Bettina Schnell studied biology with a focus on neurobiology at the University of Würzburg. In 2006 she received her diploma and began research on the visual system of the fruit fly Drosophila in the laboratory of Alexander Borst at the Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology in Martinsried for her doctoral thesis. In 2011 she received her PhD and moved to Seattle in the USA, where she worked in Michael Dickinson's laboratory at the University of Washington as a postdoc until 2015. Her research was supported by a grant from the Sackler Program for "Integrative Biophysics". In 2017, she received a prestigious Emmy Noether Fellowship from the DFG and has since been heading an independent research group at the research center caesar - now MPINB. The goal of her group is to describe the neural basis of behavioral control by simultaneously measuring neural activity and behavioral responses in the fruit fly. Recently, Bettina has been awarded a prestigious Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). With a funding volume of 1.5 million euros, her research project will contribute to understanding how animals make behavioral decisions.

Scientific career

since 2017 Emmy Noether Research Group Leader, Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology of Behavior – caesar, Bonn, Germany
2011-2015 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Washington, Seattle, USA
2010-2011 Postdoctoral Fellow, MPI of Neurobiology, Martinsried, Germany
2006-2010 PhD in Neurobiology, MPI of Neurobiology, Martinsried, Germany
2001-2006 Studies in Biology (Diplom), University of Würzburg, Germany


2022 ERC Starting Grant (MOBY-FLY)
2017 Emmy Noether Fellowship of the DFG

Fellowship from the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Scholars Program in Integrative
Biophysics, University of Washington, Seattle, USA


Assistant: Bettina Bosse
Phone: +49-228-9656-267


Dr. Bettina Schnell
Emmy Noether Group Leader