When growing up in the city, going out into nature was always an astonishing experience to me, because of the richness in biological forms I could observe. Consequently, when I first started my studies in biology I was driven by the very same questions which many other ecologists and evolutionary biologists have pondered for a long time, and which are still not fully resolved: Why are there so many species, and how do they continue to coexist and persist? And what are the main mechanisms that shape communities and determine the distribution of life in space and time? Dendritic aquatic systems represent a suitable study system wherein different ecological and evolutionary mechanics, such as dispersal, invasion and speciation, can be studied in a spatially explicit context.
Not only do I want to establish well-founded knowledge about the distribution and diversity of native and non-native amphipod species in Switzerland, but I also use them as a study system to tackle specific ecological questions. In particular, amphipods are suited to look at the influence of connectivity on spatial diversity patterns and community formation. Therefore my biological expertise covers topics such as aquatic ecology, community ecology and systematics of amphipods.