Born on November 18, 1965 in Munich. Study of Zoology at the LMU in Munich (1985-1991). PhD at the University of Bielefeld (1994). Postdoc at the University of Washington, Seattle (1995-1998) and at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (1996-1998). Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (1998-2000) and in Princeton (2000-2005); then Associate Professor (2005-2007) in Princeton. Since December 2007 Wikelski is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Radolfzell branch. Prof. for Ornithology at the University of Konstanz (2007-2016), since May 2016 Honorary Professor at University Konstanz.
Prof. Wikelski was 1998 Niko-Tinbergen Laureate of the German Ethological Society and 2000 Bartholomew Laureate of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. In 2008 the National Geographic Society honored him as “Emerging Explorer”, and in 2010 he was designated “Adventurer of the Year” for his leading contribution to the research of global animal migration.