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Dr Barbara Tschirren

Dr Barbara Tschirren

Senior Lecturer in Evolutionary Ecology

 +44 (0) 1326214388

 The Farmhouse 

 

The Farmhouse, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Cornwall, TR10 9FE, UK

 Office hours:

During term, my office hours are on Tuesdays from 14:00 - 15:00  and on Friday from 9:30 - 10:30.

Overview

Broad Research Specialisms:

In my research I adopt an integrative approach to advance our understanding of eco-evolutionary processes in natural populations. I do this by applying ideas and techniques from complementary fields, such as behavioural and evolutionary ecology, ecophysiology, and genetics / genomics, and by integrating different organizational levels, from genes to populations, to understand how (proximately) and why (ultimately) diversity is maintained in the natural world and how animals adapt to their (changing) environment.

******Open PhD position****** on the link between biodiversity and Lyme disease risk, in collaboration with BTO, PHE and Cardiff University

Qualifications

PhD Biology, University of Bern, Switzerland (2005)
MSc Higher Education, University of Bern, Switzerland (2001)
MSc Biology, University of Bern, Switzerland (2000)

Career

Senior Lecturer of Evolutionary Ecology, University of Exeter, UK (2017 –  present)

Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) Assistant Professor, University of Zurich, Switzerland (2011 – 2016)

SNSF Advanced Postdoctoral Fellow, Lund University, Sweden (2008 – 2010)

Australian Research Council (APD) Postdoctoral Fellow, Macquarie University, Australia (2008)

SNSF & Janggen-Pohn Postdoctoral Fellow, University of New South Wales, Australia (2005 – 2007)

PhD, University of Bern, Switzerland (2002 – 2005)

Links

Research group links

Research

Research interests

  • Evolutionary and behavioural ecology
  • Ecophysiology
  • Molecular Ecology
  • Life-history evolution
  • Phenotypic plasticity
  • Transgenerational effects
  • Adaptation to changing environments
  • Immunoecology and immunogenetics
  • Host-parasite interactions
  • Wildlife disease

Research projects

1) Host adaptation to emerging pathogens: Evolution in Action

A main research focus in my group is on the ecology and genetics of host-parasite interactions and wildlife disease. We combine field-based work in natural mammal and bird populations with genetic and genomic approaches in the lab to address the questions:

-    How selective forces shape the immune system of wild vertebrates

-    Why individual hosts as well as host populations differ in their resistance and tolerance to parasites

-    How environmental variables (such as climate) influence the eco-evolutionary dynamics of host-parasite systems

Understanding why individual hosts as well as host populations differ in their resistance and tolerance to parasites, and how this affects the evolution of parasite virulence and host life histories are fundamental goals in eco-evolutionary research. At the same time, such insights can contribute to an evolutionary framework for the management of human and wildlife diseases.

Borreliosis, or Lyme disease, is the most common vector-borne illness in the Northern hemisphere. The disease is caused by spirochetes of the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex and is transmitted by ticks, in particular Ixodes ricinus. However, humans are infected only accidentally; the natural hosts of Borrelia are rodents and birds. Due to climate change, Borrelia is currently undergoing a range expansion and during the last decades host populations at higher elevation and latitude have become newly exposed to Borrelia. This provides a unique opportunity to investigate rapid evolutionary changes in host populations in response to an emerging pathogen.

I have set up study sites along replicated, elevational gradients in the Alps, where we monitor and sample rodents, ticks and Borrelia, and record environmental variables. This set-up allows me to compare host populations that have a long co-evolutionary history with ticks and Borrelia, populations that have been newly exposed during the last decades, and populations that are still tick- and Borrelia-free. We genotype rodents, ticks and Borrelia using a combination of candidate gene and next generation sequencing approaches and use these data to test for signatures of recent positive selection in the host genome, identify genomic candidate regions involved in Borrelia resistance, test for host genotype x pathogen genotype interactions, as well as population differentiation and dispersal patterns of host, vector, Borrelia, and their symbionts.

2) Transgenerational effects: proximate causes and ultimate consequences

A second research focus in my group is on the role of early-life experiences, and in particular of prenatal effects, in shaping an organism’s life. Because the prenatal environment is almost always provided by the mother, we aim at understanding:

-    How (proximately) maternal effects are mediated and why (ultimately) different maternal reproductive behaviours arise and are maintained

-    What the consequences of transgenerational effects are on the level of the individual and the population

-    How environmental predictability and directional and stochastic environmental change influence the adaptive value of transgenerational effects

To tackle these questions, we combine long-term population monitoring and experimental manipulations in natural bird populations with ecophysiological and genomic techniques to obtain an in-depth understanding of the physiological, genetic and transcriptomic basis of maternal reproductive behaviours, as well as their morphological, physiological and long-term fitness consequences for the offspring.

Birds make excellent models for the study of prenatal effects because their embryonic development takes place outside of the mother’s body (i.e. in the egg), which simplifies the monitoring and manipulation of the prenatal environment. By combining long-term monitoring data on reproductive success and survival from wild bird populations with longitudinal ecophysiological measures, we test how natural selection acts on maternal investment and, how temporal variation in the strength and direction of natural selection contributes to the maintenance of variation in reproductive behaviour.

