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Prof. Dr. Ansgar Büschges


Vorstand 2017 - 2019

Prof. Dr. Ansgar Büschges


Zoological Institute
University of Cologne
Biocenter Cologne
Zülpicher Strasse 47b
50674 Cologne

Tel: 0221-470-2607
Fax: 0221-470-4889


Birthday: April 1st, 1961 in Aldekerk/Germany; married; 2 children


Education and Affiliations

1980-1985 Studies of Biology (Diploma) at the University of Bielefeld
1985-1986 Diploma thesis in the Department of Biological Cybernetics of Prof. Dr. H. Cruse at the Fac. of Biologie at the University of Bielefeld
1986-1989 Graduate student in the Department of Animal Physiology with Prof. Dr. U. Bässler, Division of Biology at the Univ. of Kaiserslautern
1989 Dissertation (PhD / Dr. rer. nat.) at the University of Kaiserslautern
1989 Postdoctoral fellow, Dept. of Animal Physiology with Prof. Dr. U. Bässler
1989-1991 Postdoctoral Fellow in the Fac. of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, with Prof. Dr. K.G. Pearson
1991-1997 Research Associate (C1) in the Department of Animal Physiology in the Division of Biology at the University of Kaiserslautern
1995 Habilitation for Zoology
1997-1998 Visiting scientist at the Nobel Institute for Neurophysiology with Prof. Dr. S. Grillner, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
since 1998 Head of the Department of Animal Physiology at the Institute for Zoology at the University of Cologne
Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study Berlin; convenor of the special research group on „Neural Control of Locomotion“
2011-2014   Dean of Research of the Faculty of Math. and Natural Sciences,UoC
2014- Dean of the Faculty of Math. and Natural Sciences, UoC



1989-1991 Fellowship of Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research
1997-1998 Heisenberg-Fellow of the DFG
1997-1998 Research Fellowship of the Axel-Wenner-Gren-Foundation
2001-2002 Daimler-Chrysler-Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study Berlin
2010 Offer from the TU Munich (declined)
since 2012 Member of the Academy of Sciences and Arts of the Province of North-Rhine-Westfalia


Duties and services within the scientific community (selected)

Long Term Duties:

2011-2015 Deutsche Forschungsgemienschaft (DFG), Member of the Neuroscience Study Section (Fachkollegium Neurowissenschaften; 206, 2nd period since 2007)
2011-2015  Deutsche Forschungsgemienschaft (DFG), permanent guest advisor of the Zoology Study Section (Fachkollegium Zoologie, 203)
since 2006 federführender Vertrauensdoz. Studienstiftung des Dt. Volkes an der Universität zu Köln
since 2011 Advisory Board Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience Munich
since 2012 Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Biozentrum Würzburg
since 2014 Member of the Zukunftsrat der Bayerischen Wirtschaft

Member of Editorial Boards:
The Journal of Neurophysiology (Editorial Board),
Biological cybernetics (Editorial Board),
Frontiers in Neuroscience (Review Editor),
Frontiers in Physiology (Review Editor),
Journal of Comparative Physiology A (Advisory Board Member)

Ad hoc Reviewing:
Acta Physiologica Scandinavica, Adaptive Behavior, BioScience,
Biological Cybernetics, Current Biology, European Journal of Neuroscience,
Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, Frontiers in Invertebrate Physiology,
Frontiers in Physiology, Frontiers in Decision Making, Journal of Comparative
Physiology A, Journal of Neuroscience Methods, Journal of Physiology (Paris),
Nature, Nature Neuroscience, Naturwissenschaften, Neuroscience,
Neuroscience Research, PLoS ONE, PNAS, The Journal of Experimental Biology, The Journal of Neurobiology, The Journal of Neurophysiology,
The Journal of Neuroscience, Theory in Biological Sciences, Trends in Neurosciences

Regular Reviewing Duties for International Science Funding Agencies:
CNRS Evaluation Committee, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
(Excellence Initiative, GRK, SFB, SPP), BBSRC (London, U.K.), FWF (Austria),
The Welcome Trust (London, U.K.), NSF (USA),
United-States-Israel BSF (Jerusalem, Israel)

