Prof. Volker Dürr

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    Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany

    Curator and author


    Figure 1: Volker Dürr (2011)

    Volker Dürr is professor for Biological Cybernetics at Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany.

    Curriculum Vitae

    Volker Dürr studied Biology at the University of Tübingen (Germany), the University of Sussex (UK) and the Max-Planck-Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen (Germany). His PhD was on neurophysiological aspects of visual information processing in insects, conducted at the Australian National University in Canberra (Australia) and at the Dept. of Neurobiology of the University of Bielefeld (Germany). After that he was research fellow at the University of Bielefeld, where he obtained his habilitation and venia legendi in Zoology in 2005. During that time, he focussed on sensory-guided, context-dependent control of motor behaviour (mainly in insects) and neural network modelling of locomotor behaviour. In 2002 he was a fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Berlin. From 2007 to 2009, he led his own research group at the University of Cologne, focusing on active tactile sensing in insects, its role in locomotor control and its implementation in bionics/biorobotics. In 2009 he became appointed head of the Dept. of Biological Cybernetics at the University of Bielefeld. From 2011 until 2014 he was coordinator of the EU project Embodied Motion Intelligence for Autonomous Cognitive roBots (EMICAB, FP7-ICT). At present he is Principal Investigator of the Centre of Excellence on Cognitive Interaction Technology, located at the University of Bielefeld. In his research, Volker Dürr combines methods from Behavioural Physiology (e.g., motion capture and kinematics), Neurophysiology (e.g., extra- and intracellular recording of nervous and muscular activity), biomechanics (e.g., morphological and physical constraints of limbs), and computational modelling (e.g., sensitivity analyses and Artificial Neural Network modelling). The main objective of his research is how animals achieve autonomous, context-dependent control of behaviour through active interaction with their environment.

    Selected Publications

    • Ache JM, Haupt SS, Dürr V (2015) A direct descending pathway informing locomotor networks about tactile sensor movement. J.Neurosci. 35 (9):4081-4091.
    • Theunissen LM, Bekemeier HH, Dürr V (2015). Comparative whole-body kinematics of closely related insect species with different body morphology. J.Exp.Biol. 218 (3):340-352.
    • Theunissen LM, Dürr V (2013). Insects use two distinct classes of steps during unrestrained locomotion. PLOS one 8 (12):e85321.
    • Schütz, C., Dürr, V. (2011). Active tactile exploration for adaptive locomotion in the stick insect. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 366 (1581):2996-3005.
    • Bockemühl T, Troje N, Dürr V (2010) Inter-joint coupling and joint angle synergies of human catching movements. Hum. Mov. Sci. 29: 73-93.
    • Zakotnik J, Matheson T, Dürr V (2006) Co-contraction and passive forces facilitate load compensation of aimed limb movements. J. Neurosci. 26 (19): 4995-5007.
    • Dürr V (2005) Context-dependent changes in strength and efficacy of leg coordination mechanisms. J. Exp. Biol. 208 (12): 2253-2267.
    • Dürr V, Schmitz J, Cruse H (2004) Behaviour-based modelling of hexapod locomotion: Linking biology and technical application. Arthropod Struct. Develop. 33 (3): 237-250.
    • Dürr V, Matheson T (2003) Graded limb targeting in an insect is caused by the shift of a single movement pattern. J. Neurophysiol. 90 (3): 1754-1765.


    Prof. Dr. Volker Dürr

    Dept. Biological Cybernetics

    Faculty of Biology

    Bielefeld University

    Universitätsstraße 25

    D-33615 Bielefeld


    Phone: +49-(0)521-106 5528

    Fax:+49-(0)521-106 89010

    email: volker.duerr(at)

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