A variety of interdisciplinary research institutions such as the cluster of excellence "Cognitive Interaction Technology" (CITEC) as well as the "Center for Biotechnology" (CeBiTec) are involved in both research and teaching.
The Center for Biotechnology – CeBiTec – is one of the largest and most prominent central academic institutions at Bielefeld University. The CeBiTec bundles activities and interests of research groups focusing on various aspects of biotechnology within the Faculties of Biology, Chemistry, and Technology. Its mission is to encourage and to support the development of innovative research crossing discipline boundaries.
Everything from everyday appliances to robots: researchers at the Cluster of Excellence Center in Cognitive Interactive Technology (CITEC) at Bielefeld University develop technical systems that are intuitive and easy to operate for human users. Future technology should adapt to the human user - not the other way around.
Since 2007, researchers have been investigating the scientific principles necessary for endowing machines with cognitive abilities. These machines should be able to interact naturally with people and adjust to changing situations. Researching the scientific foundations of cognitive interaction technology, a research area founded by CITEC, is the necessary pioneering work.
Interdisciplinary research activities at CITEC are organized into four main areas: motor intelligence, attentive systems, situated communication, and memory and learning. Our round about 250 members hail from 31 research groups and five faculties: Biology, Linguistics and Literary Studies, Mathematics, Psychology and Sports Science, and Technology.
The Transregio Collaborative Research Centre (CRC/TRR) with the abbreviated name 'NC3' will link the sub-disciplines of behavioural biology, ecology, and evolutionary biology. Its goal is to elucidate how animals succeed by individually adapting to their environment and thereby finding and exploiting their individualised ecological niche.
Individuals differ. This seemingly trivial statement has nevertheless led to paradigm shifts, as three different fields of organismal biology have seen a marked change in key concepts over the last years. Our central research goal is to redefine the niche concept on the individual level. By doing so, we want to gain a comprehensive understanding of how individual phenotypes interact with their environment and what the ensuing consequences for ecological and evolutionary processes are. We hypothesise that, across taxa, the interaction between the individualised phenotype and the environment results in individualised niches via three mechanisms of adjustment and adaptation: niche choice, niche conformance and niche construction.
Early Experience: Functional Consequences of an Adaptive Mechanism?"
In an explicitly evolutionary context, this Research Unit concentrates on studying how adult behavioural traits result as a consequence of different social and foraging conditions during early ontogeny. Our approach emphasizes that plasticity is an adaptive mechanism building the adult behavioural phenotype during ontogeny. We investigate the ontogenetic response to relevant ecological factors with an explicit focus on fitness effects of trait adjustments. We approach the problem in a comparative way concentrating on a few species from different taxa (mammals, birds, insects) for which we have massive prior experience. In this research group scientists from Bielefeld University closely cooperate with others from the University of Münster and Potsdam.