Short CV/Education and training

  • 1995 – 2000
    Study of Biology, University of Bern, Switzerland

  • 2000
    MSc in Biology, University of Bern, Switzerland

  • 2005
    PhD in Evolutionary Ecology, University of Bern, Switzerland

  • 2006 – 2008
    Postdoc Fellow (SNSF, Janggen-Pöhn Foundation, Australian Research Council (APD), University of New South Wales & Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

  • 2009 – 2010
    SNSF Advanced Postdoctoral Fellow, Lund University, Sweden

  • Since 2011
    Assistant Professor in Evolutionary Ecology, Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich, Switzerland

Selected publications

  • Tschirren, B. (2015) Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato infection pressure shapes innate immune gene evolution in natural rodent populations across Europe. Biology Letters: doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2015.0263

  • Tschirren, B., Postma, E., Gustafsson, L., Groothuis, T.G.G., Doligez, B. (2014) Natural selection acts in opposite ways on correlated hormonal mediators of prenatal maternal effects in a wild bird population. Ecology Letters, 17: 1310-1315. doi: 10.1111/ele.12339

  • Tschirren, B., Andersson, M., Scherman, K., Westerdahl, H., Mittl, P.R.E., Råberg, L. (2013) Polymorphisms at the innate immune receptor TLR2 are associated with Borrelia infection in a wild rodent population. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 280 (1759): doi: 10.1098/rspb.2013.0364

  • Tschirren, B., Postma, E., Rutstein, A.N., Griffith, S.C. (2012) When mothers make sons sexy: maternal effects contribute to the increased sexual attractiveness of extra-pair offspring. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 279 (1731): 1233-1240. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2011.1543

  • Tschirren, B., Råberg, L., Westerdahl, H. (2011) Signatures of selection acting on the innate immunity gene Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) during the evolutionary history of rodents. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 24 (6), 1232-1240. doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2011.02254.x

  • Tschirren, B., Richner, H. (2006) Parasites shape the optimal investment in immunity. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 273, 1773-1777. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2006.3524

Complete list of publications

Selected projects

  • Genetics and ecology of wildlife disease

  • Causes and evolutionary consequences of maternal effects

  • The role of transgenerational effects in the adaptation to changing environments

  • Ecophysiology of reproduction

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Associate Editor for Proceedings B

  • Associate Editor for Functional Ecology

  • Consulting Editor for Animal Behaviour

Additional qualifications

  • Teaching diploma in Biology, 2001

  • Postgraduate Studies in Applied Statistics, 2000 – 2001


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  1. Natural Protection Against Lyme Borreliosis

    Like humans, mice can become infected with Borrelia. But not all mice coming into contact with these bacteria contract Lyme disease: Animals with a particular gene variant are immune to the bacteria, as scientists from the universities of Zurich and Lund showed.