top of page


Ho Narro! Carnival in Konstanz

"Ho Narro!", is how people in Konstanz greet each other at carnival. Every year, we dress up on the Schmotziger Dunschtig (Fat Thursday) and celebrate together. Also this year, we had exciting costumes and a big brunch.


8. Februar 2024

Locust contribution on 3sat nano

A TV crew from the SWR interviewed our locust team on how they use VR-based setups to investigate the principles underlying collective decision-making processes.


5. September 2023

DZG meeting & Neuroethology Satellite Symposium: Great networking opportunities and fascinating poster/talk contributions

This year, the annual meeting of the German Zoological Society (DZG) took place in Kassel. A truly exciting aspect was the Neuroethology Satellite Symposium, which was co-organized by Anna Stöckl.


4. September 2023

Alisea Stroligo joins the Foster lab

We are delighted to welcome Alisea! Alisea will be the bumblebee manager for a project investigating path integration by walking bumblebees under different qualities of polarized light. Welcome to the team!


15. Juni 2023

Frida Hildebrandt joins the Foster lab

We are delighted to welcome Frida! Frida's PhD project will investigate the propagation of social information through groups of honeybees and locusts. Welcome to the team!


1. Juni 2023

New paper from Einat & Iain: The chemical ecology of locust cannibalism

Locust plagues threaten food security across the globe, with infestations estimated to affect the livelihood of 1 in 10 people. Cannibalistic interactions have been implicated in the formation and maintenance of these swarms. The threat of consumption by others is thought to have resulted in selection pressure for flightless juvenile locusts to use both visual and tactile information to move away from those approaching and to move toward those moving away. The outcome is large-scale, coordinated motion out of nutrient-poor areas, with the benefit of conspecifics being a source of essential, yet often scarce, nutrients along the way.


4. Mai 2023

YouTuber Tom Scott reports on 10,000 locust experiment

The British YouTuber Tom Scott visited the Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour and filmed the locust experiments in the imaging hangar, the VR, and on the trackball.


16. April 2023

Katja Slangewal & Max Capelle got elected as student representatives

Doctoral candidates Katja Slangewal and Max Capelle got elected as IMPRS and CASCB student representatives, respectively.


1. April 2023

60,000 locust feet are marching in the Imaging Hangar

To investigate how locust swarms organize, forage, and collectively avoid danger, 10000 animals were tested in the world's largest laboratory experiment on swarm behavior.


26. März 2023

Breaking News’ best paper award 2023 for Yannick Günzel

Congratulations! For his talk on the decision-making processes underlying the locust escape behaviour, IMPRS doctoral student Yannick Günzel received the 3rd prize of the „Breaking News‘ Best Paper Award 2023“ at the 15th Göttingen Meeting of the German Neuroscience Society.


23. März 2023

Göttingen Meeting 2023 was a huge success

The biennial Göttingen Meeting of the German Neuroscience Society, with up to 1500 participants, is a major event for all neuroscientists from Germany and abroad. This year, a swarm of us presented in total 2 talks and 9 posters!


22. März 2023

New paper from Einat's group: Information integration for decision-making in desert locusts

Interested in how accumulated personal experience and the availability of social cues impact locust foraging decisions in symmetric and asymmetric environments, they investigated the animal's decision system by applying a Bayesian estimation for social decision-making. They tested how the social context impacts patch choice and whether locusts form a consensus when two options are available. For this, they tracked the behaviour of locust groups varying in size during simple patch choice assays of either equal or different quality. Their study shows that locusts use both private and social information, which they optimally update by balancing incongruent (opposing) cues and reinforcing congruent (aligned) ones.


12. März 2023

Terra X documentary features Christoph's group and their leaf-cutting ants

The Terra X (ZDF) documentary series "Schlaue Schwärme" shows how Christoph Kleineidam studies the leaf selection process of leaf-cutting ants. The TV crew followed his experiments in the Imaging Hangar, where he set up a 30-meter-long ant trail. Christoph and his team marked leaf fragments of varying quality. They measured how quickly the ants transported them to the nest to decipher the mechanisms underlying the colony's preference for leaf fragments.


4. März 2023

Hector Research Career Development Award for Anna Stöckl

Congratulations! Anna Stöckl received the Hector Research Career Development (RCD) Award, which is aimed at particularly talented young researchers from the natural and engineering sciences, medicine or psychology who have already sharpened their scientific profile and taken their first career step.


28. Januar 2023

Minister-President Winfried Kretschmann and Minister of Science Petra Olschowski visit the University of Konstanz and the CASCB

Minister-President Winfried Kretschmann and Minister of Science Petra Olschowski visited the University of Konstanz. During the visit, they learned about the university's institutional priorities, its implementation of projects funded in the context of the German Excellence Strategy, and the research collaboration of the Cluster of Excellence "Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour" with the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior.
Part of the program was also the demonstration of several experiments, including neuronal recordings from locusts interacting with a virtual swarm, experiments with robot and locust swarms in the Imaging Hangar, and experiments in the Fish-VR.


