Peer-reviewed research papers


Bottesch M., Gerlach G., Halbach M., Bally A., Kingsford M. & Mouritsen H. (2016) "A magnetic compass that might help coral reef fish larvae return to their natal reef". Current Biology 26, 24 pR1266–R1267. doi:

Meyer A, Tetenborg S, Greb H, Segelken J, Dorgau B, Weiler R, Hormuzdi SG, Janssen-Bienhold U, Dedek K (2016) Connexin30.2: In Vitro Interaction with Connexin36 in HeLa Cells and Expression in AII Amacrine Cells and Intrinsically Photosensitive Ganglion Cells in the Mouse Retina. Front Mol Neurosci. 9:36. doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2016.00036.

Brüggen B, Kremser C, Bickert A, Ebel P, Vom Dorp K, Schultz K, Dörmann P, Willecke K, Dedek K (2016) Defective ceramide synthases in mice cause reduced amplitudes in electroretinograms and altered sphingolipid composition in retina and cornea. Eur J Neurosci in press. doi: 10.1111/ejn.13260.

Schwarze S., Steenken F., Thiele N., Kobylkov D., Lefeldt N., Dreyer D., Schneider N-L., and Mouritsen H. (2016) "Migratory blackcaps can use their magnetic compass at 5 degrees inclination, but are completely random at 0 degree inclination", Sci Rep. 6:33805. doi.: 10.1038/srep33805

Kishkinev D, Heyers D, Woodworth BK,  Mitchell GW, Hobson KA, Norris RD. Experienced migratory songbirds do not display goalward orientation after release following a cross-continental displacement: an automated telemetry study. Sci Rep 6, 37326; DOI: 10.1038/srep37326.

Abdullaeva O.S., Schulz M., Balzer F., Parisi J., Luetzen A., Dedek K., Schiek M. (2016) "Photoelectrical Stimulation of Neuronal Cells by an Organic Semiconductor-Eletrolyte Interface". Langmuir 32, 33

Warrant E., Frost B.J., Green K., Mouritsen H., Dreyer D., Adden A., Brauburger K., Heinze S. (2016) "The Australien Bogong moth Agrotis infusa: A long-distance nocturnal navigator". Frontierts in Behavioral Neuroscience 10, 77. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2016.00077

Hore P.J., Mouritsen H. (2016) "The radical pair mechansim of magnetoreception". Annual Review in Biophysics 45. doi: 10.1146/annurev-biophys-032116-094545

Meyer A, Tetenborg S, Greb H, Segelken J, Dorgau B, Weiler R, Hormuzdi SG, Janssen-Bienhold U, Dedek K (2016) Connexin30.2: In Vitro Interaction with Connexin36 in HeLa Cells and Expression in AII Amacrine Cells and Intrinsically Photosensitive Ganglion Cells in the Mouse Retina. Front Mol Neurosci. 9:36. doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2016.00036.

Brüggen B, Kremser C, Bickert A, Ebel P, Vom Dorp K, Schultz K, Dörmann P, Willecke K, Dedek K (2016) Defective ceramide synthases in mice cause reduced amplitudes in electroretinograms and altered sphingolipid composition in retina and cornea. Eur J Neurosci in press. doi: 10.1111/ejn.13260.

Schwarze S., Schneider N-L., Reichl T., Dreyer D., Lefeldt N., Engels S., Baker N., Hore P. J., Mouritsen H. (2016) "Weak broadband electromagnetic fields are more disruptive to magnetic compass orientation in night-migratory songbird (Erithacus rubecula) than strong narrow-band fields. Frontierts in Behavioral Neuroscience 10,55. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2016.00055

Hiscock H.G., Worster S., Kattnig D.R., Steers C., Jin Y., Manolopoulos D.E., Mouritsen H., Hore P.J. (2016) "The quantum needle of the avian magnetic compass". PNAS in press. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1600341113

