Gladys Kung`u

Gladys Kung´u

PhD student

Hellbrunnerstrasse 34, 5020 Salzburg

Tel.: +43(0)662 80445604


Room: D-2.037


Research interest

  • Behavioral biology of cooperative breeders
  • Effects of home range habitat quality on behavior, stress hormone levels, and ultimately the reproductive success of birds
  • Species distribution modelling
  • Application of GIS and remote sensing in defining habitat structure within highly disturbed species home ranges

Curriculum Vitae
Education and training 

  • from 04/2021 on: University of Salzburg, Austria; Doctoral Studies (PhD) at the Faculty of Natural Sciences
  • 09/2017-06/2020: University of Chinese Academy of Sciences – Kunming Institute of Zoology (China); Master of Natural Sciences in Zoology. Thesis title: Reconstructing the demographic history of the Kenyan endemic Hindes’ babbler Turdoides hindei using whole genome sequences and ecological niche models
  • 09/2009-12/2013: Kenyatta University (Kenya); Bachelor of Science in Environmental Planning and Management

Work experience

  • 06/2014-08/2017: Project Fellow (Kenya Bird Map Project) – National Museums of Kenya and Nature Kenya. Main responsibilities: coordinating data submission, organizing field bird-mapping excursions, training volunteer birders/mappers, synthesizing scientific data and communicating the impact of the project to the general public.
  • 07/2013-05/2014: Research intern – National Museums of Kenya. Main activities and responsibilities: assisting in biodiversity field research surveys; assisting in weekly bird ringing/banding within Nairobi
  • 05-09/2012: Student trainee – Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen). Main responsibilities: Preparing environmental management plans; Carrying out environmental audits and preparing audit reports.

Grants and awards 

  • 2020: Awarded a four-year Alliance of International Science Organizations (ANSO) scholarship to pursue a PhD at the University of Chinese Academy of Science (UCAS), Beijing, China. I declined this scholarship in favor of a research position funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), under Dr. Beate Apfelbeck, University of Salzburg.

  • 2017: Awarded CAS “The Belt and Road” Masters Fellowship Program to pursue a Master’s degree at the University of Chinese Academy of Science

  • 2017: Won a research grant to assess the occurrence and status of the Hinde’s Babbler Turdoides Hindei population in the northern suburbs of the Nairobi Metropolitan Area. Grant Amount:  £1,823. Source of funding: African Bird Club

  • 2014: Awarded a search grant to survey the population status and distribution of Maccoa Duck Oxyura maccoa in Kenya’s Rift Valley and Central wetlands. Grant Amount:  £1,804. Source of funding: African Bird Club.  

Language skills

  • English
  • Kiswahili
  • Chinese (basic user)  


Kung’u GN, Cousseau L, Githiru M, Habel JC, Kinyanjui M, Matheka K, Schmitt CB, Seifert T, Teucher M, Lens L, Apfelbeck B (2023) Anthropogenic activities affect forest structure and arthropod abundance in a Kenyan biodiversity hotspot. Biodiversity and Conservation 32: 3255–3282.

Fei W, De-Jun K, Peng-Fei S, Jie W, Kung’u G, Guang-Yi L, Xiao-Jun Y (2019) Ongoing Green Peafowl Protection in China. Zoological Research 40: 580-582.

Kung’u G, Jackson CHW (2017) Kenya Bird Map: achievements from January 2014 to December 2016. Biodiversity Observations 30: 1–6.

Kung’u G., Imboma T, Njoroge P (2016) Recent undocumented Kenya records of the Grey-chested Babbler Kakamega poliothorax. Scopus 36: 34-3.