Dr. Dominik Heyers


Dr. Dominik Heyers

AG Neurosensorik/Animal Navigation
Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
Carl-von-Ossietzky-Straße 9-11
26129 Oldenburg

Campus Wechloy, Gebäude W10

+49 (0) 441 798 3645


Dr. Dominik Heyers

Senior Scientist


since 2015: Senior Researcher, Institute of Biology and Environmental Sciences, University Oldenburg, Germany, AG Animal Navigation/"Neurosensorik" (Group leader: Prof. Dr. H. Mouritsen)

2004-2014: Postdoc at Department of Biology, University Oldenburg, Germany, AG Animal Navigation/"Neurosensorik" (Group leader: Prof. Dr. H. Mouritsen).


1999-2003: Ph.D. "Role of cadherins in development of the vertebrate nervous system"; Inst. of Anatomy, University Medical School Essen, Germany, AG Prof. Dr. Dr. C. Redies (pdf).

1998: Master of sciences (M.Sc.) Biology (Diplom-Biologe) "Distribution of FMRF-amide in the metathoracic ganglia of the cricket (Acheta domesticus)", Inst. of Zoology, Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-Universität Frankfurt/Main, Germany, AG Prof. Dr. W. Gnatzy.

1992: Matriculated at Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-Universität Frankfurt/Main, Germany.

1992: Graduated from Couven-Gymnasium, Aachen, Germany.

Peer-reviewed publications

2022: Heyers D, Musielak I, Haase K, Herold C, Bolte P, Güntürkün O, Mouritsen H. Morphology, biochemistry and connectivity of Cluster N and the hippocampal formation in a migratory bird. Brain Struct Funct. 2022 Sep 17. doi: 10.1007/s00429-022-02566-y.

2022: Kobylkov D, Musielak I, Haase K, Rook N, von Eugen K, Dedek K, Güntürkün O, Mouritsen H, Heyers D. Morphology of the "prefrontal" nidopallium caudolaterale in the long-distance night-migratory Eurasian blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla). Neurosci Lett. 2022 Oct 15;789:136869. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2022.136869. Epub 2022 Sep 10. PMID: 36100042.

2022: Curdt F, Haase, K, Ziegenbalg L, Greb H, Heyers D, Winklhofer M. Prussian blue technique is prone
to yield false negative results in magnetoreception research. Sci Rep 12(1):8803. doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-12398-9.

2022: Haase, K, Musielak, I, Warmuth-Moles, L, Leberecht, B, Zolotareva, A, Mouritsen, H, Heyers, D. In search for the avian trigeminal magnetic sensor: distribution of peripheral and central terminals of ophthalmic sensory neurons in the night-migratory eurasian blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla). Front. Neuroanat. 16:853401. doi.org/10.3389/fnana.2022.853401.

2021: Haase, K, Musielak, I, Heyers D. The neuronal correlates of the avian magnetic senses. doi.org/10.1515/nf-2021-0008.

2021: Bolte, P, Einwich A, Seth PK, Chetverikova R, Heyers, D, Wojahn, I, Janssen-Bienhold U, Feederle, R, Hore, PJ, Dedek K, Mouritsen, H. Cryptochrome 1a localisation in light- and dark-adapted retinae of several migratory and non-migratory bird species: no signs of light-dependent activation. Ethology Ecology & Evolution, DOI: 10.1080/03949370.2020.1870571.

2020: Kobylkov, D*, Schwarze, S*, Michalik B, Winklhofer M, Mouritsen H, Heyers, D. A newly identified trigeminal brain pathway in a night-migratory bird could be dedicated to transmitting magnetic map information. Proc. Biol. Sci. 287(1919):20192788. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2019.2788. Epub 2020 Jan 22. PMID: 31964302. (PUBMED). *Co-first authors

2018: Pakhomov, A., Anashina, A., Heyers, D., Kobylkov, D., Mouritsen, H., Chernetsov, N. Magnetic map navigation in a migratory songbird requires trigeminal input. Sci Rep. 8(1):11975. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-30477-8. PMID: 30097604. (PUBMED).

2018: Engels, S., Treiber, C.D., Salzer, M.C., Michalik, A., Ushakova, L., Keays, D.A.*, Mouritsen, H.*, Heyers, D.*  Lidocaine is a nocebo treatment for trigeminally mediated magnetic orientation in birds. J. R. Soc. Interface 15 20180124; DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2018.0124. (PUBMED). *Co-PIs

2017: Elbers D, Bulte M, Bairlein F*, Mouritsen H*, Heyers D*. Magnetic activation in the brain of the migratory northern wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe). J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol; DOI: 10.1007/s00359-017-1167-7. (PUBMED); *: Co-PIs.

2017: Heyers D, Elbers D, Bulte M, Bairlein F, Mouritsen H. The magnetic map sense and its use in fine-tuning the migration programme of birds. J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol; DOI: 10.1007/s00359-017-1164-x. (PUBMED)

2017: Bulte M, Heyers D, Mouritsen H, Bairlein F. Geomagnetic information modulates nocturnal migratory restlessness but not fueling in a long distance migratory songbird. J Avian Biol 48(1): 75-82; DOI: 10.1111/jav.01285. (Link)

2016: 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. (PUBMED)

2016: Bolte P., Bleibaum F., Einwich A., Günther A., Liedvogel M., Heyers D., Depping A., Wöhlbrand L., Rabus, R., Janssen-Bienhold, U., Mouritsen H. "Localisation of the putative magnetoreceptive protein Cryptochrome 1b in the retinae of migratory birds and homing pigeons". PlOS ONE 2016 Mar 8;11(3):e0147819. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0147819. eCollection 2016. (PUBMED)

2016: Mouritsen H., Heyers D., Güntürkün O. "The neural basis of long-distance navigation in birds". Annual Review of Physiology 2016 Feb 10;78:133-54. doi: 10.1146/annurev-physiol-021115-105054. Epub 2015 Nov 2. PMID:26527184 (PUBMED)

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

2014: Lefeldt N.*, Heyers D.*, Schneider, NL., Engels, S., Elbers, D., Mouritsen H. "Magnetic field-driven induction of ZENK in the trigeminal system of pigeons (Columba livia). Journal of the Royal Society Interface November 6;11: 20140777. (PUBMED); *: co-first authors

2013: Kishkinev D.*, Chernetsov N.*, Heyers D., Mouritsen H. "Migratory reed warblers need intact trigeminal nerves to correct for a 1.000 km displacement". PLoS ONE, 8(6): e65847. doi:10.1371/ journal.pone.0065847. (Full Article); *: co-first authors

2013: Lauwers M., Pichler P., Edelman NB., Resch GP., Ushakova L., Salzer MC., Heyers D., Saunders M., Shaw J., Keays DA. "An Iron-Rich Organelle in the Cuticular Plate of Avian Hair Cells". Current Biology May 20;23(10):924-9. doi: 10.1016/ j.cub.2013.04.025. Epub 2013 Apr 25. (PUBMED)

2010: Zapka M., Heyers D., Liedvogel M., Jarvis ED., Mouritsen H. "Night-time neuronal activation of Cluster N in a day- and night-migrating songbird". European Journal of Neuroscience Aug 32(4);619-24. (PUBMED)

2010: Heyers D., Zapka M., Hoffmeister M., Wild JM., Mouritsen H. "Magnetic field changes activate the trigeminal brainstem complex in a migratory bird". Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences USA (PNAS) May 18;107 (20):9394-9. (PUBMED)

2010: Falkenberg G., Fleissner G., Schuchardt K., Kuehbacher M., Thalau P., Mouritsen H., Heyers D., Wellenreuther G., Fleissner G. "Avian Magnetoreception: Elaborate Iron Mineral Containing Dendrites in the Upper Beak Seem to Be a Common Feature of Birds". PloS ONE 5(2): e9231. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009231. (Full Article)

2010: Hein CM., Zapka M., Heyers D., Kutzschbauch S., Schneider NL., Mouritsen H. "Migratory garden warblers can orient with their magnetic compass using the left, the right or both eyes". Journal of the Royal Society Interface Apr 6;7 Suppl 2:S227-33. (PUBMED)

2009: Zapka M., Heyers D., Hein CM., Engels S., Schneider NL., Hans J., Weiler S., Dreyer D., Kishkinev D., Wild JM., Mouritsen H. "Visual but not trigeminal mediation of magnetic compass information in a migratory bird". Nature, 461 (7268): 1274-7. (PUBMED) Highly accessed by public and scientific media! (Links)

2008: Heyers D., Manns M., Luksch H., Güntürkün O., Mouritsen H. "Calcium-binding proteins label functional streams of the visual system in a songbird". Brain Research Bulletin, 75 (2-4): 348-355. (PUBMED)

2007: Heyers D., Manns M., Luksch H., Güntürkün O., Mouritsen H. "A visual pathway links brain structures active during magnetic compass orientation in migratory birds". PLoS ONE 2(9): e937. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000937. (Full Article) Highly accessed by public and scientific media! (Links)

2004: Heyers D., Luksch H., Redies C. "Selective synaptic cadherin expression by traced neurons of the chicken visual system". Neuroscience 127: 901-912. (PUBMED)

2003: Heyers D., Kovjanic D., Redies C. "Cadherin expression coincides with birth dating patterns in patchy compartments of the developing chicken telencephalon". Journal of Comparative Neurology 460: 155-166. (PUBMED)

2002: Treubert-Zimmermann U., Heyers D., Redies C. "Targeting axons to specific fiber tracts in vivo by altering cadherin expression". Journal of Neuroscience 22: 7617-7626. (PUBMED)

2002: Redies C., Kovjanic D., Heyers D., Medina L., Hirano S., Suzuki ST., Puelles L. "Patch/matrix patterns of gray matter differentiation in the telencephalon of chicken and mouse". Brain Research Bulletin 57: 489-493. Review. (PUBMED)

Selected Invited talks/Conference contributions (since 2010)

2019:   Meeting of the Royal Institute of Navigation (RIN19), Egham, Great Britain.

