Dr. Manuel Schweizer

Dr. Manuel Schweizer

Curator

Ornithology


Research interests

Macroevolution, biogeography, phylogeography, phylogenetics and systematics of birds using molecular genetic, morphological and occurrence data.

I use comparative methods to study contrasting patterns of biodiversity between different geographic regions and among different taxa. I am especially interested in the roles and interplay of dispersal, vicariance and adaptive shifts during the evolution of different bird groups with a special focus on continental radiations. My research moreover focuses on the evolution of arid-adapted bird taxa of the Palearctic desert belt. Additionally, I have a strong interest in the systematics and taxonomy of different Palearctic bird groups. Scientific collections form the basis for much of my research.

See here for detailed descriptions of some projects.

Current research projects

- Phylogenetics, systematics and biogeography of open-habitat chats of the genus Oenanthe.

- Phylogenetics of the lories (Loriini. Psittaciformes).

- Diversification of Parrotbills (Paradoxornithidae).

- Dynamics of the intergradation zone between the yellow wagtail subspecies M. f. flava and M. f. cinereocapilla in Switzerland.

- Phylogeography and phylogenetics of the sand martins of the genus Riparia in the Palearctic and Oriental region.

- Phylogeography of the House Bunting complex Emberiza striolata s.l.

- Distribution patterns in birds of Central Asia and adjacent regions.

Other work

- I am co-author of the recently published field guide to the birds of Central Asia for Christopher Helm Publishers Ltd/Princeton University Press.

- I am member of the executive committee of the Swiss Society for ornithology and bird projection, Ala.

- I am a member of the Egyptian Ornithological Rarities committee (EORC, http://www.chn-france.org/eorc/eorc.php) and was in the Swiss Rarities Committee for the last ten years (Schweizerische Avifaunistische Kommission SAK, www.vogelwarte.ch/sak).

Earlier projects

- PhD of Science in Ecology and Evolution, Dr. phil.-nat. (summa cum laude), at University of Bern and teh Natural History Museum of Bern.

Supervisors: Prof. Marcel Güntert and Prof. Ole Seehausen.

Titlel: The evolutionary diversification and biogeography of parrots (Aves: Psittaciformes): an integrative approach.

Awarded  with the faculty price of the Universty of Bern.

- Genetic structure and dispersal in the common vole Microtus arvalis. Master thesis with Gerald Heckel and Laurent Excoffier at the Computational and Molecular Population. Genetics Lab (CMPG), Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Bern.

- Population genetics of the European wildcat (Felis silvestris ).
- Population genetics of domestic dog breeds.

Selected media coverage

- 20 Minuten 9.5.2014. Papageien: Darum entstehen neue Arten, “Wissen im 20 Minuten“.

- 20 Minuten 31.1.2014. Wüste führte zu neuen Arten, “Wissen im 20 Minuten“.

- Jakob, B. 2012. Ein Stammbaum von buntem Gefieder. Uniaktuell. http://www.uniaktuell.unibe.ch/content/hintergrund/2012/papagei/

- An increase in racket tails: The genetics of an endemic Wallacean parrot genus: http://www.birdwatch.co.uk/categories/articleitem.asp?cate=24&topic=147&...

- BBC Earth News report on the discovery of the breeding grounds of the large-billed reed warbler Acrocephalus orinus: http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_8824000/8824191.stm

- Jakob, B. 2012. Das Geheimnis der Geierflöte. Uniaktuell. http://www.uniaktuell.unibe.ch/content/umweltnatur/2012/geierfloete/

- Report in the popular journal Ornis of BirdLife Switzerland on the discovery of the breeding grounds of the large-billed reed warbler Acrocephalus orinus:
Strahm, D. 2010. Abenteuer in Tadschikistan. Ornis 5 /10.

 

 

 

Books:

R. Aye, M. Schweizer T. Roth. A Field Guide to the Birds of Central Asia. Helm/A&C Black, London. (ISBN 97807136 7038 X). Published Feb 2012.