Bolte P., Bleibaum F., Einwich A., Günther A., Liedvogel M., Heyers D., Depping A., Wöhlbrand L., Rabus R., Janssen-Bienhold U., Mouritsen H. (2016) "Localisation of the Putative Magnetoreceptor Chryptochrome 1b in the Rentinae of Migratory Birds and Homing Pigeons". PloS ONE 11: e0147819. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0147819

Mouritsen H., Heyers D., Güntürkün O. (2016) "The neural basis of long-distance navigation in birds". Annual Review of Physiology 78, 133-154. doi: 10.1146/annurev-physiol-021115-105054




Kishkinev D.*, Chernetsov N.*, Pakhomov A., Heyers D., Mouritsen H. (2015) Eurasian reed warblers compensate for virtual magnetic displacement. Current Biology Oct 5;25(19):R822-4. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2015.08. *: co-first authors

Bolte, P., Herrling, R., Dorgau, B., Schultz, K., Feigenspan, A., Weiler, R., Dedek, K., Janssen-Bienhold, U. (2015) Expression and Localization of Connexins in the Outer Retina of the Mouse. J Mol Neurosci 58(2):178-92. doi: 10.1007/s12031-015-0654-y.

Alert, B., Michalik, A., Thiele, N., Bottesch, M. & Mouritsen, H. (2015) Re-calibration of the magnetic compass in hand-raised European robins (Erithacus rubecula). Scientific Reports, 5:14323, doi:10.1038/srep14323

Alert, B., Michalik, A., Helduser, S., Mouritsen, H., Güntürkün, O. (2015) Perceptual strategies of pigeons to detect a rotational centre – A hint for star compass learning? PLOS ONE 10(3): e0119919. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0119919.

Lefeldt, N., Dreyer, D., Steenken, F., Schneider, N.-L. & Mouritsen, H. (2015) Migratory blackcaps tested in Emlen funnels can orient at 85 but not at 88 degrees magnetic inclination. J. Exp. Biol. 218, 206-211. doi:10.1242/jeb.107235

Dorgau B, Herrling R, Schultz K, Greb H, Segelken J, Ströh S, Bolte P, Weiler R, Dedek K, Janssen-Bienhold U. Connexin50 couples axon terminals of mouse horizontal cells by homotypic gap junctions. J Comp. Neurol. 2015 Mar 30. doi: 10.1002/cne.23779.


Lefeldt, N., Heyers, D., Schneider, N.-L., Engels, S., Elbers, D. & Mouritsen, H. (2014) Magnetic field-driven induction of ZENK in the trigeminal system of pigeons (Columba livia). J. Royal Soc. Interface 11, 20140777 doi: 10.1098/rsif.2014.0777

Engels, S., Schneider, N.-L., Lefeldt, N., Hein, C. M., Zapka, M., Michalik, A., Elbers, D., Kittel, A., Hore, P. J. & Mouritsen, H. (2014) Anthropogenic electromagnetic noise disrupts magnetic compass orientation in a migratory bird. Nature 509, 353-356. doi: 10.1038/nature13290

This paper was the cover story of the 15th of May 2014 issue of Nature. It was reported on in >500 different newspapers and at least 20 different radio channels and live on BBC World News TV at 19:15 on the 8th of May 2014 and in German and Danish television.

Michalik, A., Alert, B., Engels, S., Lefeldt, N. & Mouritsen, H. (2014) Star compass learning: how long does it take? J. Ornithol. 155, 225-234. doi: 10.1007/s10336-013-1004-x


2013: Mouritsen, H., Derbyshire, R., Stalleicken, J., Mouritsen, O.Ø., Frost, B.J. & Norris, R.D. (2013) Reply to Oberhauser et al.: The experimental evidence is clear. Monarch butterflies are almost certainly not true navigators. PNAS 110, in press, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1309282110

2013: Jarvis ED, Yu J, Rivas MV, Horita H, Feenders G, Whitney O, Jarvis S, Jarvis ER, Kubikova L, Puck AEP, Siang-Bakshi C, Martin S, McElroy M, Hara E, Howard J, Mouritsen H, Chen C-C, Wada K (2013) A global view of the functional molecular organization of the avian cerebrum: mirror images and functional columns. J. Comp. Neurol., in press, doi: 10.1002/cne.23404

2013: Kishkinev, D., Chernetsov, N., Heyers, D. & Mouritsen, H. (2013) Migratory reed warblers need intact trigeminal nerves to correct for a 1,000 km eastward displacement. PLOS ONE 8, e65847.

