Staff

Roman Alther

Dr. Roman Alther

Department Aquatic Ecology

About Me

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.

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Projects

Assess the distribution and genetic structure of all amphipod species in Switzerland.

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Curriculum Vitae

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Selected publications

Alther, R.; Altermatt, F. (2018) Fluvial network topology shapes communities of native and non-native amphipods, Ecosphere, 9(2), e02102 (14 pp.), doi:10.1002/ecs2.2102, Institutional Repository
Alther, R.; Fišer, C.; Altermatt, F. (2017) Description of a widely distributed but overlooked amphipod species in the European Alps, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 179(4), 751-766, doi:10.1111/zoj.12477, Institutional Repository
Altermatt, F.; Alther, R.; Fišer, C.; Jokela, J.; Konec, M.; Küry, D.; Mächler, E.; Stucki, P.; Westram, A. M. (2014) Diversity and distribution of freshwater amphipod species in Switzerland (Crustacea: Amphipoda), PLoS One, 9(10), e110328 (12 pp.), doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0110328, Institutional Repository
Altermatt, F.; Alther, R.; Mächler, E. (2016) Spatial patterns of genetic diversity, community composition and occurrence of native and non-native amphipods in naturally replicated tributary streams, BMC Ecology, 16(1), 23 (11 pp.), doi:10.1186/s12898-016-0079-7, Institutional Repository
Pennekamp, F.; Pontarp, M.; Tabi, A.; Altermatt, F.; Alther, R.; Choffat, Y.; Fronhofer, E. A.; Ganesanandamoorthy, P.; Garnier, A.; Griffiths, J. I.; Greene, S.; Horgan, K.; Massie, T. M.; Mächler, E.; Palamara, G. M.; Seymour, M.; Petchey, O. L. (2018) Biodiversity increases and decreases ecosystem stability, Nature, 563(7729), 109-112, doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0627-8, Institutional Repository
Fišer, C.; Alther, R.; Zakšek, V.; Borko, Š.; Fuchs, A.; Altermatt, F. (2018) Translating Niphargus barcodes from Switzerland into taxonomy with a description of two new species (Amphipoda, Niphargidae), ZooKeys, 760, 113-141, doi:10.3897/zookeys.760.24978, Institutional Repository
Fišer, C.; Konec, M.; Alther, R.; Švara, V.; Altermatt, F. (2017) Taxonomic, phylogenetic and ecological diversity of Niphargus (Amphipoda: Crustacea) in the Hölloch cave system (Switzerland), Systematics and Biodiversity, 15(3), 218-237, doi:10.1080/14772000.2016.1249112, Institutional Repository
Robinson, C. T.; Thompson, C.; Lods-Crozet, B.; Alther, R. (2016) Chironomidae diversity in high elevation streams in the Swiss Alps, Fundamental and Applied Limnology, 188(3), 201-213, doi:10.1127/fal/2016/0891, Institutional Repository
Robinson, C. T.; Alther, R.; Leys, M.; Moran, S.; Thompson, C. (2015) A note on the trophic structure of alpine streams in the Wind River Mountains, Wyoming, USA, Fundamental and Applied Limnology, 187(1), 43-54, doi:10.1127/fal/2015/0730, Institutional Repository

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Address

E-Mail: roman.alther@eawag.ch
Phone: +41 58 765 5638
Fax: +41 58 765 5802
Address: Eawag
Überlandstrasse 133
8600 Dübendorf
Office: BU G08

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Research Focus

  • Amphipoda
  • Community ecology
  • Spatial dynamics

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