Wanted: MSc Students

We are looking for motivated students to assist with our research projects.  More information here.


The Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology is a biological research institute for the study of animal behavior. Ethology (or Behavioral Biology) is an integrative field that addresses questions about how and why animals do what they do. Since spring 2015 it is also the headquaters of the Österreichischen Vogelwarte/Austrian Ornithological Centre (AOC).

 [Link 1] [Link 2] [Link 3] [Link 4] [Link 5] [Link 6] [Link 7]



The dark side of cichlid fish: from cannibal to caregiver

The female fish won't allow males to get to the breeding cavities and thus control whether they engage in parental duties or not. (Photo: Michael Bernkopf/Vetmeduni Vienna)
A female cichlid fish in front of its breeding cave in an aquarium [Link 8]

Cannibalism, the eating of conspecifics, has a rational background in the animal kingdom.  It may serve as a source of energy-rich nutrition or to increase reproductive success. Some species do not even spare their own brood. Filipa Cunha-Saraiva of the Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology of the  Vetmeduni Vienna and other researchers have now been able to show the trigger of this peculiarity in African cichlids.  When their eggs were taken away for a prolonged period, the females of a cichlid fish species ate both their own eggs and foreign eggs.  They quickly switched between parental duties and ensuring their own energy supply.

The article "From cannibal to caregiver: tracking the transition in a cichlid fish [Link 9]" by Filipa Cunha-Saraiva, Sigal Balshine, Richard H. Wagner and Franziska C. Schaedelin was recently published in the journal Animal Behavior .

More info [Link 10]

(Web editor, 20 April 2018)


Long Night of Research: Bird ringing on 13 April 2018

Eurasian jay (Photo: AOC)
Photo of a Eurasian jay during ringing

In cooperation with the Biological Center Neusiedler See [Link 11] visitors have the opportunity to watch staff of the Austrian Ornithological Centre [Link 12] putting ID rings on wild birds and to take a close look at the birds. 

The public ringing event will take place from 12 pm to about 9 pm.

Where:  Biologischen Station Neusiedler See
             Seevorgelände 1
             7142 Illmitz

More information here [Link 13].

(Web editor, 5 April 2018)


New treatment strategies for chronic kidney disease from the animal kingdom

Biomimetics offers an innovative approach to solving human problems by imitating physiological strategies of, for example, bears. (Photo: Georg Rauer)
Brown bear standing in a river [Link 14]

The field of biomimetics offers an innovative approach to solving human problems by imitating strategies found in nature. Medical research could also benefit from biomimetics, as a group of international experts from various fields, including a wildlife veterinarian and wildlife ecologists from the Department of Integrative Biology and Evolution of the Vetmeduni Vienna, point out using the example of chronic kidney disease. In future research, they intend to study the mechanisms that protect the muscles, organs and bones of certain animals during extreme conditions such as hibernation.

The article “Novel treatment strategies for chronic kidney disease: insights from the animal kingdom [Link 15]” by Peter Stenvinkel, Johanna Painer, Makoto Kuro-o, Miguel Lanaspa, Walter Arnold, Thomas Ruf, Paul G. Shiels and Richard J. Johnson was published in Nature Reviews.

More info [Link 16]

(Web editor, 19 February 2018)


Third bird ringers´conference

The team of the Austrian Ornithological Centre with Prof. Bairlein (Photo: Stefan Graf)
(Click picture to enlarge)
Team photo of the AOC with Prof. Bairlein [Link 17]

Great guest lectures and numerous participants

On Saturday, January 27, 2018, the Austrian Ornithological Center (AOC) [Link ] invited for the third time to the annual bird ringers conference. Over 40 bird ringers and interested people from all over Austria took part in the event in Vienna and enjoyed a varied program. A special highlight was the guest lecture by Prof. Franz Bairlein, director of the  Institute of Avian Research/Ornithological Station Helgoland (IAR) [Link 18] and experienced bird ringer, who opened the conference with an impressive lecture on the migration of the Wheatear. In addition to presentations of the Austrian Ornithological Institute about their activities, programs and concepts, some bird ringers also presented their current projects. The event also gave budding and experienced bird ringers plenty of time to network with national and international colleagues, representatives of various nature conservation departments and members of BirdLife Austria [Link 19].

The team of the Austrian Ornithological Institute would like to thank the guest lecturers and especially the many participants for the successful event!

(Web editor, 6 February 2018)


Why some fish raise their offspring together

A swarm of cichlids in Lake Tanganyika (Photo Stefanie Schwamberger)
A swarm of cichilids in Lake Tanganyika [Link 20]

In a dangerous environment, people, but also other animals, such as fish show cooperative behavior. This includes the care of their offspring. The young scientist Filipa Cunha Saraiva (27) investigates the evolutionary basis of so-called cooperative breeding. In this type of social system, in addition to the parents, other group members look after the young. At the Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology the researcher investigates under what ecological circumstances two cichlid species from Lake Tanganyika breed cooperatively vs."traditionally" (only the parents care for the young). Different levels of the hormone oxytocin in the observed species could play a role here. The results of this research could also help to better understand the origin of cooperative systems in mammals.

Article on the subject in the Austrian paper Der Standard (in German) [Link 21]

(Web editor, 16 January 2018)


News Archive... [Link 22]



Savoyenstraße 1a, A-1160 Vienna
Tel:   +43 (1) 25077-7900
Fax:  +43 (1) 25077-7941
Email KLIVV [Link 23]

How to find us [Link 24]


Recovered a bird ring? / Vogelring gefunden?

Please report your recovery here [Link 25].

Bitte melden Sie uns Ihren Ringfund hier [Link ].


Seminar at Wilhelminenberg

Every Wednesday during the university semester we hold the "Seminar at Wilhelminenberg", a colloquium where leading international scientists present their latest research results.

Seminar programme [Link 26]


Internal [Link 27]


Home [Link 28]