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


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



E-mail: maria.reyes-contreras[at]iee.unibe.ch

Phone: +41 (0) 31 631 91 54

Research interests

General research interest

  • The underlying biochemical mechanism of biological processes
  • Interspecies and intraspecies interactions that involve chemical signals.
  • Physiological mechanisms of behaviour.
  • Stress axis as a mechanism for adapting to changing physical and social environments.
  • The multidisciplinary approach for answer ecological questions, such as the use of biochemical and genetic tools, the manipulation of physical environments and the combination of laboratory experiments with field work experiments.
  • For the purpose of my PhD:

  • Mechanisms and function of parent-offspring conflict and its fitness consequences
  • Parental offspring conflict which leads to the specialization of offspring behavioural type: philopatric with high propensity to show submission and disperse early with a high helping propensity.
  • Model species Neolamprologus pulcher a highly social cooperative breeding cichlid fish.
  • Curriculum vitae

    Feb. 2018 ‚Äď PhD in Behavioural Ecology, University of Bern, Switzerland (Supervisor Prof. Barbara Taborsky)
    Aug. ‚Äď Nov. 2017 Field assistant at Tanganyika Scientific Loadge. Kasakalawe, Zambia.
    Jan. 2015 ‚Äď Sept. 2017 Master of Science in Ecology and Evolution with special qualification in Behaviour, University of Bern, Switzerland (insigni cum laude) (Supervisor Prof. Barbara Taborsky)
    Nov. 2013 ‚Äď Jun. 2014 Research assistant at the Laboratory of Medical Entomology. Central University of Venezuela, Venezuela.
    Feb.-Aug. 2013 Research assistant at Laboratory of Experimental Ecology. Simón Bolívar University, Venezuela.
    Sep. 2006 ‚Äď Jan. 2013 Licentiate in Biology (equivalent to a European Master degree), Faculty of Biology, Simon Bolivar University, Venezuela. (Supervisors: Prof. Aniuska Kazandjian, Prof. David L. Ballantine)
    Jan. 2010 ‚Äď Jan. 2011 Exchange program internship, Department of Marine Biology, University of Puerto Rico, The United States of America. (Supervisor Prof. David Ballentine)

    Contributions at conference

    ECBB 2018 Liverpool, UK Maria Reyes Contreras, Ga√©tan Glauser, Diana Rennison & Barbara Taborsky. ‚ÄúPhenotypic engineering alters stress axis programming and social competence‚ÄĚ (talk)
    SEB 2018 Florence, Italy Maria Reyes Contreras, Gaétan Glauser, Diana Rennison & Barbara Taborsky. “Phenotypic engineering alters stress axis programming and social competence“. (talk)
    X Venezuelan Congress of Ecology 2013 Merida, Venezuela Maria Reyes Contreras, Aniuzka Kazandji√°n & David L. Ballantine. ‚ÄúDetermination of allelopathic compounds in two species of Metapeyssonnelia algae (Rhodophyta) in Puerto Rico‚ÄĚ(talk)


  • Maria Reyes-Contreras, Ga√©tan Glauser, Diana J. Rennison, Barbara Taborsky (2019). Early-life manipulation of cortisol and its receptor alters stress axis programming and social competence. 374: 20180119 Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences [pdf].
  • Maria Reyes-Contreras, Aniuzka Kazandji√°n, and David L. Ballantine (2016). Identification of compounds of allelopathic extracts from two species of Metapeyssonnelia (Rhodophyta) growing on the hydrocoral, Millepora complanata, in Puerto Rico. Gulf and Caribbean Research 27: 33-41.
  • Reyes-Lugo M., Reyes-Contreras M., Salvi I., Gelves W., √Āvilan A., Llavaneras D., Navarrete LF., Cordero G., S√°nchez EE., Rodr√≠guez-Acosta A (2011). The association of Triatomata maculata (Ericcsson 1848) with the gecko Thecadactylus rapicauda (Houttuyn 1782) (Reptilia: Squamata: Gekkonidae): A strategy of domiciliation of the Chagas disease peridomestic vector in Venezuela? Asian Pacific Journal of Biomedicine: 1-7.