Dr. Elena Haugg

In my research in the working group of Prof. Dr. Annika Herwig, I have the chance to study impressive metabolic downstates. They require anticipation of energetic bottlenecks in advance, pronounced systemic acclimations, and a fine-tuned gene expression to maintain energy homeostasis. Since my doctoral thesis on spontaneous torpor in the Djungarian hamster (Phodopus sungorus) from March 2018 until July 2022 and beyond, my focus lies in mRNA regulation within the hypothalamus and its areas, while taking the whole organism into account.

My main research methods are:
- Radiotelemetry of core body temperature and locomotor activity
- Transcriptomics in combination with lasermicrodissection
- Analysis of in-situ hybridization
- Immunohistochemistry 

My engagement is supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG).


Diedrich V, Haugg E, Van Hee J & Herwig A (2023) The role of glucose in daily torpor of Djungarian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus): challenge of continuous in vivo blood glucose measurements. Am J Physiol Integr Comp Physiol. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpregu.00040.2023

Cuyutupa VR, Moser D, Diedrich V, Cheng Y, Billaud J-N, Haugg E, Singer D, Bereiter-Hahn J, Herwig A & Choukér A (2023) Blood transcriptomics mirror regulatory mechanisms during hibernation - a comparative analysis of the Djungarian hamster with other mammalian species. Pflügers Arch - Eur J Physiol. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00424-023-02842-8

Haugg E, Borner J, Diedrich V, Herwig A (2021) Comparative transcriptomics of the Djungarian hamster hypothalamus during short photoperiod acclimation and spontaneous torpor. FEBS Open Bio 12:443–459. https://doi.org/10.1002/2211-5463.13350 

Haugg E, Herwig A & Diedrich V (2021) Body Temperature and Activity Adaptation of Short Photoperiod-Exposed Djungarian Hamsters (Phodopus sungorus): Timing, Traits, and Torpor. Front Physiol 12. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2021.626779

Piscitiello E, Herwig A, Haugg E, et al (2021) Acclimation of intestinal morphology and function in Djungarian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) related to seasonal and acute energy balance. J Exp Biol 224:1-13. https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.232876

Diedrich V, Haugg E, Dreier C, Herwig A (2020) What can seasonal models teach us about energy balance? J Endocrinol 244(2): R17-R32. https://doi.org/10.1530/JOE-19-0502



Nov 2021: NeuroCon - Science+ 2021 (jNWG), Günzburg

Aug 2021: 16th International Hibernation Symposium 2021 (IHS), virtual


Mar 2021: 14th Göttingen Meeting of the German Neuroscience Society (NWG), virtual

May 2019: 12th Student Symposium on Molecular Medicine, Ulm

Mar 2019: European DSI User Group meeting, Berlin

Mar 2019: 13th Göttingen Meeting of the German Neuroscience Society (NWG), Göttingen

Mar 2019: 6th Schram Foundation Symposium, Göttingen 

May 2018: 11th Student Symposium on Molecular Medicine, Ulm

Sep 2017: 110th Annual Meeting of the German Zoological Society (DZG), Bielefeld

May 2017: 10th Student Symposium on Molecular Medicine, Ulm

Apr 2016: 9th Student Symposium on Molecular Medicine, Ulm


lab course "Sinne" in bachelor module "Physiologie - Neurobiologie" (winter term 2022/2023, winter term 2021/2022)

Excel-lecture for students of Life Sciences (22 June 2022, 15 November 2021, 06 July 2021, 04 March 2020, 25 April 2019)

Bachelor thesis "3D-reconstruction of hypothalamic nuclei in the Djungarian hamster (Phodopus sungorus) in long- and short photoperiod" (2022)

Bachelor thesis "Definition von Torpor in Dsungarischen Zwerghamstern (Phodopus sungorus) anhand von Körpertemperatur und Stoffwechsel" (2020/2021)

Master thesis "Surgical recovery in Djungarian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus): effects of photoperiod and surgical invasiveness on body mass, body temperature and locomotor activity patterns" (2020)

Bachelor thesis "Aktivitätsanalyse von Dsungarischen Zwerghamstern (Phodopus sungorus) im Kurztag: Vorhersage eines spontanen täglichen Torporbouts" (2019/2020)

Bachelor thesis "Immunhistochemischer Nachweis der neuronalen Aktivität im suprachiasmatischen Nukleus des Dsungarischen Zwerghamsters (Phodopus sungorus) nach Lichtimpuls" (2019)


Doctoral thesis “Spontaneous torpor in the Djungarian hamster (Phodopus sungorus): systemic prerequisites and acute mRNA regulation within the brain (2022) supervised by Prof. Dr. Annika Herwig

Master thesis "Locomotion and walking parameters of the scorpion Mesobuthus eupeus" (2017), supervised by Dr. Sarah Pfeffer in the working group of Prof. Dr. Harald Wolf

Bachelor thesis "Simulation von Tierkämpfen" (2015), supervised by Dr. Andrea Wirmer in the working group of Prof. Dr. Harald Wolf





  • Dr. Elena Haugg
  • c/o +49-731-22631