Work on these long-term monitoring programs is complemented by field experiments, in which we manipulate environmental conditions experienced by mothers before reproduction and the environmental conditions experienced by their offspring after birth to experimentally test how environmental predictability influences the adaptive value of transgenerational effects, again on a proximate (physiological) and ultimate (fitness) level.

Studying organisms in their natural environment provides important insights into life history trade-offs and the eco-evolutionary dynamics of populations. Some questions, however, and in particular those concerning the genetic and physiological basis underlying life history variation, are extremely difficult or impossible to address in the wild. To fill these gaps, and to complement our work on natural populations, we have established replicated artificial selection lines for divergent maternal investment in captive Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica). We use these selection lines to quantify the behavioural, physiological and morphological consequences of differential maternal investment for the offspring, as well as the costs associated with high reproductive investment for the parents (see Blog post on PhD student Joel Pick's work).

Understanding the architecture and maintenance of genetic variation in complex life history traits is currently a major focus of ecological and evolutionary genetics research (‘life history genomics’) and the quail system provides a unique opportunity to gain insights into the genomic and transcriptomic basis of variation in reproductive behaviour, and the mechanisms underlying evolutionary trade-offs. We are using next generation sequencing approaches to establish why – on the level of DNA sequence and gene expression variation – females differ in their reproductive investment. Goal is to link variation at the DNA sequence level to variation in gene expression, physiological profiles, and, ultimately, the ecological phenotype and reproductive success of individuals with different life history strategies.

Grants/Funding:

2017: Stiftung für wissenschaftliche Forschung Research Grant

2014: Swiss National Science Foundation Assistant Professorship & Research Grant

2014: University of Zurich Infrastructure Grant

2013: University of Zurich Research Priority Program (URPP) ‘Evolution in Action: From Genomes to Ecosystems’ Research Grant

2013: Fonds zur Förderung des akademischen Nachwuchses (FAN) Research Grant

2011: Baugarten Foundation Research Grant

2010: Swiss National Science Foundation Assistant Professorship & Research Grant

2008: Swiss National Science Foundation Advanced Postdoctoral Fellowship

2007: Australian Research Council APD Fellowship & Discovery Research Grant

2006: Janggen-Pöhn Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship

2006: Basel Foundation for Biological Research Grant

2006: German Ethological Society Research Grant

2005: Swiss National Science Foundation Early Career Postdoctoral Fellowship

2005: Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB) Research Grant

Research grants

  • 2013 Fonds zur Forderung des akademischen Nachwuchses (FAN)
    Fonds zur Forderung des akademischen Nachwuchses (FAN)
  • 2013 URPP Evolution in Action
    URPP ‘Evolution in Action: From Genomes to Ecosystems’ Research Grant
  • 2013 Swiss National Science Foundation
    Swiss National Science Foundation Assistant Professorship
  • 2011 Baugarten Foundation
    Baugarten Foundation Research Grant
  • 2009 Swiss National Science Foundation
    Swiss National Science Foundation Assistant Professorship
  • 2008 Swiss National Science Foundation
    Swiss National Science Foundation Advanced Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 2007 Australian Research Council
    Australian Research Council APD Fellowship
  • 2006 Janggen-Pohn Foundation
    Janggen-Pohn Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 2005 Swiss National Science Foundation
    Swiss National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship

Publications

Key publications | Publications by category | Publications by year

Key publications


Cornetti L, Hilfiker D, Lemoine M, Tschirren B (2018). Small-scale spatial variation in infection risk shapes the evolution of a Borrelia resistance gene in wild rodents. Molecular Ecology Abstract.  Full text.
Pick JL, Hutter P, Tschirren B (2017). Divergent artificial selection for female reproductive investment has a sexually concordant effect on male reproductive success. Evolution Letters, 1(4), 222-228. Full text.
Ihle KE, Hutter P, Tschirren B (2017). Increased prenatal maternal investment reduces inbreeding depression in offspring. Proc Biol Sci, 284(1860). Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Ebneter C, Pick JL, Tschirren B (2016). A trade-off between reproductive investment and maternal cerebellum size in a precocial bird. Biology Letters, 12(12). Abstract.  Full text.
Tschirren B, Ziegler AK, Pick JL, Okuliarová M, Zeman M, Giraudeau M (2016). Matrilineal inheritance of a key mediator of prenatal maternal effects. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 283(1838). Abstract.  Full text.
Tschirren B (2015). Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato infection pressure shapes innate immune gene evolution in natural rodent populations across Europe. Biology Letters, 11(5). Abstract.

