SC7 Multi-sensory Integration in Zebra Finch Courtship


1 Multimodal signalling in animal courtship
2 Zooming in: zebra finch courtship
3 Development of multimodal signalling
4 Experimental approaches


Knowledge and understanding of multimodal signalling and perception in animal mate signalling including key examples and open questions
Knowledge, understand and critical evaluation of current research approaches and study designs


These two articles provide a starting point (this list will be updated with two relevant reviews that are currently work in progress but should be available early next year).

Hebets EA and Papaj DR 2005: Complex signal function: developing a framework of testable hypotheses. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 57: 197–214. 10.1007/s00265-004-0865-7

Riebel K 2009: Song and female mate choice in zebra finches: a review. Adv Stud Behav 40: 197-238. 10.1016/s0065-3454(09)40006-8

Course location


Course requirements


Instructor information.

Katharina Riebel


Leiden University


Katharina Riebel studied Biology at the Free University Berlin where she realised that her interests in Learning, Memory and Animal communication could be combined in the study of birdsong development. After completing her PhD research at St Andrews University (UK) she moved to Leiden University (NL) as Marie-Curie postdoctoral fellow and is now a tenured assistant professor at the Institute of Biology. Her research aims to understand variation in mating signals and preferences as the outcome of developmental processes, her recent work focussing on zebra finches where she is complementing the predominant focus on male song production learning with studies of female song preference learning. This work initially focussed on the auditory channel, but with a current Human Frontiers Science Program is now addressing the importance of multimodal cues in song and preference development.