Head of Division
Prof. Dr. Michael Taborsky

Institut für Ökologie und Evolution
Telefon: +41 31 684 91 11
Telefax: +41 31 684 91 41
E-Mail:   claudia.leiser@iee.unibe.ch

Ethologische Station Hasli
Wohlenstrasse 50a
CH-3032 Hinterkappelen

How to find us ...

Universität Bern


The smell of hunger: Norway rats provision social partners based on odour cues of need
K. Schneeberger & M. Taborsky



Sensory ecology and cognition in social decisions
Special feature edited by K. Schneeberger & M. Taborsky




SCIENCE ADVANCES Alternative male morphs solve sperm performance/longevity trade-off in opposite directions M. Taborsky, D. Schütz, O. Goffinet & G.S.van Doorn


Media release, University of Bern


Reciprocal trading of different commodities in Norway rats. M.K. Schweinfurth & M. Taborsky

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Nature research highlight
Current Biology dispatch

PNAS - Divergence of developmental trajectories is triggered interactively by early social and ecological experience in a cooperative breeder. Fischer, Bohn, Oberhummer, Nyman & B. Taborsky
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commentary on Fischer et al

PNAS - Predation risk drives social complexity in cooperative breeders. Groenewoud, Frommen, Josi, Tanaka, Jungwirth & Taborsky
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The evolution of cooperation based on direct fitness benefits. Phil Trans theme issue compiled and edited by Taborsky M., Frommen JG & Riehl C. (2016)
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NATURE COMMUNICATIONS Kinship reduces alloparental care in cooperative cichlids where helpers pay-to-stay
Zoettl M., Heg D., Chervet N. & Taborsky M. (2013)

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Social competence: an evolutionary approach
Taborsky, B. & Oliveira, R.F.
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Larval helpers and age polyethism in ambrosia beetles
Biedermann P.H.W. & Taborsky M.
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Animal personality due to social niche specialisation
Bergmueller R. & Taborsky M.
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Environmental Change Enhances Cognitive Abilities in Fish
Kotrschal, A. & Taborsky, B.
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Extended phenotypes as signals
Franziska C. Schaedelin and Michael Taborsky
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On the Origin of Species by Natural and Sexual Selection
G. Sander van Doorn, Pim Edelaar, Franz J. Weissing
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Cambridge University Press
Alternative Reproductive Tactics: An Integrative

Oliveira R., Taborsky M. & Brockmann H.J.
more information

Timo Thünken




Research Interests

- Adaptive significance of inbreeding
- Functions and mechanisms of kin discrimination
- Mutual mate choice and ornamentation
- Evolution of sperm morphology
- Phenotypic plastic behavioural and morphological responses
- Functional morphology
- Evolution of social behaviour

Curriculum Vitae

since June 2013 Post-doc, Department of Behavioral Ecology, University of Bern, Switzerland (NF 31003A 144191)
Post-doc, Institute for Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, University of Bonn, Germany (DFG BA 2885/2-3 and DFG TH 1615/1-1)
2003-2008 PhD student, Institute for Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, University of Bonn, Germany (DFG BA 2885/2-1+2)
2002 MSc in Biology, University of Bonn, Germany


33. Meuthen D., Baldauf S.A., Bakker T.C.M. & Thünken T. (2016): Predator-induced neophobia in juvenile cichlids. Oecologia, published online [pdf]

32. Meuthen D., Baldauf S.A., Bakker T.C.M. & Thünken T. (2016): Conspecific alarm cues affect interspecific aggression in cichlid fishes. Hydrobiologia 767: 37-49 [pdf]

31. Hesse S., Baldauf S.A., Bakker T.C.M. & Thünken T. (2016): Impact of social environment on inter- and intrasexual selection in a cichlid fish with mutual mate choice. Anim. Behav. 111: 85-92 [pdf]

30. Thünken T., Hesse S., Bakker T.C.M. & Baldauf S.A. (2016): Benefits of kin shoaling in a cichlid fish: familiar and related juveniles show better growth. Behav. Ecol. 27: 419-425 [pdf]

29. Hesse S., Anaya M.J., Frommen J.G. & Thünken T. (2015): Kinship reinforces cooperative predator inspection in a cichlid fish. J. Evol. Biol. 28: 2088-2096 [pdf]

28. Frommen J.G., Hanak S., Schmidl C.A. & Thünken T. (2015): VIE-colour tagging influences social preferences of zebrafish (Danio rerio). Behaviour 152: 1765-1777. [pdf]

27. Mehlis M., Thünken T., Bakker T.C.M. & Frommen J.G. (2015): Quantification acuity in spontaneous shoaling decisions  of three-spined sticklebacks. Anim. Cogn. 18: 1125-1131 [pdf]

26. Hesse S., Anaya M.J., Frommen J.G. & Thünken T. (2015): Social deprivation affects cooperative predator inspection in a cichlid fish. R. Soc. Open Sci. 2: 140451 [pdf]

25. Thünken T., Eigster M. & Frommen J.G. (2014): Context-dependent group size preferences in large shoals of three-spined sticklebacks. Anim. Behav. 90: 205-210 [pdf]

24. Hesse S. & Thünken T. (2014): Growth and social behavior in a cichlid fish are affected by social rearing environment and kinship. Naturwissenschaften 101: 273–283 [pdf]