Publications by category


Journal articles

Råberg L, Hagström Å, Andersson M, Bartkova S, Scherman K, Strandh M, Tschirren B (In Press). Evolution of antigenic diversity in the tick-transmitted bacterium Borrelia afzelii: a role for host specialization?. J Evol Biol, 30(5), 1034-1041. Abstract.  Author URL.
Giraudeau M, Ziegler A-K, McGraw K, Okuliarova M, Zeman M, Tschirren B (2018). In ovo yolk carotenoid and testosterone levels interactively influence female transfer of yolk antioxidants to her eggs. Biology Letters, 14(6). Abstract.  Full text.
Cornetti L, Hilfiker D, Lemoine M, Tschirren B (2018). Small-scale spatial variation in infection risk shapes the evolution of a Borrelia resistance gene in wild rodents. Molecular Ecology Abstract.  Full text.
Pick JL, Hutter P, Tschirren B (2017). Divergent artificial selection for female reproductive investment has a sexually concordant effect on male reproductive success. Evolution Letters, 1(4), 222-228. Full text.
Ihle KE, Hutter P, Tschirren B (2017). Increased prenatal maternal investment reduces inbreeding depression in offspring. Proc Biol Sci, 284(1860). Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Giraudeau M, Ziegler A-K, Pick JL, Ducatez S, Canale CI, Tschirren B (2017). Interactive effects of yolk testosterone and carotenoid on prenatal growth and offspring physiology in a precocial bird. BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY, 28(1), 31-38. Author URL.  Full text.
Ebneter C, Pick JL, Tschirren B (2016). A trade-off between reproductive investment and maternal cerebellum size in a precocial bird. Biology Letters, 12(12). Abstract.  Full text.
Pick JL, Hutter P, Ebneter C, Ziegler AK, Giordano M, Tschirren B (2016). Artificial selection reveals the energetic expense of producing larger eggs. Frontiers in Zoology, 13(1). Abstract.  Full text.
Pick JL, Ebneter C, Hutter P, Tschirren B (2016). Disentangling genetic and prenatal maternal effects on offspring size and survival. American Naturalist, 188(6), 628-639. Abstract.  Full text.
Laine VN, Gossmann TI, Schachtschneider KM, Garroway CJ, Madsen O, Verhoeven KJF, De Jager V, Megens HJ, Warren WC, Minx P, et al (2016). Evolutionary signals of selection on cognition from the great tit genome and methylome. Nature Communications, 7 Abstract.
Tschirren B, Ziegler A-K, Canale CI, Okuliarová M, Zeman M, Giraudeau M (2016). High Yolk Testosterone Transfer is Associated with an Increased Female Metabolic Rate. Physiol Biochem Zool, 89(5), 448-452. Abstract.  Author URL.
Cornetti L, Lemoine M, Hilfiker D, Morger J, Reeh K, Tschirren B (2016). Higher genetic diversity on mountain tops: the role of historical and contemporary processes in shaping genetic variation in the bank vole. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 118(2), 233-244. Abstract.
Pick JL, Hutter P, Tschirren B (2016). In search of genetic constraints limiting the evolution of egg size: Direct and correlated responses to artificial selection on a prenatal maternal effector. Heredity, 116(6), 542-549. Abstract.
Giraudeau M, Ziegler A-K, Tschirren B (2016). Long-term effect of yolk carotenoid levels on testis size in a precocial bird. Biol Lett, 12(4). Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Tschirren B, Ziegler AK, Pick JL, Okuliarová M, Zeman M, Giraudeau M (2016). Matrilineal inheritance of a key mediator of prenatal maternal effects. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 283(1838). Abstract.  Full text.
Tschirren B (2015). Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato infection pressure shapes innate immune gene evolution in natural rodent populations across Europe. Biology Letters, 11(5). Abstract.
Tschirren B (2015). Differential effects of maternal yolk androgens on male and female offspring: a role for sex-specific selection?. PLoS ONE, 10(7). Abstract.
Morger J, Råberg L, Hille SM, Helsen S, Štefka J, Al-Sabi MM, Kapel CMO, Mappes T, Essbauer S, Ulrich RG, et al (2015). Distinct haplotype structure at the innate immune receptor Toll-like receptor 2 across bank vole populations and lineages in Europe. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 116(1), 124-133. Abstract.
Giordano M, Costantini D, Pick JL, Tschirren B (2015). Female oxidative status, egg antioxidant protection and eggshell pigmentation: a supplemental feeding experiment in great tits. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 69(5), 777-785. Abstract.
Giordano M, Costantini D, Tschirren B (2015). Sex-specific effects of prenatal and postnatal nutritional conditions on the oxidative status of great tit nestlings. Oecologia, 177(1), 123-131. Abstract.
Giordano M, Groothuis TGG, Tschirren B (2014). Interactions between prenatal maternal effects and posthatching conditions in a wild bird population. Behavioral Ecology, 25(6), 1459-1466. Abstract.
Tschirren B, Postma E, Gustafsson L, Groothuis TGG, 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(10), 1310-1315. Abstract.
Morger J, Bajnok J, Boyce K, Craig PS, Rogan MT, Lun ZR, Hide G, Tschirren B (2014). Naturally occurring Toll-like receptor 11 (TLR11) and Toll-like receptor 12 (TLR12) polymorphisms are not associated with Toxoplasma gondii infection in wild wood mice. Infection, Genetics and Evolution, 26, 180-184. Abstract.
Postma E, Siitari H, Schwabl H, Richner H, Tschirren B (2014). The multivariate egg: Quantifying within- and among-clutch correlations between maternally derived yolk immunoglobulins and yolk androgens using multivariate mixed models. Oecologia, 174(3), 631-638. Abstract.
Romero-Diaz C, Richner H, Granado-Lorencio F, Tschirren B, Fitze PS (2013). Independent sources of condition dependency and multiple pathways determine a composite trait: Lessons from carotenoid-based plumage colouration. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 26(3), 635-646. Abstract.
