Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research

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New KLI building in Klosterneuburg

The Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research (KLI) is an international center for advanced studies in theoretical biology. It supports the articulation, analysis, and integration of biological theories and the exploration of their wider scientific and cultural significance. The institute is located in Klosterneuburg, near Vienna, Austria. Until 2013, the institute was located in the family mansion of the Nobel Laureate Konrad Lorenz in Altenberg[citation needed]. Lorenz' work laid the foundation for an evolutionary approach to mind and cognition.

The institute unites fellows, visiting scholars, students, and external faculty. Through a lecture and seminar series, the KLI also offers a platform for the critical public discussion of current themes in the biosciences. Since 2015, the scientific director of the KLI is Johannes Jäger.[1]

Founded in 1990, the KLI is funded by a private trust and receives additional support from the Province of Lower Austria. The institute has close ties with many of the higher education institutions in Vienna and Lower Austria as well as with a number of international institutions with similar aims[citation needed].


The KLI supports theoretical research primarily in the areas of evolutionary developmental biology and evolutionary cognitive science. This is accomplished by providing fellowships to graduate students, postdocs, and visiting scientists for research projects they have proposed. In addition, the KLI organizes lecture series, organizes symposia, and hosts workshops at the Lorenz mansion. The KLI houses the Konrad Lorenz Archive and it provides an extensive internet database for literature in theoretical biology and related fields. Together with Springer Science+Business Media, it publishes the journal Biological Theory.[2]


Fellows are scientists and scholars (e.g., in the biological and social sciences and in the humanities) who come to the KLI to work on a project corresponding to the aims of the institute.[3] The KLI primarily supports theoretical research in the fields of evolutionary developmental biology and evolutionary cognitive science but KLI is open to other related and interdisciplinary fields of research.[4] Past and current fellows have come from a large number of countries, and have been trained in various disciplines within the social and natural sciences, and humanities.

Brown Bag Discussions / KLI Colloquia[edit]

The KLI Brown Bag Discussions provide a flexible format for informal talks and peer discussion, primarily aimed at presenting work in progress related to the institute's aims.The Brown Bag Discussions were replaced by the KLI Colloquia.[5]

Focal symposia[edit]

Focal Symposia are devoted to timely topics in Theoretical Biology that are of scientific and philosophical significance. They consist of lectures at the University of Vienna by scholars who are experts in their field with extended follow-up discussions at KLI. The Focal Symposia are open to the general public.


The Altenberg Workshops in Theoretical Biology are meetings focused on a key issue of biology, cognition, or behavior. All workshops are organized by leading experts in their field, who invite an international group of experts on the topic as participants[citation needed].

The meetings are fully sponsored by the KLI and have only one requirement: The organizers are requested to generate a book on the workshop topic.[6] These are not conference proceedings but edited books which further develop in their chapters the novel ideas and concepts that were produced at the meeting. The organizers of each workshop act as the editors of the book, but contributors to the book are not necessarily limited to the original participants and may include additional experts on those topics that emerged as especially important for the workshop topic.

By this procedure the KLI intends to generate new conceptual advances and research initiatives in the bio-sciences, which, due to their interdisciplinary nature, are attractive to a wide variety of scientists from almost all fields of biology and related disciplines. The expertise of the selected editors and authors guarantees high quality books. Books are fully reviewed and, if accepted, published by MIT Press as part of their Vienna Series in Theoretical Biology.

Other Konrad Lorenz institutions[edit]

Two other institutions in Austria are named after Konrad Lorenz. Both the Konrad Lorenz Research Station in Grünau and the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Ethology in Vienna, an institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, pursue research in behavioral ecology, including animal cognition in the tradition of Konrad Lorenz[citation needed].

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://sciencev2.orf.at/stories/1762679/
  2. ^ "KLI Introduction". 
  3. ^ "KLI Fellows". 
  4. ^ "KLI Projects". 
  5. ^ "KLI Colloquia". 
  6. ^ "KLI Books". 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 48°18′39″N 16°19′26″E / 48.3109°N 16.3238°E / 48.3109; 16.3238