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.

Lee Miller
 (USA/Denmark) 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.

Jane Mothorst,
Assistant professor. My work is related to the effects of manmade chemicals (e.g. endocrine disrupters and pharmaceuticals) on aquatic organisms. I work with both freshwater and marine fish and bivalves.  I teach courses in scientific writing and ecotoxicology and I have developed cross-disciplinary courses (biology and sports) for high school students (Det Maritime Hus).  To communicate our research to the public is important and therefore I often give talks and participate in workshops (Folkeuniversitet, Højskoler, Ungdomsuddannelser).  My research projects are part of the interdisciplinary centre Danish Centre on Endocrine Disrupters funded by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency (Miljøstyrelsen).

Florian Lüskow
, M.Sc., is originally from Germany and works as a research assistant at the laboratory, focusing on research in sponges, jellyfish and mussels, lead by Hans Ulrik Riisgaard. Email:

Inge Sejling
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

Maria Wilson: Antipredatory behavior in fish and cephalopods

Dan Mills: Evolution of marine sponges and choanoflagelates

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.

PhD students

Lars Seidelin:
Stimulating academic learning of and interest in marine biology in school children and high school students’. The primary objective of this project is to evaluate to what extent young people’s interest in and education within the marine biological field can be positively affected by outreach and teaching activities on the sunken Ærøsund ferry. As a means of determining this effect, I will develop an underwater laboratory on the ferry, from where research and displays of biological succession will be transmitted to the students. Supervisors: Marianne Holmer and Magnus Wahlberg.

Kenneth Sørensen: 'Hearing in penguins'

Master students

Saara Mäkelin (Finland): Sound production and behaviour in cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo). Supervisor: Magnus Wahlberg 






Cecilie Ballegaard Thuelund
(Denmark): Biology of Danish dolphins. Supervisor: Magnus Wahlberg 

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

Anna Osiecka (Poland): I have previously volunteered and worked in national parks, ZOOs, rescue and recovery, as well as science and conservation projects ranging from dolphin behaviour to mouse ecology. I am in love  with everything cetacean and currently trying to develop a way to give my life a porpoise by peeking into the underwater acoustic realm. My MSc project is about harbour seal acoutics in Limfjord, Denmark, with Magnus Wahlberg and Jakob Tougaard as supervisors.




Sofie Berg Hansen ( Denmark): I became a part of the Marine Animal Training and Bioacoustics Research Team in 2016. I have been studying biology at the University of Southern Denmark since 2012. I am interested in how animals can become a part of important research with the right training. The team in Kerteminde is a great possibility to learn about proper training of animals used for research.   My project is about hearing in penguins, in collaboration with Odense Zoo. Supervisors: Magnus Wahlberg and Kirsten Anderson Hansen

Helen Rössler (Germany): Sound production in harbour seals in Iceland. 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

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


Former PhD students 

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

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

Meike Linnenschmidt (Germany; SDU 2012): Hearing in the harbour porpoise  


Former MSc Students

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





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