Daniel Moshe Knebel

Postdoctoral Fellow (Apr 2023-Jun 2024)



Daniel Knebel earned his PhD in neuroscience in 2018 (Tel Aviv University), with a dissertation on the neuromotor system of insects. He continued as a postdoctoral researcher in mathematics and computer science (Bar-Ilan University) and at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology (Jena), combining empirical work with computational modeling of insects’ social behavior. In parallel to his education and studies in the natural sciences, Daniel participated in various courses and seminars in history and philosophy. His hands-on experience in neuroscience led him to ask how the emergence of neuroscience as a scientific discipline shaped the modern study of the nervous system. To address this question, Daniel joined Katja Krause’s research group “Experience in the Premodern Sciences of Soul and Body ca. 800–1650.” Despite exceeding that focal period, he uses the research group’s historical approach to investigate how broad disciplinary changes within the sciences shaped the ways that scientists perceived and manipulated the neuronal specimens they studied. To this end, Daniel investigates how and under what scientific circumstances the traditional study of neuromotor control, specifically the concept of the reflex—instrumental for biology, psychology, and philosophy—changed in the last century.



  • Knebel D., Ayali A., Guershon M., Ariel G. (2019) Intra- vs. inter-group variance in collective behavior. Science Advances eaav0695.
  • Knebel D., Rillich J., Ayali A., Pflüger H.-J., Rigosi E. (2018) Ex vivo recordings reveal desert locust forelimb control is asymmetric. Current Biology 28(22), R1290-R1291.
  • Knebel D., Ayali A., Pflüger H.-J., and Rillich J. (2017) Rigidity and Flexibility: The Central Basis of Inter-Leg Coordination in the Locust. Frontiers in Neural Circuits 10, 112.
  • Ariel G., Ayali A., Be'er A., and Knebel D. (2022) Variability and heterogeneity in natural swarms: experiments and modeling. Active Particles, Vol. 3, Advances in Theory, Models, and Applications. Bellomo, N., Degond, P. and Tadmor, E. (Eds.), Birkhauser-Springer.
  • Knebel D., Rigosi E. (2021) Temporal and structural neural asymmetries in insects. Current Opinion in Insect Science 48, 72-78



Reflections on the Reflex: Conceptual Changes in Twentieth-Century Brain Science


No projects were found for this scholar.

Past Events

Presentations, Talks, & Teaching Activities

Group composition and network structure in the clonal raider ant

International Union for the Study of Social Insects Conference in San Diego, USA

Three levels of variability in the collective behavior of locusts

A Neuroscience seminar series for PhD students and PostDocs (online)

Individual heterogeneity and intergroup variance in collective behavior

The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour 2019 Summer Conference: New Frontiers in the Study of Animal Behaviour in Konstanz, Germany

Higher motor centers and central- pattern-generators interactions in locust walking

Gordon Research Seminar on Neuroethology: Behavior, Evolution & Neurobiology in Lucca (Barga), Italy