23. Thünken T., Bakker T.C.M. & Baldauf S.A. (2014): “Armpit effect” in an African cichlid fish: self-referent kin recognition in mating decisions of male Pelvicachromis taeniatus. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 68: 99–104 [pdf]

22. Langen K., ThünkenT. & Bakker T.C.M. (2013): No experimental evidence for sneaking in a West African Cichlid fish with extremely long sperm. Int. J. Evol. Biol.: Article ID 714304 [pdf]

21. Baldauf S.A., Engqvist L., Ottenheym T., Bakker T.C.M. & Thünken T. (2013): Sex-specific conditional mating preferences in a cichlid fish: implications for sexual conflict. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 67: 1179–1186 [pdf]

20. Meuthen D., Rick I.P., Thünken T. & Baldauf S.A. (2012): Visual prey detection by near-infrared cues in a fish. Naturwissenschaften 99: 1063–1066. [pdf]

19. Meuthen D., Baldauf S.A. & Thünken T. (2012): Evolution of alarm cues: a role for kin selection?. F1000 Research 1:27 [pdf]

18. Hesse S., Bakker T.C.M., Baldauf S.A. & Thünken T. (2012): Kin recognition by phenotype matching is family-rather than self-referential in juvenile cichlid fish. Anim. Behav. 84:451-457 [pdf]

17. Thünken T., Meuthen D., Bakker T.C.M. & Baldauf S.A. (2012): A sex-specific trade-off between mating preferences for genetic compatibility and body size in a cichlid fish with mutual mate choice. Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B. 279:2959-2964 [pdf]

16. Langen K., Schwarzer J., Kullmann H., Bakker T.C.M. & Thünken T. (2011): Microsatellite support for active inbreeding in a cichlid fish. PLoS One 6:e24689 [pdf]

15. Meuthen D., Baldauf S.A., Bakker T.C.M. & Thünken T. (2011): Substrate-treated water: a method to enhance fish activity in laboratory experiments. Aquatic Biol. 13:35-40 [pdf]

14. Baldauf S.A., Kullmann H., Bakker T.C.M. & Thünken T. (2011): Female nuptial coloration and its adaptive significance in a mutual mate choice system. Behav. Ecol. 22:478-485 [pdf]

13. Thünken T., Baldauf S.A., Kullmann H., Schuld J., Hesse S. & Bakker T.C.M. (2011): Size-related inbreeding preference and competitiveness in male Pelvicachromis taeniatus (Cichlidae). Behav. Ecol. 22:358–362 [pdf]

12. Frommen J.G., Herder F., Engqvist L., Mehlis M., Bakker T.C.M., Schwarzer J. & Thünken T. (2011): Costly plastic morphological responses to predator specific odour cues in three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus). Evol. Ecol. 25:641-656 [pdf]

11. Baldauf S.A., Bakker T.C.M., Herder F., Kullmann H. & Thünken T. (2010): Male mate choice scales female ornament allometry in a cichlid fish. BMC Evol. Biol. 10:301 [pdf]

10. Thünken T., Baldauf S.A., Bersau N., Bakker T.C.M., Kullmann H. & Frommen J.G. (2010): Impact of olfactory non-host predator cues on aggregation behaviour and activity in Polymorphus minutus infected Gammarus pulex. Hydrobiologia 654:137-145 [pdf]

09. Thünken T., Meuthen D., Bakker T.C.M. & Kullmann H. (2010): Parental investment in relation to offspring quality in the biparental cichlid fish, Pelvicachromis taeniatus. Anim. Behav. 80:69-74 [pdf]

08. Baldauf S.A., Kullmann H., Schroth S.H., Thünken T. & Bakker T.C.M. (2009): You can't always get what you want: size assortative mating by mutual mate choice as a resolution of sexual conflict. BMC Evol. Biol. 9:129 [pdf]

07. Baldauf S.A., Kullmann H., Thünken T., Winter S. & Bakker T.C.M. (2009): Computer animation as a tool to study preferences in the cichlid fish Pelvicachromis taeniatus. J. Fish Biol. 75:738–746 [pdf]

06. Thünken T., Bakker T.C.M., Waltschyk N. & Kullmann H. (2009): Olfactory self-recognition in a cichlid fish. Anim. Cogn. 12:717-724 [pdf]

05. Kullmann H., Thünken T., Baldauf S.A., Bakker T.C.M. & Frommen J.G. (2008): Fish odour triggers conspecific attraction behavior in an aquatic invertebrate. Biol. Lett. 4:458-460 [pdf]

04. Thünken T., Bakker T.C.M., Baldauf S.A. & Kullmann H. (2007): Direct familiarity does not alter mating preferences for sisters in male Pelvicachromis taeniatus (Cichlidae). Ethology 113:1107-1112 [pdf]

03. Thünken T., Bakker T.C.M. & Kullmann H. (2007): Extraordinarily long sperm in the socially monogamous cichlid fish Pelvicachromis taeniatus. Naturwissenschaften 94:489-491 [pdf]

02. Thünken T., Bakker T.C.M., Baldauf S.A. & Kullmann H. (2007): Active inbreeding in a cichlid fish and its adaptive significance. Curr. Biol. 17:225-229 [pdf]

01. Baldauf S.A., Thünken T., Frommen J.G., Bakker T.C.M., Heupel O. & Kullmann H. (2007): Infection with an acanthocephalan manipulates an amphipod's reaction to a fish predator's odours. Int. J. Parasitol. 37:61-65 [pdf]