Tschirren B, Andersson M, Scherman K, Westerdahl H, Mittl PRE, 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: Biological Sciences, 280(1759). Abstract.
Tschirren B, Andersson M, Scherman K, Westerdahl H, Råberg L (2012). Contrasting patterns of diversity and population differentiation at the innate immunity gene toll-like receptor 2 (tlr2) in two sympatric rodent species. Evolution, 66(3), 720-731. Abstract.
Tschirren B, Postma E, Rutstein AN, Griffith SC (2012). When mothers make sons sexy: maternal effects contribute to the increased sexual attractiveness of extra-pair offspring. Proc Biol Sci, 279(1731), 1233-1240. Abstract.  Author URL.
Griffith SC, Pariser EC, Tschirren B, Astheimer LB (2011). Resource allocation across the egg laying sequence in the wild zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata. Journal of Avian Biology, 42(6), 480-484. Abstract.
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. J Evol Biol, 24(6), 1232-1240. Abstract.  Author URL.
Jacot A, Romero-Diaz C, Tschirren B, Richner H, Fitze PS (2010). Dissecting carotenoid from structural components of carotenoid-based coloration: a field experiment with great tits (Parus major). Am Nat, 176(1), 55-62. Abstract.  Author URL.
Tschirren B, Bensch S (2010). Genetics of personalities: no simple answers for complex traits. Mol Ecol, 19(4), 624-626. Abstract.  Author URL.
Tschirren B, Postma E (2010). Quantitative genetics research in Zebra Finches: Where we are and where to go. Emu, 110(3), 268-278. Abstract.
Tschirren B, Sendecka J, Groothuis TGG, Gustafsson L, Doligez B (2009). Heritable variation in maternal yolk hormone transfer in a wild bird population. Am Nat, 174(4), 557-564. Abstract.  Author URL.
Bischoff LL, Tschirren B, Richner H (2009). Long-term effects of early parasite exposure on song duration and singing strategy in great tits. Behavioral Ecology, 20(2), 265-270. Abstract.
Tschirren B, Rutstein AN, Postma E, Mariette M, Griffith SC (2009). Short- and long-term consequences of early developmental conditions: a case study on wild and domesticated zebra finches. J Evol Biol, 22(2), 387-395. Abstract.  Author URL.
Pitala N, Ruuskanen S, Laaksonen T, Doligez B, Tschirren B, Gustafsson L (2009). The effects of experimentally manipulated yolk androgens on growth and immune function of male and female nestling collared flycatchers Ficedula albicollis. Journal of Avian Biology, 40(2), 225-230. Abstract.
Tschirren B, Siitari H, Saladin V, Richner H (2009). Transgenerational immunity in a bird-ectoparasite system: Do maternally transferred antibodies affect parasite fecundity or the offspring's susceptibility to fleas?. Ibis, 151(1), 160-170. Abstract.
Ruuskanen S, Doligez B, Tschirren B, Pitala N, Gustafsson L, Groothuis TGG, Laaksonen T (2009). Yolk androgens do not appear to mediate sexual conflict over parental investment in the collared flycatcher Ficedula albicollis. Horm Behav, 55(4), 514-519. Abstract.  Author URL.
Tschirren B, Richner H (2008). Differential effects of yolk hormones on maternal and paternal contribution to parental care. Animal Behaviour, 75(6), 1989-1994. Abstract.
Fitze PS, Tschirren B, Gasparini J, Richner H (2007). Carotenoid-based plumage colors and immune function: is there a trade-off for rare carotenoids?. Am Nat, 169 Suppl 1, S137-S144. Abstract.  Author URL.
Tschirren B, Bischoff LL, Saladin V, Richner H (2007). Host condition and host immunity affect parasite fitness in a bird-ectoparasite system. Functional Ecology, 21(2), 372-378. Abstract.
Tschirren B, Fitze PS, Richner H (2007). Maternal modulation of natal dispersal in a passerine bird: an adaptive strategy to cope with parasitism?. Am Nat, 169(1), 87-93. Abstract.  Author URL.
Fitze PS, Tschirren B (2006). No evidence for survival selection on carotenoid-based nestling coloration in great tits (Parus major). J Evol Biol, 19(2), 618-624. Abstract.  Author URL.
Tschirren B, Richner H (2006). Parasites shape the optimal investment in immunity. Proc Biol Sci, 273(1595), 1773-1777. Abstract.  Author URL.
Tschirren B, Fitze PS, Richner H (2005). Carotenoid-based nestling colouration and parental favouritism in the great tit. Oecologia, 143(3), 477-482. Abstract.  Author URL.
Tschirren B, Saladin V, Fitze PS, Schwabl H, Richner H (2005). Maternal yolk testosterone does not modulate parasite susceptibility or immune function in great tit nestlings. Journal of Animal Ecology, 74(4), 675-682. Abstract.
Tschirren B, Richner H, Schwabl H (2004). Ectoparasite-modulated deposition of maternal androgens in great tit eggs. Proc Biol Sci, 271(1546), 1371-1375. Abstract.  Author URL.
Fitze PS, Tschirren B, Richner H (2004). Life history and fitness consequences of ectoparasites. Journal of Animal Ecology, 73(2), 216-226. Abstract.
Tschirren B, Fitze PS, Richner H (2004). Sexual dimorphism in susceptibility to parasites and cell-mediated immunity in great tit nestlings (vol 72, pg 839, 2003). JOURNAL OF ANIMAL ECOLOGY, 73(4), 814-814. Author URL.
Fitze PS, Tschirren B, Richner H (2003). Carotenoid-based colour expression is determined early in nestling life. Oecologia, 137(1), 148-152. Abstract.  Author URL.
Tschirren B, Fitze PS, Richner H (2003). Proximate mechanisms of variation in the carotenoid-based plumage coloration of nestling great tits (Parus major L.). J Evol Biol, 16(1), 91-100. Abstract.  Author URL.
Tschirren B, Fitze PS, Richner H (2003). Sexual dimorphism in susceptibility to parasites and cell-mediated immunity in great tit nestlings. Journal of Animal Ecology, 72(5), 839-845. Abstract.

