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DEPE | Stratégie scientifique » ADaptation des Animaux et Gestions Environnementales (ADAGE) » Caroline Habold

Caroline Habold

CNRS permanent researcher since October 2010
Head of Department


Ecophysiologie Evolutive

Département Ecologie, Physiologie et Ethologie
23 rue Becquerel
67087 Strasbourg Cedex 2

Tel : +
Fax : +33.3.
e-mail :

Caroline Habold participates in the INTERREG CRICETUS program : Conservation of the European hamster and the biodiversity of the agricultural ecosystems of the Upper Rhine (January 2021-June 2023, led by the CeA, in collaboration with the German regions of Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate).


Facing energy constraints due to predictable or unpredictable changes in food resources (hibernation, fasting-hyperphagia)

Hibernation is an effective strategy used by endothermic animals to cope with seasonal (predictable) decline in food resources. However, several human (unpredictable) activities have been evoked to disturb the hibernation pattern of some mammals’ species that could be detrimental for their survival. Her research aims at (1) answering questions of fundamental research on the physiological, morphological and behavioral changes in hibernating mammals in highly anthropic environment and (2) generating knowledge and applications to the preservation of the European Hamster, (3) deciphering how some wild animals are able to alternate periods of fasting and hyperphagia without any long-term consequences on their body condition.”

Animal models :

the European hamster
(Cricetus cricetus)
the Algerian hedgehog
(Atelerix algirus)

the Siberian Chipmunk


Ph.D. in Life Sciences (2004, University of Strasbourg, France)
Ph.D. dissertation : Structural and functional restoration of the intestine after a prolonged fast in rats
Habilitation in Life Sciences (2014, University of Strasbourg, France)
Habilitation thesis : Animals’ responses to seasonal declines in food resources

Postdoctoral stages :
Postdoctoral stage (2004-2006, Institute of Pathology, University of Magdeburg, Germany) : Consequences of ROS-induced DNA damage in colorectal cancer cells
Postdoctoral stage (2007-2008, DEPE-IPHC, Strasbourg) : Effects of geophagia on intestinal absorption
Postdoctoral stage (2009-2010, DRS-IPHC, Strasbourg) : Determination of body composition and metabolic fluxes through microcomputed tomography and single photon emission computed tomography.

Member of the steering committee of the French Action Plan (2019-2028) for the European Hamster Member of the Zone Atelier Environnementale Urbaine (ZAEU)
Teaching activities : magistral courses in physiology and anatomy for master students (


Current financial supports

2019/2028 : French Action Plan (2019-2028) for the European Hamster
2013/2018 : EU Life+ grant : Alsace Life hamster (ALISTER) : Demonstration project to preserve european biodiversity in Alsace
Annual supports from the ZAEU


Dr. Chafika MOUHOUB-SAYAH, Faculté des Sciences de la Nature et de la Vie, Université de Béjaia 06000 Béjaia Algérie

Dr Sylvain GIROUD, Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology, Vienna, Austria

Partners for the conservation of the European Hamster : Région Alsace, DREAL Alsace, ONCFS, Chambre d’Agriculture de Région Alsace, GEPMA, Actéon

Ph.D. students

Florian KLETTY
Mathilde TISSIER

Recent Publications

  1. Tissier, M.L., Bousquet, C.A.H., Fleitz, J., Habold, C., Petit, O., Handrich, Y. (2019). Captive-reared European hamsters follow an offensive strategy during risk-assessment. Plos One, in press.
  2. Kletty, F., Tissier, M.L., Kourkgy, C., Capber, F., Zahariev, A., Chatelain, N., Courtecuisse, J., Le Maho, Y., Habold, C.(2019). A focus on the European hamster to illustrate how to monitor endangered species. Integrative zoology, in press.
  3. Tissier, M.L., Marchandeau, S., Habold, C., Handrich, Y., Eidenschenck, J., Kourkgy, C. (2019) Weeds as a predominant food source : a review of the diet of common hamsters Cricetus cricetus in farmlands and urban habitats. Mammal Review, in press.

Full list