Research Group Ebert; Zoology
Vesalianum, Vesalgasse 1
Telephone +41 (0)61 207 03 61
Our research addresses the ecological and genetical mechanism of fast evolutionary processes. The main focus of the group are the evolution, genetics and ecology of host-parasite and host-mutualist interactions. Research topics include local adaptation, coevolution, evolution in metapopulations, the evolution of microbiota, the evolution of sex, trait mapping and genetic architecture. Most of our research use waterfleas of the genus Daphnia as a study system. We conduct most of our field research in Southern Finland.
Research Group Salzburger; Zoology
Vesalianum, Vesalgasse 1
Telephone +41 (0)61 207 03 00
More than 150 years after the publication of Charles R. Darwin's The Origin, the identification of the processes governing the emergence of novel species remains a fundamental question to biology. How is it possible that two or more biological entities – species – can emerge from one entity, and continue to be distinct even when coexisting in nature? What are the external factors and environmental conditions that promote this process? What are the molecular mechanisms that underlie it? And why is diversity so unequally distributed across the tree of life, with some groups of organisms having diversified in a seemingly explosive manner, while others have remained virtually unvaried over millions of years? Our research focuses on exactly these questions. More specifically, we are interested in the question of how variation in the DNA translates into organismal diversity and in the identification of the patterns and molecular mechanisms that underlie adaptation, evolutionary innovation, and diversification. The main model systems in our lab are the adaptive radiations of cichlid fishes in East Africa, of Antarctic notothenioid fishes, and of three-spine sticklebacks.
Work Group Lukas Schärer
Telephone: +41 61 207 03 66
Our research investigates the evolutionary biology of sexual reproduction in simultaneously hermaphroditic animals, which, being male and female at the same time, face some intriguing and unexpected challenges in their sexual lives. One involves the decision about how much to invest in their own male and female side, representing a question about the economy of reproduction. Another deals with conflicts of interest between the mating partners about how to mate, expected to be particularly severe in simultaneous hermaphrodites. We study these phenomena in a small and highly transparent free-living flatworm, Macrostomum lignano, which lives on the beaches of the Northern Adriatic Sea.