Prof. Dr. Henrik Mouritsen

AG Neurosensorik/Animal Navigation, IBU
Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg

Carl-von-Ossietzky-Strasse 9-11
D-26129 Oldenburg

Phone: +49 (0) 441 798 3081
              +49 (0) 441 798 3095

email: henrik.mouritsen[at]

for citation details, see

Publication list group

Peer-reviewed research papers


Yadav, S. C., Tetenborg, S., & Dedek, K. (2019). Gap Junctions in A8 Amacrine Cells Are Made of Connexin36 but Are Differently Regulated than Gap Junctions in AII Amacrine Cells. Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience12, 99. doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2019.00099


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

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

Dreyer, D., Frost B. J., Mouritsen, H., Günther, A., Green, K., Whitehouse, M., Johnsen, S., Heinze, S. Warrant, E. (2018) The Earth's magnetic field and visual landmarks steer migratory flight behaviour in the nocturnal Australian Bogong moth. Current Biology 28, ISSUE 13, P2160-2166.

Mouritsen, H. (2018) Long-distance navigation and magnetoreception in migratory animals. Nature 558, 50-59. For full text click here: link

Meyer A., Yadav SC., Dedek K. (2018) Phenotyping of Gap-Junctional Coupling. Methods Mol Biol 1753: 249-259. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7720-8_17.

Ströh, S., Puller, C., Swirski, S., Hölzel, M-B., van der Linde, LIS., Segelken, J., Schultz, K., Block, C., Monyer, H., Willecke, K., Weiler, R., Greschner, M., Janssen-Bienhold, U., Dedek, K.(2018) Eliminating Glutamatergic Input onto Horizontal Cells Changes the Dynamic Range and Receptive Field Organization of Mouse Retinal Ganglion Cells. Journal of Neuroscience. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0141-17.2018.

Günther, A., Einwich, A., Sjulstok, E., Feederle, R., Bolte, P., Koch, K.-W., Solov’yov, I.A., Mouritsen, H. (2018) Double-Cone Localization and Seasonal Expression Pattern Suggest a Role in Magnetoreception for European Robin Cryptochrome 4. Current Biology 28,


Tetenborg, S., Yadav, SC., Hormuzdi, SG., Monyer, H., Janssen-Bienhold, U., Dedek, K.: (2017) Differential Distribution of Retinal Ca2+/Calmodulin-Dependent Kinase II (CaMKII) Isoforms Indicates CaMKII-β and -δ as Specific Elements of Electrical Synapses Made of Connexin36 (Cx36). Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience 10. dog: 10.3389/fnmol.2017.00425.

Worster, S., Mouritsen, H., Hore, P. J. (2017) A light-dependent magnetoreception mechanism insensitive to light intensity and polarization. J. R. Soc. Interface 14 20170405; DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2017.0405.

Hiscock, H. G., Mouritsen, H., Manolopoulos, D. E., Hore, P. J. (2017) Disruption of magnetic compass orientation in migratory birds by radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. Biophys J. 113(7):1475-1484; doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2017.07.031.

Chernetsov, N., Pakhomov, A., Kobylkov, D., Kishkinev, D., Holland, R.A., Mouritsen, H. (2017) Migratory Eurasian reed warblers can use magnetic declination to solve the longitude problem. Current Biology 27,

Heyers, D., Elbers, D., Bulte, M., Bairlein, F., Mouritsen, H. (2017) The magnetic map sense and its use in fine-tuning the migration programme of birds. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, doi: 10.1007/s00359-017-1164-x.

Elbers, D., Bulte, M., Bairlein, F., Mouritsen, H., Heyers, D. (2017) Magnetic activation in the brain of the migratory northern wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe). Journal of Comparative Physiology A, doi: 10.1007/s00359-017-1167-7.

Bulte, M., Heyers, D., Mouritsen, H., Bairlein, F. (2017) Geomagnetic information modulates nocturnal migratory restlessness but not fueling in a long distance migratory songbird. Journal of Avian Biology 48, 75–82.


Bottesch M., Gerlach G., Halbach M., Bally A., Kingsford M. & Mouritsen H. (2016) "A magnetic compass that might help coral reef fish larvae return to their natal reef". Current Biology 26, 24 pR1266–R1267. doi:

Meyer A, Tetenborg S, Greb H, Segelken J, Dorgau B, Weiler R, Hormuzdi SG, Janssen-Bienhold U, Dedek K (2016) Connexin30.2: In Vitro Interaction with Connexin36 in HeLa Cells and Expression in AII Amacrine Cells and Intrinsically Photosensitive Ganglion Cells in the Mouse Retina. Front Mol Neurosci. 9:36. doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2016.00036.

