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Fernando Colchero

Group leader

Abteilung für Verhalten und Evolution von Primaten
Max-Planck-Institut für evolutionäre Anthropologie
Deutscher Platz 6
04103 Leipzig

Telefon: +49 (0) 341 3550 231
E-Mail: fernando_colchero@[>>> Please remove the text! <<<]eva.mpg.de

I am a statistical and mathematical ecologist and the leader of the Statistical Demography Group. My work focuses on developing and applying methods for demography and population dynamics. I have developed different statistical approaches formalized as R packages, such as Bayesian Survival Trajectory Analysis (BaSTA) and, more recently, Bayesian Fertility Trajectory Analysis (BaFTA). I have applied these tools to answer questions on demographic ageing and on the effect of environmental variability on stochastic population dynamics of primates and other groups.

Previous employment

2016-2024Associate Professor in Statistics
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science (IMADA) and Interdisciplinary Center on Population Dynamics (CPop) University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark;
2021-2023Principal Statistical Analyst
Species360 Conservation Science Alliance.

Assitant Professor in Statistics
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and Max-Planck Odense Center on the Biodemography of Aging, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark

2008-2012Research Scientist
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany



ST813: Statistical Modeling. 2016 – 2019, 2021 (MsC programs in Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, Mathematical Economy). University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Dk.

IAST802: Generalized Linear Models. 2016 (MsC program in Applied Mathematics). University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Dk.

IAST801: Statistical inference on survival analysis. 2016 (MsC program in Mathematics). University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Dk.

ST808: Multivariate Analysis and Chemometrics. 2015 (MsC program in Engineering, Mathematics, Applied Mathematics). University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Dk.

IDEM288: Bayesian Methods in Animal Demography. 2013 (PhD International Advanced Studies in Demography), Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.

EDSD Computer Programming for Demographers. 2011 (European Doctoral School of Demography) Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.



MM554: Mathematics for Biologists. 2016 – 2018, 2020-2022 (Bachelor program in Biology, service teaching). University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Dk.

MM556: Mathematics and Statistics for Pharmacists. 2016 – 2018, 2020-2022 (Bachelor program in Pharmacy, service teaching). University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Dk.

FF506: Mathematics and Statistics for Biologists and Pharmacists. 2013 – 2015 (Bachelor programs in Biology and Pharmacy, service teaching). University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Dk.

ST502: Statistical Modeling. 2014 (Bachelor program in Mathematical Economy, Mathematics, Applied Mathematics). University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Dk.


Giraudeau M., Aktipis A., Conde D.A., Baines C. Body A., Bramwell G., Chevallier D., Colchero F., Degregori J., Dujon A., Gentes S., Hamede R., Harris V. Harrisson T., Lair S., Le Loc'h G., Lemaître J.-F., Lemberger K., Lerebours A., Maley C., Malkocs T., Padilla Morales B., Panabieres C., Pavard S., Roche B., Sayag D., Sepp T., Thomas F., Ujvari B., Urrutia A., Vincze O., Dupont S. (2024) Approaches and methods to study wildlife cancer.  Journal of Animal Ecology

Tholstrup D. W., Sletvold N., Øien D.-I., Moen A., Colchero F., Dahlgren J.P. (2024) Actuarial senescence progresses similarly across sites and species in four boreal orchids. Journal of Ecology 112(3):461-469

Staerk J., Colchero F., Kenney M.A., Wilson K.A., Foden W.B., Carr J.A., Pereboom Z., Bland L., Flesness N., Martin T., Maiorano L., Fa J.E., Possingham H.P., Conde D.A. (2024) A decision framework to integrate in-situ and ex-situ management for species in the European Union. Frontiers in Conservation Science 4:1298850 

Baden H.M., Colchero F., Cubey R., Dahlgren J.P. (2023) Aging varies greatly within a single genus: A demographic study of Rhododendron spp. in botanic gardens. American Journal of Botany 110(11):e16247

Tidière M., Colchero F., Staerk J., Adkesson M.J., Andersen D.H., Bland L., Böye M., Brando S., Clegg I., Cubaynes S., Cutting A, De Man D., Derocher A. E., Dorsey C., Elgar W., Gaglione E., Anderson Hansen K., Jungheim A., Kok J., Laule G., Goya A.L., Miller L., Monreal-Pawlowsky T., Mucha K., Owen M.A., Petersen S.D., Pilfold N., Richardson D., Richardson E.S., Sabo D., Sato N., Shellabarger W., Skovlund C.R., Tomisawa K., Trautwein S.E., Van Bonn W., Van Elk C., Von Fersen L., Wahlberg M., Zhang P., Zhang X., Conde D.A. (2023) Survival improvements of marine mammals in zoological institutions mirror historical advances in human longevity. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 290: 20231895.

da Silva, R., D.A. Conde, F. Colchero (2022) Widespread evidence of negligible senescence among turtles and tortoises challenges current evolutionary theories of senescence. Science 376: 1466-1470.