13. Januar 2023

Andrea Gonsek joins the Stöckl Lab

We are extremely excited that Andrea is joining the team, and brings with her not only her enthusiasm, computational magic and excitement for insects, but also a love for taking the stairs over the elevator!


1. Januar 2023

The Stöckl Lab officially launched

With the beginning of the new year, Anna Stöckl's lab now officially investigates the neuroethology of insect senses. Her lab is a growing team at the Biology Department at the University of Konstanz, brought together by their fascination for neural processing, sensory ecology and insect behaviour. They find like-minded spirits in the network at the Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour and the Zukunftskolleg.


31. Dezember 2022

Andreas Thum visits Konstanz

Andreas Thum is head of the Department of Genetics and director of the Institute of Biology at the University of Leipzig. As part of the CASCB seminar series, he presented his work on identifying the neuronal, molecular, and behavioural basis of learning and memory in the Drosophila larva.


19. Dezember 2022

Ben de Bivort visits Konstanz

Benjamin de Bivort is Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, interested in the neurobiological mechanisms of ecologically and evolutionarily relevant behaviours. As part of the Institute Seminar at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, he presented his work on the mechanisms of parasite host-manipulation.


6. Dezember 2022

ERC Starting Grant for Armin Bahl

Congratulations! Armin Bahl receives an ERC Starting Grant for his project "Neural basis of zebrafish collective decision-making". His proposed research in juvenile zebrafish will, for the first time, provide key insights into the behavioural algorithms and neural mechanisms of how individual animals and animal collectives acquire sensory information and make complex decisions. The project is funded with 1.5 million euros.


22. November 2022

Hari P Narayanan joins the Vogt Lab

As a PhD student with Dr. Katrin Vogt, Hari will be studying olfactory behaviour and the neuroscience underlying olfaction-based decision-making in a variety of contexts, in the larvae of Drosophila melanogaster. When he is not in the lab, he is frequently found obsessing over obscure music.


7. November 2022

Roberto Gaza joins the Bahl Lab

Roberto's project aims to develop models of decision-making in larval zebrafish, with a focus on timescale heterogeneity and characterization of noise sources. He uses behavioral experiments to design comprehensive decision-making models and formulates realistic hypotheses on the underlying neural circuits. Roberto also acquires two-photon microscopic data to develop data-driven neural networks that can account for a wide spectrum of noise sources and timescales, as well as changes in the number of neurons in growing larval brains. In his spare time, there is nothing he likes better than wood crafting or roaming in nature.


1. November 2022

Maddy Narisetty joined the Couzin-Fuchs & El Hady Labs

Maddy is investigating how a natural-like environment will shape and reshape the groups of structures of locusts and rats aiming to understand how spatio-temporal distribution would inflict social phenotype changes between patchy and homogenous naturalistic environments. In the end, she will establish patch foraging assays for long-term tracking studies to understand the effect of environments on their characterization. In her free time, she likes to gather information on intricate designs of fashion and textile industries or travel around the world.


1. Oktober 2022

New paper from Morgane's group: Extracting individual characteristics from population data reveals a negative social effect during honeybee defence

The interdisciplinary team improved the understanding of how honeybees coordinate their actions during defence by measuring the output behaviour of groups of bees and developing a model that reveals the existence of a negative social effect as group size increases. They also provided new tools to extract individual characteristics from population data, which is a challenging issue in the study of collective behaviour.


15. September 2022

Ashrit Mangalwedhekar joins the Bahl lab

Welcome Ashrit! As a PhD student Ashrit will investigate the behavioral algorithms that zebrafish larvae and juveniles use.


1. September 2022

Athil Althaf AZ joins the Foster group

Today Athil officially joins the Foster lab.


14. August 2022

NeuroDoWo 2022 was a huge success

Our swarm of Ph.D. students went to Cologne for this year's edition of the Neurobiology Doctoral Students Workshop (NeuroDoWo), which was a huge success.
Katja Slangewal received the best poster award for her work "Integrating multiple sources of information, how does the brain do it?", and Yannick Günzel received the best talk award for his presentation "Hopper by name, hopper by nature. The state-dependent startle response of the desert locust."
Per our tradition, the NeuroDoWo goes to the city with the most participants, which means it is coming to Konstanz in 2023.


30. Juni 2022

Katrin Vogt is the successful subproject leader of the new DFG research unit "Modulation in Olfaction: How Recurrent Circuits Govern State-Dependent Behaviour"

Congratulations! The DFG is funding the research unit "Modulation in Olfaction: How Recurrent Circuits Govern State-Dependent Behaviour" with Katrin Vogt as subproject leader. The research unit, based at nine German universities and in London, consists of both vertebrate and invertebrate researchers. Katrin and her team investigate the hunger-dependent recurrent serotonergic modulation of the antennal lobe in the fly larva.


