Group members

Affiliated Collaborator

Christoph Leuenberger, PhD
Christoph received his PhD in mathematics from the University of Bern and did postdoc stays both at the University of Purdue and the ETH Zürich. Currently, he is a lecturer at the Departments of Mathematics and Informatics and a long term collaborator of the group in all statistical and numerical aspects.


Zuzana Hofmanova, PhD
Zuzana did her PhD in Palaeogenetic Group at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz working on ancient DNA from human skeletal remains discovered at Neolithic and Mesolithic sites in Southeastern Europe and Anatolia. During her postodc as an EMBO Long-term Fellow she is developing and applying novel statistical and numerical methods to infer population genetic parameters from ancient genomic variation with a special interest in detecting changes in the social structures of ancient populations.

PhD Students

Thierry Aebischer
Thierry obtained his Master in Ecology and Evolution from the University of Bern, where he was studying the ecosystem dynamics in teh group of Ole Seehausen. His PhD focuses on the spatial distribution of adaptive alleles and its importance for conservation in the African Ecotone. This work is part of a larger conservation effort in the eastern part of the Central African Republic to preserve one of the last pristine mosaics of wooded savannah and tropical lowland rainforest (check for more).

Marco Galimberti
Marco received his Master in Physics from the University of Pisa, Italy, where he worked on the molecular dynamics of protrins involved in HIV replication. His PhD focuses on statistical methods to infer selection and demography jointly from genetic data using both Approximate Bayesian Computation and full likelihood methods.

Sara Fonseca
Sara received a Masters in Biotechnology from the University of Minho, Portugal, after completing her Master Project at the University of Geneva. In her PhD, which is funded by, she is studying the effects of change sin the photoperiod and agining on the circadian clock in liver cells. Given that the liver is the major detoxification organ in mammals, a better understanding of the processes relating to the daily rythm of the liver is likely contributing to the development of chronotherapeutic treatments. For her work, Sara will conduct both experimental as well as bioinformatic work and will thus be co-supervised by both Jürgen Rippberger and Daniel Wegmann.

Vivian Link
Vivian received a Masters in Molecular life sciences with specialization in Bioinformatics from the University of Lausanne. In her PhD, she is developing novel statistical approaches to infer evolutionary relevant parameters from next-generation sequencign data. Currently, she is developing an algorithm to infer the number of observable alleles in RAD-seq data in a Bayesian framework.

Hirzi Luqman
Hirzi received a Masters in Ecology and Evolution at ETH Zurich, after completing a previous Masters in Biology at Imperial College London and a Bachelors in Physics at the University of Chicago. He is currently affiliated with the Plant Genetics group at ETH Zurich ( and co-supervised in Fribourg by Daniel Wegmann. His PhD focuses on inferring past demographic and evolutionary processes from next-generation sequencing data using a suite of statistical approaches, including Approximate Bayesian Computation and composite/full likelihood methods, in the contexts of post-glacial adaptation and colonization.

Luisa Bresadola

Luisa received her Masters of Science form the University of Parme, Italy. She started her PhD in the group of Christian Lexer, and is co-supervised by myself since Christian left for Vienna. Her PhD focuses on the reproductive barriers between different species of poplar, which she investigates using population genomic tools.

Master Students

Linda Studer
Linda is implementing a convolutional neural network approach to automatically detect the species on camera trap pictures that resulted from the wotk of Thierry Aebischer.

Israel Beyene
Israel uses genetic data obtained from Rhizobium bacteria to study the effectivness of the selection opposed on chating bacteria in the leguminose symbiose.

Max Suter
Max focuses on the computational optimization of an algorithm to automatically segement camera trap images.



Pablo Duchen, PhD
Pablo developed a method to infer evolutionary jumps on phylogenetic trees. He is currently at the University if Lausanne.

Athanasdios Kousathanas, PhD
Athanasios developed a novel ABC approach for high dimensional models and worked on the probelm of inferring diversity from low coverage and ancient genomes. He is now at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, France.

Muriel Gros-Balthazard, PhD
Muriel generated whole genome sequencing data for a bunch fo individuals to elucidate the evolutionary history of the date palm. She is now at Cirad, Montpellier, France.

Anna Ferrer, PhD
Anna developed a novel disceret approximation to diffusion processes that allowed us to develop a fast algorithm to infer demography and locus specific selection from time series data.

Master Students

Lorenz Rychener
Lorenz extended our approach to infer parameters of protein networks to include preRNA.

Michael Hodel
During his master thesis, Michael develope a prototype of a new algorithm to automatically detect animals on camera trap pictures.

Dept Biology - Chemin du musée 10 - 1700 Fribourg - Tel +41 26 / 300 8830 - Fax +41 26 / 300 9741
secretary [at] - Swiss University