Program Members


Table of contents

Faculty member

Research

Affiliation

Florian Altermatt Metapopulation and metacommunity ecology in aquatic systems; dispersal and invasion dynamics in dendritic river-landscapes; biodiversity; effects of climate change on butterflies and moths.

 

Departement of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies (UZH) and Eawag, Aquatic Ecology
Wolf Blanckenhorn Evolutionary ecology; integration of questions and methods of ecology, life history, population biology, behavior, genetics, functional morphology, phylogenetics and physiology; primary study organisms are dung flies.

 

Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies (UZH)
Hugo F. Bucher Palaeontology: Biotic-abiotic interactions during extinctions and recoveries, with emphasis on ammonoids. Morphogenesis of the molluscan shell and the ontogeny-phylogeny relations.

 

Palaeontological Institute and Museum (UZH)
Marcus Clauss Evolutionary morphology, physiology, nutrition and life history, and their relevance for husbandry, of nondomestic mammals, using experiments in zoos, sample collection in the wild, data collection in museums, or work with model domestic species.

 

Clinic for Zoo Animals, Exotic Pets and Wildlife (UZH)
Elena Conti Evolution of diversity and breeding systems in flowering plants; integration of temporal and spatial data in biogeography; origins of plants that are endemic to the Mediterranean basin; the role of floral trait variation in plant hybridization; evolution of heterostyly in Primula (primroses).

 

Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany(UZH)
Leo Eberl Our main interest is to unravel the molecular mechanisms underlying the adaptation of Burkholderia species to their natural habitats, including the pathogenic or symbiotic interactions with their eukaryotic hosts.

 

Department of Plant and Microbial Biology (UZH)
Michael Griesser My research tries to understand why family living and cooperative breeding in birds evolves, and how individuals interact with each other in groups.

 

Department of Anthropology (UZH)
Ueli Grossniklaus Research in our laboratory centers on the developmental genetics of plant reproduction. We are interested in both sexual reproduction and apomixis, a form of asexual reproduction through seeds. We use genetic and molecular approaches to identify genes controlling the underlying developmental processes using Arabidopsis thaliana and maize as model systems. Our studies have shown that both genetic and epigenetic mechanisms play a key role in plant reproduction.

 

Department of Plant and Microbial Biology (UZH)
Frédéric Guillaume Population genetics and evolutionary quantitative genetics; we integrate computational and analytical approaches with experimental evolution in the model organism Tribolium castaneum (red flour beetle); our main research topics are: the genetics of adaptation to environmental variation, the evolution of gene pleiotropy and gene multifunctionality, the role of genetic constraints on adaptation, the eco-evolutionary dynamics of species' ranges under climate change.

 

Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies (UZH)
Jukka Jokela Evolutionary ecology, host-parasite coevolution, ecological population genetics, adaptation to environment, maintence of genetic diversity, immunoecology.

 

Institute of Integrative Biology (ETH), Eawag
Hanna Kokko Evolutionary ecology of sexual and asexual reproduction, analysis and management of animal populations, evolution of reproductive and social strategies, sustainability science.

 

Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies (UZH)
Beat Keller Fungal disease resistance in cereals, structure and evolution of plant genomes, molecular basis of agronomically important traits, root hair development.

 

Department of Plant and Microbial Biology (UZH)
Lukas Keller Ecology, evolution, and genetics of small or fragmented populations in the wild.

 

Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies (UZH)
Michael Kessler My research is centered on the biotic and abiotic factors determining patterns of species diversity and the distribution of species, especially in the tropics.

 

Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany (UZH)
Barbara Koenig Social interactions in mammals; integration of behavioural, ecological, physiological, and molecular genetic methods to understand the causes and mechanisms of social behaviour.

 

Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies (UZH)
Rolf Kümmerli Microbial Evolutionary Ecology. We investigate evolutionary dynamics between cooperative and non-cooperative (cheating) bacteria during experimental evolution, in the field, and at the single-cell level. We further examine the role of these dynamics for virulence evolution in host models.

