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

How to find us ...

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

Barbara Taborsky

Contact Information: Tel. +31 631 91 57 [E-Mail]
  • Maria Reyes-Contreras, Gaétan 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].
  • Kasper, C., François-Olivier Hébert, F.-O., Aubin-Horth, N. & Taborsky, B. (2018) Divergent brain gene expression profiles between alternative behavioural helper types in a cooperative breeder. Mol. Ecol., 4136-4151. [pdf]
  • Kasper, C., Aubin-Horth, N. & Taborsky, B. (2018) Brain activation patterns following a cooperation opportunity in a highly social cichlid fish. Physiology & Behavior 195, 37-47 [pdf]
  • Taborsky, B., Heino, M. and Dieckmann, U. (2018). Life-history multistability caused by size-dependent mortality. Amer. Nat. 192, 62-71 [pdf]
  • Nyman, C., Fischer, S., Aubin-Horth, N. and Taborsky, B. (2018). Evolutionary conserved neural signature of early life stress affects animal social competence. Proc. R. Soc. B 285:20172344 [pdf]
  • Fischer, S., Bohn, L., Oberhummer, E., Wikström, C. &⁞ Taborsky, B. (2017) Divergence of developmental trajectories is triggered interactively by early social and ecological experience in a cooperative breeder. PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1705934114 [pdf]
  • Kasper, C., Kölliker, M., Postma, E., Taborsky, B. (2017): Consistent cooperation in a cichlid fish is caused by maternal and developmental effects rather than heritable genetic variation. Proc. R. Soc. B. 284:20170369 [pdf]
  • Kasper, C., Vierbuchen, M., Ernst, U., Fischer, S., Radersma, R., Raulo, A., Cunha-Saraiva, F., Wu, M., Mobley, K., Taborsky, B. (2017): Genetics and developmental biology of cooperation. Mol. Ecol. 26:4364-4377 [pdf]
  • Fischer, S., Oberhummer, E., Cunha Saraiva, F., Gerber, N. & Taborsky, B. (2017) Smell or vision? The use of different sensory modalities in predator discrimination. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 71:143 [pdf]
  • Bannier, F. Tebbich, S. & Taborsky, B. (2017): Early experience affects learning performance and neophobia in a cooperatively breeding cichlid. Ethology 123:712-723 [pdf]
  • Nyman, C., Fischer, S., Aubin-Horth, N., Taborsky, B. (2017): Effect of the early social environment on behavioural and genomic responses to a social challenge in a cooperatively breeding vertebrate. Mol. Ecol. 26:3186–3203 [pdf]

  • Taborsky, B. (2017): Developmental plasticity: Preparing for life in a complex world. In:  M. Naguib, J. Podos, L. W. Simmons, L. Barrett, S. Healy, & M. Zuk (Eds.), Adv. Stud. Behav. (pp. 49–99) [pdf]

  • Taborsky, B. (2016) Opening the black box of developmental experiments: behavioural mechanisms underlying long-term effects of early social experience. Ethology 122:267–283 [pdf]
  • Hess, S., Fischer, S., Taborsky, B. (2016) Territorial aggression reduces vigilance but increases aggression towards predators in a cooperatively breeding fish. Anim. Behav. 113:229-235 [pdf]
  • Groothuis, T.G.G., Taborsky, B. (2015) Introducing biological realism into the study of developmental plasticity in behaviour. Front. Zool. 12:S6 [pdf]

  • Taborsky, M., Taborsky, B. (2015) Evolution of genetic and physiological mechanisms of cooperative behaviour. Curr. Op. Behav. Sci. 6:132–138 [pdf]

