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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News

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October 3, 2017

Trout that live in stable ecosystems divide the prey spectrum among themselves and develop into specialists. In streams with instable food supply, however, the trout become generalists. Sticklebacks from different evolutionary lineages alter their environment by their feeding habits. This is deleterious to their descendants except they are hybrids. Understanding the interaction between species and environment is important for the effective protection of biodiversity.  Read more

August 4, 2017

From August 2017, FIBER, the fisheries advisory service in Kastanienbaum, will again be managed by a team of two. Corinne Schmid, who currently heads up the office, is looking forward to working with Sébastien Nusslé as co-managers. Read more

Publications-News

Rebecca Best, Jaime Anaya-Rojas, Miguel Leal, Dominik Schmid, Ole Seehausen, and Blake Matthews published a paper in Nature Ecology & Evolution studying eco-evolutionary dynamics in hybridizing Swiss sticklebacks. They found that two different lineages (from Lake Geneva and Lake Constance) have different impacts on aquatic ecosystems which can then alter selection on juveniles in the next generation. This could affect the success of hybrid stickleback phenotypes in some Swiss waterbodies, as well as the future coexistence of the two original lineages.

Read the paper and a behind-the-scenes story about the study.

 

 

Joana Meier, Laurent Excoffier, Ole Seehausen and colleagues published a paper in Nature Communications. They shed light on how 700 diverse cichlid species could evolve in only 150,000 years in the Lake Victoria Region. By combining extensive taxon sampling and genomic analyses, they demonstrate that the entire “superflock” evolved from a hybrid swarm of two divergent cichlid lineages. The hybridization event facilitated the adaptive radiations by providing genetic variation that subsequently became recombined and sorted into many new species.  Read more

Seminars

Research Projects

We investigate the mechanisms of speciation and adaptive radiation
Genome evolution and genomic divergence across the Swiss Alpine whitefish radiation
Investigating the interactions between migration ecology, local adaptation and diversification