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Prof. Dr. Ansgar Büschges


Curriculum vitae

Prof. Dr. Ansgar Büschges (born 1961 in Aldekerk, GER) studied biology at the University of Bielefeld and graduated in 1989 under the supervision of Prof. U. Bässler at the University of Kaiserslautern with a PhD thesis analyzing the neural basis of posture and movement control in insects. After a postdoctoral period with Prof. K.G. Pearson at the University of Alberta, CDN from 1989-1991, where he studied the neuronal mechanisms of regeneration following sensory deprivation in the locust flight system, he returned in 1989 as assistant professor to the University of Kaiserslautern. There he passed his habilitation for Zoology in 1995 based on his previous research work on the neural basis of locomotion in insects. In 1997 he joined the group of Prof. S. Grillner at the Nobel Institute for Neurophysiology, Stockholm, Sweden, supported by a DFG-Heisenberg Fellowship working on the cellular mechanisms of swimming motor pattern generation in the spinal cord of the lamprey. In 1998 he received the offer for a full professorship for Animal Physiology at the Institute for Zoology of the University of Cologne. During the academic year 2001-2002 he was convenor of the research group “Neural Control of Locomotion” as Daimler-Chrysler-Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study Berlin.


The main output of an animal’s nervous system is the motor system. In our group we study the neural mechanisms that are in charge of generating a flexible and adaptive motor output with specific reference to locomotion on the behavioral, network and cellular level. Thereby, we focus especially on the motor system for walking, but also for swimming in animals. Current projects concern the following topics:

  1. Neural mechanisms contributing to the generation of adaptive locomotor behavior on the level of the individual locomotor organ, e.g. the leg of an insect.
  2. Neural mechanisms contributing to the generation of coordinated movements of an animal’s appendages, i.e. the legs for walking or the body segments for swimming.
  3. The identity and characteristic of the descending drive from the brain affecting the segmental neural networks generating the locomotor output.