Universität Bern


The smell of hunger: Norway rats provision social partners based on odour cues of need
K. Schneeberger & M. Taborsky



Sensory ecology and cognition in social decisions
Special feature edited by K. Schneeberger & M. Taborsky




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

Workshop on "The evolution of consistent phenotype variation: alternative tactics vs. behavioural syndromes"

04-07 August 2012, Adelboden/Switzerland

Organizers: Michael Taborsky, Joachim Frommen

This is a workshop of the Inter-University Doctoral Program in Ecology and Evolution


Rui Oliveira (Centro de Biociências – ISPA, Portugal)

Bryan Neff (University of Western Ontario, Canada)

Jacek Radwan (Jagiellonian University, Poland)

Andy Sih (University of California, USA)

Olof Leimar (Stockholm University, Sweden)

Jonathan Wright (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway)

Sander van Doorn (University of Bern, Switzerland)

Carin Magnhagen (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden)


Workshop topic

The coexistence of alternative behavioural and life history tactics within a population is an evolutionary puzzle studied since decades by several biological disciplines, ranging from population genetics to eco-physiology and behavioural ecology. More recently, the consistent behavioural variation of individuals within a population generating unimodal trait distributions has received much interest, because directional selection should generate ‘optimal’ phenotypes or behavioural flexibility instead of a broad array of phenotypes specializing in different solutions to the same environmental or social challenge. It is currently not well understood which mechanisms are responsible for continuous or bimodal/multimodal trait distributions. This is partly due to the independent, parallel development of two research fields that focus either on alternative behavioural tactics or on behavioural syndromes/animal personalities. This meeting aims to combine these different research fields. Leading scientists from both fields will be invited to lecture on this issue and to supervise workshop groups of participants addressing the evolutionary mechanisms responsible for consistent phenotype variation within populations.

The program of the workshop will consist of a combination of plenary talks by invited speakers and work performed in small groups, in which the participants will discuss a particular theme together with one of the invited speakers. The results of these small-group sessions will be presented to the other participants, followed by a plenary discussion.

Location and Venue

The symposium will be held in Adelboden, a picturesque mountain village at 1400 m sea level amidst the High Alps of the Berner Oberland.


Access to Adelboden

The nearest railway station to Adelboden is Frutigen. From Frutigen, a bus goes to Adelboden at least every hour (xx:31h), and more frequently during the early morning and late afternoon. The trip takes 34 min. You will find the schedules of all trains and busses within Switzerland at the SBB website.


The venue for this workshop is

Hotel Crea

Ausserschwandstrasse 2

CH-3715 Adelboden Switzerland


1 - 2 ECTS can be obtained, depending on the contribution of the participant. If you need a certificate (Zeugnis) for this symposium, please bring a certificate form from your University, fill in your details and hand it over to us during the meeting. The evaluation will be based on your active participation in discussions and group presentations during the symposium.

Costs for participants and reimbursement

There is generally no registration fee. PhD students registered at the CUSO Inter-University Doctoral Program in Ecology and Evolution, invited speakers and people organizing the activities can apply for reimbursement of travel and participation/accommodation costs (affiliated institutions: Universities of Bern, Fribourg, Geneva, Lausanne, Neuchâtel). Please see instructions for reimbursement.

Expected costs for participants outside the CUSO Inter-University Doctoral Program in Ecology and Evolution

Costs for participants outside the CUSO Inter-University Doctoral Program in Ecology and Evolution include travel costs and lodging at the Hotel Crea. Participants can choose between different lodging options in the Hotel. All prices include full board (i.e., all meals and coffee breaks - and the use of the swimming pool), and they are calculated per night and per person. (1Euro= approx. 1.20 CHF)

- Dormitory bed (space for up to 15 persons available in dormitory): 78,- CHF

- Bed in a shared twin room without private bathroom: 90,- CHF

- Bed in a shared twin or double room with private bathroom/TV: 120,- CHF

- Single room without private bathroom/TV: 105,- CHF

- Single room with private bathroom/TV: 135,- CHF


Registration is open. Applications will be considered until the maximum capacity of the workshop is reached.

To register, please complete the registration form and send it to us per e-mail at: joachim.frommen [at] iee.unibe.ch

Registration deadline is July 15th.

For more information, contact:  

michael.taborsky [at] iee.unibe.ch  or                  

joachim.frommen [at] iee.unibe.ch