Special Issue "Biological Anomalies Prior to Earthquakes"


A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2014

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Friedemann T. Freund
1 NASA Ames Research Center, Earth Science Division, Code SGE, MS 245-4, Moffett Field, CA 94035, USA
2 SETI Institute, 189 Bernardo Ave., Mountain View, CA 94043, USA
Website: http://astrobiology.nasa.gov/directory/profile/1978/friedemann/freund/
E-Mail: friedemann.t.freund@nasa.gov
Interests: My work on defects in crystals and minerals, which started out with a focus on solid state physics, has led me to the discovery of changes in the valence (oxidation state) of those oxygen anions, which make up the bulk of all rocks on Earth. This opened the door to better understand why, when rocks are stressed (for instance by the tectonic forces in the Earth prior to earthquakes), electric currents start to flow. These electric currents manifest themselves in many different and sometimes unexpected ways, both through their physical and chemical effects. My studies of these phenomena led to my interest in the possible consequences for the biological world as expressed in the often reported unusual behaviour patterns of animals before major earthquakes. Even human health seems to be at stake.

Guest Editor
Dr. Rachel A. Grant
Department of Life Sciences, Anglia Ruskin University, East Rd. Cambridge CB1 1PT, UK
Website: http://www.anglia.ac.uk/ruskin/en/home/faculties/fst/departments/lifesciences/staff/rachel_grant.html
E-Mail: Rachel.grant@anglia.ac.uk
Interests: My primary research interest is animal behaviour, in particular the interdisciplinary areas of geophysics/geochemistry and interaction with behaviour and ecology. I have worked extensively with amphibians and their reaction to lunar-related environmental changes. My work on toads in Italy led to the publication of a paper detailing their reaction to a large earthquake at L’Aquila. This has led me to be interested in unusual animal behaviour and other biological anomalies or indicators prior to earthquakes, and the possible mechanisms causing this.

Guest Editor
Dr. Viktor Stolc
NASA Ames Research Center, Life Sciences Division, Building 261, Room 115, Moffett Field, CA 94035, USA
Website: http://ipt.arc.nasa.gov/stolc.html
E-Mail: viktor.stolc-1@nasa.gov
Interests: Space biomedical research to investigate the physical basis for interactions between environmental conditions generated by the Sun’s heliosphere and geophysical dynamics, and biochemical dynamics that include genetic mutation, and human health and performance. Experimental and computational approaches to define the physical basis for resonance between the ambient electromagnetic field and the universal electromagnetic field generated by living cells is the focus of this work. For example, the induction of resonance between the Earth’s electromagnetic field spectrum (e.g., Schumann resonances, at extremely low frequencies (ELF) around 7.86 (fundamental), 14.3, 20.8, 27.3 and 33.8 Hz.) and electromagnetic oscillations generated by the universal electron transport chain redox cycle in living cells are investigated. Model systems that are proven genomically tractable organisms are used for identifying the genetic basis for risk factors from spaceflight. NASA’s results suggest that electromagnetic interactions between the environment and living cells may define the physical basis of human health and genetic variation among organisms by a discrete and iterative feedback mechanism. This work supports crew health and performance in NASA space exploration missions as well as the Astrobiology Program.

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Unusual animal behaviour, and other bio-anomalies preceding large earthquakes, have been reported through the ages. Recently, ground breaking advances in solid state physics, combined with other approaches such as satellite technology and radio sounding methods, along with some fortuitous observations of pre-seismic biological changes, have enabled a greater understanding of how some of these bioanomalies may come about. This special issue intends to bring together cutting edge research on this important topic, in order to advance the state of earthquake biology research and encourage further investigation in this controversial, but critically important subject, which is of fundamental scientific interest and also may have the potential to contribute to short term hazard risk forecasting. By nature the subject matter is cross-disciplinary and will span sometimes disparate research areas. Therefore the editors will consider any topic in the broad area of earthquake biology and pre-submission enquiries are welcomed.