Journal Publications: 

2017

Verde Arregoitia, L. D., D. O. Fisher, M. Schweizer in press. Morphology captures diet and locomotor types in rodents. Royal Society Open Science.

2016

Liu, Y., J. Hu, S.H. Li, P. Duchen, D. Wegmann & M. Schweizer in press. Sino-Himalayan mountains act as cradles of diversity and immigration centres in
the diversification of parrotbills (Paradoxornithidae). Journal of Biogeography 42, 1488-1501.

Alaei Kakhi, N., M. Aliabadian & M. Schweizer in press. Out of Africa: biogeographic history of the open-habitat chats (Aves, Muscicapidae: Saxicolinae) across arid areas of the old world. Zoologica Scripta 45, 237-251.

Waser, l. E., M. Schweizer, A. Haas, I. Das, A. Jankowski, P. Y. Min, S. T. Hertwigf 2016. Froma lost world: an integrative phylogenetic analysis of Ansonia Stoliczka, 1870 (Lissamphibia: Anura: Bufonidae), with the description of a new species. Org Divers Evol.

Schweizer, M., P. Walser Schwyzer & S. Trösch 2016. Der zweite Nachweis der Amerikanischen Krickente Anas carolinensis für die Schweiz [The second record pf Green-winged Teal Anas carolinensis for Switzerland ]. Der Ornithologische Beobachter 113, 61-65.

Rehazek, A., M. Schweizer 2016. Eine mittelalterliche Knochenflöte aus der Berner Altstadt und ihre Aussagekraft bezüglich der historischen Verbreitung des Gänsegeiers Gyps fulvus in der Schweiz [A medieval bone flute from the old town of Bern and its significance for the interpretation of the historical distribution of the Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus in Switzerland]. Der Ornithologische Beobachter 113, 327-332.

2015

Waser, L. E., M. Schweizer, B. R. Schmidt, S. T. Hertwig 2015. Phylogeography of the common toad (Bufo bufo, Lissamphibia: Anura) in Switzerland. Amphibia-Reptilia 36, 425-436.

Tshui, J., N. Feddern, N. Schwendener, L. Campana, S. Utz, M. Schweizer, C, Jackowski, W.D. Zech in press. When the prey gets too big: an uncommon road accident involving a motorcyclist, a car and a bird. International Journal of Legal Medicine 130, 462-467.

Flint, P., D. Whaley, G.M. Kirwan, M. Charalambides, M. Schweizer, M. Wiknk 2015. Reprising the taxonomy of Cyprus Scops Owl Otus (scops) cyprius, a neglected island endemic. Zootaxa 404: 301-316.

Schweizer, M., T.F. Wright, J.V. Peñalba, E. Schirtzinger & L. Joseph 2015. Molecular phylogenetics suggests a New Guinean origin and frequent episodes of founder-event speciation in the nectarivorous lories and lorikeets (Aves: Psittaciformes). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 90: 34-48.

Kirwan, G.M., M. Schweizer, J.L. Copete 2015. Multiple lines of evidence confirm that Hume’s Owl Strix butleri (A. O. Hume, 1878) is two species, with description of an unnamed species (Aves: Non-Passeriformes: Strigidae). Zootaxa 3904:28–50.

2014

Schweizer, M. R. Ayé, R. Kashkarov & T. Roth 2014. Conservation action based on threatened species capture taxonomic and phylogenetic richness in breeding and wintering populations of Central Asian birds. PLOSOne 9.

Schweizer, M., S.T. Hertwig & O. Seehausen 2014. Diversity versus disparity and the role of ecological opportunity in a continental bird radiation. Journal of Biogeography 41, 1301-1312.

Schweizer, M., M. Güntert, O. Seehausen, C. Leuenberger & S.T. Herwtig in press. Parallel adaptations to nectarivory in parrots, key innovations and the diversification of the Loriinae. Ecology and Evolution 4, 2867-2883.

Schweizer, M., G.M Kirwan 210. The phylogenetic affinities of the Socotra Bunting Emberiza socotrana. Ostrich 85, 103-106.