2013: Mouritsen, H., Atema, J., Kingsford, M. & Gerlach, G. (2013) Sun Compass Orientation Helps Coral Reef Fish Larvae Return to their Natal Reef. PLOS ONE 8, e66039.

2013: Mouritsen, H., Derbyshire, R., Stalleicken, J., Mouritsen, O.Ø., Frost, B.J. & Norris, R.D. (2013) An experimental displacement and over 50 years of tag-recoveries show that monarch butterflies are not true navigators. PNAS 110, 7348-7353.


2012: Engels, S., Hein, C.M., Lefeldt, N., Prior, H. & Mouritsen, H. (2012) Night-Migratory Songbirds Possess a Magnetic Compass in Both Eyes. PLOS ONE 7, e43271. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0043271.

2012: Kishkinev, D., Mouritsen, H & Mora, C.V. (2012) An attempt to develop an operant conditioning paradigm to test for magnetic discrimination behaviour in a migratory songbird. J. Ornithology 153, 1165-1177. DOI: 10.1007/s10336-012-0847-x.

2012: Mouritsen, H. (2012) Sensory biology: search for the compass needles. Nature 484, 320-321 (News and Views). DOI:10.1038/484320a

2012: Mouritsen, H. & Hore, P. J. (2012) The magnetic retina: light-dependent and trigeminal magnetoreception in migratory birds. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 22, 343-352. DOI:10.1016/j.conb.2012.01.005


2011: Guilford, T., Åkesson, S., Gagliardo, A., Holland, R.A., Mouritsen, H., Muheim, R., Wiltschko, R., Wiltschko, W. & Bingman, V.P. (2011) Migratory navigation in birds: new opportunities in an era of fast-developing tracking technology. J. Exp. Biol. 214, 3705-3712. DOI:10.1242/jeb.051292

2011: Hein, C. M., Engels, S., Kishkinev, D. & Mouritsen, H. (2011) Robins have a magnetic compass in both eyes. Nature 471, E11. DOI:10.1038/nature09875.

2011: Hein, C. M., Zapka, M. & Mouritsen, H. (2011) Weather significantly influences the migratory behaviour of night-migratory songbirds tested indoors in orientation cages. Journal of Ornithology 152, 27-35. DOI:10.1007/s10336-010-0540-x


2010: Kishkinev, D., Chernetsov, N. & Mouritsen, H. (2010) A double clock or jetlag mechanism is unlikely to be involved in detection of east-west displacements in a long-distance avian migrant. Auk 127, 773−780. DOI:10.1525/auk.2010.10032

2010: Zapka, M., Heyers, D., Liedvogel, M., Jarvis, E.D. & Mouritsen, H. (2010) Night-time neuronal activation of Cluster N in a day- and night-migrating songbird. European Journal of Neuroscience 32, 619-624. DOI:10.1111/j.1460-9568.2010.07311.x

2010: Solov’yov, I. A. Mouritsen, H. & Schulten, K. (2010) Acuity of a cryptochrome and vision-based magnetoreception system in birds. Biophysical Journal 99, 40-49. DOI:10.1016/j.bpj.2010.03.053

2010: Heyers, D., Zapka, M., Hoffmeister, M., Wild, J. M. & Mouritsen, H. (2010) Magnetic field changes activate the trigeminal brainstem complex in a migratory bird. PNAS 107, 9394-9399. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0907068107

