© Stefan Greif/MPIO 2010

Research Group Communication and Social Behaviour

Bird song is one of the most widely used models to study sexual selection and communication in animals. Our group investigates the mechanisms and behavioural ecology of bird song following a problem-guided approach. We are interested in how birds produce their songs, how they use them to exchange information, and how their signals are adjusted in response to changes in the environment.

We believe that an integrative approach is necessary for an understanding of animal behaviour. In our research we investigate acoustic signalling from many angles, including: vocal physiology, learning and development, mate choice, male-male competition, behavioural endocrinology, and environmental and biophysical constraints.

The main focus of our research is on communication and social behaviour in birds, but selected research questions also comprise comparative studies in primates, lizards and insects. Empirical work involves laboratory-based investigations as well as field studies in Austria, EcuadorFrance, Germany, the Netherlands, Tanzania, and the UK.

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