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

HIGHLIGHTS

PNAS - Predation risk drives social complexity in cooperative breeders. Groenewoud, Frommen, Josi, Tanaka, Jungwirth & Taborsky
Book
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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)
Book
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Link

NATURE COMMUNICATIONS Kinship reduces alloparental care in cooperative cichlids where helpers pay-to-stay
Zoettl M., Heg D., Chervet N. & Taborsky M. (2013)
Book
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Social competence: an evolutionary approach
Taborsky, B. & Oliveira, R.F.
Book
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Larval helpers and age polyethism in ambrosia beetles
Biedermann P.H.W. & Taborsky M.
Book
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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
Approach

Oliveira R., Taborsky M. & Brockmann H.J.
Book
more information

Cecilia Wikström

Contact

cecilia.wikstroem@iee.unibe.ch

Phone: +41 31 631 9134

Research Interests

I am interested in the behavioural and molecular mechanisms underlying vertebrate social behaviour. During my master thesis in Finland I studied adoption behaviour of the biparental convict cichlid Amatitlania nigrofasciata. In this fish I manipulated the brood composition (amount of own versus alien fry) and I investigated whether parental defence of the brood against a predator varied based on brood composition.

In my PhD thesis in Switzerland I study Neolamprologus pulcher, a cooperatively breeding cichlid native to Lake Tanganyika. I am interested in the effects of the early social environment on the development of social competence and on the expression of genes connected to social behaviours. I study the behaviour of fry and juveniles reared in different social environments and the effects of the rearing environment on brain gene expression and possible epigenetic marks. Behavioural changes and the ensuing changes in gene expressions should significantly influence the ontogenetic trajectories of individuals. I am also looking at sensitive phases during the early social development, asking when changes in behaviour and brain gene expression occur and which parts of the brain are important for the social competence seen in this species.

Curriculum Vitae

Since 2012 PhD candidate at the Department of Behavioural Ecology, Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Berne. Title: Epigenetic reprogramming of behaviour by the early social environment in a cooperatively breeding species. Supervisors: Prof Dr Barbara Taborsky & Prof. Nadia Aubin-Horth
2011-2012 Teacher in Biology and Geography, in the grades 7-9, Winellska skolan Secondary school in Kirkonummi, Finland
2009-2011 Master thesis in the group “Behavioural Ecology and Evolutionary Biology“, Åbo Akademi University, Finland. Supervisor: Kai Lindström
2007-2008 Summer trainee at the laboratory of Aquatic Pathobiology, √Öbo Akademi University, Finland. Supervisor: Tom Wiklund
2004-2008 Bachelor of Science, Biology, √Öbo Akademi University, Finland

Contributions at Conferences

Talks


Behaviour 2013 Behaviour 2013 conference, Newcastle, UK.
Behavioural and molecular responses to a social challenge in a cooperative breeder reared in different social environments.
IBIS 2013 IBIS interlabs meeting, University Laval, Quebec, Canada
Epigenetic reprogramming of behaviour by the early social environment in a cooperatively breeding species

Posters


ASAB 2013 Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour, Winter meeting, London, UK.
Behavioural and molecular responses to a social challenge in a cooperative breeder reared in different social environments
IBIS 2013 IBIS interlabs meeting, University Laval, Quebec, Canada
Epigenetic reprogramming of behaviour by the early social environment in a cooperatively breeding species

Grants and Fellowships

2013 Travel grant (1000 CHF) for Behaviour 2013, Newcastle, UK, by Nachwuchsförderungskommission, University of Bern
2013 Conference travel grant (450 CHF) for ASAB Winter meeting, London, UK, by ASAB
2012 Fonds de recherche du Québec - Nature et technologies (8600 CAD), for my stay at the University Laval, Quebec, Canada