Department Fish Ecology and Evolution

Fish Ecology & Evolution (FishEc)

We study ecology, evolution and biodiversity of fishes and other aquatic organisms. We are interested in the mechanisms that drive the origins, the maintenance and the loss of species, genetic and functional diversity.


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David A. Marques, Kay Lucek, Joana I. Meier, Salome Mwaiko, Catherine E. Wagner, Laurent Excoffier and Ole Seehausen
Sometimes evolution proceeds much more rapidly than we might think. Genetic analysis makes it possible to detect the earliest stages of species formation and to gain a better understanding of speciation processes. The study about investigating rapid speciation in threespine stickleback in and around Lake Constance – shows that a species can begin to diverge very rapidly, even when the two daughter species breed alongside one another at the same time. 
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Alexander,T.J.; Vonlanthen,P.; Périat,G.; Degiorgi,F.; Raymond,J.C.; Seehausen,O. (2015) Estimating whole-lake fish catch per unit effort, Fisheries Research, 172, 287-302, doi:10.1016/j.fishres.2015.07.024, Institutional Repository
Melián,C.J.; Křivan,V.; Altermatt,F.; Starý,P.; Pellissier,L.; De Laender,F. (2015) Dispersal dynamics in food webs, The American Naturalist, 185(2), 157-168, doi:10.1086/679505, Institutional Repository
Roy,D.; Lucek,K.; Walter,R.P.; Seehausen,O. (2015) Hybrid ‘superswarm’ leads to rapid divergence and establishment of populations during a biological invasion, Molecular Ecology, 24(21), 5394-5411, doi:10.1111/mec.13405, Institutional Repository
Soler,G.A.; Edgar,G.J.; Thomson,R.J.; Kininmonth,S.; Campbell,S.C.; Dawson,T.P.; Barrett,N.S.; Bernard,A.T.F.; Galván,D.E.; Willi,T.J.; Alexander,T.J.; Stuart-Smith,R.D. (2015) Reef fishes at all trophic levels respond positively to effective marine protected areas, PLoS One, 10(10), e0140270 (12 pp), doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0140270, Institutional Repository

FishEc Seminars

2.00 pm
Eawag Kastanienbaum


November 2015:
Matt McGee and Ole Seehausen published a paper in “Science" where they find out that an innovative trait became a liability in the mass extinction of Lake Victoria cichlids.

McGee,M.D.; Borstein,S.R.; Neches,R.Y.; Buescher,H.H.; Seehausen,O.; Wainwright,P.C. (2015) A pharyngeal jaw evolutionary innovation facilitated extinction in Lake Victoria cichlids, Science, 350(6264), 1077-1079, doi:10.1126/science.aab0800, Institutional Repository

September, 2015:
Jakob Brodersen published a paper in “Nature Communications”, where he and his colleagues show how novel contemporary life history evolution in a prey species can cause sympatric ecological and phenotypic divergence in its predator species.

Brodersen,J.; Howeth,J.G.; Post,D.M. (2015) Emergence of a novel prey life history promotes contemporary sympatric diversification in a top predator, Nature Communications, 6, article 8115 (9 pp), doi:10.1038/ncomms9115, Institutional Repository