Shirihai, H., M. Schweizer, G.M. Kirwan & L. Svensson 2014. Saxicola syenitica Heuglin, 1869 (Aves: Passeriformes: Muscicapidae), an overlooked taxon of Oenanthe)? Zootaxa 3785, 1-24.

Korrida, A. & M. Schweizer 2014. Diversification across the Palearctic desert belt throughout the Pleistocene: phylogeographic history of the Houbara-Macqueen’s bustard complex (Otididae: Chlamydotis) as revealed by mitochondrial DNA. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 52, 65-74.

Oberhummer, E., C. Barten, M. Schweizer, I. Das, A. Haas & S.T. Hertwig 2014. Description of the tadpoles of three rare species of megophryid frogs (Amphibia: Anura: Megophryidae) from Gunung Mulu, Sarawak, Malaysia. Zootaxa 3835, 59-79

Jiguet F., Baha El Din S., Abdel Latif Ibrahim W., Bonser R., Corso A., Crochet P.-A., Grieve A., Hoath R. & Schweizer M. 2014. Third report of the Egyptian Ornithological Rarities Committee – 2012 and 2013.

2013

Schweizer, M. & H. Shirihai 2013. Phylogeny of the Oenanthe lugens complex (Aves, Muscicapidae: Saxicolinae): paraphyly of a morphologically cohesive group within a recent radiation of open-habitat chats. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 69, 450-461.

Schweizer, M., M. Güntert & S.T. Hertwig 2013. Out of the Bassian province: historical biogeography of the Australasian platycercine parrots (Aves, Psittaciformes). Zoologica Scripta 42, 13-27.

Hertwig, S.T., M. Schweizer, I. Das & A. Haas 2013. Diversification in a biodiversity hotspot – The evolution of Southeast Asian rhacophorid tree frogs on Borneo (Amphibia: Anura: Rhacophoridae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution68, 567-581.

Schweizer, M. 2013. Das Auftreten der verschiedenen Unterarten der Schafstelze Motacilla flava in der Schweiz und ihre Handhabung durch die Schweizerische Avifaunistische Kommission (SAK). [The status of the different subspecies of Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava in Switzerland and their treatment by the Swiss Rarities Committee]. Der Ornithologische Beobachter 110, 33-40.

2012

Schweizer, M., S.T. Hertwig & M. Güntert 2012. Phylogeny and biogeography of the parrot genus Prioniturus (Aves: Psittaciformes). Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 50, 145-156.

Streitberger, K., M. Schweizer, R. Kropatsch, G. Dekomien, O. Distl, M.S. Fischer, J.T. Epplen & S.T. Hertwig 2012. Rapid genetic diversification within dog breeds as evidenced by a case study on Schnauzers. Animal Genetics 43, 577-586.

Hertwig, S.T., I. Das, M. Schweizer, R. Brown & A. Haas 2012. Phylogenetic relationships of the Rhacophorus everetti-group and implications for the evolution of reproductive modes in Philautus (Amphibia: Anura: Rhacophoridae). Zoologica Scripta 41, 29-46.

Haas, A., S.T. Hertwig, W. Kriengs, E. Braskamp, J.M. Dehling, Y.M. Pui, A. Jankowski, M. Schweizer & I. Das 2012. Three rhacophorid tadpoles (Lissamphibia: Anura: Rhacophoridae) from Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Malaysia (Borneo). Zootaxa 3328, 1-19.

2011

Schweizer, M., O. Seehausen & S.T. Hertwig 2011. Macroevolutionary patterns in the diversification of parrots - effects of climate change, geological events and key innovations. Journal of Biogeography 38, 2176-2194.

Armbruster, G.F.J., M. Schweizer & D.R. Vogt 2011. A database on visible diurnal spring migration of birds (Central Europe: Lake Constance). Ecological Archives E092-157. Ecology 92, 1865.