 

Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany (UZH)
Michael Krützen Evolutionary genetics approaches to understand the origins and evolution of human behaviour and cultures; focus on a comparative approach using great apes, other primates, and taxa with similar life history parameters, such as cetaceans.

 

Department of Anthropology (UZH)
Peter Linder My primary interest lies in exploring plant radiations (macro-evolution and macro-ecology) by linking phylogenies with niche evolution and biogeographical range extension. As main study area I use the Cape flora at the southern tip of Africa.

 

Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany (UZH)
Stefan Lüpold Evolutionary biology, with main focus on sexual selection and sperm competition; reproductive morphology and physiology, gamete evolution, resource allocation trade-offs, behavioural ecology; phylogenetics, macro- and microevolutionary studies, meta-analyses; main lab organisms currently are Drosophila fruit flies.

 

Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies (UZH)
Marta Manser Evolution and mechanisms underlying group coordination; communication and cognitive aspects in mammals in their natural environment.

 

Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies (UZH)
Jakob Pernthaler Currently, the importance of limnology increases due to processes like climate change, pollution of surface- and ground-waters. The research focus of the Limnological Station Kilchberg starts with the smallest independent organisms, namely bacteria, but concerns also the huge variety of unicellular eukaryotic organisms (e.g. algae, protozoa).

 

Department of Plant and Microbial Biology (UZH)
Frank Rühli Researchers at the transdisciplinary Institute of Evolutionary Medicine study evolutionary aspects of e.g. disease aetiology and disease patterns (prevalence, socio-economic stratifications), particularly molecular evolution of pathogens / functional genes (ancient DNA analyses) and secular trends of human morphology.

 

Institute of Evolutionary Medicine (UZH)
Marcelo Sánchez Comparative ontogeny of land vertebrates, palaeobiology of reptiles and mammals, heterochrony in the skeletal system, homology and systematics, palaentological fieldwork in South America and Switzerland.

 

Palaeontological Institute and Museum (UZH)
Florian Schiestl My research interests are chemical and evolutionary ecology of plant-pollinator interactions.

 

Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany (UZH)
Kentaro K. Shimizu

 

Evolutionary and ecological functional genomics, adaptation and speciation in Arabidopsis relatives, molecular population genetics, plant reproductive systems.
Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies (UZH)
Carel van Schaik Social evolution in primates, especially evolution of human behavior; comparative study of primate behavior, culture and cognition, in the wild and in captivity.

 

Department of Anthropology (UZH)
Barbara Tschirren Our research focuses on how environmental factors shape the evolution of life histories and life strategies in wild vertebrates. We are particularly interested in how the environment an animal encounters before birth influences its later life, including its behaviour, morphology and physiology.

 

Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies (UZH)
Christoph Vorburger Evolution and ecology of insect host-parasitoid interactions; Effects of symbiont-conferred resistance on coevolution of hosts and parasitoids.

 

ETH & EAWAG
Andreas Wagner Evolutionary innovation; molecular evolution of genes, genomes, and complex biological networks, including metabolic and regulatory networks; evolution of robustness in complex systems.

 

Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies (UZH)
Alex Widmer Our research focuses on the genetic basis of adaptation, reproductive isolation and speciation, and on the genetics of sex determination in plants. We use population genomic and transcriptomic analyses to identify genes and genomic regions associated with adaptation, reproductive isolation or sex determination and estimate fitness effects in ecological experiments.

 

Institute of Integrative Biology, (ETH)
Christoph Zollikofer Paleoanthropology; 3D and 4D geometric morphometric analysis and morphogenetic modeling; hominin population dispersals in the Pleistocene.

 

Department of Anthropology (UZH)

Associate Researchers

Research

Affiliation

 

Judith Burkart Evolution of primate cognition; cognitive and psychological consequences of cooperative breeding. Experimental studies with nonhuman primates in captivity (comparative psychology).