Invited Talks and Seminars, Organisation of Conferences, Workshops and
Meetings (selected past 5 years)

2009-2013  30 national and international invited talks and seminars, conf. presentations (e.g. Gordon Conf., Vermont 2013; Spinal Cord Symp. Keynote Lecture, Salk Inst. 2013)
2010 European Chair of the 9th Int. Congr. for Neuroethology in Salamanca, Spain
2013 Co-Organizer of the “Cologne Spring Meeting 2013: Neural circuits: development, function and degeneration”
since 2009 Convenor of the executive committee of the spring school “Interdisciplinary College” (

Research Funding (past five years, selected):

Individual Research Grants (“Einzelverfahren”; personnel and consumables):
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (present grant number: Bu857/14)

Coordinated Collaborative Research Programs:
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft:

  • Paketantrag PAK146 „Natur und Technik intelligenten Laufens“ (-2011)
  • GRK 1960 „Neural Circuit Analysis on the Cellular and Subcellular Level“ (2014-19)
  • UoC Excellence Program for Emerging Groups (Co-Applicant): „Understanding complex nervous system performance in health and disease” (2013-16)    
  • BMBF-NSF/CRCNS: “Central pattern generators and reflexive feedback in insect locomotion: a cross-species study” (2014-16)

Training Record (since 1998 only UoC, personal supervisions only):

37 Diploma and MA Biol. Sci. students; 17 BA- and Staatsexamen students; 17 Graduate students; 2 Habilitations; presently: 6 graduate students, 5 postdocs


Since 1988 88 peer-reviewed publications;
Since 1991 19 peer reviewed review articles, 7 book articles

8 selected publications – past six years:

  • Berg EM, Hooper SL, Schmidt J, and Büschges A (2015). A leg-local neural mechanism mediates the decision to search in stick insect. Current Biology 25, 2012-2017
  • Goldammer, J., Büschges, A., Schmidt, J. (2012) A Tracing Study of Mesothoracic Leg Motoneurons and DUM Neurons in the stick insect Carausius morosus. J. Comp. Neurology 520(2): 230-57
  • Gruhn M, Rosenbaum P, Bockemühl T, Büschges A (2016) Body side-specific control of motor activity during turning in a walking animal. eLife, published April 27, 2016; cite as: eLife 2016;10.7554/eLife.13799
  • Hooper, S.L., Guschlbauer, C., Blümel, M., and Büschges, A. (2009) Neural Control of Unloaded Leg Posture and of Leg Swing in Stick Insect, cockroach, and Mouse Differs from That in Larger Animals. J. Neuroscience 29: 4109-4119
  • Juvin, L., Grätsch, S., Trillaud-Doppia, E., Gariépy, J.F., Büschges, A. and Dubuc, R. (2016) A specific population of reticulospinal neurons controls the termination of locomotion. Cell Reports 15(11): 2377-86
  • Kyriakatos, A., Mahmood, R., Ausborn, J., Porres, C, Büschges, A. and A. El Manira. (2011). Initiation of locomotion in adult zebrafish. J. Neuroscience 31: 8422-8431
  • Rosenbaum, R., Schmitz, J., Schmidt, J., and Büschges, A. (2015) Task-dependent Modification of Leg Motor Neuron Synaptic Input Underlying Changes in Walking Direction and Walking Speed. J. Neurophysiol. 114, 1090-1101
  • Wosnitza, A., Bockemühl, T., Dübbert, M., Scholz, H. and Büschges, A. (2013) Inter-leg coordination on the Control of Walking speed in Drosophila. J. Exp. Biol. 216: 480-491

2 selected reviews:

  • Büschges, A. (2012) Lessons for Circuit Function from Large Insects: Towards Understanding the Neural Basis of Motor Flexibility. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 22: 1-7
  • Büschges, A., Scholz, H. and ElManira, A. (2011) New Moves in Motor Control. Current Biology 21: R513-R524