Dr. Christina Roeske

Main research areas

  • Animal Communication
  • Vocal learning
  • Rhythm and melody in music and birdsong
  • Aesthetic aspects of music and birdsong
  • Social interactions during song learning
  • Neural mechanisms of song learning


Academic Education

2004–2008PhD in Behavioral Neurobiology Free University Berlin and MPI for Molecular Genetics Berlin (Beharioral Biology group of Prof. Constance Scharff)
1996–2004State Examination for Lectureship in Biology, German Language and Literature (Staatsexamen, Lehramt Gymnasium), Free University and Humboldt University Berlin
2000–2001Exchange student in Linguistics, Université Paris 7, Denis Diderot Focus on structural phonetics and syntax, cognitive linguistics and psycholinguistics


03/2015–10/2020Post-doctoral researcher Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics
2008–2015Post-doctoral researcher City University New York (CUNY), City College and Hunter College (Animal Behavior group of Prof. Ofer Tchernichovski)



Buren, V., Müllensiefen, D., Roeske, T.C., & Degé, F. (2021). What Makes Babies Musical? Conceptions of Musicality in Infants and Toddlers. Frontiers in Psychology, 12:736833.  doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.736833

Wald-Fuhrmann, M., Pearson, L., Roeske, T., Grüny, C., & Polak, R. (2021). Music as a trait in evolutionary theory: A musicological perspective. Behavioral and Brain Sciences,44, E93. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X20001193

Durojaye, C., Fink, L., Roeske, T. C., Wald-Fuhrmann, M., & Larrouy-Maestri, P. (2021). Perception of Nigerian Dùndún talking drum performances as speech-like vs. music-like: The role of familiarity and acoustic cues. Frontiers in Psychology,12: 652673. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2021.652673.

Buren, V., Müllensiefen, D., Roeske, T., & Degé, F. (2021). What makes a child musical? Conceptions of musical ability in childhood. Early Child Development and Care, 1-16. Online First. doi:10.1080/03004430.2020.1866566

Roeske, T. C., Larrouy-Maestri, P., Sakamoto, Y., & Poeppel, D. (2020). Listening to birdsong reveals basic features of rate perception and aesthetic judgements. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences (London),287(1923): 20193010. doi:10.1098/rspb.2019.3010.

Roeske, T. C., Tchernichovski, O., Poeppel, D., & Jacoby, N. (2020). Categorical rhythms are shared between songbirds and humans. Current Biology,30(18), 3544-3555.e6. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2020.06.072.

Roeske, T. C., Kelty-Stephen, D., and Wallot, S. "Multifractal analysis reveals music-like dynamic structure in songbird rhythms." Scientific reports 8, no. 1 (2018): 4570.

Roeske, T. C., Kelty-Stephen, D., Wallot, S. (2017): Birds have swing: Multifractal analysis reveals expressive timing in birdsong. BioRxiv June 29, 2017. doi: 10.1101/157594

Roeske, T. C., Scharff, C., Olson, C. R., Nshdejan, A., & Mello, C. V. (2014). Long-distance retinoid signaling in the zebra finch brain. PLoS ONE, 9(11), e111722. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0111722

Rothenberg, D., Roeske, T. C., Voss, H. U., Naguib, M., & Tchernichovski, O. (2014). Investigation of musicality in birdsong. Hear Res, 308, 71-83. doi: 10.1016/j.heares.2013.08.016

Pelz, D., Roeske, T., Syed, Z., de Bruyne, M., & Galizia, C. G. (2006). The molecular receptive range of an olfactory receptor in vivo (Drosophila melanogaster Or22a). J Neurobiol, 66(14), 1544-1563. doi: 10.1002/neu.20333