Klaus Immelmann

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Klaus Immelmann (born May 6, 1935 in Berlin , † September 8, 1987 in Bielefeld ) was a German behavioral biologist and university professor.


Even as a schoolboy in Wiesbaden , Klaus Immelmann was known as a bird lover. From 1954 to 1959 he studied biology , chemistry and geography at the universities in Mainz and Zurich . In 1958 he completed his doctorate on Australian finches in Mainz, to which he - after studying in Australia (1959/1960) - also devoted his habilitation thesis in Braunschweig in 1963 .

From 1961 to 1973 Immelmann was initially an assistant, then a lecturer and department head at the Zoological Institute of the Technical University of Braunschweig . In 1973 he was appointed to the Faculty of Biology at the University of Bielefeld, which was being established, and became a professor at the then only chair of behavioral physiology in Germany.

In 1965 Immelmann was Secretary General, from 1974 to 1982 President of the German Ornithological Society (DO-G). 1983/1984 he was President of the German Zoological Society and in 1986 President of the 19th International Ornithological Congress in Ottawa / Canada. Subsequently, in 1986/1987 he was appointed head of the scientific team at the " Funkkolleg Psychobiologie " of the radio stations of WDR , hr , SR , SWF , SDR and Radio Bremen .

In addition to his work as a university lecturer, he had a great interest in the popular communication of scientific knowledge. Some of his books are directly related to bird keeping. B. In the unknown Australia, the land of parrots and finches (1960) and birds in cages and aviaries: finches (1965).


Klaus Immelmann founded the behavioral biology department at Bielefeld University and made the institute internationally known. Immelmann researched the individual development of behavior and especially the mechanisms and effects of sexual imprinting and song imprinting ; his model animal was the zebra finch . Klaus Immelmann has published over 100 scientific papers and books, including on behavioral ecology and the annual cycle of behavior, including standard works on ethology and the keeping of fine finches .

After his death, his chair was temporarily represented by the behavioral biologist Hanna-Maria Zippelius, who had already retired from Bonn . The Münster professor of behavioral biology Norbert Sachser is one of his academic students .

Fonts (selection)

  • The zebra finch. Westarp, Hohenwarsleben 2005, ISBN 978-3-89432-778-1 (= reprint of the 4th edition, Ziemsen, Lutherstadt Wittenberg 1973)
  • Behavioral Research Dictionary. Blackwell, 1999, ISBN 3-826-33272-5 .
  • with Klaus R. Scherer, Christian Vogel: Psychobiology . Basics of behavior. Beltz, 1988, ISBN 3-621-27073-6 .
  • Parey's study texts. 13, 1983, ISBN 3-489-62236-7 .
  • with George Barlow , L. Petrinowitsch, N. Main (Hrsg.): Behavioral development in humans and animals: The Bielefeld project. Parey, Berlin 1982.
  • with George W. Barlow, Lewis Petrinovich, Mary Main (Eds.): Behavioral development: The Bielefeld interdisciplinary project. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1981.
  • Introduction to behavior research. Parey, Berlin and Hamburg 1979, ISBN 978-3-489-61036-6
  • as editor: Grzimeks Tierleben . Special volume behavioral research. Kindler, Zurich 1974
  • Birds in cages and aviaries: magnificent finches. 1965
  • In the unknown Australia, the land of parrots and finches. Pfungstadt 1960

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Franz Robiller: The great lexicon of bird care / 1. A - K. 2nd edition Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart (Hohenheim) 2003, ISBN 3-8001-3195-1 .