Magnus Wahlberg lab


Associate Professor Magnus Wahlberg's main focus is on bioacoustics of aquatic animals (fish, marine mammals and marine birds). His current work is focusing on hearing in marine mammals and birds as well as the predator-prey interactions of fish and of fish and marine mammals. Besides bioacoustics, Magnus is also involved in research and teaching of scientific outreach.

In our lab we focus on the study of the sensory physiology of hearing in aquatic animals, such as marine mammals, fish and marine birds. We use psychophysical techniques (which include training of the animals) and ABR methods. We also study echolocation of toothed whales, with special interest on the harbour porpoise biosonar, focusing on how they use and produce sound to avoid obstacles, track and select prey, escape predators and communicate. For that we mainly use hydrophone (underwater microphone) arrays to assess the position of the emitting animal and focus on studying the intensity and directionality of their biosonar during different tasks.

The studies are based in the Marine Biological Research center (Kerteminde, University of Southern Denmark) where we keep cormorants and grey seals for the hearing research. We also collaborate with the adjacent Fjord&Baelt center doing research on harbour porpoise and harbour seals mainly on their echolocation and behaviour. Field work is made all over the world to study the acoustic behavior of marine mammals and fish, and how they are affected by human factors sutch as fishing and artificial noise.

You can find Magnus Wahlberg’s publications here.

PhD students:

PhD student Kirstin Anderson Hansen - studies audiometry in grey seals by means of psychophysical and ABR methods. You can read more about it here.

PhD student Lara Delgado García – studies the “Development of toothed whales: biosonar, behaviour and communication”. You can read more about it here.

Master students 2013-2014:


  • Sasia Johansen (2013). The hearing threshold in air and water in the cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)
  • Julie Madsen (2013). Et optimalt undervisningsforløb
  • Tina Huulvej (2014). Response of the cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) to underwater sounds
  • Rasmus Sloth Pedersen (ongoing) Hearing in harbour porpoises
  • Johanna Stedt (ongoing) (Lund University, Sweden). Harbour porpoise distribution and mother-calf behaviour around Kullen, Sweden.


Bachelor students 2013-2014:


  • Kristine Jensen (2013). Playback experiments on cormorants in air
  • Anne-Sophie Delbanco (2013). Stereotypical behavior in harbor porpoises
  • Malene Minds (2014) Harbour porpoise mother-calf behaviour
  • Anton Larsson (Halmstad University, Sweden, 2014). Distribution of harbor porpoises in Kullen, Sweden.
  • Simon Kongshøj Callesen (ongoing). Cormorant psychophysics


International research interns 2013-2014:


  • July to September 2013 - Belén Garcia Ovide, Erasmus Placement traineeship
  • February to July 2014 - Helena Croce, Erasmus Placement traineeship



You can read more about the last year’s activities at the Marine Biological Research center here.


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