Vincze, O., F. Colchero, J.-F. Lemaîrtre, D.A. Conde, S. Pavard, M. Bieuville, J.A. Teare, A.O. Urrutia, B. Ujvari, F. Thomas, M. Giraudeau (2022) Evolution of cancer risk across mammals: phylogeny, diet and Peto's paradox. Nature 601:263-267.

Colchero, F., J.M. Aburto, E.A. Archie, C. Boesch, T. Breuer, F.A. Campos, A. Collins, D.A. Conde, M. Cords, C. Crockford, M.E. Thompson, L.M. Fedigan, C. Fichtel, M. Groenenberg, C. Hobaiter, P.M. Kappeler, R.R. Lawler, R.J. Lewis, Z.P. Machanda, M.L. Manguette, M.N. Muller, Craig Packer, R.J. Parnell, S. Perry, A.E. Pusey, M.M. Robbins, R.M. Seyfarth, J.B. Silk, J. Staerk, T.S. Stoinski, E.J. Stokes, K.B. Strier, S.C. Strum, J. Tung, F. Villavicencio, R.M. Wittig, R.W. Wrangham, K. Züberbuhler, J.W. Vaupel, S.C. Alberts  (2021) The long lives of primates and the "invariant rate of aging" hypothesis. Nature Communications 12:3666

Colchero, F., W. Eckardt, T. Stoinski (2021) Evidence of demographic buffering in an endangered great ape: social buffering on immature survival and the role of refined sex-age-classes on population fitness. Journal of Animal Ecology 90(7):1701-1713

Morrison, R.E, W. Eckardt, Colchero, F., V. Vecellio, T. Stoinski (2021) Social groups buffer maternal loss in mountain gorillas. eLife 10:e62939

Campos F., Villavicencio F., Archie E.A. Colchero F., Alberts S.C. (2020) Social relationships, social status, and survival in wild baboons: A tale of two sexes. Philosophical Transactions B 375: 20190621

Muller M., Blurton-Jones N., Colchero F., Thompson M.E., Enigk D., Feldblum J., Hahn B., Langergraber K.E., Scully E., Vigilant L., Walker K., Wrangham R., Wroblewski E., Pusey A. (2020) Sexual dimorphism in chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) and human age-specific fertility. Journal of Human Evolution 144:102795

Lemaitre, J.-F., V. Ronget, M. Tidière, D. Allainé, V. Berger, A. Cohas, F. Colchero, D.A. Conde, A. Liker, G. Marais, A. Scheuerlein, T. Székely, J.-M. Gaillard (2020) Sex differences in longevity and aging rates across mammals in the wild. PNAS 117(15):8546-8553

Colchero F., B.Y. Kiyakoglu (2020) Beyond the proportional frailty model: Bayesian estimation of individual heterogeneity on mortality parameters. Biometrical Journal 62(1):124-135

Conde, D.A., J. Staerk, F. Colchero, A.R. Silva, J.E. Fa, H. Syed, J. Schöley, H.M. Baden, L. Jouvet, E. Jogenhans, S. Meiri, J-M. Gaillard, S. Chamberlain, J. Wilcken, O.R. Jones, J.P. Dahlgren, U.K. Steiner, L. Bland, I. Goméz-Mestre, J.D. Lebreton, J. González Vargas, N. Flesness, V. Canudas-Romo, R. Salguero-Gómez, O. Byers, S.M. Funk, T. Bjørneboe Berg, A. Scheuerlein, S. Devillard, D.S. Schigel, H. Possingham, J.W. Vaupel, A. Baudisch (2019) Data gaps and opportunities for comparative and conservation biology. PNAS 116 (19) 9658-9664

Staerk, J., D.A. Conde, V. Ronget, J-F. Lemaître, J-M. Gaillard, F. Colchero (2019) Performance of generation time approximations for extinction risk assessment. Journal of Applied Ecology 56(6): 1436-1446.