Conferences

Stier A, Tschirren B, Metclafe N, Monaghan P (2018). Prenatal environment as a modulator of mitochondrial function: new insights from an avian model. Annual Meeting of the Society-for-Integrative-and-Comparative-Biology (SICB). 3rd - 7th Jan 2018.
Giraudeau M, Ziegler AK, Ducatez S, Mcgraw KJ, Tschirren B, Giraudeau M (2017). Interactive and Long-term Effects of Yolk Androgens and Antioxidants in Birds.  Author URL.

Publications by year


In Press

Råberg L, Hagström Å, Andersson M, Bartkova S, Scherman K, Strandh M, Tschirren B (In Press). Evolution of antigenic diversity in the tick-transmitted bacterium Borrelia afzelii: a role for host specialization?. J Evol Biol, 30(5), 1034-1041. Abstract.  Author URL.

2018

Giraudeau M, Ziegler A-K, McGraw K, Okuliarova M, Zeman M, Tschirren B (2018). In ovo yolk carotenoid and testosterone levels interactively influence female transfer of yolk antioxidants to her eggs. Biology Letters, 14(6). Abstract.  Full text.
Stier A, Tschirren B, Metclafe N, Monaghan P (2018). Prenatal environment as a modulator of mitochondrial function: new insights from an avian model. Annual Meeting of the Society-for-Integrative-and-Comparative-Biology (SICB). 3rd - 7th Jan 2018.
Cornetti L, Hilfiker D, Lemoine M, Tschirren B (2018). Small-scale spatial variation in infection risk shapes the evolution of a Borrelia resistance gene in wild rodents. Molecular Ecology Abstract.  Full text.

2017

Pick JL, Hutter P, Tschirren B (2017). Divergent artificial selection for female reproductive investment has a sexually concordant effect on male reproductive success. Evolution Letters, 1(4), 222-228. Full text.
Ihle KE, Hutter P, Tschirren B (2017). Increased prenatal maternal investment reduces inbreeding depression in offspring. Proc Biol Sci, 284(1860). Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Giraudeau M, Ziegler AK, Ducatez S, Mcgraw KJ, Tschirren B, Giraudeau M (2017). Interactive and Long-term Effects of Yolk Androgens and Antioxidants in Birds.  Author URL.
Giraudeau M, Ziegler A-K, Pick JL, Ducatez S, Canale CI, Tschirren B (2017). Interactive effects of yolk testosterone and carotenoid on prenatal growth and offspring physiology in a precocial bird. BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY, 28(1), 31-38. Author URL.  Full text.

2016

Ebneter C, Pick JL, Tschirren B (2016). A trade-off between reproductive investment and maternal cerebellum size in a precocial bird. Biology Letters, 12(12). Abstract.  Full text.
Pick JL, Hutter P, Ebneter C, Ziegler AK, Giordano M, Tschirren B (2016). Artificial selection reveals the energetic expense of producing larger eggs. Frontiers in Zoology, 13(1). Abstract.  Full text.
Pick JL, Ebneter C, Hutter P, Tschirren B (2016). Disentangling genetic and prenatal maternal effects on offspring size and survival. American Naturalist, 188(6), 628-639. Abstract.  Full text.
Laine VN, Gossmann TI, Schachtschneider KM, Garroway CJ, Madsen O, Verhoeven KJF, De Jager V, Megens HJ, Warren WC, Minx P, et al (2016). Evolutionary signals of selection on cognition from the great tit genome and methylome. Nature Communications, 7 Abstract.
Tschirren B, Ziegler A-K, Canale CI, Okuliarová M, Zeman M, Giraudeau M (2016). High Yolk Testosterone Transfer is Associated with an Increased Female Metabolic Rate. Physiol Biochem Zool, 89(5), 448-452. Abstract.  Author URL.
Cornetti L, Lemoine M, Hilfiker D, Morger J, Reeh K, Tschirren B (2016). Higher genetic diversity on mountain tops: the role of historical and contemporary processes in shaping genetic variation in the bank vole. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 118(2), 233-244. Abstract.
Pick JL, Hutter P, Tschirren B (2016). In search of genetic constraints limiting the evolution of egg size: Direct and correlated responses to artificial selection on a prenatal maternal effector. Heredity, 116(6), 542-549. Abstract.
Giraudeau M, Ziegler A-K, Tschirren B (2016). Long-term effect of yolk carotenoid levels on testis size in a precocial bird. Biol Lett, 12(4). Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Tschirren B, Ziegler AK, Pick JL, Okuliarová M, Zeman M, Giraudeau M (2016). Matrilineal inheritance of a key mediator of prenatal maternal effects. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 283(1838). Abstract.  Full text.

