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Kenneth Cody Luzynski, M.Sc.

Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology
Department of Interdisciplinary Life Sciences
University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna
Savoyenstr. 1a
A-1160 Vienna

T +43 (1) 25077 7350
F +43 (1) 25077 94 7350

E-Mail to Kenneth Luzynski


An interesting question in behavioral biology is how do species assess genetic quality and compatibility in potential mates? I explore this topic using wild house mice as a study system. Important information about a mouse is broadcasted in their urine with the aid of Major Urinary Proteins (MUPs). At the population level, I am studying MUP diversity to determine whether it is involved in recognition. At the individual level, I am studying the role that MUPs play in advertising genetic quality, health, and fitness to potential mates.

  • Behavioral Biology
  • Chemosensory communication
  • MUP polymorphisms
  • Mate choice
  • Kin recognition and inbreeding

Current Projects

Functions of major urinary proteins (MUPs) in chemical communication

Austrian Science Foundation (FWF) grant P24711-B21
Project duration: September 2012 - August 2015

Understanding the nature of genetic benefits of sexual selection is an important problem in behavioral and evolutionary biology. Studies with house mice (Mus musculus) indicate that the genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) influence odor and mating preferences that enhance genetic compatibility. It has more recently been proposed that major urinary proteins (MUPs) provide a unique individual signature or ‘barcode’ that facilitates individual recognition and inbreeding avoidance. We are investigating this hypothesis, and we also aim to test whether MUPs mediate mating preferences and honestly signal a male’s quality and condition.

Curriculum vitae


PhD program, Behavioral Biology

Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien at the Konrad-Lorenz-Institut für Vergleichende Verhaltensforschung
2010-2012Science TeacherTeach for America program at Hale Junior High in Tulsa, Oklahoma


M.Sc., Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of Michigan
2003-2007B.Sc., BiologyCentral Michigan University