  • Fischer, S., Bessert-Nettelbeck, M., Kotrschal, A & Taborsky, B. (2015): Rearing group size determines social competence and brain structure in a cooperatively breeding cichlid. Amer. Nat. 186:123–140 [pdf]
  • Fischer, S., Taborsky, B., Burlaud, R., Fernandez, A.A., Hess, S. & Oberhummer, E. (2014): Animated images as a tool to study visual communication - a case study in a cooperatively breeding cichlid. Behaviour 151:1921-1942 [pdf]
  • Fischer S, Zöttl M, Groenewoud F & Taborsky B (2014): Group-size-dependent punishment of idle subordinates in a cooperative breeder where helpers pay to stay. Proc. Roy. Soc. B 281:20140184 [pdf]
  • Taborsky, B., Guyer, L. & Demus, P. (2014): ‘Prudent habitat choice’: a novel mechanism of size-assortative mating. J. Evol Biol. 27:1217-1228 [pdf]
  • Stratmann, A. & Taborsky, B. (2014): Antipredator defences of young are independently determined by genetic inheritance, maternal effects and own early experience in mouthbrooding cichlids. Funct. Ecol., 28:944-953 [pdf]
  • Kotrschal, A., Szidat, S. & Taborsky, B. (2014): Developmental plasticity of growth and digestive efficiency in dependence of early-life food availability. Funct. Ecol. 28: 878-885 [pdf]
  • Fischer, B., van Doorn, G. S., Dieckmann, U. & Taborsky, B. (2014): The evolution of age-dependent plasticity. Amer. Nat., 183:108-125 [pdf]
  • Taborsky, B. & Oliveria, R.F. (2013): Social competence vs responsiveness: similar but not same. A reply to Wolf and McNamara. Trends Ecol. Evol. 28:254-255.[pdf]
  • Taborsky B., Tschirren L., Meunier C. & Aubin-Horth N. (2013): Stable reprogramming of brain transcription profils by the early social environment in a cooperatively breeding fish. Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B 280:20122605 [pdf]
  • Taborsky B. & Oliveira R.F. (2012): Social competence: an evolutionary approach. Trends Ecol. Evol. 27:679-688 [pdf]
  • Taborsky B., Heino M. & Dieckmann U. (2012): Size-dependent mortality and competition interactively shape community diversity. Evolution 66-11:3524-3544 [pdf]
  • Segers F.H.I.D. & Taborsky B. (2012): Competition level determines compensatory growth abilities. Behav. Ecol. 23:665-671 [pdf]
  • Sefc K., Hermann C., Taborsky B. & Koblmüller S. (2012): Brood mixing and reduced polyandry in a maternal mouthbrooding cichlid with elevated among-breeder relatedness. Molecular Ecology 21:2805-2815 [pdf]
  • Taborsky B., Arnold C., Junker J. & Tschopp A. (2012): The early social environment affects social competence in a cooperative breeder. Anim. Behav. 83:1067-1074 [pdf]
  • Kotrschal A., Heckel G., Bonfils D. & Taborsky B. (2012): Life-stage-specific environments in a ciclid fish: implications for inducible maternal effects. Evol. Ecol. 26:123-137 [pdf]
  • Segers F.H.I.D., Berishvili G. & Taborsky B. (2012): Egg size-dependent expression of growth hormone receptor accompanies compensatory growth in fish. Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B 279:592-600 [pdf]
  • Segers F.H.I.D. & Taborsky B. (2012): Juvenile exposure to predator cues induces a large egg size in fish. Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B 279:1241-1248 [pdf]
  • Kotrschal A., Fischer B. & Taborsky B. (2011): A non-invasive method to determine fat content in small fish with swim bladders. J. Exp. Zool. 315:408-415 [pdf
  • Segers F.H.I.D., Gerber B. & Taborsky B. (2011): Do maternal food deprivation and offspring predator cues interactively affect maternal effort in fish? Ethology 117:708-721 [pdf]
  • Fischer B., Taborsky B. & Kokko H. (2011): How to balance the offspring quality-quantity trade-off when environmental cues are unreliable. Oikos 120(2):258-270 [pdf]
  • Fischer B., Dieckmann U. & Taborsky B. (2011): When to store energy in a stochastic environment. Evolution 65:1221-1232 [pdf]
  • Segers F.H.I.D. & Taborsky B. (2011): Egg size and food abundance interactively affect juvenile growth and behaviour. Funct. Ecol. 25:166-176 [pdf]
  • Kotrschal A. & Taborsky B. (2010): Resource Defence or Exploded Lek? – A Question of Perspective. Ethology 116:1189–1198 [pdf]
  • Kotrschal A. & Taborsky B. (2010): Environmental Change Enhances Cognitive Abilities in Fish. PloS Biology 8(4):e1000351 [pdf]

  • Arnold C. & Taborsky B (2010): Social experience in early ontogeny has lasting effects on social skills in cooperatively breeding cichlids. Anim. Behav. 79:621–630 [pdf]

  • Fischer B., Taborsky B. & Dieckmann U. (2009): Unexpected Patterns of Plastic Energy Allocation in Stochastic Environments. Am. Nat. 173(3):E108-120 [pdf]

  • Taborsky B., Guyer L & Taborsky M. (2009): Size-assortative mating in the absence of mate choice. Anim. Behav. 77:439–448 [pdf]

  • Moksnes A. et al. (2008): Individual female common cuckoos Cuculus canorus lay constant egg types but egg appearance cannot be used to assign eggs to females. J. Avian Biol. 39:238-241 [pdf]

  • Steinegger M. & Taborsky B. (2007): Asymmetric sexual conflict over parental care in a biparental cichlid. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 61:933-941 [pdf]

  • Taborsky B., Skubic E. and Bruintjes R. (2007): Mothers adjust egg size to helper number in a cooperatively breeding cichlid. Behav. Ecol. 18:652-657 [pdf]