2015

Tschirren B (2015). Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato infection pressure shapes innate immune gene evolution in natural rodent populations across Europe. Biology Letters, 11(5). Abstract.
Tschirren B (2015). Differential effects of maternal yolk androgens on male and female offspring: a role for sex-specific selection?. PLoS ONE, 10(7). Abstract.
Morger J, Råberg L, Hille SM, Helsen S, Štefka J, Al-Sabi MM, Kapel CMO, Mappes T, Essbauer S, Ulrich RG, et al (2015). Distinct haplotype structure at the innate immune receptor Toll-like receptor 2 across bank vole populations and lineages in Europe. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 116(1), 124-133. Abstract.
Giordano M, Costantini D, Pick JL, Tschirren B (2015). Female oxidative status, egg antioxidant protection and eggshell pigmentation: a supplemental feeding experiment in great tits. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 69(5), 777-785. Abstract.
Giordano M, Costantini D, Tschirren B (2015). Sex-specific effects of prenatal and postnatal nutritional conditions on the oxidative status of great tit nestlings. Oecologia, 177(1), 123-131. Abstract.

2014

Giordano M, Groothuis TGG, Tschirren B (2014). Interactions between prenatal maternal effects and posthatching conditions in a wild bird population. Behavioral Ecology, 25(6), 1459-1466. Abstract.
Tschirren B, Postma E, Gustafsson L, Groothuis TGG, 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(10), 1310-1315. Abstract.
Morger J, Bajnok J, Boyce K, Craig PS, Rogan MT, Lun ZR, Hide G, Tschirren B (2014). Naturally occurring Toll-like receptor 11 (TLR11) and Toll-like receptor 12 (TLR12) polymorphisms are not associated with Toxoplasma gondii infection in wild wood mice. Infection, Genetics and Evolution, 26, 180-184. Abstract.
Postma E, Siitari H, Schwabl H, Richner H, Tschirren B (2014). The multivariate egg: Quantifying within- and among-clutch correlations between maternally derived yolk immunoglobulins and yolk androgens using multivariate mixed models. Oecologia, 174(3), 631-638. Abstract.

2013

Romero-Diaz C, Richner H, Granado-Lorencio F, Tschirren B, Fitze PS (2013). Independent sources of condition dependency and multiple pathways determine a composite trait: Lessons from carotenoid-based plumage colouration. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 26(3), 635-646. Abstract.
Tschirren B, Andersson M, Scherman K, Westerdahl H, Mittl PRE, 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: Biological Sciences, 280(1759). Abstract.

2012

Tschirren B, Andersson M, Scherman K, Westerdahl H, Råberg L (2012). Contrasting patterns of diversity and population differentiation at the innate immunity gene toll-like receptor 2 (tlr2) in two sympatric rodent species. Evolution, 66(3), 720-731. Abstract.
Tschirren B, Postma E, Rutstein AN, Griffith SC (2012). When mothers make sons sexy: maternal effects contribute to the increased sexual attractiveness of extra-pair offspring. Proc Biol Sci, 279(1731), 1233-1240. Abstract.  Author URL.

2011

Griffith SC, Pariser EC, Tschirren B, Astheimer LB (2011). Resource allocation across the egg laying sequence in the wild zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata. Journal of Avian Biology, 42(6), 480-484. Abstract.
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. J Evol Biol, 24(6), 1232-1240. Abstract.  Author URL.

2010

Jacot A, Romero-Diaz C, Tschirren B, Richner H, Fitze PS (2010). Dissecting carotenoid from structural components of carotenoid-based coloration: a field experiment with great tits (Parus major). Am Nat, 176(1), 55-62. Abstract.  Author URL.
Tschirren B, Bensch S (2010). Genetics of personalities: no simple answers for complex traits. Mol Ecol, 19(4), 624-626. Abstract.  Author URL.
Tschirren B, Postma E (2010). Quantitative genetics research in Zebra Finches: Where we are and where to go. Emu, 110(3), 268-278. Abstract.

2009

Tschirren B, Sendecka J, Groothuis TGG, Gustafsson L, Doligez B (2009). Heritable variation in maternal yolk hormone transfer in a wild bird population. Am Nat, 174(4), 557-564. Abstract.  Author URL.
Bischoff LL, Tschirren B, Richner H (2009). Long-term effects of early parasite exposure on song duration and singing strategy in great tits. Behavioral Ecology, 20(2), 265-270. Abstract.
Tschirren B, Rutstein AN, Postma E, Mariette M, Griffith SC (2009). Short- and long-term consequences of early developmental conditions: a case study on wild and domesticated zebra finches. J Evol Biol, 22(2), 387-395. Abstract.  Author URL.
Pitala N, Ruuskanen S, Laaksonen T, Doligez B, Tschirren B, Gustafsson L (2009). The effects of experimentally manipulated yolk androgens on growth and immune function of male and female nestling collared flycatchers Ficedula albicollis. Journal of Avian Biology, 40(2), 225-230. Abstract.
Tschirren B, Siitari H, Saladin V, Richner H (2009). Transgenerational immunity in a bird-ectoparasite system: Do maternally transferred antibodies affect parasite fecundity or the offspring's susceptibility to fleas?. Ibis, 151(1), 160-170. Abstract.
Ruuskanen S, Doligez B, Tschirren B, Pitala N, Gustafsson L, Groothuis TGG, Laaksonen T (2009). Yolk androgens do not appear to mediate sexual conflict over parental investment in the collared flycatcher Ficedula albicollis. Horm Behav, 55(4), 514-519. Abstract.  Author URL.

