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Permanent staff


Magnus Wahlberg
is the daily leader of the laboratory and Associate Professor at SDU. He majored in Physics and Biology and worked with fish and seal biology in Sweden before starting a PhD in Denmark in marine bioacoustics. He works on hearing and sound production of marine mammals and fish. He is also in charge of the outreach program at the Institute of Biology.


Hans-Ulrik Risgaard
is professor in marine biology at SDU and specializes in the feeding ecology and physiology of marine invertebrates.


Jamileh Javidpour is assistant professor at SDU. She gained her MSc in marine fish biology in Iran and her PhD at GEOMAR in Kiel. She coordinates a Horizon 2020 project called Go Jelly which involves 15 institutions and industrial partners and addresses marine litters and two major increasing problems of coastal and shallow seas: jellyfish blooms and microplastic debris. for more information see:


Lee Miller
is Emeritus at the Institute of Biology, University of Southern Denmark. He is active in a few research projects, specifically the behavior of wild harbor porpoises to anthropogenic sounds (using “state-of-the-art” tags) and the evolution of hearing in harbor porpoises and other small odontocetes using high frequency narrow band biosonar.

Sonja Rasmussen
 is laboratory technician the the Institute of Biology. She visits Kerteminde once every week and take care of the labs as well as purchasing.


Niels Christian With Møller: Technician (in Kerteminde once every week)


Post docs


Josephine Goldstein:
Inflation-contraction behavior of small sponge (Halichondria panicea) explants in response to mechanical and chemical stimuli. My present studies focus on providing a basic understanding of intrinsic and extrinsic parameters involved in the contractile behavior of small explants of the breadcrumb sponge Halichondria panicea, focusing on the role of sensory structures, chemical messenger-based systems and environmental drivers which may ultimately control the sponge’s filtration rate and possibly other physiological activities. 





Kirstin Andersen: Hearing abilities of grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) and marine birds in air and under water. The increase of anthropogenic activities (shipping activity, windmill parks, etc) has led to a higher risk of interactions between marine life and humans.  To understand the effects of these impacts on grey seals and marine birds requires first an understanding of their hearing sensitivity, both in air and under water. I focus on psychophysical methods using operant conditioning with positive reinforcement training.

Lars Kumala: Demography of marine sponges.

Brian Strehlow is a postdoc in the Nordcee group within SDU’s Department of Biology under the supervision of Don Canfield. He is originally from the USA, but he is currently learning Danish. His research focuses on determining oxygen limits to sponge livelihood. Working with Astrid Schuster and Lars Kumala, he is also exploring potential changes in the activity of the sponge microbiome under different oxygen concentrations. Finally, he is interested in identifying any possible signaling between the microbiome and the sponge itself.

Astrid Schuster is a postdoc in the Nordcee group within SDU’s Department of Biology under the supervision of Don Canfield. Her research focuses on sponge evolution and their tolerance to extreme oxygen levels. Working together with Brian Strehlow and Lars Kumala, she additionally will explore potential changes in the activity of the sponge microbiome under different oxygen concentrations. Finally, she is interested in comparative sponge genomics to evaluate gene pathways involved in oxygen metabolism.

PhD student

Kenneth Sørensen: 'Hearing in penguins'. Supervisor: Magnus Wahlberg


Master students

Emil Bøgh Hansen: Hearing in turtles and birds. Supervisors: Magnus Wahlberg and Jakob Christensen Dalsgaard

Freja Andersen: Bioacoustics of cod. Supervisor: Magnus Wahlberg

Sigga Rasmussen: Behaviour of wolves. Supervisors: Magnus Wahlberg,  Lauren Robinson (postdoc) og Friederike Range (professor), Univ. of Vet. Medicine, Vienna  

Spica Svendsen:  Cognitive behaviour of parrots. Supervisors: Gert Christoffersen, Ole N Larsen, Sara Ortiz, Magnus Wahlberg


Non-permanent staff

Kasper Fjordside (Research Assistant): Seal and bird training & husbandry and lab maintenance

Rachael Kealy (Research Assistant): Sponge physiology


Guest scientists / students 

Johanna Stedt (PhD student, Lund University, Sweden): Harbour porpoise behavioural ecology

Johannes Blatzer (PhD student, Hannover, Germany): Acoustic localization of blue whales

Dennis Brennecke (PhD student, Hannover, Germany): Harbour porpoise behavior around fishing gear


Former PhD students 

Lars Kumala

Josephine Goldstein

Kirstin Anderson Hansen (2017): Hearing in air and underwater of the great cormorant

Lara Delgado (2016): Ontogeny of echolocation in porpoises and dolphins.

Meike Linnenschmidt (2012): Hearing in the harbour porpoise  


Former MSc Students

Gema Palacino Gonzales (Spain): Harbour porpoise acoustic behavior. Supervisor: Magnus Wahlberg

Melanie Brauckhoff (Denmark): Cephalopod vision. Supervisors: Maria Wilson and Magnus Wahlberg

Robin Huzell (Denmark): Marine biology outreach. Supervisors: Stine Mariegaard and Magnus Wahlberg  

Victoria Greenhalgh (U.K.): Sound production of cod (Gadus morhua). Supervisor: Magnus Wahlberg

Charlotte Neumann (Denmark): Behaviour of whitebeaked dolphins in Iceland. Supervisors: Magnus Wahlberg and Marianne Rasmussen

Anna Osiecka (Poland): Harbour seal Seal acoustic behavior. Supervisors: Magnus Wahlberg and Jakob Tougaard

Sofie Berg Hansen ( Denmark): Sound production in guillemots. Supervisor: Magnus Wahlberg

Helen Rössler (Germany): Sound production in harbour seals . Supervisor: Magnus Wahlberg and Marianne Rasmussen

Emilie Nicoline Stepien (Denmark): Drone observations of cetaceans. Supervisors: Magnus Wahlberg and Morten Tange Olsen

Ilektra Amirali (Greece): Seal behavior towards ship noise. Supervisors: Magnus Wahlberg, Jakob Tougaard, Lonnie Mikkelsen and Jonas Teilmann

Michail Ragkousis (Greece): Bouyancy budget of harbour porpoises. Supervisor: Magnus Wahlberg

Rachael Kealey (Ireland): Biology of sponges. Supervisor: Hans-Ulrik Risgaard

Simeon Smeele (Neatherlands): Pinniped  cognition. Supervisor: Magnus Wahlberg

Saara Mäkelin (Finland): Sound production and behaviour in cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)

Chandra Simanowsky (Germany): Public outreach of natural sciences

Alexandra Tòth (Hungary / University of Copenhagen): Playback sounds for porpoises

Kirstine Feldskov Hansen (Denmark): Harbour porpoise predator-prey interactions studied with drones

Jonas Liechti (Denmark): Communication and interpretation in Danish exhibit centeres

Claire Hermans (ERASMUS MSc project; Belgium): Hearing in harbour porpoises

Søs Gerster Engbo (Denmark): Grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) demography; Supervisors: Owen Jones, Luca Börger and James Bull

Kasper Fjordside (Denmark): How to boost the interest in natural sciences using training and psychophyscis. Supervisors Magnus Wahlberg and Lars Seidelin.

Kenneth Sørensen (Denmark): Underwater hearing in humans

Hector Fernandez (Spain): Cognition in marine mammals 

Jacopo di Clemente (Italy): The effects of whale watching on humpback whales

Sara Ortiz (Spain): Cognitive studies of parrots

Alyssa Maxwell (Canada): In-air hearing thresholds of the great cormorant

Annika Toth (Germany): Hearing pathways in harbour porpoises

Malene Minds (Denmark): Mother-calf interactions in dolphins and porpoises

Daniela Prömper (Germany): Field study of porpoises using drones

Luca Gazetta (Italy): Detailed description of fossilized teeth from killer sperm whales

Joanna Sarnocinska (Poland): Harbour porpoise reactions to ship noise

Johannes Baltzer (Germany): The effects of wind farm constructions on harbour porpoises

Nina Bircher (Switzerland): Harbour seal sound production

Johanna Stedt (Sweden / Lund University): Harbour porpoise distribution around Kullaberg

Rasmus Sloth Pedersen (Denmark): Hearing in porpoises

Tina Huulvej (Denmark): Cormorants reaction to sound

Julia Madsen (Denmark): The effects of marine biology teaching programs on  students

Sasia Johansen (Denmark): Hearing in the great cormorant

Lars Seidelin (Denmark): Hearing in the great cormorant


Former employees / visitors

Kim Lundgreen (research assistant)

Alyssa Maxwell (student helper)

Florian Lüskow (research assistant)

Maria Wilson (post doc)

Kirby Parnell (Fulbright scholar, 2018-2019): Harbour seal acoustic behavior

Sara Ortiz (Research Assistant): Drone recordings of marine mammals