Research interests

  • Ants 
  • Community ecology
  • Biodiversity patterns
  • Ecosystem functioning
  • Food webs in tropical soils
  • Myrmecochory and other ant-seed interactions
  • Small mammals in the rain forest of Borneo



Scientific projects

Biodiversity - the variety of living organisms on earth is a fascinating topic of science. Most of my research is dedicated to the survey of animal communities and to the exploration of their diversity, community ecology, function and evolution.

I am conducting my studies in various ecosystems that contrast in terms of productivity and species diversity (Malaysian rainforests, desert and steppe biomes in Mongolia and Iran, temperate forests of Germany). My co-workers and I are studying species assemblages of ants (Formicidae) and small mammals (Muridae, Tupaiidae) in their natural habitats to assess the species richness and diversity of their communities and to sample information on species’ life history traits. Especially I am interested in food webs, ecosystem functioning, spatial patterns and species interactions.

As I am a fan of ants, I am conducting research in various projects on their diversity, behaviour, ecology, morphology, taxonomy and evolution. I am cooperating with many ant researchers around the world, especially those of ANeT, and I am a co-editor of ASIAN MYRMECOLOGY, the journal of Asian ant research.

In the moment my group works on the following research projects:

  • Biodiversity and function of ants in soil food webs in tropical forests of Sarawak, Malaysia (DFG Project, PhD work Dirk Mezger)
  • - a myrmecological networking platform in the internet established for documenting the diversity of Asian ants (DFG Project, Project Manager Hans Peter Katzmann)
  • Community structure and species richness of ants along an ecological gradient from the Hyrcanian to the Khalijo-Ommanian biome in Iran (DAAD Project, PhD work Omid Paknia)
  • Diversity, dynamics and space use of the small mammal community in the rain forest of Sabah, Borneo (DAAD Project, finished PhD work Konstans Wells)
  • Chemical ecology of ant seed interactions (Myrmecochory)
  • Diversity and ecology of Formicidae in Mongolia
  • Ant communities in Malaysian agro-ecosystems and their impact on biodiversity
  • Morphology and evolution of Dacetinae (Myrmicinae, Formicidae)
  • Behavioral ecology of Malaysian giant ants Camponotus gigas

 For more information on the projects see here


  • Dr. Martin Pfeiffer 
  • Institute of Experimental Ecology
  • University of Ulm
  • Albert Einstein Allee 11
  • D 89069 Ulm, Germany
  • Currently teaching at the
  • Department of Ecology
  • at the National University
  • of Mongolia