Brüggen B, Kremser C, Bickert A, Ebel P, Vom Dorp K, Schultz K, Dörmann P, Willecke K, Dedek K (2016) Defective ceramide synthases in mice cause reduced amplitudes in electroretinograms and altered sphingolipid composition in retina and cornea. Eur J Neurosci in press. doi: 10.1111/ejn.13260.

Schwarze S., Steenken F., Thiele N., Kobylkov D., Lefeldt N., Dreyer D., Schneider N-L., and Mouritsen H. (2016) "Migratory blackcaps can use their magnetic compass at 5 degrees inclination, but are completely random at 0 degree inclination", Sci Rep. 6:33805. doi.: 10.1038/srep33805

Bender, M., Mouritsen, H., Christoffers, J. (2016) A robust synthesis of 7,8-didemethyl-8-hydroxy-5-deazariboflavin. Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry 12, 912-917.

Kishkinev D, Heyers D, Woodworth BK,  Mitchell GW, Hobson KA, Norris RD. (2016) 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.

Abdullaeva O.S., Schulz M., Balzer F., Parisi J., Luetzen A., Dedek K., Schiek M. (2016) "Photoelectrical Stimulation of Neuronal Cells by an Organic Semiconductor-Eletrolyte Interface". Langmuir 32, 33

Hore P.J., Mouritsen H. (2016) "The radical pair mechansim of magnetoreception". Annual Review in Biophysics 45. doi: 10.1146/annurev-biophys-032116-094545

Warrant E., Frost B.J., Green K., Mouritsen H., Dreyer D., Adden A., Brauburger K., Heinze S. (2016) "The Australien Bogong moth Agrotis infusa: A long-distance nocturnal navigator". Frontierts in Behavioral Neuroscience 10, 77. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2016.00077

Hiscock H.G., Worster S., Kattnig D.R., Steers C., Jin Y., Manolopoulos D.E., Mouritsen H., Hore P.J. (2016) "The quantum needle of the avian magnetic compass". PNAS in press. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1600341113

Schwarze S., Schneider N-L., Reichl T., Dreyer D., Lefeldt N., Engels S., Baker N., Hore P. J., Mouritsen H. (2016) "Weak broadband electromagnetic fields are more disruptive to magnetic compass orientation in night-migratory songbird (Erithacus rubecula) than strong narrow-band fields. Frontierts in Behavioral Neuroscience 10,55. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2016.00055

Bolte P., Bleibaum F., Einwich A., Günther A., Liedvogel M., Heyers D., Depping A., Wöhlbrand L., Rabus R., Janssen-Bienhold U., Mouritsen H. (2016) "Localisation of the Putative Magnetoreceptor Chryptochrome 1b in the Rentinae of Migratory Birds and Homing Pigeons". PloS ONE 11: e0147819. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0147819

Mouritsen H., Heyers D., Güntürkün O. (2016) "The neural basis of long-distance navigation in birds". Annual Review of Physiology 78, 133-154. doi: 10.1146/annurev-physiol-021115-105054



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

Bolte, P., Herrling, R., Dorgau, B., Schultz, K., Feigenspan, A., Weiler, R., Dedek, K., Janssen-Bienhold, U. (2015) Expression and Localization of Connexins in the Outer Retina of the Mouse. J Mol Neurosci 58(2):178-92. doi: 10.1007/s12031-015-0654-y.

Alert, B., Michalik, A., Thiele, N., Bottesch, M. & Mouritsen, H. (2015) Re-calibration of the magnetic compass in hand-raised European robins (Erithacus rubecula). Scientific Reports, 5:14323, doi:10.1038/srep14323

Alert, B., Michalik, A., Helduser, S., Mouritsen, H., Güntürkün, O. (2015) Perceptual strategies of pigeons to detect a rotational centre – A hint for star compass learning? PLOS ONE 10(3): e0119919. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0119919.