The scope of the issue shall include, but is not limited to the following topics:

  • Reports of unusual animal behaviour before earthquakes
  • Reports of marine and freshwater strandings linked with earthquakes
  • Reports of other biological anomalies before earthquakes (such as changes in microbial flora, zooplankton or other single celled animals)
  • Medical effects prior to large earthquakes (such as changes in brain serotonin)
  • Hypotheses relating to potential mechanisms for pre seismic bioanomalies
  • Changes in circadian rhythms and other physiological changes prior to earthquakes
  • Possible indicator species for short-term earthquake risk forecasting
  • Changes in water chemistry and their likely biological effects
  • Avoidance of false alarms, by defining and identifying normal/abnormal behaviour
  • Reviews of the current state of knowledge, and meta-analyses
  • Biological indicators of fault systems
  • Palynology/limnology and earthquakes

The scope of the issue does not include:

  • Purely geophysical effects with no probable biological consequences
  • Biological changes occurring after earthquakes have taken place.

Prof. Dr. Friedemann T. Freund
Dr. Rachel A. Grant
Dr. Viktor Stolc
Guest Editors


Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 500 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.


  • earthquake
  • natural hazards
  • animal behaviour
  • bioanomalies
  • seismicity

Published Papers (11 papers)

by ,  and
Animals 2014, 4(2), 292-312; doi:10.3390/ani4020292
Received: 7 January 2014; in revised form: 13 May 2014 / Accepted: 19 May 2014 / Published: 3 June 2014
Show/Hide Abstract | PDF Full-text (1570 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text

by , ,  and
Animals 2014, 4(2), 131-145; doi:10.3390/ani4020131
Received: 3 February 2014; in revised form: 26 March 2014 / Accepted: 28 March 2014 / Published: 3 April 2014
Show/Hide Abstract | PDF Full-text (262 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text

by  and
Animals 2013, 3(4), 962-977; doi:10.3390/ani3040962
Received: 6 September 2013; in revised form: 22 September 2013 / Accepted: 22 September 2013 / Published: 11 October 2013
Show/Hide Abstract | PDF Full-text (566 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text

Animals 2013, 3(3), 693-721; doi:10.3390/ani3030693
Received: 4 February 2013; in revised form: 30 July 2013 / Accepted: 31 July 2013 / Published: 6 August 2013
Show/Hide Abstract | Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (752 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text

by  and
Animals 2013, 3(2), 513-531; doi:10.3390/ani3020513
Received: 26 April 2013; in revised form: 28 May 2013 / Accepted: 28 May 2013 / Published: 6 June 2013
Show/Hide Abstract | Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (350 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text

by  and
Animals 2013, 3(2), 475-498; doi:10.3390/ani3020475
Received: 13 March 2013; in revised form: 26 April 2013 / Accepted: 7 May 2013 / Published: 17 May 2013
Show/Hide Abstract | PDF Full-text (2393 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text

by  and
Animals 2013, 3(2), 349-355; doi:10.3390/ani3020349
Received: 2 February 2013; in revised form: 15 April 2013 / Accepted: 15 April 2013 / Published: 18 April 2013
Show/Hide Abstract | PDF Full-text (477 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text

Animals 2013, 3(1), 274-299; doi:10.3390/ani3010274
Received: 10 February 2013; in revised form: 13 March 2013 / Accepted: 14 March 2013 / Published: 19 March 2013
Show/Hide Abstract | PDF Full-text (681 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text

by  and
Animals 2013, 3(1), 228-237; doi:10.3390/ani3010228
Received: 4 January 2013; in revised form: 21 February 2013 / Accepted: 27 February 2013 / Published: 5 March 2013
Show/Hide Abstract | PDF Full-text (248 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text

by , , ,  and
Animals 2013, 3(1), 63-84; doi:10.3390/ani3010063
Received: 14 December 2012; in revised form: 25 January 2013 / Accepted: 28 January 2013 / Published: 4 February 2013
Show/Hide Abstract | Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2308 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text

Animals 2013, 3(1), 19-32; doi:10.3390/ani3010019
Received: 4 December 2012; in revised form: 24 December 2012 / Accepted: 4 January 2013 / Published: 10 January 2013
Show/Hide Abstract | Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (523 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text

Last update: 12 December 2013

Animals EISSN 2076-2615 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert