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Prof. Dr. Mirjam Knörnschild

Prof. Dr. Mirjam Knörnschild
  • Tasks

    • Professor for Evolutionary Ethology at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
    • Co-Lead for the Science Programme "Dynamic of Nature"
    • Head of Department "Evolutionary Diversity Dynamics"
    • Research Fields: Ethology, Evolutionary Biology, Ecology, Bioacoustics, Animal Communication


    I study acoustic communication, cognition, learning, and social behavior of mammals with a special focus on bats.

    Current research projects:

    • ERC Starting Grant CULTSONG 2019-2024: Culture as an evolutionary force: Does song learning accelerate speciation in a bat ring species?
    • Leibniz Competition, Best Minds 2023-2027: Professorship for Evolutionary Ethology at HU Berlin
    • GIF NEXUS Grant 2023-2026: From social signals to sensory signals - on the evolution of active acoustic sensing

    Publications (selection)

    • Fernandez AA, Burchardt LS, Nagy M, Knörnschild M (2021) Babbling in a vocal learning bat resembles human infant babbling. Science 373(6557): 923-926.
    • Lattenkamp EZ, Nagy M, Drexl M, Vernes SC, Wiegrebe L, Knörnschild M (2021) Hearing sensitivity and amplitude coding in bats are differentially shaped by echolocation calls and social calls. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 288(1942): 20202600.
    • ter Haar SM, Fernandez AA, Gratier M, Knörnschild M, Levelt C, Moore RK, Vellema M, Wang X, Oller DK (2021) Cross-species parallels in babbling: animals and algorithms. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 376: 20200239.
    • Burchardt LS, Knörnschild M (2020) Comparison of methods for rhythm analysis of complex animals’ acoustic signals. PLoS Computational Biology 16(4): e1007755.
    • Wirthlin M, Chang EF, Knörnschild M, Krubitzer LA, Mello CV, Miller CT, Pfenning AR, Vernes SC, Tchernichovski O, Yartsev MM (2019) A Modular Approach to Vocal Learning: Disentangling the Diversity of a Complex Behavioral Trait. Neuron 104(1): 87-99.
    • Knörnschild M, Fernandez AA, Nagy M (2019) Vocal information and the navigation of social decisions in bats: Is social complexity linked to vocal complexity? Functional Ecology 34: 322-331.
    • Knörnschild M, Blüml S, Steidl P, Eckenweber E, Nagy M (2017) Bat songs as acoustic beacons - male territorial songs attract dispersing females. Scientific Reports 7: 13918.
    • Knörnschild M (2014) Vocal production learning in bats. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 28: 80-85.
    • Knörnschild M, Nagy M, Metz M, Mayer F, von Helversen O (2010) Complex vocal imitation during ontogeny in a bat. Biology Letters 6(2): 156-159.