Public outreach


St John’s College’s announcement of my Branco Weiss Fellowship.

Our newest Nature paper is in the news at the University of Bern and at EAWAG.

I participated in a BBC radio program on species and hybridisation:

The local newspaper of Bergamo, Italy featured our TREE review on polymorphisms because we included a damselfly photo of one of their famous photographer Fabrizio Daminelli.

A popular science article on my work came out in the Johnian, a journal of St John’s College, Cambridge.

The press release on my 2019 Nature Communications paper was picked up by many newspaper all around the world. Unfortunately, they also simplified some parts in a way that makes it wrong. I have also written a “Behind the paper” article on this paper. Check it out, it has lots of nice photos!

Our TREE review on “Combinatorial mechanisms in rapid speciation and adaptive radiation” was featured in Quanta magazine.

A Science article on my work with Ole Seehausen can be found here.

The press release on the 2017 Nature Communications paper was picked up by a large number of newspapers, including NZZ, Bund, Berner Zeitung, 20Minuten, and Tagesanzeiger and it was featured on the University of Bern and EAWAG homepages. Read the original press release here (available in German, English, and French). It has also been featured in a short movie on Discovery Channel Canada. More information on public outreach about this publication can be found here.

The press release on the 2016 PloS Genetics paper on the rapid speciation of Lake Constance sticklebacks (David Marques is first author) was published in multiple newspapers. The original press release is available in three languages here.

Popular science talks

  • May 2020: Mix and sort: How new species can arise through interbreeding between species (Talk for alumni of St John’s College, Cambridge, UK)
  • October 2019: What can cichlid fish and butterflies teach us about the evolution of biodiversity and sustainability? (Talk for the Beaufort Society, Cambridge, UK)
  • April 2017: Explosive Artenbildung bei Buntbarschen (Talk at the awards ceremony of the Swiss Biology Olympiads, Bern, CH)

Swiss Biology Olympiads

The “Swiss Biology Olympiads” is a competition for high school students all around the world with a strong interest in Biology. With the preparatory week and the three exam sessions, we hope to motivate and fascinate the young students with the most up-to-date classes, work in the lab and challenge them with questions that require them to deduce the answers by combining the facts they have learned. I am part of the team of young scientists and biology students teaching and coaching them with great enthusiasm. The four high school students that perform best at the Swiss Biology Olympiads get the chance to travel to another country for the International Biology Olympiads. There they meet and compete against students from all around the world with a strong interest in biology. Last year, I was a jury member at the International Biology Olympiads in Vietnam.

Rendez-vous Forschung

The yearly Swiss conference about ecology, evolution and systematics biology17 took place at my home University in Bern this year. I was part of the organization team and head of the awards jury. In addition to the conference which aims to foster discussion among scientists, I am co-organizing a public outreach event to facilitate discussion between scientists and the public. Interested people learned more about the research at Swiss Universities and scientists learned to explain their research in a simple way. The format of the event was a “science-public speed-dating event”. At each table, a scientist was joined by three to four members of the general public. Like in a true speed-dating event, every 10 minutes, a bell rang and the public moved from one table to the next. At the end, the participants had heard about a diversity of topics covered at the biology17 meeting. Due to the large interest, we offered two sessions with 10 scientists and 35-40 public participants each. The feedback was so overwhelmingly positive that we will likely offer it again next year.

We also performed a live “scientific speed-dating” on the radio on the day of the event: