Sabine Tebbich

Sabine Tebbich (ST), Dept. of Behavioural Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna
received her PhD at the University of Vienna, Austria on tool use in the woodpecker finch followed by several post-doctoral positions at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Starnberg, Germany (2000-2002), as a Marie-Curie fellow at the University of Cambridge, UK (2002-2006), and as a Research Fellow of the British Research Council (RCUK) at the University of St Andrews, UK. As a Elise- Richter fellow she returned back to the Dep. of Cognitive Biology, University of Vienna, Austria where she became university assistant and senior lecturer at the Dep. of Behavioural Biology, University of Vienna, Austria.


ST combines field studies and lab based experiments to address three general questions: (i) which environmental factors could be drivers of animal intelligence? (ii) whether these factors select for specialized cognitive adaptations? (iii) what  are the components of behavioural flexibility and innovativeness  and what is the role of these traits in adaptive radiation? In order to address questions related to these general topics, she studied animal behaviour on functional, ontogenetic, mechanistic and evolutionary levels and was able to make important contributions to the field of avian cognition.

Her main model system are the Darwin’s finches, which have inspired research on evolutionary questions for centuries and show  an exceptionally wide range of feeding innovations but also two large brained bird families the corvids and parrots which are particularly innovative. For more information see the website.