2010: Falkenberg, G., Fleissner, Ge., Schuchardt, K., Kuehbacher, M., Thalau, P., Mouritsen, H., Heyers, D., Wellenreuther, G. & Fleissner, Gue. (2010) Avian Magnetoreception: Elaborate Iron Mineral Containing Dendrites in the Upper Beak Seem to Be a Common Feature of Birds. PLoS ONE 5, e9231. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0009231

2010:  Ritz, T., Ahmad, M., Mouritsen, H., Wiltschko, R. & Wiltschko, W. (2010) Photoreceptor-based magnetoreception: optimal design of receptor molecules, cells, and neuronal processing. J. Royal. Soc. Interface 7, S135-S146. DOI:10.1098/rsif.2009.0456.focus

2010: Liedvogel M. & Mouritsen, H. (2010) Cryptochromes – a potential magnetoreceptor: what do we know and what do we want to know? J. Royal. Soc. Interface 7, S147-S162. DOI:10.1098/rsif.2009.0411.focus

2010: Hein, C. M., Zapka, M., Heyers, D., Kutzschbauch, S., Schneider, N.-L. & Mouritsen, H. (2010) Night-migratory garden warblers can orient with their magnetic compass using the left, the right or both eyes. J. Royal. Soc. Interface 7, S227-S233. DOI:10.1098/rsif.2009.0376.focus




2009: Zapka, M., Heyers, D., Hein, C. M., Engels, S., Schneider, N.-L., Hans, J., Weiler, S., Dreyer, D., Kishkinev, D., Wild, J. M. & Mouritsen, H. (2009) Visual but not trigeminal mediation of magnetic compass information in a migratory bird. Nature 461, 1274-1277. DOI:10.1038/nature08528

2009: Mouritsen, H., Feenders, G., Hegemann, A. & Liedvogel, M. (2009) Thermal paper can replace typewriter correction paper in Emlen funnels. J. Ornithol. 150, 713-715. DOI:10.1007/s10336-009-0421-3


2008: Chapman, J.W., Reynolds, D.R., Mouritsen, H., Hill, J.H., Riley, J.R., Sivell, D., Smith, A.D. & Woiwod, I.P. (2008) Wind Selection and Drift Compensation Optimize Migratory Pathways in a High-flying Moth. Current Biology 18, 514-518. DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2008.02.080

2008: Heyers D., Manns M., Luksch H., Güntürkün O., & Mouritsen H. (2008) Calcium-binding proteins label functional streams of the visual system in a songbird. Brain Research Bulletin 75, 348-355. DOI:10.1016/j.brainresbull.2007.10.029

2008: Feenders, G., Liedvogel, M., Rivas, M., Zapka, M., Horita, H., Hara, E., Wada, K., Mouritsen, H. & Jarvis, E.D. (2008) Molecular Mapping of Movement-Associated Areas in the Avian Brain: A Motor Theory for Vocal Learning Origin. PLoS ONE, 3, e1768. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0001768

2008: Chernetsov, N., Kishkinev, D. & Mouritsen, H. (2008) A long-distance avian migrant compensates for longitudinal displacement during spring migration. Current Biology 18, 188-190. DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2008.01.018


2007: Liedvogel M., Maeda K., Henbest K., Schleicher E., Simon T., Timmel C.R., Hore P.J. & Mouritsen, H. (2007) Chemical Magnetoreception: Bird Cryptochrome 1a is Excited by Blue Light and Forms Long-Lived Radical-Pairs. PLoS ONE 2: e1106. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0001106

2007: Heyers D., Manns M., Luksch H., Güntürkün O. & Mouritsen H. (2007) A visual pathway links brain structures active during magnetic compass orientation in migratory birds. PLoS ONE 2: e937. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0000937

2007: Liedvogel, M., Feenders, G., Wada, K., Troje, N.F., Jarvis, E. D. & Mouritsen, H. (2007) Lateralized activation of Cluster N in the brains of migratory songbirds. European Journal of Neuroscience 25, 1166-1173. DOI:10.1111/j.1460-9568.2007.05350.x

2007: Sohle, I.S., Robertson, C.J.R., Nicholls, D.G., Mouritsen, H., Frost, B. & Moller, H. (2007) Satellite tracking of sooty shearwaters (Puffinus griseus) during their pre-laying 'exodus' and incubation. Notornis 54, 180-188.


