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 MPIAB, including the Max Planck-Yale Center for Biodiversity Movement and Global Change.


Max Planck Research Groups

Max Planck Fellows

Research Groups

External Partners

Latest Publications

Burkhart, J. C.; Gupta, S.; Borrego, N.; Heilbronner, S. R.; Packer, C.: Oxytocin promotes social proximity and decreases vigilance in groups of African lions. iScience, 104049 (2022)
Segota, I.; Edwards, M. M.; Campello, A.; Rappazzo, B. H.; Wang, X.; Strandburg-Peshkin, A.; Zhou, X.-Q.; Rachakonda, A.; Daie, K.; Lussenhop, A. et al.; Lee, S.; Tharratt, K.; Deshmukh, A.; Sebesta, E. M.; Zhang, M.; Lau, S.; Bennedsen, S.; Ginsberg, J.; Campbell, T.; Wang, C.; Franck, C.: Confirmation and variability of the Allee effect in Dictyostelium discoideum cell populations, possible role of chemical signaling within cell clusters. Physical Biology 19, 026002 (2022)
Abdu, S.; Chimento, M.; Alarcon-Nieto, G.; Zuniga, D.; Aplin, L. M.; Farine, D. R.; Brandl, H. B.: The performance of field sampling for parasite detection in a wild passerine. Ecology and Evolution 12 (8), e9242 (2022)
Alavi, S. E.; Vining, A. Q.; Caillaud, D.; Hirsch, B. T.; Havmoller, R. W.; Havmoller, L. W.; Kays, R.; Crofoot, M. C.: A Quantitative framework for identifying patterns of route-use in animal movement data. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 9, 743014 (2022)
Albarracin, M.; Demekas, D.; Ramstead, M. J. D.; Heins, R. C.: Epistemic communities under active inference. Entropy 24 (4), 476 (2022)
Albertson, L. K.; Briggs, M. A.; Maguire, Z.; Swart, S.; Cross, W. F.; Twining, C. W.; Wesner, J. S.; Baxter, C. V.; Walters, D. M.: Dietary composition and fatty acid content of giant salmonflies (Pteronarcys californica) in two Rocky Mountain. Ecosphere 13 (1), e3904 (2022)
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