W 1234 - Thomas Bugnyar - Cognition and Communication

Sprecher: Thomas Bugnyar

bewilligt: 2010

Universität/Forschungsstätte: Universität Wien

thomas.bugnyar(at)univie.ac.at

Website: http://cogcom.univie.ac.at/

Cognitive biology seeks to understand cognition, communication and behaviour in human and other animals, from both proximate (mechanistic and developmental) and ultimate (phylogenetic and adaptive) perspectives, with a strong emphasis on experimental comparisons of multiple species (the comparative method). The purpose of the DK Program "Cognition & Communication" is to synergize existing research strengths with PhD-level training opportunities, thus creating a world-class centre for training the next generation of researchers in cognitive biology. We prepare our students to excel in this competitive and highly interdisciplinary research area by focusing on rigorous experimental methods within a broad theoretical framework, grounded in evolutionary theory and the comparative method. PhD candidates in our program are trained in both field and laboratory research, experimental design, and comparative methodologies to address specific questions concerning neural, endocrine and behavioural mechanisms from developmental and evolutionary perspectives.Centred in the Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna, the first funding period of the DK program has been carried by five internationally recognized researchers (Bugnyar, Fitch, Hödl, Huber, Kotrschal). For the next funding period, the faculty team shall increase by three members (Fusani, Range, Tebbich), all "rising stars" in the Vienna cognitive research scene. While Range will strengthen the existing focus on social cognition, Fusani and Tebbich will bring in new methods and topics like physical cognition.Reflecting recent developments concerning the affiliation of faculty members, in the next funding period the DK program will incorporate two institutions, the University of Vienna and University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna. Strong connections already exist between these universities, including co-teaching agreements and substantial financial support by the Austrian ministry (e.g. for joint research centre Haidlhof). PhD candidates in the current funding period have already taken full advantage of the excellent research opportunities resulting from this collaboration. Equally strong connections exist with multiple international research centres, providing unparalleled opportunities for exchange visits and post-doc options for our PhD candidates.  Thus far, the DK program has been truly successful, with excellent PhD students profiting from and contributing to a vibrant atmosphere; it has greatly increased the international attractiveness of our group and is a major component of our attempt to place Vienna at the centre of this new biological and evolutionary approach to understanding cognition. Ausbildungsplätze5 DK-PhD-KandidatInnen + 9 assozierte PhD-KandidatInnen

Höhe der FWF-Förderung
1.317.120 €

Anteil international Studierender
70 %

Faculty Members

  • Thomas Bugnyar, Department für Kognitionsbiologie, Universität Wien
  • Tecumseh Fitch, Department für Kognitionsbiologie, Universität Wien
  • Ludwig Huber, Messerli Stiftung, Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
  • Walter Hödl, Department für Integrative Zoologie, Universität Wien
  • Kurt Kotrschal, Department für Verhaltensbiologie, Universität Wien

Sprecher des DKs
Thomas Bugnyar, Department für Kognitionsbiologie, Universität Wien

thomas.bugnyar(at)univie.ac.at

Website: http://cogcom.univie.ac.at/

w1234.pdf(pdf, 80KB)