Dr. Daniel Schwarz

Profilbild Daniel Schwarz


The evolution of vertebrate feeding behaviour


+49 (0) 711 / 8936-172
+49 (0) 711 / 8936-100

Research interests

In an integrative approach, I combine form and function with ontogeny and phylogeny to study questions related to the evolution of vertebrate feeding behaviour. Currently, I am particularly interested in the evolution of feeding behaviours in early terrestrial tetrapods. My experimental work is, therefore, presently focused on salamanders, which for various reasons, are particularly well suited for modelling issues related to early tetrapods. I use morphological studies combined with computational modelling approaches to test hypotheses that arose as an analogy to the results from my salamander research.





  • 6. Jandausch, K., Schwarz, D., Bock, B. L. and Lukas, P.(2022). A decharming metamorphosis: The larval and adultmorphology of the common spadefoot toad, Pelobates fuscus. Zoologischer Anzeiger, 296, 37–49.


  • 5. Schwarz, D., Fedler, M. T., Lukas, P. and Kupfer, A. (2021).Form and function of the feeding apparatus of sirenidsalamanders (Caudata: Sirenidae): Three-dimensionalchewing and herbivory? Zoologischer Anzeiger, 295, 99–116


  • 4. Schwarz, D., Gorb, S. N., Kovalev, A., Konow, N. and Heiss, E.(2020c). Flexibility of intraoral food processing in the salamandrid newt Triturus carnifex: effects of environment and prey type. Journal of Experimental Biology (JEB), 223(21), jeb232868.
  • 3. Schwarz, D., Konow, N., Porro, L. B. and Heiss, E. (2020b). Ontogenetic plasticity in cranial morphology is associated with a change in the food processing behavior in Alpine newts. Frontiers in Zoology, 17(1), 1-16.
  • 2. Schwarz, D., Konow, N., Roba, Y. T. and Heiss, E. (2020a). A salamander that chews using complex, three-dimensional mandible movements. Journal of Experimental Biology (JEB), 223(5), jeb220749.


  • 1. Heiss, E., Schwarz, D. and Konow, N. (2019). Chewing or not? Intraoral food processing in a salamandrid newt. Journal of Experimental Biology (JEB),222(6), jeb189886.


Since 2022

  • Postdoc, Paleontology Department (Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Stuttgart, SMNS)


  • Postdoc, Institute of Zoology and Evolutionary Research (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, FSU)

2017 – 2021

  • PhD Student, Institute of Zoology and Evolutionary Research (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, FSU)

Doctoral thesis: "Form, function, development and evolution of intraoral food processing in salamanders"

  • Visiting researcher, in the summers of 2018 and 2019, Concord Field Station (Harvard University) in cooperation with Dr. Nicolai Konow from the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UMass)

2014 - 2016

  • Master of Science: Evolution, Ecology and Systematics

Master's thesis: "Flexibilität bei der intraoralen Nahrungsmanipulation beim Alpen-Kammmolch Triturus carnifex - Welchen Einfluss hat das Medium?"

(Friedrich Schiller University Jena, FSU)

2011 - 2014

  • Bachelor of Science: Biology (FSU Jena)

Bachelor's thesis: "Intraoraler Transport und Manipulation der Nahrung beim Alpenkammmolch Triturus carnifex: Können Amphibien Kauen?"

(Friedrich Schiller University Jena, FSU)