2017:   11th congress of the European Ornithologists Union, Turku, Finland.

2016:   114th Titisee Conference: The molecules and mechanisms of magneto-, thermo-, and mechanosensation.

2016:   Meeting of the Royal Institute of Navigation (RIN16), Reading, Great Britain.

2015:   Kaliningrad University, Kaliningrad, Russia.

2015:   11th Meeting of the German Neuroscience Society, Göttingen, Germany.

2014:   6. Zugvogeltage Nationalpark Wattenmeer, Seefeld, Germany.

2014:   Center for Cognition and Decision Making, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia.

2014:   Russian Academy of Sciences, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow/Zoological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia.

2014:   Russian Academy of Sciences, University of Moscow, Faculty of Biology, Zwenigorod, Russia, invited graduate course.

2014:   Gordon Research Seminar “Bioelectrochemistry”, University of New England, Biddeford, ME, USA.

2014:   Institute of Biology, Active sensing group (Jun. Prof. Dr. J Engelmann), University Bielefeld, Germany.

2013:   43rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, USA, selected as “Hot Topic”.

2013:   JB Johnston Club (JBJC), San Diego, USA. Brain Beh Evol 81:250-256. doi: 10.1159/000353579.

2013:   5. Zugvogeltage Nationalpark Wattenmeer, Langeoog, Germany.

2013:   106. Annual Meeting of the German Zoological Society (DZG), Munich, Germany.

2013:   9th conference of the European Ornithologists´ Union, Norwich, UK.

2013:   Meeting of the Royal Institute of Navigation (NAV13), Egham, GB.

2013:   Institute of Psychology, Chair of Biopsychology (Prof. Dr. Dr. O. Güntürkün), Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany.

2013:   J.P. Scott Center for Neuroscience, Mind and Behavior, Dep. of Psychology, Bowling Green State University, OH, USA, invited student lecture.

2012:   Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) (Dr. D. Keays), Vienna, Austria.

2012:   VIth European Conference on Behavioural Biology (ECBB VI), Essen, Germany.

2012:   Institute of Avian Research, Vogelwarte Helgoland (Prof. Dr. F. Bairlein), Wilhelmshaven, Germany.

2011:   Academy of Russian Sciences, University of Moscow, Faculty of Biology, Zwenigorod, Russia.

2011:   Institute of Biology, Chair of Neuroethology (Prof. Dr. HJ Bischof), University Bielefeld, Germany.

2011:   Meeting of the Royal Institute of Navigation (RIN11), Reading, Great Britain.

2011:   Nordwest-Deutsche Universitätsgesellschaft (NWDUG), Wilhelmshaven, Germany.

2010:   40th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, USA.

2010:   JB Johnston Club (JBJC), San Diego, USA. Brain Beh Evol 75:309-316; doi:10.1159/000318756.

2010:   25th International Ornithological Congress (IOC), Campos do Jordao, Brasil.

2010:   Frankfurt Institute of Advanced Sciences (FIAS), Frankfurt/Main, Germany.

2010:   Academy of Russian Sciences, University of Moscow, Faculty of Biology, Zwenigorod, Russia, invited student lecture.

2010:   6th European Conference on Comparative Neurobiology (ECCN), Valencia, Spain.


2019-2026: PI on Sonderforschungsbereich (SFB 1372) from Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).

2017-2018: Leonhard-Euler stipend from Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD).

2011-2014: Research grant from Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).

2013: Travel stipend from Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD).

2011: Stipend from "Programmhaushalt Ressort Forschung" financed by University of Oldenburg.

2010: Travel stipend from Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD).

2005-2007: Fellow on the program "Dynamics and adaptivity of neuronal systems" financed by VolkswagenStiftung.

2005: Poster award on 3rd Status Conference on "Dynamics and adaptivity of neuronal systems", Hamburg, Germany

2004: "Forschungspool" stipend from University of Oldenburg.

Referee Service

Journals: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Communications Biology, Journal of Comparative Neurology; Proceedings of the Royal Society Interface; iScience, European Journal of Neuroscience; Brain Structure and Function; Biology Letters; PLoS ONE; Bioelectromagnetics; Brain Research; Brain Research Bulletin; Journal of Comparative Physiology A; Journal of Ethology; European Biophysics Journal; Journal of Ornithology; Zoology; Chinese Birds

Funding agencies: DFG


Society for Neuroscience (SfN)

German zoological Society (DZG)

(Stand: 17.07.2024)  | 
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