Lefeldt, N., Dreyer, D., Steenken, F., Schneider, N.-L. & Mouritsen, H. (2015) Migratory blackcaps tested in Emlen funnels can orient at 85 but not at 88 degrees magnetic inclination. J. Exp. Biol. 218, 206-211. doi:10.1242/jeb.107235

Dorgau B, Herrling R, Schultz K, Greb H, Segelken J, Ströh S, Bolte P, Weiler R, Dedek K, Janssen-Bienhold U. Connexin50 couples axon terminals of mouse horizontal cells by homotypic gap junctions. J Comp. Neurol. 2015 Mar 30. doi: 10.1002/cne.23779.


Lefeldt, N., Heyers, D., Schneider, N.-L., Engels, S., Elbers, D. & Mouritsen, H. (2014) Magnetic field-driven induction of ZENK in the trigeminal system of pigeons (Columba livia). J. Royal Soc. Interface 11, 20140777 doi: 10.1098/rsif.2014.0777

Engels, S., Schneider, N.-L., Lefeldt, N., Hein, C. M., Zapka, M., Michalik, A., Elbers, D., Kittel, A., Hore, P. J. & Mouritsen, H. (2014) Anthropogenic electromagnetic noise disrupts magnetic compass orientation in a migratory bird. Nature 509, 353-356. doi: 10.1038/nature13290

This paper was the cover story of the 15th of May 2014 issue of Nature. It was reported on in >500 different newspapers and at least 20 different radio channels and live on BBC World News TV at 19:15 on the 8th of May 2014 and in German and Danish television.

Michalik, A., Alert, B., Engels, S., Lefeldt, N. & Mouritsen, H. (2014) Star compass learning: how long does it take? J. Ornithol. 155, 225-234. doi: 10.1007/s10336-013-1004-x


Mouritsen, H., Derbyshire, R., Stalleicken, J., Mouritsen, O.Ø., Frost, B.J. & Norris, R.D. (2013) Reply to Oberhauser et al.: The experimental evidence is clear. Monarch butterflies are almost certainly not true navigators. PNAS 110, in press, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1309282110

Jarvis ED, Yu J, Rivas MV, Horita H, Feenders G, Whitney O, Jarvis S, Jarvis ER, Kubikova L, Puck AEP, Siang-Bakshi C, Martin S, McElroy M, Hara E, Howard J, Mouritsen H, Chen C-C, Wada K (2013) A global view of the functional molecular organization of the avian cerebrum: mirror images and functional columns. J. Comp. Neurol., 521(16):3614-65. doi: 10.1002/cne.23404

Kishkinev, D., Chernetsov, N., Heyers, D. & Mouritsen, H. (2013) Migratory reed warblers need intact trigeminal nerves to correct for a 1,000 km eastward displacement. PLOS ONE 8, e65847.

Mouritsen, H., Atema, J., Kingsford, M. & Gerlach, G. (2013) Sun Compass Orientation Helps Coral Reef Fish Larvae Return to their Natal Reef. PLOS ONE 8, e66039.

Mouritsen, H., Derbyshire, R., Stalleicken, J., Mouritsen, O.Ø., Frost, B.J. & Norris, R.D. (2013) An experimental displacement and over 50 years of tag-recoveries show that monarch butterflies are not true navigators. PNAS 110, 7348-7353.


Engels, S., Hein, C.M., Lefeldt, N., Prior, H. & Mouritsen, H. (2012) Night-Migratory Songbirds Possess a Magnetic Compass in Both Eyes. PLOS ONE 7, e43271. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0043271.

Kishkinev, D., Mouritsen, H & Mora, C.V. (2012) An attempt to develop an operant conditioning paradigm to test for magnetic discrimination behaviour in a migratory songbird. J. Ornithology 153, 1165-1177. DOI: 10.1007/s10336-012-0847-x.

Mouritsen, H. (2012) Sensory biology: search for the compass needles. Nature 484, 320-321 (News and Views). DOI:10.1038/484320a

Mouritsen, H. & Hore, P. J. (2012) The magnetic retina: light-dependent and trigeminal magnetoreception in migratory birds. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 22, 343-352. DOI:10.1016/j.conb.2012.01.005


Guilford, T., Åkesson, S., Gagliardo, A., Holland, R.A., Mouritsen, H., Muheim, R., Wiltschko, R., Wiltschko, W. & Bingman, V.P. (2011) Migratory navigation in birds: new opportunities in an era of fast-developing tracking technology. J. Exp. Biol. 214, 3705-3712. DOI:10.1242/jeb.051292

Hein, C. M., Engels, S., Kishkinev, D. & Mouritsen, H. (2011) Robins have a magnetic compass in both eyes. Nature 471, E11. DOI:10.1038/nature09875.

