Aquatic Ecology & Evolution

Population Genomics of different stages of adaptive radiations

Research interest

Biodiversity and its origin, the speciation process, are the focus of my research interest. Although since Darwin’s “The origin of species” we know much about how species split and diverge, we have only recently started to connect speciation research and population genetics from an empirical perspecitve thanks to genome-wide data obtained with next-generation sequencing techniques.

Therefore, I am interested in the interface of evolutionary and population genomics and macroevolutionary processes, in particular in adaptive radiations. What factors in the genome are constraining or promoting speciation at different stages of the process? How does genomic architecture affect a propensity for speciation? How is variation in the genome influenced by population history or hybridization and what role does it play in speciation and in particular in adaptive radiations? And in a more holistic approach, which processes contribute to what extent to the emergence, maintenance or brake-up of separate evolutionary lineages and consequently of biodiversity?

I am using Three-spined Sticklebacks and Lake Victoria Cichlids as model systems to address these questions. Both are known for their unusually high rates of speciation in adaptive radiations. Various stages of speciation at different time scales are present among these model systems, what makes them perfectly suited to investigate the evolution of organismal diversity in adaptive radiations.

Research project

  • Genomics of rapid sympatric incipient speciation in threespine stickleback
  • Adaptive and demographic history of the Swiss stickleback adaptive radiation
  • From invasion to speciation - comparative genomics of adaptive radiations in cichlids and sticklebacks

Curriculum Vitae

2021-present Curator of Vertebrates, Natural History Museum Basel & lecturer at IEE
2017-2020 post-doc at the Institute of Ecology & Evolution, University of Bern and at EAWAG Kastanienbaum
2016-2017 post-doc in Tom Reimchen's group at University of Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
2012-2016 PhD at the Institute of Ecology & Evolution, University of Bern and at EAWAG Kastanienbaum
2009-2011 Project leader & ecological consultant at Orniplan AG, Zurich
2007-2009 MSc in Biology, Anthropology, at the Antropological Institute & Museum, University of Zurich
2004-2007 BSc in Biology, University of Zurich


please also visit my Eawag personal homepage

Selected Publications