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

Markus Zttl



Email: markusz@gmx.at

Phone: 0041 31 631 9158


Research Interest

My major interests are animal evolution, ecology and ethology, in particular those questions and phenomena combining these three fields. More specifically, I am triggered by questions of inter-individual conflicts such as sexual conflict or sexual selection as well as by intra-individual conflicts like life-history tradeoffs, optimal mate choice or selfish versus cooperative behaviour. I am fascinated by the evolution of cooperative breeding and the complex relationship of costs and benefits of seemingly selfish behaviour in such groups.

During my PhD I will monitor a population of Neolamprologus pulcher in lake Tanganjika and try to understand fitness consequences of differences in helping behaviour.

premiers_3_mois_SA_280 M_L10




  • Townsend S.W., Zttl M. & Manser M.B. (2011): All clear? Meerkats attend to contextual information in close calls to coordinate vigilance. Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology doi:10.1007/s00265-011-1202-6 [pdf, 178 KB]



Female wing patch predicts pairing status in collared flycatchers. Conference of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB), Uppsala/Sweden,Poster

Academic career / Internships

May – June 2009 Research project: “Does the Female Wing Patch reflect parental quality in Collared Flycatchers (Ficedula albicollis)” Supervisor: Anna Qvarnström
Mar 2008 – Apr 2009 MSc (Zoology): University of Vienna - Master project: “Costs and benefits of recruitment calling in Meerkats (Suricata suricatta)”. Supervised by Marta Manser at University of Zürich and Eva Millesi at University of Vienna
July - Aug 2007 Internship: Uppsala University - “Female Wing Patch predicts pairing status in Collared Flycatchers (Ficedula albicollis)” Supervisor: Anna Qvarnström
May – June 2007 Field assistant: The Flycatcher Project, Baltic Island Öland
Jan - Oct 2007 Student: Department of Animal Ecology, Uppsala University
2005 - 2007 Research assistant: Konrad Lorenz Institute for Ethology - Focus: mate choice in wild house mice. Group leader: Dustin Penn, Konrad Lorenz Institute for Ethology
Dec 2006 Internship: Konrad Lorenz Research Station Project - “Social foraging of the Bald Ibis: an experimental approach” Supervisor: Kurt Kotrschal, University of Vienna
Aug 2006 Internship: Island biogeography, University of Vienna and University of Bogor (Indonesia)
2003 – 2009 Studying general biology, University of Vienna - Focus: Zoology and Behavioural Biology

Non academic occupations

2005 to 2007    Part time employee (20%) at the Zoo Vienna (Teaching Section)
2002 to 2003     Education as paramedic and 10 month of work for the St. Johns Ambulance