For a long time I am interested in the tremendous diversity of insects including all its adaptations. During my master thesis I investigated phytophagous and carnivorous beetles (Chrysomelidae, Curculionoidea and Carabidae) in their suitability in ecology as indicators for certain grassland types. Simultaneously I continued to extend my knowledge in the field of weevils (Curculionoidea), this regarding faunal aspects (Swiss fauna) as well as systematic aspects (Mediterranean region, Macaronesia). The phytophagous-host plant specificity, the adaptions to the host plant substances and the coevolutive aspects are fascinating.
But also biogeographical aspects of narrowly distributed species – especially in the Alps – offer a highly interesting field of activity. The fruitful collaboration with colleagues resulted in nice outcomes in the field of adaptive radiation. To enable deeper insights into evolution, to train my skills in the molecular methods that directly assess the molecule of all life, DNA, I am working during my doctoral thesis on long legged flies (Diptera: Dolichopodidae). Thereby I investigate the phylogeny of this taxon, beginning with the reexamination of the monophyletic hypothesis of Dolichopodinae with molecular methods based on species from Central Europe. Then further subfamilies are reexamined for the first time with molecular methods and finally the results are applied to the whole taxon of Dolichopodidae. A well supported phylogeny of this taxon provides the base for hypotheses concerning evolutionary relevance of traits in morphology, behaviour patterns, mating systems, etc.
Education and Professional Positions
|2008 - 2012||Ph.D. student at Zoological Museum, Department of Evolutionary Biology & Environmental Studies, University of Zurich, Switzerland|
|2005 - 2006||Teacher activity in Bern and Ftan|
|2004 - 2008||Assistant at different institutions (University of Bern, National History Museum Bern, University of Neuchâtel) as well as freelancer in various projects (Red List IUCN, LANAG, BiodiverCity, GVO etc.)|
|2000 - 2005||M. Sc. in zoology (entomology) at the University of Bern|