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 affiliates, external partners and Max Planck Centres are associated with the MPIAB including the Max Planck-Yale Center for Biodiversity Movement and Global Change.


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Research Groups

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Latest Publications

Journal Article (726)

Journal Article
Lauren N. Carley, Julius P. Mojica, Baosheng Wang, Chia-Yu Chen, Ya-Ping Lin, Kasavajhala V. S. K. Prasad, Emily Chan, Che-Wei Hsu, Rose Keith, Chase L Nuñez, Carrie F. Olson-Manning, Catherine A. Rushworth, Maggie R. Wagner, Jing Wang, Pei-Min Yeh, Michael Reichelt, Kathryn Ghattas, Jonathan Gershenzon, Cheng-Ruei Lee, and Thomas Mitchell-Olds, "Ecological factors influence balancing selection on leaf chemical profiles of a wildflower," Nature Ecology & Evolution (2021).
Journal Article
A. Eguiguren, E. Pirotta, K. Boerder, Mauricio Cantor, G. Merlen, and H. Whitehead, "Historical and contemporary habitat use of sperm whales around the Galapagos Archipelago: Implications for conservation," Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 31 (6), 1466-1481 (2021).
Journal Article
Sean M. Maguire, Ross DeAngelis, Peter D. Dijkstra, Alex Jordan, and Hans A. Hofmann, "Social network dynamics predict hormone levels and behavior in a highly social cichlid fish," Hormones and Behavior 132, 104994 (2021).
Journal Article
Barbara C. Klump, John M. Martin, Sonja Wild, Jana K. Hörsch, Richard E. Major, and Lucy M. Aplin, "Innovation and geographic spread of a complex foraging culture in an urban parrot," Science (2021).
Journal Article
Gholam Hosein Yusefi, Kamran Safi, Pedro Tarroso, and José Carlos Brito, "The impacts of extreme climate change on mammals differ among functional groups at regional scale: The case of Iranian terrestrial mammals," Diversity and Distributions (2021).
Journal Article
Urs Kalbitzer and Colin A. Chapman, "Patterns of female social relationships in a primate with female-biased dispersal," Animal Behaviour 177, 117-133 (2021).
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