Lars Lewejohann (Copyright: Kopf&Kragen)

  Prof. Dr. Lars Lewejohann

Freie Universität Berlin

Institute of Animal Welfare, Animal Behavior
and Laboratory Animal Science 

Königsweg 67
14163 Berlin

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Head of Unit

Laboratory Animal Science

German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR)

Diedersdorfer Weg 1
12277 Berlin

I studied Biology and Philosophy at the University of Muenster and finished my diploma thesis in 1999. Subject of the diploma thesis was the evaluation of housing conditions of laboratory mice from an animal's point of view using preference tests. In brief: If mice have the choice, they prefer enriched housing conditions and will even work (pressing a lever up to 16 times per entry) for the access to a more entertaining housing system.
In my PhD-project "Behavioral Phenotyping of Mice: Methods, Evaluation, and Appliance" I investigated BC1-RNA knockout mice by means of a battery of behavioral tests. Tests were carried out with different knockout lines in different laboratories. The combined results indicate that although BC1 RNA does not code any protein, it seems to be involved in the modulation of explorative behavior.
In 1999 I programmed a tracking software using digital image processing techniques in order to automate data acquisition (for details on animal tracking those days, see "Digital Image Processing in Behavioral Sciences"). From 2004 to 2013 I worked at the Department of Behavioural Biology in Muenster as a researcher continuing my work with transgenic mice. From 2006 to 2010 I also was the managing director of the Otto Creutzfeldt Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience (OCC), an association for research and education spanning different faculties of the University of Muenster focusing on behavioral neuroscience. From May 2013 to March 2016 I was employed as an interim professor at the University of Osnabrueck acting as the head of the Department for Behavioral Biology. From September 2016 to March 2017 I worked as an interim professor at the University of Goettingen. Since April 2017 I am a professor for animal welfare and refinement at the Freie Universität Berlin and the Head of Unit "Laboratory Animal Science" at the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), Berlin. Boredom in animals that are kept under human responsibility is one of the greatest challenges for animal welfare. We therefore develop new concepts of social and environmental enrichment in order to counteract animal boredom in laboratory animals. In addition me and my group investigate individual differences, the interplay of cognition and emotion, and the animals' point of view with regard to better housing conditions and experimental designs. 

 "Understanding Mice" - an easy to read article in the BfR2Go magazine about our work.


Editorial boards

Laboratory Animals


Publications (see entry on Google scholar for metrics)

  • Kritzler, M; Lewejohann, L; Krüger, A (2007): Analysing Movement and Behavioural Patterns of Laboratory Mice in a Semi Natural Environment Based on Data collected via RFID-Technology. In: Gottfried, B (ed.): Workshop on Behaviour Monitoring and Interpretation. Osnabrück.

  • Böckels, C; Lewejohann, L; Sachser, N (2002): Applying elo-rating to assess dominance hierarchiy in male mice. Zoology 105, Supplement V (DZG 95.1): 3.

  • Lewejohann, L; Prior, H; Brosius, J; Sachser, N; Skryabin, BV (2002): Behavioural phenotyping of mice lacking BC1, a non-protein coding gene. Zoology 105, Supplement V (DZG 95.1): 3.

  • Lewejohann, L (2001): Was für ein Haus will die Maus? Rodentia 1: 73-75.

  • Lewejohann, L; Edich, I; Sachser, N (2001): Rhythm of activity in closely related inbred strains of mice. Contributions to the XXVII International Ethological Conference, Tübingen, Advances in Ethology 36. Supplements to Ethology: 204.

  • Lewejohann, L; Edich, I; Sachser, N (2001): Circadian rhythm of three closely related inbred strains of mice differing in aggressive behaviour. Zoology 104, Supplement IV (DZG 94.1): 7.

  • Lewejohann, L; Sachser, N (2000): Evaluation of different housing conditions for male laboratory mice. Zoology 103, Supplement III (DZG 93.1): 31.

  • Lewejohann, L; Sachser, N (2000): Präferenztests zur Beurteilung unterschiedlicher Haltungsbedingungen von männlichen Labormäusen. In: Aktuelle Arbeiten zur artgemäßen Tierhaltung 1999. KTBL Schrift 391. Darmstadt: 170-177.

  • Lewejohann, L; Wistuba, J (1999): Mimicry, disappearing acts and imposters. Reptilia (GB) 8: 70-75.

  • Lewejohann, L; Wistuba, J (1997): Guck mal wer da rasselt - 'Geräuschmimikry' bei Schlangen. Reptilia 6: 28-29.

  • Lewejohann, L; Wistuba, J (1997): Mimikry - Tarnkappen und Hochstapler. Reptilia 6: 16-21.