/isoscape origin models, energetics (via doubly-labeled water method, via 13C labeled Na-bicarbonate method), metabolic tracer studies using 13C-labeled or 15N-labeled compounds.

CN in organic samples at natural and artificial enrichments

HO in liquid samples and gases (natural and artificially enriched)

C in gaseous samples

Specializations: Analysis of non-exchangeable stable hydrogen isotope ratios in various matrices (fur and feather keratin, other proteins, carbohydrates and fatty acids), spatial modelling based on geo-location, combined respirometry and tracer studies.

Our team


PD Dr. Christian C. Voigt

Head of the Laboratory


Tel: +49-30-5168-517

Fax: +49-30-5126-104

E-Mail: voigt@izw-berlin.de

See also related web pages at www.izw-berlin.de and www.batlab.de 

Karin Sörgel (maternity leave)

Technical assistant


Tel.: ++49-30-5168-519

E-Mail: soergel@izw-berlin.de

Anja Luckner

Technical assistant


Tel.: ++49-30-5168-519

E-Mail: luckner@izw-berlin.de 

Yvonne Klaar

Technical assistant


Tel.: ++49-30-5168-519

E-Mail: klaar@izw-berlin.de

Doris Fichte

Technical assistant (Administration and logistics)


Tel.: ++49-30-5168-514

E-Mail: Fichte@izw-berlin.de

Our instruments

3 Delta V Advantage isotope ratio mass spectrometers (Thermo Scientific),

2 Conflo III, 1 Conflo IV,

Costech Elemental analyser (EA),

Thermo Flash-EA, Thermo,



Picarro ring-down cavity spectrometer: isotopic CO2 g1101, isotopic H2O liquid 1102-i,

Los Gatos laser spectroscop (CCIA-36d)

Publications sorted according to topics

Food webs

Voigt, C.C., Voigt-Heucke, S.L., Kretzschmar, A. (2012) Isotopic evidence for seed transfer from successional area into forests by short-tailed fruit bats (genus Carollia; Phyllostomidae). Journal of Tropical Ecology 28:181-186

Matuszak, A., VoigtC.C., Storch, I., Bauer, H.-G., Quillfeldt, P. (2011) Depth-specific and spatiotemporal variation of δ13C and δ15N in Charophytes of Lake Constance: Implications for food web studies. Rapid Communication in Mass Spectrometry 25: 2089-2094

Masello, J.F., Mundry, R., Poisbleau, M., Demongin, L., Voigt, C.C., Wikelski, M., Quillfeldt, P. (2010) Diving seabirds share space and time: Inter- and intra-specific segregation. Ecosphere 1: article 19.

Rex, K., Michener, R., Kunz, T.H., Voigt, C.C. (2011) Vertical stratification of Neotropical leaf-nosed bats (Phyllostomidae: Chiroptera) revealed by stable carbon isotopes Journal of Tropical Ecology27: 211-222.

Voigt, C.C. (2010) Insights into Strata Use of Forest Animals using the ‘Canopy Effect’ Biotropica 42: 634-637.

Rex, K., Czaczkes, B.I., Michener,R., Kunz,T.H., Voigt, C.C. (2010) Spezialisation and omnivory in diverse mammalian assemblages. Ecoscience 17:37-46.


Geo-location/isoscape origin models

Maggini, I. Spina, F., Voigt, C.C., Ferri, A., Bairlein, F. (2013) Differential migration and body condition in Northern Wheatears (Oenanthe oenanthe) at a Mediterranean spring stopover site. Journal of Ornithology doi: 10.1007/s10336-012-0896.1

Ossa, G., Kramer-Schadt, S., Peel, A.J., Scharf, A.K., Voigt, C.C. (2012) The movement ecology of the straw-colored fruit bat, Eidolon helvum, in sub-Saharan Africa assessed by stable isotopes ratios. PloS ONE 7: e37101.

Voigt, C.C., Popa-Lisseanu, A., Niermann, I., Kramer-Schadt, S. (2012) The catchment area of wind farms for European bats: A plea for international regulations. Biological Conservation153: 80-86.

Bairlein, F., Norris, D.R., Nagel, R., Bulte, M, Voigt, C.C., Fox, J.W., Jussel, D., Schmaljohann, H. (2012) Cross-hemisphere migration of a 25-gram songbird. Biology Letters 8: 505-507.

Popa-Lisseanu A.G., Soergel, K., Luckner, A., Wassenaar, L.I., Ibáñez, C., Ciechanowski, M., Görföl, T., Niermann, I., Beuneux, G., Myslajek, R., Juste, J., Fonderflick, J., Kramer-Schadt, S., Kelm, D.H., Voigt, C.C. (2012) A triple isotope approach to predict breeding origins of European bats. PLoS ONE 7: e38083

Erzberger, A., Popa-Lisseanu, A.G., Lehmann, G.U.C., Voigt, C.C. (2011) Potential and limits in detecting altitudinal movements of bats using stable hydrogen isotope ratios of fur keratin. Acta Chiropterologica 13: 431-438

Quillfeldt P., Voigt, C.C., Masello, J.F. (2010) Plasticity versus repeatability in seabird migratory behaviour. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology 64: 1157-1164.