2008

Tschirren B, Richner H (2008). Differential effects of yolk hormones on maternal and paternal contribution to parental care. Animal Behaviour, 75(6), 1989-1994. Abstract.

2007

Fitze PS, Tschirren B, Gasparini J, Richner H (2007). Carotenoid-based plumage colors and immune function: is there a trade-off for rare carotenoids?. Am Nat, 169 Suppl 1, S137-S144. Abstract.  Author URL.
Tschirren B, Bischoff LL, Saladin V, Richner H (2007). Host condition and host immunity affect parasite fitness in a bird-ectoparasite system. Functional Ecology, 21(2), 372-378. Abstract.
Tschirren B, Fitze PS, Richner H (2007). Maternal modulation of natal dispersal in a passerine bird: an adaptive strategy to cope with parasitism?. Am Nat, 169(1), 87-93. Abstract.  Author URL.

2006

Fitze PS, Tschirren B (2006). No evidence for survival selection on carotenoid-based nestling coloration in great tits (Parus major). J Evol Biol, 19(2), 618-624. Abstract.  Author URL.
Tschirren B, Richner H (2006). Parasites shape the optimal investment in immunity. Proc Biol Sci, 273(1595), 1773-1777. Abstract.  Author URL.

2005

Tschirren B, Fitze PS, Richner H (2005). Carotenoid-based nestling colouration and parental favouritism in the great tit. Oecologia, 143(3), 477-482. Abstract.  Author URL.
Tschirren B, Saladin V, Fitze PS, Schwabl H, Richner H (2005). Maternal yolk testosterone does not modulate parasite susceptibility or immune function in great tit nestlings. Journal of Animal Ecology, 74(4), 675-682. Abstract.

2004

Tschirren B, Richner H, Schwabl H (2004). Ectoparasite-modulated deposition of maternal androgens in great tit eggs. Proc Biol Sci, 271(1546), 1371-1375. Abstract.  Author URL.
Fitze PS, Tschirren B, Richner H (2004). Life history and fitness consequences of ectoparasites. Journal of Animal Ecology, 73(2), 216-226. Abstract.
Tschirren B, Fitze PS, Richner H (2004). Sexual dimorphism in susceptibility to parasites and cell-mediated immunity in great tit nestlings (vol 72, pg 839, 2003). JOURNAL OF ANIMAL ECOLOGY, 73(4), 814-814. Author URL.

2003

Fitze PS, Tschirren B, Richner H (2003). Carotenoid-based colour expression is determined early in nestling life. Oecologia, 137(1), 148-152. Abstract.  Author URL.
Tschirren B, Fitze PS, Richner H (2003). Proximate mechanisms of variation in the carotenoid-based plumage coloration of nestling great tits (Parus major L.). J Evol Biol, 16(1), 91-100. Abstract.  Author URL.
Tschirren B, Fitze PS, Richner H (2003). Sexual dimorphism in susceptibility to parasites and cell-mediated immunity in great tit nestlings. Journal of Animal Ecology, 72(5), 839-845. Abstract.

Barbara_Tschirren Details from cache as at 2018-12-14 15:31:30

Refresh publications

External Engagment and Impact

Editorial responsibilities

Proceedings of the Royal Society B (Associate editor, 2013 –)

Animal Behaviour (Consulting editor, 2011 –)

Functional Ecology (Associate editor, 2011 – 2017)

Journal of Evolutionary Biology (Reviewing editor, 2011 – 2014)


External Examiner Positions

Lucy Ford, University of Edinburgh, UK, 2018 (external PhD examiner)

Lina Maria Giraldo Deck, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Seewiesen, Germany (PhD committee member, ongoing)

Lucia Mentesana, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Seewiesen, Germany (PhD committee member, ongoing)

Claudia Vigano, Institute of Evolutionary Medicine, University of Zurich (PhD committee member, 2014 – 2017)

Timothée Bonnet, University of Zurich (PhD committee member, 2014 – 2016)

Justin R. Eastwood, Deakin University, Australia, 2015 (external PhD examiner)

Longfei Shu, EAWAG ETH Zurich, Switzerland, 2014 (external PhD examiner)

Nicholas Horrocks, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, 2012 (external PhD examiner)

Greet de Coster, Ghent University, Belgium, 2011 (external PhD examiner)

Josefa Bleu, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France, 2011 (external PhD examiner)


