Group leader

Dr. Pascal Malkemper studied neurobiology at the University of Bochum from 2005 to 2011. He developed a strong interest in sensory biology and was fascinated by the diverse functional anatomy of the sensory organs of different species. With a passion for non-standard model organisms, he conducted his PhD thesis on the sensory biology of the red fox under the supervision of Hynek Burda in Germany and the Czech Republic. For his doctoral thesis he received the renowned Fritz Frank Prize of the German Society for Mammalian Biology. During his doctoral thesis he became interested in mole-rats, which were housed in the Burda laboratory next to his office. After graduating in 2014, Pascal was able to receive two start-up grants that allowed him to pursue independent projects on the magnetic sense de gray bulls in the Burda laboratory. In 2016 he moved to Vienna and joined the Keays Laboratory at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) to work on the molecular basis of the magnetic sense of pigeons. From October 2019, Pascal will again focus on the magnetic sense of mammals as head of the Max Planck Research Group "Neurobiology of Magnetoreception". The long-term goal of the group is to map the neural machinery involved in magnetic orientation in mole-rats and mice, from magnetoreceptors to higher brain circuits.

Scientific career

since 2019Max Planck Research Group Leader, Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology of Behavior – caesar
2016-2019PostDoc, Keays Lab, Research Institute for Molecular Pathology (IMP), Vienna, Austria
2014-2016PostDoc, Burda Laboratory, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
2011-2014PhD student, Burda Lab, University Duisburg-Essen, Germany
2005-2011MSc in Neurobiology, University of Bochum, Germany


2015-2017Global Young Faculty IV
2012-2014PhD Scholarship, German National Academic Foundation
2008-2011Scholarship, German Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung)

Subsidies and awards

2016Volkswagen Foundation Experiment! Grant (A117492)
2016Start-up financing of the Mercator Research Centre Ruhr (An-2016-0003)
2015Starting scholarship for excellent young researchers at the University of Duisburg-Essen
2015Fritz Frank Prize of the German Society for Mammalian Biology (DGS)


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


Dr. Pascal Malkemper
Max Planck Group Leader