2010

Schweizer, M., O. Seehausen, M. Güntert & S.T. Hertwig 2010. The evolutionary diversification of parrots supports a taxon pulse model with multiple trans-oceanic dispersal events and local radiations. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 54, 984-994.

Ayé, R., S.T. Hertwig & M. Schweizer 2010. Discovery of a breeding area of the enigmatic large-billed reed warbler Acrocephalus orinus. Journal of Avian Biology 41, 452-459.

Vallotton, L., B. Piot, M. Schweizer & P. Knaus 2010. Seltene Vogelarten und ungewöhnliche Vogelbeobachtungen in der Schweiz im Jahre 2009. 19. Bericht der Schweizerischen Avifaunistischen Kommission. [Rare birds and unusual observations in Switzerland in 2009.]. Der Ornithologische Beobachter 107, 221-246.

Haag, C., M. Schweizer, D. Hercigonja, P. Lustenberger & A. Fasel 2010. Première observation du Goubmouche à Demi-Collier Ficedula semitorquata en Suisse. Nos Oiseaux 57, 58-62.

2009

Hertwig, S.T., M. Schweizer, S. Stepanow, A. Jungnickel, U.R. Böhle & M.S. Fischer 2009. Regionally high rates of hybridization and introgression in German wildcat populations (Felis silvestris, Carnivora, Felidae). Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 47, 283-297.

Schweizer, M. & M. Thoma 2009. Seltene Vogelarten und ungewöhnliche Vogelbeobachtungen in der Schweiz im Jahre 2008. 18. Bericht der Schweizerischen Avifaunistischen Kommission. [Rare birds and unusual observations in Switzerland in 2008.]. Der Ornithologische Beobachter 106, 377-400.

Schweizer, M., M. Thoma & B. Piot 2009. Oiseaux rares et observations inhabituelles en Suisse en 2008. 18e rapport de la Commission de l'avifaune suisse. [Rare birds and unusual observations in Switzerland in 2008.]. Nos Oiseaux 56, 237-255.

Kirwan, G.M., M. Schweizer, R. Ayé & A. Grieve 2009. Taxonomy, identification and status of Desert Sparrows. Dutch Birding31, 139-158.

Schweizer, M. & M. Mitropolskiy 2009. Erratum: Schweizer, M. & M. Mitropolskiy 2008. The occurrence of the Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhyncus in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan and its status in Central Asia. Sandgrouse 20, 161-163. Sandgrouse 31, 79.

2008

Aubry, S. & M. Schweizer 2008. Le Goéland Pontique Larus cachinnans en images. Statut et détermination en Suisse. Nos Oiseaux 55, 211-225.

Vallotton, L., B. Piot & M. Schweizer 2008. Seltene Vogelarten und ungewöhnliche Vogelbeobachtungen in der Schweiz im Jahre 2007. 17. Bericht der Schweizerischen Avifaunistischen Kommission. [Rare birds and unusual observations in Switzerland in 2007.]. Der Ornithologische Beobachter 105, 305-328.

Schweizer, M. & M. Mitropolskiy 2008. The occurrence of the Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhyncus in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan and its status in Central Asia. Sandgrouse30, 161-163.

Schweizer, M. & M. Güntert 2008. Die erste dokumentierte Feststellung einer Raubmöwe Stercorarius sp. in der Schweiz. [The earliest documented record of a jaeger Stercorarius sp. in Switzerland.]. Der Ornithologische Beobachter 105, 145-152.

2007

Schweizer, M., L. Excoffier & G. Heckel 2007. Fine-scale genetic structure and dispersal patterns in the common vole Microtus arvalis. Molecular Ecology 16, 2463-2473.

Ritschard, M. & M. Schweizer 2007. Identification of Asian Glaucidium owlets. Birding Asia 7, 39-47.

Schweizer, M. & R. Ayé 2007. Greater Sand Plover in Tunisia in November-December 2005 and November 2006. Dutch Birding29, 302-303.