Invited lectures

2018 University of Strasbourg, France

2018 Lyme Disease Action (LDA) conference 2018, Exeter, UK (symposium keynote speaker)

2017 University of Glasgow, UK

2017 Max Planck Institiute for Ornithology Seewiesen, Germany

2016 University of Sydney, Australia

2016 Monash University, Australia

2016 Deakin University, Australia

2016 Australian National University, Australia

2015 European Ornithologists’ Union (EOU) Conference 2015, Badajoz, Spain (symposium keynote speaker)

2015 Biology 15, joint meeting of the Swiss Botanical, Mycological and Zoological Societies, Zurich, Switzerland (plenary speaker)

2015 University of Basel, Switzerland

2015 Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria

2014 European Conference on Behavioural Biology (ECBB), Prague, Czech Republic (symposium keynote speaker)

2014 University of Fribourg, Switzerland

2013 VetSuisse Zurich, Switzerland

2013 University of Neuchatel, Switzerland

2012 Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland

2012 Workshop ‘Immune function in the context of the animal and the environment’, University of Groningen, The Netherlands (symposium keynote speaker)

2012 University of Toulouse, France

2011 Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) München, Germany

2011 Swiss Ornithological Institute Sempach, Switzerland

2011 EAWAG Dübendorf, Switzerland

2011 Ornithological Institute Radolfzell, Germany

2011 EAWAG Kastanienbaum, Switzerland


Media Coverage

My work attracts regular coverage in national and international print media and has been featured in radio broadcasts.


Other

Refereeing for the following journals:

Acta Ornithologica, Advances in the Study of Behavior, American Naturalist, Animal Behaviour, Animal Cognition, Auk, Behavioral Ecology, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Biology Letters, BMC Biology, Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Conservation Genetics, Current Zoology, Ecological Applications, Ecology and Evolution, Ecology Letters, Emu, Ethology, European Journal of Entomology, Evolution, Evolutionary Ecology, Functional Ecology, Gene, Genome Biology and Evolution, Heredity, Hormones and Behavior, Ibis, Immunogenetics, Integrative and Comparative Biology, Infection, Genetics and Evolution, Journal of Animal Ecology, Journal of Avian Biology, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Journal of Field Ornithology, Journal of Ornithology, Marine Biology, Molecular Ecology, Naturwissenschaften, Oecologia, Oikos, Ornis Fennica, Ostrich, Parasitology, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, PLoS ONE, Proceedings of the Indian National Science Academy B, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B

Top Reviewer Award

Molecular Ecology: 2014, 2015
Animal Behaviour: 2014
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: 2011

Reviewing research grants:

Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF); Australian Research Council (ARC); NERC, UK; Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO); National Science Foundation (NSF) USA; Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR) France; Polish Research Council; Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG); Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Vlaanderen (FWO)

Reviewing conference abstracts:

International Behavioural Ecology Conference 2012, Lund, Sweden


Workshops/Conferences organised

Symposium organiser at the International Orniothological Congress (IOC) 2018, Vancouver, Canada: ‘Bird-pathogen Interactions: Selection, Adaptation and Epidemiology’

Symposium organiser at the 15th Congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB) 2015, Lausanne, Switzerland: ‘Host defence in a parasitized world: selection, evolution and the maintenance of variation’

Organizer of ‘Women in Science 2012’ seminar series and roundtable discussion, Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich, Switzerland

Co-organizer of the 9th PhD meeting in Evolutionary Biology (EMPSEB) 2003, Fiesch, Switzerland

Teaching

My teaching is research-based and outcome-focused and implements the principles of constructive alignment. Goals of my teaching are to promote clear, independent and critical thinking as well as the application of fundamental evolutionary principles to 'real-world' problems.

I hold a MSc in Higher Education from the University of Bern, Switzerland.

I coordinate the year 3 module ‘Evolutionary Biology of Health and Disease’ and co-coordinate the year 2 'Switzerland field course'. I also supervise undergraduate projects.

Modules

2018/19


Supervision / Group

Postdoctoral researchers

  • Dr Tuomas Aivelo (Finnish Cultural Foundation Postdoctoral Research Associate 2016 – )

Postgraduate researchers

  • Connor Bladen
  • David Lewis MSc Conservation and Biodiversity

Alumni

  • Dr Luca Cornetti (URPP Evolution in Action Postdoctoral Researcher 2015 – 2016)
  • Christina Ebneter (MSc 2014 – 2015)
  • Dr Marta Giordano (PhD 2011 – 2014)
  • Dr Mathieu Giraudeau (FAN Postdoctoral Research Associate 2013 – 2014)
  • Elif Hanic (MSc 2014 – 2015)
  • Daniela Hilfiker (MSc 2014 – 2015)
  • Pascale Hutter (MSc 2013 – 2014)
  • Dr Kate Ihle (SNSF Postdoctoral Researcher 2015 – 2016)
  • Martina Keller (MSc 2012 – 2013)
  • Dr Melissa Lemoine (Marie-Heim-Vogtlin Postdoctoral Research Associate 2014 – 2017)
  • Dr Maja Mattle-Greminger (SNSF Postdoctoral Researcher 2015 – 2017)
  • Jenny Morger (MSc 2012 – 2013)
  • Silvan Pfandler (MSc 2016 – 2017)
  • Dr Joel Pick (PhD 2012 – 2015)
  • Ann-Kathrin Ziegler (MSc 2014 – 2015)

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