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

Sander van Doorn


Email: sander.vandoorn@iee.unibe.ch

Phone: +41 31 631 91 55

Research Interest

Natural selection often reduces variation, as it favors the survival of the fittest. Understanding how evolution has generated the marvelous diversity that surrounds us thus presents a challenge. Much of my scientific work is motivated by the question how selection can create and support biological diversity. This theme is at the core of my PhD thesis work on sexual selection and sympatric speciation and also inspires my recent work on intraspecific behavioural variation and animal personalities. With Michael Taborsky, I work on models for the evolution of cooperation through generalized reciprocity. I address my research questions with various theoretical tools: individual-based computer simulations, phenotypic modeling approaches (game theory and adaptive dynamics) and multilocus population genetics.

Curriculum Vitae



Santa Fe Institute

Postdoctoral fellow, animal personalities, sexual conflict and signaling


University of Texas at Austin

Postdoc, sex chromosome evolution

1999- 2006

University of Groningen

PhD student and postdoc, sexual selection and sympatric speciation


Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics

MSc student, force generation by growing microtubules


University of Utrecht

MSc student, sympatric speciation by sexual selection


· GS van Doorn & M Kirkpatrick (2007). Turnover of sex chromosomes induced by sexual conflict. Nature 449: 909-91.

· M. Wolf, GS van Doorn, O. Leimar & FJ Weissing (2007). Life-history trade-offs favour the evolution of animal personalities. Nature 447: 581-584.

· GS van Doorn GS & FJ Weissing (2006). Sexual conflict and the evolution of female preferences for indicators of male quality. Am. Nat. 168: 742-757.

· GS van Doorn & U Dieckmann (2006): The long-term evolution of multi-locus traits under frequency-dependent disruptive selection. Evolution 60, 2226–2238.

· GS van Doorn GS & FJ Weissing (2004). The evolution of female preferences for multiple indicators of quality. Am. Nat. 164: 173-186.

· GS van Doorn, U. Dieckmann & FJ Weissing (2004). Sympatric speciation by sexual selection: A critical reevaluation Am. Nat. 163: 709-725.

· GS van Doorn & FJ Weissing (2001): Ecological versus sexual selection models of sympatric speciation. Selection 2: 17-40.

· GS van Doorn, AJ Noest & P Hogeweg (1998). Sympatric speciation and extinction driven by environment dependent sexual selection. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B – Biol. Sci. 265: 1915-1919.

Opportunities for student projects

I welcome (MSc-)students who wish to learn more about theoretical modeling and are interested in working on one of the following research topics:

· The evolution of cooperation through generalized reciprocity

· Ultimate explanations for behavioral syndromes and animal personality

· Animal communication during aggressive interactions

· Sexual conflict and the evolution of sex-determining mechanisms

Please contact me for detailed information about these opportunities.