Current Research

Developing models for quantifying the effect of phenotypic and environmental variation on the credibility of effect size estimates. More Info


I studied Biology and Zoology at the University of Vienna receiving my PhD in 2005, investigating social learning in marmosets. Thereafter I switched from primates to birds and from lab to field work, investigating social learning in keas at Mount Cook National Park in New Zealand. After receiving my PhD I worked as a post-doctoral research fellow at the CNRS-Strasbourg with Ronald Noë and the Humboldt University at Berlin with Peter Hammerstein, where I developed theoretical models to predict how the social structure of a group influences patterns of information propagation and cooperation. In 2012 I joined the Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology at the University of Oxford, studying great and blue tits, with the goal to understand how the social role of an individual affects it’s reproductive success and how variation in social behaviour is maintained. I am member and scientific coordinator of Waldrappteam and elected fellow of the Royal Geographic Society. I joined the Division of Animal Welfare at the University of Bern in 2015. As member of the REFINE team I am developing experimental designs that will improve repeatability of pre-clinical animal research by optimally utilizing phenotypic and environmental variation.

For the full publication list, please check here.

Jump to: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015


Bailoo, Jeremy Davidson; Murphy, Eimear Mary; Boada Saña, Maria; Varholick, Justin Adam; Hintze, Sara Anna Elisabet; Baussière, Caroline; Hahn, Kerstin Caroline; Göpfert, Christine; Palme, Rupert; Völkl, Bernhard; Würbel, Hanno (2018). Effects of Cage Enrichment on Behavior, Welfare and Outcome Variability in Female Mice. Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience, 12(232), p. 232. Frontiers Research Foundation 10.3389/fnbeh.2018.00232

Völkl, Bernhard; Vogt, Lucile; Sena, Emily S; Würbel, Hanno (2018). Reproducibility of preclinical animal research improves with heterogeneity of study samples. PLoS biology, 16(2), e2003693. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pbio.2003693

Vidondo, Beatriz; Völkl, Bernhard (2018). Dynamic network measures reveal the impact of cattle markets and alpine summering on the risk of epidemic outbreaks in the Swiss cattle population. BMC veterinary research, 14(1), p. 88. BioMed Central 10.1186/s12917-018-1406-3


Firth, JA; Völkl, Bernhard; Crates, RA; Aplin, LM; Biro, D; Croft, DP; Sheldon, BC (2017). Wild birds respond to flockmate loss by increasing their social network associations to others. Proceedings of the Royal Society. Series B - biological sciences, 284(1854) Royal Society of London 10.1098/rspb.2017.0299

Völkl, Bernhard; Frtiz, Johannes (2017). Relation between travel strategy and social organization of migrating birds with special consideration of formation flight in the northern bald ibis. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society. Series B - biological sciences, 372(1727) Royal Society of London 10.1098/rstb.2016.0235

Sperger, C; Heller, A; Völkl, Bernhard; Fritz, J (2017). Flight strategies of migrating northern bald ibises—analysis of GPS data during human-led migration flights. In: Strobl, Josef; Zagel, Bernhard; Griesebner, Gerald; Blaschke, Thomas (eds.) AGIT 3-2017. AGIT : Journal für Angewandte Geoinformatik: Vol. 3 (pp. 62-72). Berlin: Wichmann 10.14627/537633007


Völkl, Bernhard; Würbel, Hanno (2016). Reproducibility Crisis: Are We Ignoring Reaction Norms? Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, 37(7), pp. 509-510. Elsevier 10.1016/

Völkl, Bernhard; Firth, J A; Sheldon, B (2016). The socio-ecology of fear: Nonlethal predator effects on the social composition of wild bird flocks. Scientific Reports, 6(33476), pp. 1-10. Nature Publishing Group 10.1038/srep33476


Völkl, Bernhard (2015). The evolution of generalized reciprocity in social interaction networks. Theoretical population biology, 104, pp. 17-25. Elsevier 10.1016/j.tpb.2015.06.005

Völkl, Bernhard; Portugal, Steven J.; Unsöld, Markus; Usherwood, James R.; Wilson, Alan M.; Fritz, Johannes (2015). Matching times of leading and following suggest cooperation through direct reciprocity during V-formation flight in ibis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America - PNAS, 112(7), pp. 2115-2120. National Academy of Sciences NAS 10.1073/pnas.1413589112