Michael Tobler, PhD

I graduated in Integrative Biology at the University of Basel, Switzerland, in 2002 and subsequently moved to Sweden where I went on to do a PhD at the Department of Animal Ecology, Lund University, between 2003 and 2007. In 2007, I was awarded a fellowship for prospective researchers from the Swiss National Science Foundation to conduct post-doctoral research with Prof Mats Olsson at the University of Wollongong, Australia. After a period of parental leave, I have started a second post doc (Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship (FP7)) in summer 2010 continuing my work with Prof Olsson (now at The University of Sydney) and collaborating with Prof Dennis Hasselquist at Lund University.

My research interests lie within the framework of evolutionary biology and behavioral ecology. I am particularly interested in the links between maternal effects, phenotypic plasticity and life-history strategies. I use experimental approaches to investigate evolutionary mechanisms underlying phenotypic variation. My current project tries to assess whether ‘reactive oxygen species’, which are often identified as factors of ageing and immune disorders, may act as constraints in the evolution of life histories. Past work as well as current side projects concern variation in maternally derived hormones and their effect on the offspring phenotype. For my work, I use lizards and birds as a model species.


Recent publications

Selected publications

Hasselquist D, Tobler M & Nilsson J-Å. Maternal effects and immune function in vertebrates. In: Eco-Immunity, Demas GE and Nelson RJ (eds.), Oxford University Press, in press.

Tobler M, Healey M, Wilson M & Olsson M (2011) Basal superoxide as a sex-specific immune constraint. Biology Letters, published online, doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2011.0350.

Tobler M and Sandell MI (2009) Sex-specific effects of prenatal testosterone on nestling plasma antioxidant capacity in the zebra finch. Journal of Experimental Biology, 212, 89-94

Full publication List


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Last modified 3 Jun 2014

Contact information

Michael Tobler



Lund University, Box 117, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden. Tel: +46 (0)46 222 00 00