Head of Division
Prof. Dr. Michael Taborsky

Institut für Ökologie und Evolution
Telefon: +41 31 631 91 11
Telefax: +41 31 631 91 41
E-Mail:   claudia.leiser@iee.unibe.ch

Ethologische Station Hasli
Wohlenstrasse 50a
CH-3032 Hinterkappelen

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Universität 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

Binia Stieger



Email: binia.stieger@iee.unibe.ch

Phone: +41 (0)31 631 9151

Research Interests

The studies during my Bachelor focused on the evolution of cooperation. Theoretically, cooperation can be established and maintained by several mechanisms like kinship, group selection or reciprocity. My Bachelor thesis aimed at reciprocity and I therefore studied reciprocation of allogrooming bouts in female wild-type Norway rats. Since most studies focusing on reciprocal allogrooming rely on observational data, our goal was to find a method for manipulating grooming rates. From studies of our lab, including my bachelor thesis, we know that rats act according to reciprocity across different contexts (food-sharing, allogrooming). In my Master thesis I therefore wanted to look at the social context behind reciprocity and cooperation in general. The goal is to see whether reciprocity/cooperation is a factor which influences or is influenced by the formation of social bonds. Besides fundamental biological research, I am also interested in applied issues, like animal welfare.

Curriculum Vitae

Since 2016 Teaching Assistant for “Statistics for Biology”, 2nd year Bachelor students, University of Bern
Since 2014 Master of Science in Biology with special qualification in Ecology and Evolution at the Department of Behavioural Ecology, University of Bern, Switzerland
Thesis: Development of social bonds between unknown female rats based on cooperative experience, supervised by Manon Schweinfurth and Prof. Michael Taborsky
2011-2014 Bachelor of Science in Biology with special qualification in Ecology and Evolution at the Department of Behavioural Ecology, University of Bern, Switzerland
Thesis: Reciprocal allogrooming among wild-type Norway rats, supervised by Manon Schweinfurth and Prof. Michael Taborsky
2010 3 months language stay (English), Vancouver, Canada


Schweinfurth, M. K., Stieger, B. Taborsky, M. (2017): Experimental evidence for reciprocity in allogrooming among wild-type Norway rats. Scientific Reports 7:4010 [pdf]

Contributions at Conferences

Biology 2016 Talk at Biology16, Lausanne, Switzerland
Reciprocal allogrooming among Norway rats