Hein, C. M., Zapka, M. & Mouritsen, H. (2011) Weather significantly influences the migratory behaviour of night-migratory songbirds tested indoors in orientation cages. Journal of Ornithology 152, 27-35. DOI:10.1007/s10336-010-0540-x


Kishkinev, D., Chernetsov, N. & Mouritsen, H. (2010) A double clock or jetlag mechanism is unlikely to be involved in detection of east-west displacements in a long-distance avian migrant. Auk 127, 773−780. DOI:10.1525/auk.2010.10032

Zapka, M., Heyers, D., Liedvogel, M., Jarvis, E.D. & Mouritsen, H. (2010) Night-time neuronal activation of Cluster N in a day- and night-migrating songbird. European Journal of Neuroscience 32, 619-624. DOI:10.1111/j.1460-9568.2010.07311.x

Solov’yov, I. A. Mouritsen, H. & Schulten, K. (2010) Acuity of a cryptochrome and vision-based magnetoreception system in birds. Biophysical Journal 99, 40-49. DOI:10.1016/j.bpj.2010.03.053

Heyers, D., Zapka, M., Hoffmeister, M., Wild, J. M. & Mouritsen, H. (2010) Magnetic field changes activate the trigeminal brainstem complex in a migratory bird. PNAS 107, 9394-9399. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0907068107

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

Ritz, T., Ahmad, M., Mouritsen, H., Wiltschko, R. & Wiltschko, W. (2010) Photoreceptor-based magnetoreception: optimal design of receptor molecules, cells, and neuronal processing. J. Royal. Soc. Interface 7, S135-S146. DOI:10.1098/rsif.2009.0456.focus

Liedvogel M. & Mouritsen, H. (2010) Cryptochromes – a potential magnetoreceptor: what do we know and what do we want to know? J. Royal. Soc. Interface 7, S147-S162. DOI:10.1098/rsif.2009.0411.focus

Hein, C. M., Zapka, M., Heyers, D., Kutzschbauch, S., Schneider, N.-L. & Mouritsen, H. (2010) Night-migratory garden warblers can orient with their magnetic compass using the left, the right or both eyes. J. Royal. Soc. Interface 7, S227-S233. DOI:10.1098/rsif.2009.0376.focus



Zapka, M., Heyers, D., Hein, C. M., Engels, S., Schneider, N.-L., Hans, J., Weiler, S., Dreyer, D., Kishkinev, D., Wild, J. M. & Mouritsen, H. (2009) Visual but not trigeminal mediation of magnetic compass information in a migratory bird. Nature 461, 1274-1277. DOI:10.1038/nature08528

Mouritsen, H., Feenders, G., Hegemann, A. & Liedvogel, M. (2009) Thermal paper can replace typewriter correction paper in Emlen funnels. J. Ornithol. 150, 713-715. DOI:10.1007/s10336-009-0421-3


Chapman, J.W., Reynolds, D.R., Mouritsen, H., Hill, J.H., Riley, J.R., Sivell, D., Smith, A.D. & Woiwod, I.P. (2008) Wind Selection and Drift Compensation Optimize Migratory Pathways in a High-flying Moth. Current Biology 18, 514-518. DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2008.02.080

Heyers D., Manns M., Luksch H., Güntürkün O., & Mouritsen H. (2008) Calcium-binding proteins label functional streams of the visual system in a songbird. Brain Research Bulletin 75, 348-355. DOI:10.1016/j.brainresbull.2007.10.029

Feenders, G., Liedvogel, M., Rivas, M., Zapka, M., Horita, H., Hara, E., Wada, K., Mouritsen, H. & Jarvis, E.D. (2008) Molecular Mapping of Movement-Associated Areas in the Avian Brain: A Motor Theory for Vocal Learning Origin. PLoS ONE, 3, e1768. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0001768

Chernetsov, N., Kishkinev, D. & Mouritsen, H. (2008) A long-distance avian migrant compensates for longitudinal displacement during spring migration. Current Biology 18, 188-190. DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2008.01.018


Liedvogel M., Maeda K., Henbest K., Schleicher E., Simon T., Timmel C.R., Hore P.J. & Mouritsen, H. (2007) Chemical Magnetoreception: Bird Cryptochrome 1a is Excited by Blue Light and Forms Long-Lived Radical-Pairs. PLoS ONE 2: e1106. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0001106

