Research at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior

For animals, life means making decisions. When does a blackbird depart on its dangerous annual migration? On which tree does a Kinkajou search for food? How does a fish in a school of hundreds decide what to do? Decisions like these determine an individual’s survival and their probability of reproducing. Often these decisions are made in a group. At the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, we aim to achieve a quantitative and predictive understanding of animal decision-making and movement in the natural world. Pursuing an integrative approach, we combine physiological, neural, ecological and evolutionary perspectives, questions and methods.

The Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior is home to three Departments, three Max Planck Research Groups, eight Research Groups, and many professional staff. We are housed in three locations in the greater Konstanz area: Radolfzell, the University of Konstanz, and Bücklestraße in Konstanz. These locations include state-of-the-art facilities for field and laboratory research in animal behavior. A number of external partners and affiliates are associated with the MPI-AB.


Max Planck Research Groups

Max Planck Fellows

Research Groups

External Partners

Latest Publications

Aikens, E. O.; Nourani, E.; Fiedler, W.; Wikelski, M.; Flack, A.: Learning shapes the development of migratory behavior. PNAS 121 (12), e2306389121 (2024)
Behringer, V.; Deimel, C.; Ostner, J.; Fruth, B.; Sonnweber, R.: Modulation of cell-mediated immunity during pregnancy in wild bonobos. Biology Letters 20 (3), 20230548 (2024)
Blake, S.; Cabrera, F.; Cruz, S.; Ellis-Soto, D.; Yackulic, C. B.; Bastille-Rousseau, G.; Wikelski, M.; Kuemmeth, F.; Gibbs, J. P.; Deem, S. L.: Environmental variation structures reproduction and recruitment in long-lived mega-herbivores: Galapagos giant tortoises. Ecological Monographs, e1599 (2024)
Blake, S.; Cabrera, F.; Rivas-Torres, G.; Deem, S. L.; Nieto-Claudin, A.; Zahawi, R. A.; Bastille-Rousseau, G.: Invasion by Cedrela odorata threatens long distance migration of Galapagos tortoises. Ecology and Evolution 14 (2), e10994 (2024)
Bronnvik, H.; Nourani, E.; Fiedler, W.; Flack, A.: Experience reduces route selection for conspecifics by the collectively migrating white stork. Current Biology (2024)
Calhoun, A. J.; El Hady, A.: Everyone knows what behavior is but they just don't agree on it. iScience 26 (11), 108210 (2024)
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