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

Haluts, A.; Garza, S. F.; Gorbonos, D.; Etheredge, R. I.; Jordan, A.; Gov, N. S.: Spatiotemporal dynamics of animal contests arise from effective forces between contestants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 118 (49), e2106269118 (2021)
Bose, A. P. H.; Nührenberg, P.; Jordan, A.: Female–female conflict is higher during periods of parental care in a group-living cichlid fish. Animal Behaviour 182, pp. 91 - 105 (2021)
Fröhlich, M.; Bartolotta, N.; Fryns, C.; Wagner, C.; Momon, L.; Jaffrezic, M.; Setia, T. M.; Schuppli, C.; van Noordwijk, M. A.; van Schaik, C. P.: Orang-utans have larger gestural repertoires in captivity than in the wild–a case of weak innovation? iScience 24 (11), 103304 (2021)
Perez, D. M.; Klunk, C.; Araujo, S. B. L.: Imperfect synchrony in animal displays: why does it occur and what is the true role of leaders? Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B: Biological Sciences 376, 20200339 (2021)
Barratt, C. D.; Lester, J. D.; Gratton, P.; Onstein, R. E.; Kalan, A. K.; McCarthy, M. S.; Bocksberger, G.; White, L. C.; Vigilant, L.; Dieguez, P. et al.; Abdulai, B.; Aebischer, T.; Agbor, A.; Assumang, A. K.; Bailey, E.; Bessone, M.; Buys, B.; Carvalho, J. S.; Chancellor, R.; Cohen, H.; Danquah, E.; Deschner, T.; Dongmo, Z. N.; Doumbé, O. A.; Dupain, J.; Duvall, C. S.; Eno-Nku, M.; Etoga, G.; Galat-Luong, A.; Garriga, R.; Gatti, S.; Ghiurghi, A.; Goedmakers, A.; Granjon, A.-C.; Hakizimana, D.; Head, J.; Hedwig, D.; Herbinger, I.; Hermans, V.; Jones, S.; Junker, J.; Kadam, P.; Kambi, M.; Kienast, I.; Kouakou, C. Y.; N′Goran, K. P.; Langergraber, K. E.; Lapuente, J.; Laudisoit, A.; Lee, K. C.; Maisels, F.; Mirghani, N.; Moore, D.; Morgan, B.; Morgan, D.; Neil, E.; Nicholl, S.; Nkembi, L.; Ntongho, A.; Orbell, C.; Ormsby, L. J.; Pacheco, L.; Piel, A. K.; Pintea, L.; Plumptre, A. J.; Rundus, A.; Sanz, C.; Sommer, V.; Sop, T.; Stewart, F. A.; Sunderland-Groves, J.; Tagg, N.; Todd, A.; Ton, E.; van Schijndel, J.; VanLeeuwe, H.; Vendras, E.; Welsh, A.; Wenceslau, J. F. C.; Wessling, E. G.; Willie, J.; Wittig, R. M.; Yoshihiro, N.; Yuh, Y. G.; Yurkiw, K.; Boesch, C.; Arandjelovic, M.; Kühl, H.: Quantitative estimates of glacial refugia for chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) since the Last Interglacial (120,000 BP). American Journal of Primatology 83 (10), e23320 (2021)
Klump, B. C.; Martin, J. M.; Wild, S.; Hörsch, J. K.; Major, R. E.; Aplin, L. M.: Innovation and geographic spread of a complex foraging culture in an urban parrot. Science 272 (6553), pp. 456 - 460 (2021)
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