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

Jan Naef



Email: jan.naef@iee.unibe.ch

Phone: +41 (0)31 631 9155

Research Interests

I am employed as a PhD student of Michael Taborsky since August 2016. I will work on the general hypothesis that cooperative breeding in vertebrates can be maintained without the help of kin-selection, but can more generally be described as a kind of trading system in which care for kin is only a special commodity. In Neolamprologus pulcher, different forms of help in broodcare are exchanged for shelter, options for future territory take-over, and current reproduction. Engaging in this trade requires that the fish are able to measure the investment of others, that they actively communicate about their own investment, and that they monitor information about supply and demand. Costs and benefits for each fish vary with its abilities and opportunities and with ecological factors. Many of the above parameters, including kinship, can be experimentally manipulated in N. pulcher, which makes the system exceptionaly well suited to test the above hypothesis.

I am also interested in other behavioral sciences, in particular psychology and economics, and more generally in the exchange of research methods, modes of thinking, and scientific standards between the disciplines. In other words, I am interested in the comparative study of how the details of experimental design, statistical analysis, puplication practices, and socio-economical processes shape the development of scientific theories and practices.

Due to my long engagement in engineering projects, I like to think of experiments as a kind of machine whose purpose it is to extract information from the environment. A scientist is a person who lives from the design and marketing of such machines and their output.

Curriculum Vitae

Since 2016 Phd student at the Department of Behavioural Ecology, Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Bern, Switzerland. (Supervisors: Prof. Michael Taborsky)
2016 Scientific Assistant at the Swiss Ornithological Institute
2014-2016 Scientific Assistant at the Institute of Neuroinformatics, ETH Zürich
2014 Civil Service at EAWAG, Kastanienbaum
2013-2014 BSc minor in Philosophy of Mind, UniBern
2012-2014 BSc minor in Economics, UniBern (not finished)
2011-2013 BSc minor in Psychology, UniBern
2010-2011 Radiotelemetry technician at the Swiss Ornithological Institute
2009-2010 Civil Service with Stingless Bees in Brazil
2007-2009 MSc in Ecology and Evolution at UniBern
2006-2007 Erasmus exchange at Uppsala Universtiy, Sweden
2004-2007 BSc in cellular and molecular biology at UniBern
2003-2004 Studies in electrical engineering at ETH Zürich


Neumann, P., Naef, J., Crailsheim, K., Crewe, R. M., & Pirk, C. W. W. (2015). Hit-and-run trophallaxis of small hive beetles. Ecology and Evolution, 5(23), 5478–5486.


2008: SCNAT Travel grant for field work in South Africa