Titleimage: Institute of Ecology and Evolution

The Institute of Ecology & Evolution at the University of Bern is devoted to research and teaching in all aspects of ecology and evolution, and aim to provide a scientific basis for the understanding and preservation of our living world. We study the mechanisms by which organisms respond to and interact with their environment, including phenotypic responses at individual level, change in gene frequencies at population level, change in species composition and abundance at community level, and the functioning of whole ecosystems. 

The institute has core research facilities, including several different field stations in Switzerland, extensive aquarium and animal husbandry facilities, and state-of-the-art molecular genetics laboratories. It also maintains institutional bonds with the Eawag Centre of Ecology, Evolution & Biogeochemistry, the Natural History Museum of BernInstitute of Bee Health, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, the Swiss Ornithological Institute, and the Doctoral School in Ecology & Evolution of Western Switzerland.

News and Events


Evolutionary Ecology and Aquatic Ecology

David Marques and Katie Peichel collaborated on a comprehensive review of the lessons learned about the genetic and molecular basis of phenotypic diversity using stickleback fish as a model system. These studies in sticklebacks have provided answers to long-standing questions about the effect sizes and genomic distribution of mutations involved in adaptation, the role of regulatory mutations in phenotypic evolution, and the genetic and molecular basis of repeated phenotypic evolution. This review was published in a special issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society on “Evo-devo in the genomics era, and the origins of morphological diversity”.


New professor of evolutionary biology

Prof Dr Catherine (Katie) Peichel started as a new professor of evolutionary biology at the Institute of Ecology & Evolution on August 1st. Katie is a geneticist with interests in the genetic and genomic changes that underlie phenotypic evolution, including adaptation, sex chromosome evolution, behaviour and speciation. Before joining the IEE, Katie led a research group at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle for many years, and she was an affiliate professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Washington. In Bern Katie will continue this line of research. She is the successor of Heinz Richner who retired last year.
Welcome Katie!


(PDF, 294KB)

Dr Buri is the third member of our research group who has been considered for this award in the past eight years.

On March 17th 2016 at 17:15 the official awards ceremony will take place in Bern at the UniS building (Schanzeneckstrasse 1, main lecture hall).



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