Research group Physiology and Eology of Behavior

Apl. Professor Roswitha Wiltschko

Univ.-Professor Wolfgang Wiltschko (retired)

Navigation and Magnetoreception in Animals

The main topic of our research is spatial orientation and navigation in birds and other animals. The emphasis is on the mechanisms that provide animals with navigational information.

At the moment, our research focuses on questions in two fields:
    (1) Navigation of homing pigeons (more...)
    (2) Reception of magnetic navigational information (more...)
We mainly use behavioral methods, but also – depending on the scientific question studied - electrophysiological, neurobiological, histological, molecularbiological and genetic, physical and mathematical methods.

Research topics:
    Navigation in homing pigeons:
  • Role of magnetic factors and landscape structures in the choice of routes
  • Ontogeny of the navigational mechanisms
  • Simulation of the navigational processes of homing pigeons

  • Magnetoreception:
  • Analysis of the underlying biophysical processes
  • Interaction of the two types of magnetoreceptors with the photoreceptors in birds
  • Role of cryptochrome in the reception of directional information
  • Birds: Homing pigeons, European robins, domestic chickens
Participating in teaching in the following lectures:
    Undergraduate classes:
  • Class on diversity of organisms and habitats
  • Basic Zoological lab class for Zoology minors

  • Graduate studies:
  • Advanced lab classes in Neurobiology and Animal Physiology


geändert am 19. Februar 2009  E-Mail:


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Druckversion: 19. Februar 2009, 10:22