Heyers D., Manns M., Luksch H., Güntürkün O. & Mouritsen H. (2007) A visual pathway links brain structures active during magnetic compass orientation in migratory birds. PLoS ONE 2: e937. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0000937

Liedvogel, M., Feenders, G., Wada, K., Troje, N.F., Jarvis, E. D. & Mouritsen, H. (2007) Lateralized activation of Cluster N in the brains of migratory songbirds. European Journal of Neuroscience 25, 1166-1173. DOI:10.1111/j.1460-9568.2007.05350.x

Sohle, I.S., Robertson, C.J.R., Nicholls, D.G., Mouritsen, H., Frost, B. & Moller, H. (2007) Satellite tracking of sooty shearwaters (Puffinus griseus) during their pre-laying 'exodus' and incubation. Notornis 54, 180-188.


Frost, B.J. & Mouritsen, H. (2006) The neural mechanisms of long distance animal navigation. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 16, 481-488. DOI:10.1016/j.conb.2006.06.005

Stalleicken, J., Labhart, T., & Mouritsen, H. (2006) Physiological characterization of the compound eye in monarch butterflies with focus on the dorsal rim area. Journal of Comparative Physiology A 192, 321-331. DOI:10.1007/s00359-005-0073-6


2005: Mouritsen, H., Feenders, G., Liedvogel, M., Wada, K. & Jarvis, E. D. (2005) Night Vision Brain Area in Migratory Songbirds. PNAS 102, 8339-8344. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0409575102

2005: Mouritsen, H. & Ritz, T. (2005) Magnetoreception and it use in bird navigation. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 15, 406-414. DOI:10.1016/j.conb.2006.06.005

2005: Piersma, T., Pérez-Tris, J., Mouritsen, H., Bauchinger, U. & Bairlein, F. (2005) Is there a “migratory syndrome” common to all migrant birds? Annals of the New York Academy of the Sciences 1046, 282-293. DOI:10.1196/annals.1343.026

2005: Sauman, I., Briscoe, A.D., Zhu, H. Shi, D., Froy, O., Stalleicken, J., Yuan, Q., Casselman, A. & Reppert, S.M. "Connecting the Navigational Clock to Sun Compass Input in Monarch Butterfly Brain". Neuron 46, 1-11.

2005: Stalleicken, J., Mukhida, M., Labhart, T., Wehner, R., Frost, B. J. & Mouritsen, H. (2005) Do monarch butterflies use polarized skylight for orientation? Journal of Experimental Biology 208, 2399-2408.


Mouritsen, H., Feenders, G., Liedvogel, M. & Kropp, W. (2004) Migratory birds use head scans to detect the direction of the Earth’s magnetic field. Current Biology 14, 1946-1949. DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2004.10.025

Mouritsen, H., Janssen-Bienhold, U., Liedvogel, M., Feenders, G., Stalleicken, J., Dirks, P. & Weiler, R. (2004) Cryptochromes and neuronal-activity markers colocalize in the retina of migratory birds during magnetic orientation. PNAS 101, 14294-14299. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0405968101 [See also Science 306, 432-434 and Nature Review Neuroscience 5, 827]

Cochran, W. W., Mouritsen, H. & Wikelski, M. (2004) Migrating songbirds recalibrate their magnetic compass daily from twilight cues. Science 304, 405-408. DOI:10.1126/science.1095844


Mouritsen, H. (2003) Spatiotemporal orientation strategies of long-distance migrants. In: Berthold, P., Gwinner, E. & Sonnenschein, E. (eds.) "Avian Migration", pp. 493-513, Springer Verlag, Berlin.

Mouritsen, H., Huyvaert, K.P., Frost, B.J. & Andersson, D. (2003) Waved Albatrosses can navigate with strong magnets attached to their head. Journal of Experimental Biology 206, 4155-4166. DOI:10.1242/jeb.00650

Andersson, D.J., Huyvaert, K.P., Wood, D.R., Gillikin, C.L., Frost, B.J. & Mouritsen, H. (2003) At-sea distribution of Waved Albatrosses and the Galapagos Marine Reserve. Biological Conservation, 110, 367-373.


Mouritsen, H. & Frost, B.J. (2002) Virtual migration in tethered flying monarch butterflies reveals their orientation mechanisms. PNAS 99, 10162-10166. DOI:10.1073/pnas.152137299

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