Animal diets

Ludynia, K., Dehnhard, N., Poisbleau, M., Demongin, L., Masello, J.F., Voigt, C.C., Quillfeldt, P. (2013) Sexual segregation in rockhopper penguins during incubation. Animal Behavior. In press.

Voigt, C.C., Voigt-Heucke, S., Schneeberger, K. (2012) Isotopic data do not support food sharing within large networks of female vampire bats (Desmodus rotundus) Ethology 118: 260-268.

Dehnhard, N., Voigt, C.C., Poisbleau, M., Demongin, L., Quillfeldt, P. (2011) Stable isotopes in southern rockhopper penguins: foraging areas and sexual differences in the non-breeding period. Polar Biology 11: 1763-1773.

Siemers, B.M., Greif, S., Borissov, I., Voigt-Heucke, S.L., Voigt, C.C. (2011) Divergent trophic levels in two cryptic sibling bat species. Oecologia 166: 69-78.

Voigt, C.C., Akbar, Z., Kunz, T.H., Kingston, T. (2011) The origin of assimilated proteins in Old and New-World phytophagous bats. Biotropica 43:108-113.

Voigt, C.C. (2009) Studying animal diets in-situ using portable infra-red stable isotope analyzers. Biotropica 41:271-274.

Voigt, C.C., Kelm, D.H., Bradley, B., Ortmann, S. (2009) Dietary analysis of plant-visiting bats. In: Ecological and Behavioral Methods for the Study of Bats (eds. T.H. Kunz, S. Parsons). The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. Pp. 593-609.

Voigt, C.C., Baier, L., Speakman, J.R., Siemers, B.M. (2008) Stable carbon isotopes in exhaled breath as tracers for dietary information in birds and mammals. Journal of Experimental Biology 211: 2233-2238.

Voigt, C.C., Rex, K., Michener, R.H., Speakman, J.R. (2008) Nutrient routing in omnivorous animals tracked by stable carbon isotopes in tissue and exhaled breath. Oecologia 157: 31-40.

Voigt, C.C., Grasse, P., Rex, K., Hetz, S.K., Speakman, J.R. (2008) Bat breath reveals metabolic substrate use in free-ranging vampires. Journal of Comparative Physiology B 178:9-16.



von Busse, R., Swartz, S., Voigt, C.C. (2013) Flight metabolism in relation to speed in Chiroptera: Testing the U-shape paradigm in the short-tailed fruit bat Carollia perspicillata. Journal of Experimental Biology accepted

Voigt, C.C. (2013) Bat flight with bad wings: Is flight metabolism affected by damaged wings. Journal of Experimental Biology. Accepted

Voigt, C.C., Borissov, I., Voigt-Heucke, S.L. (2012) Terrestrial locomotion imposes high metabolic requirements on bats. Journal of Experimental Biology. 215: 4340-4344

Voigt, C.C., Lewanzik, D. (2012) ‘No cost for echolocation in flying bats’ revisited. Journal of comparative Physiology B 182: 831-840.

Voigt, C.C., Holderied, M.W. (2012) High maneuvering costs force narrow-winged molossid bats to forage in open space. Journal of Comparative Physiology B 182: 415-424.

Voigt, C.C., Schneeberger, K., Voigt-Heucke, S.L., Lewanzik, D. (2011) Rain increases the energy cost of bat flight. Biology Letters 7:793-795.

Voigt, C.C., Lewanzik, D. (2011) Trapped in the darkness of the night: Thermal and energetic constraints of daylight flight in bats. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences 278: 2311-2317.

Hambly, C., Voigt, C.C. (2011) Measuring energy expenditure in birds using bolus injections of 13C labelled Na-bicarbonate. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A. 158: 323-328.

Voigt, C.C., Schuller, B.M., Greif, S., Siemers, B.M. (2010) Perch-hunting in insectivorous Rhinolophus bats is related to the high energy costs of manoeuvring in flight. Journal of Comparative Physiology B 180:1079-1088.

Voigt, C.C., Cruz-Neto A. (2009) Energetic analysis. In: Ecological and Behavioral Methods for the Study of Bats (eds. T.H. Kunz, S. Parsons). The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. Pp. 623-645.


Metabolic tracer

Voigt, C.C., Sörgel, K., Suba, J., Keiss, O., Petersons, G. (2012) The insectivorous bat Pipistrellus nathusii uses a mixed-fuel strategy to power autumn migration. Proceedings of the Royal Society London: Biological Sciences 279: 3772-3778

Amitai, O. Amichai, E., Holtze, S., Barkan, S., Korine, C., Pinshow, B., Voigt, C.C. (2010) Fruit bats (Pteropodidae) fuel their metabolism rapidly and directly with exogenous sugars. Journal of Experimental Biology 213: 2693-2699.

Voigt, C.C., Sörgel, K., Dechmann, D.K.N. (2010) Refuelling while flying: Foraging bats combust food rapidly and directly to fuel flight. Ecology 91:2908-2917.