Colchero, F., O.R. Jones, D.A. Conde, D. Hodgson, F. Zajitschek, B.R. Schmidt, A.F. Malo, S.C. Alberts, P.H. Becker, S. Bouwhuis, A.M. Bronikowski, K.M. De Vleeschouwer, R.J. Delahay, S. Dummermuth, E. Fernández-Duque, T. Flatt, J. Frisenvænge, M. Hesselsøe, S. Larson, J.-F. Lemaître, J. McDonald, D.A.W. Miller, C. O'Donnell, C. Packer, B.E. Raboy, C.J. Reading, E. Wapstra, H. Weimerskirch, G.M. While, A. Baudisch, T. Coulson, J.-M. Gaillard (2019) The diversity of population responses to environmental change. Ecology Letters 22: 342-353

Colchero F, A.E. Aliaga, O.R. Jones, D.A. Conde (2017) Individual heterogeneity determines sex differences in mortality in a monogamous bird with reversed sexual dimorphism. Journal of Animal Ecology 86: 899–907

Rebke, M., P.H. Becker and F. Colchero (2017) Better the devil you know: common terns stay with a familiar partner although pair duration does not affect breeding output. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 284:2016.1424.

Colchero, F., R. Rau, O.R. Jones, J. Barthold, D.A. Conde, A. Lenart, L. Nemeth, A. Scheuerlein, J. Schoeley, C. Torres, V. Zarulli, J. Altmann, D.K. Brockman, A.M. Bronikowski, L.M. Fedigan, A. Pusey, T.S. Stoinski, K.B. Strier, A. Baudisch, S.C. Alberts, J.W. Vaupel (2016) The emergence of longevous populations. PNAS 113(48): E7681-E7690 (Cozzarelli prize)

Dahlgren J.P., F. Colchero, O.R. Jones, D-I. Øien, A. Moen, N. Sletvold (2016) Actuarial senescence, investment in reproduction and environmental conditions of a long-lived orchid. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 283: 2016.1217.

Barthold, J., C. Packer, A. Loveridge, D. W. Macdonald, F. Colchero (2016) Dead or gone? Bayesian inference on mortality for the dispersing sex. Ecology and Evolution doi:10.1002/ece3.2247

Barthold, J., A. Loveridge, D. W. Macdonald, C. Packer, F. Colchero (2016) Bayesian estimates of male and female African lion mortality for future use in population management. Journal of Applied Ecology 53:295-304

Larson, S.M., F. Colchero, O.R. Jones, L Williams, E. Fernández-Duque (2016) Age and sex-specific mortality of wild and captive populations of a monogamous pair-bonded primate (Aotus azarae). American Journal of Primatology 78(3): 315-325.

Koons, D.N., F. Colchero, K. Hersey, O. Gimenez (2015) Disentangling the effects of climate, density dependence, and harvest on the population dynamics of North America’s most iconic large herbivore. Ecological Applications 25:956-967

Conde, D.A., F. Colchero, B. Güneralp, M. Gusset, B. Skolnik, M. Parr, O. Byers, K. Johnson, G. Young, N. Flesness, H. Possingham, J.E. Fa (2015) Opportunities and costs for preventing vertebrate extinctions. Current Biology 25: R219-R221

Salguero-Gómez, R, et al. (2015) The COMPADRE Plant Matrix Database an Open Online Repository for Plant Demography. Journal of Ecology 103: 202-218. 

Zubillaga, M., O. Skewes, N. Soto, J. E. Rabinovich, F. Colchero (2014) Bayesian inference on the effect of density dependence and weather on a guanaco population from Chile. Plos One e115307.

Colchero, F. and R. Schaible (2014) Mortality as a bivariate function of age and size in indeterminate growers. Ecosphere 5(12): 161

Plante, S., F. Colchero and S. Calmé (2014) Foraging strategy of a Neotropical primate: how intrinsic and extrinsic factors influence destination and residence time.  Journal of Animal Ecology 83: 116-125.

Zajitschek, F., Jin, T., F. Colchero, and A. Maklakov (2014) Aging differently: diet- and sex-dependent late-life mortality patterns in Drosophila melanogaster. Journal of Gerontology: Series A 83: 116-125.

