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Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies

Barbara Koenig

Research interests

Animal behaviour; social evolution; social behaviour; social selection; energetics and immunology of lactation; kin recognition; conservation biology; animal welfare of lab and zoo animals


Education and professional positions

since 2020 Professor Emeritus
2015 - 2019 Secretary General, International Council of Ethology (ICE)
2012 - 2016 Managing Director, Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich, Switzerland
2012 - 2020 Full Professor in Zoology, Animal Behaviour, University of Zurich, Switzerland
2003 - 2004 President of the German Zoological Society (DZG e.V.)
1996 - 2012 Associate Professor in Zoology, Animal Behavior, University of Zurich, Switzerland
1996 Visiting Scientist at the Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore, India
1996 Heisenberg Fellow of the German Science Foundation, Germany
1995 - 1996 Oberassistentin in Zoology, University of Würzburg, Germany
1995 Habilitation in Zoology at the University of Würzburg, Germany
1989 - 1995 Research assistant at the University of Würzburg, Germany (K.E. Linsenmair)
1988 - 1989 Free-lance translator of scientific textbooks
1985 - 1988 Postdoctoral Research Assistant at the University of Basel, Switzerland (S.C. Stearns)
1981 - 1985 Ph.D. Thesis (summa cum laude), University of Konstanz, Germany (Supervisor: H. Markl)
1980 - 1981 Graduate research student at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia (J.M. Cullen)
1974 - 1979 Study of biology (Diploma), University Konstanz, Germany

Selected publications

See full publication list on Google Scholar.

  • Ferrari M., Lindholm AK., Ozgul A., Oli MK., König B. (2022). Cooperation by necessity: condition- and density-dependent reproductive tactics of female house mice. Communications Biology, 5:348. DOI: 10.1038/s42003-022-03267-2
  • Evans JC., Lindholm AK., König B. (2021). Long-term overlap of social and genetic structure in free-ranging house mice reveals dynamic seasonal and group size effects. Current Zoology 67(1): 59-69. Published online: 18 June 2020. DOI: 10.1093/cz/zoaa030. Cover photo
  • Manser A., König B., Lindholm AK. (2020). Polyandry blocks gene drive in a wild house mouse population. Nature Communications, 11:5590. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-18967-8
  • Lopes PC., König B. (2020). Wild mice with different social network sizes vary in brain gene expression. BMC Genomics 21: 506. Published online: 22 July 2020. DOI: 10.1186/s12864-020-06911-5
  • König B., Lindholm AK., Lopes PC., Dobay A., Steinert S., Buschmann FJ-U. (2015). A system for automatic recording of social behavior in a free-living wild house mouse population. Animal Biotelemetry, 3(1):39. DOI: 10.1186/s40317-015-0069-0

Weiterführende Informationen

Barbara König

Barbara König

Professor Emerita

Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
University of Zurich
Winterthurerstrasse 190
8057 Zurich

Office: WIG-E-08
Phone: +41 44 635 5270

Multi media

Recent publications

Carlitz EHD., Lindholm AK., Gao W., Kirschbaum C., König B. (2022). Steroid hormones in hair and fresh wounds reveal sex specific costs of reproductive engagement and reproductive success in wild house mice (Mus musculus domesticus). Hormones and Behavior, 138:105102. Published online: 05 January 2022. DOI: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2021.105102.

Evans JC., Lindholm AK., König B. (2021). Family dynamics reveal that female house mice preferentially breed in their maternal community. Behavioral Ecology. Published online: 17 November 2021. DOI: 10.1093/beheco/arab128.

Bond ML., Lee DE., Ozgul A., Farine DR., König B. (2021). Leaving by staying: Social dispersal in giraffes. Journal of Animal Ecology, 90(12):2755-2766. Published online: 19 September 2021. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.13582. Featured Article in “Research Highlight: Social dispersal in giraffes” (by Börger, L).

Bond ML., Lee DE., Farine DR., Ozgul A., König B. (2021). Sociability increases survival of adult female giraffes. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B: Biological Sciences, 288(1944):20202770. Published online: 10 February 2021. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2020.2770.

Gerber N*., Auclair Y*., König B., Lindholm AK. (2021). Population Density and Temperature Influence the Return on Maternal Investment in Wild House Mice. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 8:602359. Published online: 2 February 2021. DOI: 10.3389/fevo.2020.602359. *joint first authors