2006: Frost, B.J. & Mouritsen, H. (2006) The neural mechanisms of long distance animal navigation. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 16, 481-488. DOI:10.1016/j.conb.2006.06.005

2006: Stalleicken, J., Labhart, T., & Mouritsen, H. (2006) Physiological characterization of the compound eye in monarch butterflies with focus on the dorsal rim area. Journal of Comparative Physiology A 192, 321-331. DOI:10.1007/s00359-005-0073-6


2005: Mouritsen, H., Feenders, G., Liedvogel, M., Wada, K. & Jarvis, E. D. (2005) Night Vision Brain Area in Migratory Songbirds. PNAS 102, 8339-8344. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0409575102

2005: Mouritsen, H. & Ritz, T. (2005) Magnetoreception and it use in bird navigation. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 15, 406-414. DOI:10.1016/j.conb.2006.06.005

2005: Piersma, T., Pérez-Tris, J., Mouritsen, H., Bauchinger, U. & Bairlein, F. (2005) Is there a “migratory syndrome” common to all migrant birds? Annals of the New York Academy of the Sciences 1046, 282-293. DOI:10.1196/annals.1343.026

2005: Sauman, I., Briscoe, A.D., Zhu, H. Shi, D., Froy, O., Stalleicken, J., Yuan, Q., Casselman, A. & Reppert, S.M. "Connecting the Navigational Clock to Sun Compass Input in Monarch Butterfly Brain". Neuron 46, 1-11.

2005: Stalleicken, J., Mukhida, M., Labhart, T., Wehner, R., Frost, B. J. & Mouritsen, H. (2005) Do monarch butterflies use polarized skylight for orientation? Journal of Experimental Biology 208, 2399-2408.


2004: Mouritsen, H., Feenders, G., Liedvogel, M. & Kropp, W. (2004) Migratory birds use head scans to detect the direction of the Earth’s magnetic field. Current Biology 14, 1946-1949. DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2004.10.025

2004: Mouritsen, H., Janssen-Bienhold, U., Liedvogel, M., Feenders, G., Stalleicken, J., Dirks, P. & Weiler, R. (2004) Cryptochromes and neuronal-activity markers colocalize in the retina of migratory birds during magnetic orientation. PNAS 101, 14294-14299. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0405968101 [See also Science 306, 432-434 and Nature Review Neuroscience 5, 827]

2004: Cochran, W. W., Mouritsen, H. & Wikelski, M. (2004) Migrating songbirds recalibrate their magnetic compass daily from twilight cues. Science 304, 405-408. DOI:10.1126/science.1095844


2003:  Mouritsen, H. (2003) Spatiotemporal orientation strategies of long-distance migrants. In: Berthold, P., Gwinner, E. & Sonnenschein, E. (eds.) "Avian Migration", pp. 493-513, Springer Verlag, Berlin.

2003:  Mouritsen, H., Huyvaert, K.P., Frost, B.J. & Andersson, D. (2003) Waved Albatrosses can navigate with strong magnets attached to their head. Journal of Experimental Biology 206, 4155-4166. DOI:10.1242/jeb.00650

2003: Andersson, D.J., Huyvaert, K.P., Wood, D.R., Gillikin, C.L., Frost, B.J. & Mouritsen, H. (2003) At-sea distribution of Waved Albatrosses and the Galapagos Marine Reserve. Biological Conservation, 110, 367-373.


2002: Mouritsen, H. & Frost, B.J. (2002) Virtual migration in tethered flying monarch butterflies reveals their orientation mechanisms. PNAS 99, 10162-10166. DOI:10.1073/pnas.152137299


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