Dr Pascal Malkemper studied neurobiology at the University of Bochum from 2005 to 2011. He developed a keen interest in sensory biology, being fascinated by the diverse functional anatomy of sensory organs in different species. Having a passion for non-standard model organisms, he performed his doctoral studies on red fox sensory biology under the supervision of Hynek Burda in Germany and the Czech Republic. For his PhD thesis, he received the prestigious Fritz-Frank Award of the German Society for Mammalian Biology. During his PhD studies, he became interested in the mole-rats housed next to his office in the Burda lab. After having graduated in 2014, Pascal managed to get two starting grants that allowed him to pursue independent projects on the mole-rat magnetic sense in the Burda lab. In 2016, he moved to Vienna joining the Keays lab at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) to work on the molecular basis of the magnetic sense of pigeons. Starting in October 2019, Pascal will focus on the magnetic sense of mammals again, as the leader of the Max Planck Research Group ‘Neurobiology of Magnetoreception’. The long-term goal of the group is to map the neural machinery that is involved in magnetic orientation in mole-rats and mice, from the magnetoreceptors to the higher brain circuits.

Scientific career


Max Planck Research Group Leader, research center caesar


PostDoc, Keays Lab, Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP), Vienna, Austria


PostDoc, Burda Lab, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany


PhD Student, Burda Lab, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany


MSc in Neurobiology, University of Bochum, Germany



Global Young Faculty IV


PhD scholarship, German Academic Scholarship Foundation (Studienstiftung)


Scholarship, German Academic Scholarship Foundation (Studienstiftung)

Grants and awards


Volkswagen Foundation Experiment! Grant (A117492)


Starting grant of the Mercator Research Center Ruhr (An-2016-0003)


Starting grant for excellent young scientists at the University of Duisburg-Essen


Fritz-Frank Award of the German Society for Mammalian Biology (DGS)

Dr. Pascal Malkemper