Philipp Becker

Table of contents

Research Interests

Dispersal determines the distribution of organisms in space and time. A main goal of my work is to understand how selection shapes dispersal behavior and how sex-specific patterns have evolved. I am interested in estimating the roles of genes and environment in shaping this key life history trait that plays such a profound role in evolutionary biology, population genetics, ecology, and conservation biology.

Moreover, I focus on the evolutionary interplay between dispersal and inbreeding. Dispersing from the natal site may reduce the likelihood of encountering relatives and choosing a related individual for mate. Therefore, natal dispersal is hypothesized to be of importance for the avoidance of inbreeding, i.e. mating between relatives.

For my research, it is essential to quantify dispersal and inbreeding in wild populations which are subject to natural selection. I use a long-term dataset on several Dipper populations (Cinclus cinclus) in the proximity of Zurich which are the result of the extensive field work of Johann Hegelbach. Long-term pedigree data and DNA samples allow working at the interface of evolutionary biology and population genetics. In addition, using modeling approaches I aim at formulating theoretical hypotheses which can be tested with empirical data.


Education and Professional Positions

2010 - 2014 Ph.D. student at the Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich
2010 Diploma in Biology, University of Würzburg, Germany
2004 - 2010 Study of Biology, University of Würzburg, Germany