Conde, D.A., F. Colchero, P. Pearce-Kelly, O. Byers, M. Gusset, N. Flesness, R. K. Browne and Jones, O.R. (2013) Zoos through the lens of the IUCN Red List: a global metapopulation approach to support conservation breeding programs. Plos One 8(12): e80311

Baudisch, A., R. Salguero-Gómez, O.R. Jones, T. Wrycza, C. Mbeau-Ache, M. Franco & F. Colchero (2013) The pace and shape of senescence in angiosperms. Journal of Ecology 101: 596-606

Colchero, F., O.R. Jones and M. Rebke (2012) BaSTA: an R package for Bayesian estimation of age-specific survival from incomplete mark-recapture/recovery data with covariates. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 3: 466-470 

Colchero, F. and J. S. Clark (2012) Bayesian inference on age-specific survival for censored and truncated data. Journal of Animal Ecology 81: 139-149

Schaible, R., A. Gerloff-Elias, F. Colchero, H. Schubert (2012) Neighboring parthenogenetic populations of Chara canescens differ in their acclimation potential to irradiance and salinity. Oecologia 168: 343-353.

Conde, D.A, N. Flesness, F. Colchero, O. Jones, A. Scheuerlein (2011) Zoos and captive breeding: response. Science 332: 1150-1151.

Conde, D.A, N. Flesness, F. Colchero, O. Jones, A. Scheuerlein (2011) An emerging role of zoos to conserve biodiversity. Science 331: 1390-1391

Colchero, F., D. A. Conde, C. Manterola, C. Chávez, A. Rivera and G. Ceballos (2011) Jaguars on the move: modeling movement to mitigate fragmentation from road expansion in the Mayan Forests. Animal Conservation 14(2): 158-166

Conde, D. A., F. Colchero, H. Zarza, N. L. Christensen Jr, J. Sexton, C. Manterola, A. Rivera, C. Chávez, D. Azuara and G. Ceballos (2010) Sex matters: modeling male and female jaguar habitat for conservation. Biological Conservation 143: 1980-1988

Colchero, F., O. L. Bass, Jr., R. Zambrano, and J. A. Gore (2010) Clustered nesting and vegetation thresholds reduce egg predation in sooty terns. Waterbirds 33(2): 169-178

Colchero, F., R. A. Medellín, J. S. Clark, R. Lee, and G. Katul (2009) Predicting population survival under future climate change: density dependence, drought and extraction in an insular bighorn sheep. Journal of Animal Ecology 78(3): 666-673.

Schick, R. S., S. R. Loarie, F. Colchero, B. D. Best, A. Boustany, D. A. Conde, P. N. Halpin, L. N. Joppa, C. M. McLellan, and J. S. Clark (2008) Understanding movement data and movement processes. Current and emerging directions. Ecology Letters 11: 1338-1350.

Books and book chapters

Cubaynes, S. et al. (forthcoming) Chapter 12 Survival Analyses. In Demographic analyses across the tree of life (Salguero-Gómez, R and Gamelon, M eds.)

Pallares, E., C. Manterola, D. A. Conde and F. Colchero (2015) Roads and jaguars in the Mayan Forests. In van der Ree, R., Smith, D. J., and Grilo, C. (eds). Handbook of Road Ecology. John Wiley & Sons, Oxford.

Manterola, C., D. A. Conde, F. Colchero, A. Rivera, E. Huerta, A. Soler and E. Pallares (2011) El jaguar como elemento estratégico para la conservación. Corredor Biológico Mesoamericano México Serie Acciones / Número 8.

Colchero, F., L. Leon-Paniagua, and A. G. Navarro-Siguenza (2006) Hábitat del berrendo en México. In El Berrendo en México, Acciones de Conservación. Instituto Nacional de Ecología, eds. México.

Colchero, F., G. O’Farrill, and R. A. Medellín (2005) Didelphis marsupialis. In G. Ceballos and G. Oliva eds. Los Mamíferos Silvestres de México. CONABIO-CFE. México.

Medellín, R. A. and F. Colchero (2001) Los borregos cimarrones de la Isla Tiburón: conservación y desarrollo sustentable. Recuadro XVII.3. Pages 510-512 In Primack, R., R. Rozzi, P. Feinsinger, R. Dirzo, y F. Massardo eds. Fundamentos de conservación biológica Perspectivas Latinoamericanas. Fondo de Cultura Económica. México.

Colchero, F., R. A. Medellín, R. Lee, C. Manterola, and G. Ceballos (1999) The Tiburon Island desert bighorn sheep: a conservation and sustainable development program in Mexico. Pages 77-82 In A. E. Thomas and H. L. Thomas, eds. Proceedings of the Second North American Wild Sheep Conference. Reno, Nevada, USA.