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 Ph.D. 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 of mole-rats 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. Since 2020, Pascal focuses again 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. The group was recently awarded an ERC starting grant.

Scientific career

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


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

Subsidies and awards

2021 DFG/ANR joint grant (Project 490777637)
2020 ERC starting grant (NeuroMagMa)
2016 Volkswagen Foundation Experiment! Grant (A117492)
2016 Start-up financing of the Mercator Research Centre Ruhr (An-2016-0003)
2015 Starting scholarship for excellent young researchers at the University of Duisburg-Essen
2015 Fritz Frank Prize of the German Society for Mammalian Biology (DGS)


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

E-Mail: pascal.malkemper@mpinb.mpg.de

Dr. Pascal Malkemper
Max Planck Group Leader