Main areas of research
My research focuses on patterns of speciation and eco-morphological diversification during adaptive radiation, addressed by a combination of genomic and comparative morphological approaches using East African cichlid species flocks as model system. Thereby the focus lies on the evolution of critical adaptive traits, shaped by the combined action of natural and sexual selection. The role of hybridization events boosting the pace of speciation is also topic of his research. The documentation of the Central European biodiversity is a second focus of research, manifesting in a leading role in the project initiative Austrian Barcode of Life (ABOL), his membership in the Commission for Interdisciplinary Ecological Studies of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and his commitment in the editorial boards of Bioinformatics and Ecology Series of the OEAW, Hydrobiologia and Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research.
1997 Habilitation, Zoology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Innsbruck, Austria
Thesis: Molecular versus phenotypic evolution: Ecomorphological diversification and speciation
1987—1990 Ph.D., Department of Zoology, University of Innsbruck, Austria.
Thesis: Comparative physiology and ethology of herbivorous fishes
1984—1986 M.Sc., Department of Zoology, University of Innsbruck, Austria
Thesis: The effects of inhibitor proteins in wheat on the activity of intestinal amylase in carp and trout in in-vitro experiments
1979—1983 B.Sc., Department of Biology, University of Innsbruck, Austria
2018— Department Head, Department of Biology, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, Austria
2004—2018 Department Head, Department of Zoology, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, Austria
2002—present Professor, Department of Zoology, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, Austria
2002—2004 Head of Biodiversity and Evolution Section, Department of Zoology, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, Austria
1998—2001 Associate Professor (Universitätsdozent, A. Univ.-Prof.), Department of Zoology and Limnology, University of Innsbruck, Austria
1995—1998 Assistant Professor (Universitätsassistent), Department of Zoology and Limnology, University of Innsbruck, Austria
1993—1995 Research Assistant Professor (Vertragsassistent), Department of Zoology and Limnology, University of Innsbruck, Austria
1993—1995 Head of Molecular Evolutionary Biology Laboratory, Department of Zoology and Limnology, University of Innsbruck, Austria
1992—1993 Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Ecology and Evolution, State University of New York, USA
Host: Jeffrey Levinton
1991—1992 Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Ecology and Evolution, State University of New York, USA
Host: Axel Meyer
Invitations to organize or present at scientific conferences (most important)
Dec. 2017 The genomic Evolution of key adaptive traits - utilizing the potential of non-model organisms – sGENEVA, iDIV Leipzig (co-organizer with M. Schlegel)
Sept. 2015 Meeting of the German Zoological Society, Graz (host and organizer)
Sept. 2015 Organizer of the Meeting of the German Zoological Society, Graz
Nov. 2013 NOBIS Conference, Vienna
Mar. 2009 Conservation Biology Meetings, Luxembourg
Sept. 2009 SIAL Meetings, Ohrid (invited speaker and member of the scientific board)
Oct. 2009 DIVERSITAS OSC2 – Biodiversity and Society Meetings, Cape Town
Academic prizes and awards (most important)
1983 and 1984 Stipends for excellent students (“Leistungsstipendium”) of the University of Innsbruck
1991 – 1992 Erwin Schrödinger Post-doctoral Fellowship of the Austrian Science Fund
1992 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow, Course on molecular Evolution at UCLA organized by Jim Lake
2004 - Gentechnik-Kommission (National Commission for Genome Technology, scientific board)
2008 - Corresponding Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OEAW)
2013 - Austrian Barcode of Life (scientific board, HRSM-project coordinator)
2015 - Nationale Biodiversitätskommission (National Commission of Biodiversity, scientific board)
2018 - Member of the Doctoral Academy “Ecology and Evolution in Changing Environments”, Univ. Graz
2019 - Member of the “Profilbildender Bereich” Climate Change Graz
Editorial Boards, Peer-review activities (most important)
Member of the Editorial Board of Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research.
Member of the Editorial Board of Hydrobiologia.
Editor of Biosystematics and Ecology Series, Austrian Academy of Sciences OEAW/KIÖS www.oeaw.ac.at/kioes/biosystematics.htm
Reviews for Science, Nature, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, Molecular Biology and Evolution, Systematic Biology, Molecular Ecology, Genome Biology …
Funded research projects (most important)
Dec. 2004 Grant No. 17680-B06 of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) – “The role of divergent natural selection in the adaptive radiation of Lake Tanganyika and Malawi fishes” as PI.
Oct. 2005 Eurpean Science Fund EuroDiversity project 05_EDIV_FP237- MOLARCH -Molecular archives of climatic history: exploring patterns of genomic differentiation in endemic species radiations of ancient lakes.
Oct. 2008 Grant No. 20994-B03 of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) “Natural selection – driving force of adaptive radiation?” as PI
Jan. 2011 Grant No. 22737-B09 of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) “Genomic sequencing of two Lake Tanganyika cichlid fish” as PI.
Jan. 2014 Project initiative ABOL of the Ministry of Science and Technology – “Austrian Barcode of Life”; http://www.abol.ac.at/ (co-applicant, member of the steering committee).
Jan. 2017 Aufbau von universitären DNA-Barcoding-Pipelines für ABOL – der österreichischen Biodiversitätsinitiative „Austrian Barcode of Life“ (HRSM-Project, Lead: University of Graz, Project coordinator).
March 2017 Grant No. P29838-B29 of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) “Evolution of developmental gene regulation shaping trophic morphology in African cichlids” as PI.
International cooperation partners in the last five years
Axel Meyer – University of Constance, Germany
Walter Salzburger – University of Basel, Switzerland
Michale Taborsky – University of Berne
Ole Seehausen – University of Berne
Erik Verheyen – Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Univ. Antwerp, Belgium
Norihiro Okada – University of Taiwan
Cyprian Katongo – University of Zambia, Zambia
Graduate Student supervision
45 Diploma Students and 18 Ph-D students