Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt

Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt (born June 15, 1928) is founder of the field of human ethology. In authoring the book which bears that title, he applied ethology to humans by studying them in a perspective more common to volumes studying animal behavior.

Born in Vienna, Austria, Eibl-Eibesfeldt studied Zoology at the University of Vienna 1945-1949. From 1946 to 1948 he was research associate at the Biological Station Wilhelminenberg near Vienna and became research associate of the Institute for Comparative Behavior Studies in Altenberg near Vienna with Konrad Lorenz in 1949. Between 1951 and 1969 he worked at the Max Planck Institute for Behavioral Physiology (first in Westphalia, from 1957 at Seewiesen, Bavaria). In 1970 he became Professor for Zoology at the University of Munich. Since 1975 he has been the head of the Max Planck Institute for Behavioral Physiology, Department of Human Ethology in Andechs, Germany. He was the co-founder and first president of the International Society for Human Ethology. Since 1992 he has been Honorary Director of the Ludwig-Boltzmann-Institute for Urban Ethology in Vienna.

In the first twenty years of his work as an animal ethologist he investigated experimentally and descriptively the development of behavior of mammals and compared the behavior of communication of vertebrates. His is the author of many books like Love and Hate: The Natural History of Behavior Patterns.

He married Eleonore Eibl-Eibesfeldt in 1950. They have two children, Bernolf and Roswitha.

For many years he dived with Hans Hass on his diving boat Xarifa.[1]

Decorations and awards


  1. Archived July 27, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. "Reply to a parliamentary question" (PDF) (in German). p. 1076. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
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