30. Juni 2022

New paper from Anja's and Christoph's group: Glyphosate impairs collective thermoregulation in bumblebees

Glyphosate is one of the most widely used herbicides globally, with broad usage in both home and agricultural settings. Debate is ongoing with regard to whether this chemical threatens vertebrates, including humans. However, the nontarget organisms with the greatest exposure are insects, a group that is both essential and seemingly in decline. Weidenmüller et al. looked at the impacts of glyphosate on bumblebees, essential pollinators, and found that whereas environmentally realistic exposure levels were not directly lethal, they did result in a decrease in the ability of colony members to maintain required hive temperatures. Such nonlethal effects can have pernicious effects that lead to indirect decline in this already challenged group.


2. Juni 2022

Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds PhD fellowship for Katja Slangewal

Congratulations! Katja Slangewal receives the prestigious Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds PhD fellowship for her research on the decision-making of larval zebrafish. Katja investigates how the brain integrates and combines different sources of information and which neural computations are necessary for this process.


22. April 2022

James Foster joins the department

We welcome James to the department!


1. April 2022

Chi-Yu Lee (UCL) presents his Master thesis

Chi-Yu Lee from the Visual Neuroscience Lab at University College London visited us and presented his exciting work on 'Primary visual cortex and instinctive visual discrimination in mice'.


21. Oktober 2021

New paper from Armin's group: 'Collective behavior emerges from genetically controlled simple behavioral motifs in zebrafish'

Harpaz et al. (2021) is out! Roy, Ariel, Sydney, Sierra, Marie-Abèle, Florian, Mark and Armin found that changes in the genetic makeup of individuals can alter collective behavior. They demonstrated that genetic mutations associated with human social behavior, in individual larval zebrafish can affect collective behaviors in a predictable way.


5. Oktober 2021

Visit and talk by Lukas Anneser

On Friday Lukas Anneser visited Konstanz to give the inaugural lecture of the new Centre for Visual Computing of Collectives. In his fascinating talk he linked the expression of a specific hormone (neuropeptide parathyroid hormone 2) through mechanosensation to the encoding of social density in Zebrafish. It was great to have Lukas over for a visit and we look forward to more hybrid talks.


30. September 2021

'Circuits and Behavior' conference

Our visit to the 'Circuits and Behavior' conference in Tuscany was a great success. The combination of interesting presentations, fruitful discussions, and delicious italian food created a fantastic atmosphere. We went back to Konstanz with many new ideas and are looking forward to Neurotuscany 2022 and many more (online) discussions in the meantime.


2. September 2021

Visit by Florian Engert (Harvard University)

This week Florian visited our lab and the surroundings of Konstanz. With many sporty activities and lots of scientific discussions, we look back at a few very exciting days.


20. Juni 2021

New Paper from Armin's and Katrin's Group: Navigational strategies underlying temporal phototaxis in Drosophila larvae

Maxwell's paper on Drosophila larval phototaxis is out: In this paper we test the ability of Drosophila larvae to navigate virtual luminance gradients, only providing them with temporal brightness cues. We find that animals can integrate brightness information over time during decision-making. Congratulations to an absolutely outstanding undergraduate, Maxwell Zhu, who came up with the experimental paradigm and has done all those experiments. It has been a pleasure working with you!


10. Juni 2021

Talks by Sandra Fendl and Jonatan Malis (MPI-N Munich)

Sandra and Jonatan from the Borst lab visited us and gave two wonderful talks about the cellular and molecular mechanisms of Drosophila sensory processing.


7. Mai 2021

New paper from Einat’s group: Social modulation of individual preferences in cockroaches

What is the reason for behaving differently in public? Working on this question in gregarious cockroaches that use communal housing (shelters), they have discovered that the reason relates to interactions between food- and social- sensitive neurons.


21. Januar 2021

Talk by Nikolai Hörmann (MPI-N Munich)

Niko talked about his PhD work that he did in the lab of Alexander Borst: "A combinatorial code of transcription factors specifies subtypes of visual motion-sensing neurons in Drosophila". He agreed to come back in February to help us set up RNA-sequencing-related techniques.


30. Oktober 2020

Presentation by Katja Slangewal (MPI-N Munich)

Katja Slangewal from the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology (Martinsried) presents her Master thesis work on "How fish see friends: characterizing social motion tuned neurons over development". Exciting results und very well delivered!


9. Oktober 2020

Max Capelle (TU Delft) presents his Master thesis

Max Capelle, visiting us from the lab of Daan Brinks at TU Delft, presents his Master thesis "VISION: Voltage Imaging-based Spatial-feature Identification for Optimisation of Neurosimulations".


1. Oktober 2020

Simone and Alina present their Master thesis

Simone and Alina, visiting from the EMBL in Heidelberg are here to present their work on genomic sequencing and nervous system development.


10. September 2020

Joe Donovan visiting for early-stage microscope planning

Joe, visiting from the MPI-N Munich. Next time, he'll give a talk!


6. September 2020

Talk by Florian Engert

Florian Engert (Harvard University) presented his work on the neural basis of emotional states in zebrafish.


2. September 2020

Armin & Katrin join the Department

We welcome Armin and Katrin to our Department.


31. August 2020

bottom of page