Associated Institute - Research Center caesar (center of advanced european studies and research)

Associated Institute - Research Center caesar (center of advanced european studies and research)

The Center of Advanced European Studies and Research (caesar) in Bonn, Germany, is a neuroethology research institute that focuses on the neural mechanisms underlying animal behavior.

The institute is operated by a non-profit foundation under private law. Trustors are the Federal Republic of Germany and the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia. caesar is closely associated with the Max Planck Society (MPG) and shares its scientific principles. The President of the MPG chairs the Board of Trustees and caesar¹s Directors are Scientific Members of the MPG.


Ludwig-Erhard-Allee 2
53175 Bonn
Phone: +49 228 9656-0
Fax: +49 228 9656-111

PhD opportunities

This institute has several International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS):

IMPRS on Ageing
IMPRS for Brain and Behavior

In addition, there is the possibility of individual doctoral research. Please contact the directors or research group leaders at the Institute.

Department Computational Neuroethology


Department Behavior and Brain Organization

Cell number determines structure of neural maps

Frankfurt researchers find a simple explanation for the typical patterns of nerve cells inside neural maps


Sphingosine inhibits the enzyme GBA2, thereby regulating the degradation of lipid-sugar compounds in cells

Biosensor measures signaling molecules within cilia

Scientists can measure the dynamics of signaling molecules in subcellular compartments

Rhodopsin on track

Rhodopsin on track

March 01, 2015

Biological pigment aligns in double rows

Optogenetics makes sterile mice fertile again

Researchers control swimming behaviour of sperm with light-sensitive enzyme


Sea urchin sperm always follow their “noses” when swimming. Their olfactory organ is located in the tail and actually counts or calculates rather than smelling. The scientists working with Benjamin Kaupp, Scientific Director at the Center of Advanced European Studies and Research (caesar), have provided a molecular explanation for this peculiar process.

No job offers available

Species-specific wiring of the mammalian retina

2018 Briggman, Kevin

Cell Biology Developmental Biology Genetics Immunobiology Medicine Neurosciences Structural Biology

Amongst mammalian species, the diameter of the eye varies by more than an order of magnitude. Objects in visual space traverse the surface of the retina of a large diameter eye at a higher velocity than that of a small diameter eye, raising the question of how different species encode the velocity of moving objects. Using comparative connectomics and computational modelling, we identified a difference in the placement of synapses among neurons in the mouse versus rabbit retina. Our results suggest an adaptation in neural wiring that compensates for eye diameter differences across species.


Tactile perception in the computer brain

2017 Oberlaender, Marcel

Cell Biology Neurosciences Structural Biology

How are decisions formed in the brain? Investigations on the rat nervous system show that the basic principles of such complex processes can be studied on detailed models of neuronal networks. Novel techniques allow reconstructing the structure of neurons after having studied their function in living animals. By means of these data, models of entire brain areas can be created. By simulating neuronal activity patterns in these anatomically detailed network models, scientists hope to gain insight into how sensory information and behaviors that arise from it are encoded in the brain.


Networks underlying the sense of direction

2016 Seelig, Johannes

Cell Biology Developmental Biology Genetics Immunobiology Medicine Neurosciences Structural Biology

How do the networks in the brain enable navigation and how do they control movements? Addressing these questions in the simple nervous system of the fruit fly indicates that basic network structures that are relevant for the mammalian brain contribute to navigation behavior in the fly. Thanks to the small size of the fly brain and the available genetic tools these networks can be analyzed in detail. Such experiments are expected to contribute to our understanding of how abstract computations are encoded in biological networks.


Shedding light on male infertility

2015 Wachten, Dagmar

Cell Biology Developmental Biology Genetics Medicine Neurosciences

The underlying causes of male infertility are diverse; however, in almost 50% of the cases, there is no apparent reason for the infertility – it is idiopathic. Recently, one of the key players for sperm development, a new protein called CRIS, has been identified. CRIS knock-out males did not produce any sperm – they were infertile. However, some of the males had sperm, but their swimming behavior was completely different from normal sperm, resulting in a severely reduced fertility.


The supra-molecular structure of rhodopsin in retinal rods

2014 Gunkel, Monika

Cell Biology Structural Biology

The sense of vision is the most important sense for many animals and humans. The visual pigment rhodopsin is a key protein, it absorbs light which falls onto the visual cells in the retina. There has been a controversial discussion on the supra-molecular organisation of rhodopsin for many years. We have been able to clarify this controversy with the aid of electron tomography. Many illnesses which cause blindness can be traced back to mutations in the  rhodopsin gene and the resulting degeneration of the retina. Our findings can maybe contribute to explaining some causes of blindness.

Go to Editor View