Raoul Schwing, PhD


Curriculum Vitae

Raoul Schwing completed his Bachelor of Science (cum laude) at the University of Utrecht’s University College Roosevelt in the Netherlands, with a honours thesis on the habitat distribution of the European lobster. He then came to the kea lab in Vienna (at the time still housed at the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Ethology) and did a pilot study on the vocalizations of captive kea. Subsequently he joined a University of Vienna field study in the mountains of New Zealand on the cognitive abilities of wild kea. He continued his studies at the University of Auckland, in cooperation with the University of Canterbury,  with a full scholarship, and from there researched the vocal communication system of the kea over the next 4 years. His work also included an examination of the syrinx (anatomy lab in Auckland) and the hearing range (Haidlhof research station) of kea. Shortly before handing in his thesis he stepped in as kea lab manager at the Messerli Research Institute, to replace Dr Gajdon during his parental leave. After Dr Gajdons return he was hired as project manager for the kea lab, and oversaw the care of the kea group and the scientific projects on site at the Haidlhof Research Station. Since 2016 he has taken over as head of lab.


Main fields of research


Play behavior


Selected publications

Carducci, P., Schwing, R., Huber, L., & Truppa, V. (2018). Tactile information improves visual object discrimination in kea, Nestor notabilis, and capuchin monkeys, Sapajus spp. Animal Behaviour, 135. 

Lambert, M. L., Schiestl, M., Schwing, R., Taylor, A. H., Gajdon, G. K., Slocombe, K. E., & Seed, A. M. (2017). Function and flexibility of object exploration in kea and new caledonian crows. Royal Society Open Science, 4(9). 

Wein, A., Schwing, R., Hausberger, M., Rodriguez, R., & Huber, L. (2017). Vocal Conditioning in Kea Parrots (Nestor notabilis). Journal of Comparative Psychology 

Schwing, R., Nelson, X. J., Wein, A., & Parsons, S. (2017). Positive emotional contagion in a New Zealand parrot. Current Biology, 27(6), R213–R214. 

Schwing, R., Weber, S., & Bugnyar, T. (2017). Kea (Nestor notabilis) Decide Early When to Wait in Food Exchange Task. Journal of Comparative Psychology. 

O’Hara, M., Schwing, R., Federspiel, I., Gajdon, G. K., & Huber, L. (2016). Reasoning by exclusion in the kea (Nestor notabilis). Animal Cognition, 19(5), 965–975. 

Schwing, R., Jocteur, E., Wein, A., Massen, J. J. M., & Noë, R. (2016). Kea cooperate better with sharing affiliates. Animal Cognition, 19(6), 1–10. 

Schwing, R., Nelson, X. J., & Parsons, S. (2016). Audiogram of the kea parrot, Nestor notabilis. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 140(5). 

Wein, A., Gajdon, G. K., & Schwing, R. (2015). Picture - Object Recognition in Kea (Nestor notabilis). Ethology, 121(11). 

Schwing, R./Parsons, S./Nelson, X. J. (2012): Vocal repertoire of the New Zealand kea parrot Nestor notabilis. In: Current Zoology, 58(5), 727-740.

Schwing, R. (2010): Scavenging behaviour of kea (Nestor notabilis). In: Notornis, 57(2), 98-99.


Raoul Schwing PhD.
T +43 1 25077-2695
E-Mail to Raoul Schwing