Schweizer, M., 2007. Seltene Vogelarten und ungewöhnliche Vogelbeobachtungen in der Schweiz im Jahre 2006. 16. Bericht der Schweizerischen Avifaunistischen Kommission. [Rare birds and unusual observations in Switzerland in 2006.]. Der Ornithologische Beobachter 104, 241-262.

Schweizer, M. & L. Vallotton 2007. Oiseaux rares et observations inhabituelles en Suisse en 2006. 16e rapport de la Commission de l'avifaune suisse. [Rare birds and unusual observations in Switzerland in 2006.]. Nos Oiseaux 54, 225-241.

Schweizer, M. & R. Ayé 2007. Identification of the Pale Sand Martin Riparia d. diluta in Central Asia. Alula 13, 152-158.

2006

Ayé, R. & M. Schweizer 2006. Identification of Red-mantled Carpodacus rhodochlamys and Blyth's Rosefinch C. grandis. Dutch Birding28, 201-213.

2005

Schweizer, M. 2005. Seltene Vogelarten und ungewöhnliche Vogelbeobachtungen in der Schweiz im Jahre 2004. 14. Bericht der Schweizerischen Avifaunistischen Kommission. [Rare birds and unusual observations in Switzerland in 2004.]. Der Ornithologische Beobachter 102, 251-270.

Schweizer, M. & B. Piot 2005. Oiseaux rares et observations inhabituelles en Suisse en 2004. 14e rapport de la Commission de l'avifaune suisse. [Rare birds and unusual observations in Switzerland in 2004.]. Nos Oiseaux52, 245-260.

Schweizer, M. 2005. Hybridization beween the Blue-headed Motacilla flava and the Ashy-headed Wagtail M. cinerocapilla in Switzerland. Dutch Birding27, 235-241.

Armbruster, G., D. Renz & M. Schweizer 2005. Eine dreijährige Feldstudie zum sichtbaren Frühjahreszug am Bodensee (Süddeutschland). Vogelwarte43, 171-178.

Roth, T., R. Ayé, R. Burri & M. Schweizer 2005. Bird observations from Iran in February-March 2001, including a new species for the Middle East. Sandgrouse27, 63-68.

2003 und älter

Ayé, R. & M. Schweizer 2003. Wintering hybrids Pine Bunting x Yellowhammer in northern Iran. Dutch Birding 25, 40-43.

Schweizer, M. 2003. Die Postjuvenilmauser der Mittelmeermöwe Larus michahellis. Limicola17, 169-187.

Schweizer, M. 2003.  European Stonechat Saxicola rubicola in northern Iran. Sandgrouse 25, 146-147.

Schweizer, M. 2003. Seltene Vogelarten und ungewöhnliche Vogelbeobachtungen in der Schweiz im Jahre 2002. 12. Bericht der Schweizerischen Avifaunistischen Kommission. [Rare birds and unusual observations in Switzerland in 2002.]. Der Ornithologische Beobachter 100, 293-314.

Schweizer, M. & L. Maumary 2003. Oiseaux rares et observations inhabituelles en Suisse en 2002. 12e rapport de la Commission de l'avifaune suisse. [Rare birds and unusual observations in Switzerland in 2002.]. Nos Oiseaux 50, 263-278.

Fischer, J. & M. Schweizer 2003. Ein adulter Weissbürzelstrandläufer Calidris fuscicollis im Chablais de Cudrefin/Fanel. [An adult white-rumped sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis at Lake Neuchâtel.]. Der Ornithologische Beobachter100, 247-250.

Schweizer, M. 2000. Der Buschspötter Hippolais caligata, eine neue Art für die Schweiz. [The booted warbler Hippolais caligata, a new species for Switzerland.]. Der Ornithologische Beobachter97, 249-257.

Schweizer, M. 1999. Der Erstnachweis der Nominatform der Weisskopfmöwe Larus c. cachinnans in der Schweiz. [First record of nominate subspecies of the Yellow-legged Gull Larus c. cachinnans in Switzerland]. Der Ornithologische Beobachter96, 131-134.