  • Taborsky B. (2006): Mothers determine offspring size in response to own juvenile growth conditions. Biol. Lett. 2:225-228 [pdf]

  • Taborsky B. (2006): The influence of past and present environments on adult life history decisions. Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B 273:741-750 [pdf, 205 KB]

  • Schuerch R. & Taborsky B. (2005): The functional significance of buccal feeding in the mouthbrooding cichlid Tropheus moorii . Behaviour 142:265-281 [pdf]

  • Grueter C. & Taborsky B. (2005): Sex ratio and the sexual conflict about brood care in a biparental mouthbrooder. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 58:44-52 [pdf]

  • Grueter C. & Taborsky B. (2004): Mouthbrooding and biparental care: an unexpected combination, but male broodcare pays. Anim. Behav. 68:1283-1289 [pdf]

  • Skjelseth S., Moksnes A., Roskaft E., Gibbs H.L., Taborsky M., Taborsky B., Honza M. & Kleven O. (2004): Parentage, host preference and egg constancy in the common cuckoo Cuculus canorus. J. Avian Biol. 35:21-24 [pdf]

  • Vogl W., Taborsky B., Taborsky M., Honza M. & Teuschl Y. (2004): Habitat and Space Use of European Cuckoo Females during the Egg Laying Period. Behaviour 141:881-898 [pdf]

  • Honza M., Taborsky B., Taborsky M., Teuschl Y., Vogl W., Moksnes A. & Roskaft E. (2003): Behaviour of female common cuckoos, Cuculus canorus, in the vicinity of host nests before and during egg laying: a radiotelemetry study. (vol 64, pg 861, 2002). Anim. Behav. 65:1057-1057 [pdf]

  • Taborsky B., Dieckmann U. & Heino M. (2003):Unexpected discontinuities in life-history evolution under size dependent mortality, Proc. Roy. Soc. Lond. B 270:713-721 [pdf]

  • Honza M., Taborsky B., Taborsky M., Vogl W., Teuschl Y., Moksnes A. & Roskaft E. (2002): Host nest-inspection and egg-laying of female cuckoos: A radio-telemetry study. Anim. Behav. 64:861-868 [pdf]

  • Vogl W., Taborsky M., Taborsky B., Teuschl Y., Honza M. (2002): Cuckoo females preferentially use specific habitats when searching for host nests. Anim. Behav. 64:843-850 [pdf]

  • Taborsky B. (2001): Die Tricks des Parasiten? Wie der Kuckuck seine Wirtsvoegel ueberlistet. Ornis 1/01:9-13 [kein PDF vorhanden]

  • Taborsky B. (1999): Size-dependent depth distribution in littoral fish: optimization or competitive exclusion. - In: V.C. Almada, R.F. Oliveira & E.J. Goncalves (eds.) "Behaviour and Conservation of Littoral Fishes", 351-376. ISPA, Lisboa. [pdf]

  • Taborsky B. (1999): The implications of indeterminate growth for life history evolution. Advances in Ethology 34, Supplement to Ethology, 57. [kein PDF voranden]

  • Taborsky B. & Taborsky M. (1999): The mating system and stability of pairs in kiwi Apteryx spp. J. Avian Biol. 30(2):143-151 [pdf]

  • Teuschl Y., Taborsky B. & Taborsky M. (1998): How do cuckoos find their hosts? The role of habitat imprinting. Anim. Behav. 56:1425-1433 [pdf]

  • Taborsky M. & Taborsky B.(eds.; 1997): Advances in Ethology (32) - Contributions to the XXV International Ethological Conference. Supplement to Ethology, 328 pp. [kein PDF vorhanden]

  • Taborsky B. & Taborsky M. (1995): Habitat Use and Selectivity of Brown Kiwi (Apteryx australis mantelli) in a Patchy Environment. The Auk 112:680-689 [pdf]

  • Taborsky B.(1995): Wie nutzen Tiere ihr Habitat? Ergebnisse der Verhaltensforschung als Ausgangspunkt fuer Naturschutzmassnahmen. Der Ornithologische Beobachter 92:287-296 [kein PDF vorhanden]

  • Taborsky M. & Taborsky B. (1993): Kooperation und Helfen bei Fischen. Praxis der Naturwissenschaften 6/42:26-29 [kein PDF vorhanden]

  • Taborsky M. & Taborsky B. (1993): The kiwi's parental burden. Natural History 102:50-57 [kein PDF vorhanden]

  • Taborsky B. & Taborsky M. (1992): Spatial Organization of North Island Brown Kiwi: Sex, Pairing Status and Territoriality. Ibis 134:1-10 [kein PDF vorhanden]

  • Taborsky B. & Taborsky M. (1991): Social Organization of North Island Brown Kiwi: Long-term Pairs and Three Types of Male Spacing Behaviour. Ethology 89:47-62 [kein PDF vorhanden]