 

Department of Anthropology (UZH)
Alex Hall I study microbial evolution, in particular how bacteria evolve resistance against drugs and viruses (bacteriophages). Current projects include: (1) what happens to antibiotic-resistant bacteria when we remove the antibiotics?, (2) how does viral parasitism influence the evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria?, and (3) are the genetic mechanisms associated with resistance and compensatory adaptation specific to genotypes/environments? To answer these questions I study evolution in real time in experimental populations of microbes.

 

Theoretical Biology (ETH)
Michael Hautmann Research focus: Evolution of bivalves, with emphasis on mass extinction events and ensuing recovery; marine biomineralization in response to seawater chemistry; Triassic palaeoenvironments.

 

Palaeontological Institute and Museum (UZH)
Martin Häusler Evolutionary medicine: morphology and diseases of the human skeleton and their relationship to the evolution of bipedal locomotion; evolution of childbirth; hominid body proportions.

 

Institute for Evolutionary Medicine (UZH)
Matt Horten Research in our laboratory focuses on the evolutionary ecology of plants. We are especially interested in the factors that shape the plant microbiome and how the microbiome - in turn - shapes plant phenotypic variation. Our approach is interdisciplinary – we combine techniques from ecology, plant biology, and microbiology with techniques from statistical, molecular, and population genetics. Our long term goal is to understand how the plant microbiome forms, and how the host-plant’s microbiome shapes its adaptation to new and changing environments.

 

Department of Plant and Microbial Biology (UZH)
Colin Hughes Revisionary taxonomy, biogeography and the evolutionary dynamics of legume diversification.

 

Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany (UZH)
Karin Isler Evolution of brain size variation in primates, other mammals and birds, testing adaptive hypotheses using comparative methods to take phylogenetic relationships into account.

 

Department of Anthropology (UZH)
Christian Klug Cephalopod evolution, origin of ammonoids in the Early Devonian with its various palaeobiological aspects (phylogeny, development, ecology, construction).

 

Palaeontological Institute and Museum (UZH)
Anna Lindholm Behavioural ecology and evolutionary genetics. Social evolution. Field and laboratory studies of wild mice.

 

Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies (UZH)
Reto Nyffeler My research is focusing on the patterns of diversification in different groups of succulent plants.

 

Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany (UZH)
Marcia Ponce de León Paleoanthropology: computer-assisted reconstruction of fossil hominins; reconstruction of hominin growth and development from birth to senescence; analysis of evolutionary and developmental patterns of shape variation in fossil and extant hominins and great apes.

 

Department of Anthropology (UZH)
Erik Postma We combine ideas and techniques from the fields of evolutionary biology and quantitative genetics to obtain a better understanding of the evolutionary processes responsible for the generation and maintenance of the ubiquitous levels of diversity we see around us, both among individuals and populations.

 

Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies (UZH)
Anne Roulin Transposable elements (TEs) are mobile DNA sequences which have the capacity to replicate and/or move from one location to another in their host genome. Their copy number and the potential genetic novelty they create can vary drastically between closely related lineages. Thus, the aim of our project is to unravel how TE activity influences population evolution and subsequently local adaptation in the plant model organism Brachypodium distachyon.

 

Department of Plant and Microbial Biology (UZH)
Torsten Scheyer Evolutionary morphology, palaeobiology and (palaeo-) ecology of vertebrates; development of soft and hard tissue structures in vertebrates.

 

Palaeontological Institute and Museum (UZH)
Philipp Schlüter Floral evolution, molecular adaptation, ecological speciation, evolutionary genomics, orchids.

 

Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany (UZH)
Josh Van Buskirk Adaptation to variable environments; evolutionary response to climate change; general issues in ecology and conservation biology; emphasis on amphibians and birds.

 

Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies (UZH)
Maria van Noordwijk Primate behaviour, mothers and infants.

 

Department of Anthropology (UZH)
Erik Willems I am interested in the way in which animals use their environment over space and time, and how this shapes their (social) behaviour. Using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing technologies I have, among others, looked into patterns of local space use, dispersal, bio- and phylo-geography, and geographical variation in orang-utan biology (from genes and ecology to culture).

 

Department of Anthropology (UZH)