Book Chapters

Schweizer, M. Südtunesien. – In: Aebischer, A. (Hrsg.) 2010. Vögel beobachten in Europa. Die besten Plätze vom Mittelmeer bis zum Nordkap. Haupt Verlag, Bern/Stuttgart/Wien. (ISBN 978-3-258-07563-1).

Popular Articles

Schweizer, M. 2016. Porträt: Ein Hauch Mittelmeer, die Mittelmeermöwe. Ornis 5/16, 34-37.

Schweizer, M. 2015. Im Feldstecher: Asiatische Laubsänger in der Schweiz. Ornis 2/15, 42-44.

Ayé, R. & M. Schweizer 2012. Mittelasien: Unendliche Steppen, mächtige Gebirge. Ornis 4/11, 6-13.

Haag, C., M. Schweizer, P. Lustenberger & A. Fasel 2009. Identification of the first Semi-collared Flycatcher for Switzerland. Birding World22, 246-248.

Schweizer, M. 2006. Im Feldstecher: Sperber und Habicht bestimmen. Ornis 2/06, 38-39.

Schweizer, M., R. Ayé & R. Burri 2006. Afghan Babbler: a little known Western Palearctic bird. Birding World19, 69-70.

Schweizer, M. 2004. Djerba und Festlandtunesien: Zwischen Golfplatz und Sandwüste. Ornis 5/04, 38-41.

Schweizer, M. 2001. Im Feldstecher: Laubsänger bestimmen. Ornis 2/01, 39-41.

Conference Abstracts

Kamp, L., G. Pasinelli, M. Schweizer 2016. Phylogeographien des Mittelspechts Leiopicus medius. Lanius 36, 42-43.

Waser, L., M, Schweizer, P.Y. Min, A. Haas, I. Das & S.T. Hertwig 2015. Cryptic diversity of frogs in a biodiversity hotspot: phylogenetic and morphometric analyses of the slender toads Ansonia Stoliczka, 1870 (Lissamphibia: Anura: Bufonidae) in Borneo. Biology 15, Dübendorf. The Annual Conference of the Swiss Societies of Botany, Mycology and Zoology.

Schweizer, M. 2015. Strix owls in the Middle East: un- and redicovered. SSS Day 2015, scientific meeting of the Swiss Systematics Society.

Liu, Y., M. Schweizer, J. Hu & S.-H. Li 2014. Diversification and the adaptive radiation of the Parrotbills in Asia. 26th International Ornithological Congress, Tokyo, Japan.

Schweizer, M., S.T. Hertwig & O. Seehausen 2013. Disparity versus diversity and the role of ecological opportunity in the evolution of Neotropical parrots. Biology 13, Basel. The Annual Conference of the Swiss Societies of Botany, Mycology and Zoology.

Hertwig, S.T., M. Schweizer, I. Das & A. Haas 2013. Reconstructing evolutionary patterns of reproductive behaviour in Bornean rhacophorid tree frogs (Amphibia: Anura: Rhacophoridae). Biology 13, Basel. The Annual Conference of the Swiss Societies of Botany, Mycology and Zoology.

Schweizer, M. 2011. Phylogenie und makroevolutive Muster in der Evolution von Papageien - eine integrative Studie. 53. Phylogenetisches Symposium: Evolution der Chordata - Neue Daten, neue Erkenntnisse?

Schweizer, M. 2009. The evolutionary diversification of parrots supports a taxon pulse model with multiple trans-oceanic dispersal events and local radiations. SSS Day 2009, scientific meeting of the Swiss Systematics Society.

Schweizer, M., L. Excoffier & G. Heckel 2005. Dispersal patterns and fine-scale genetic structure among habitat patches of the common vole (Microtus arvalis). 98. Jahresversammlung der Deutschen Zoologischen Gesellschaft.

Schweizer, M., L. Excoffier & G. Heckel 2005. Dispersal and fine-scale genetic pattern in the common vole Microtus arvalis. Biology 05, Basel. The Annual Conference of the Swiss Societies of Botany, Mycology and Zoology.