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Institut für Evolutionäre Anthropologie (IEA)

Szymon Drobniak


I’m broadly interested in the topics of contemporary evolutionary ecology and genetics. I completed my MSc. and PhD. at the Jagiellonian University in Poland. In my PhD thesis I focused on the quantitative genetics of fitness-related traits in birds, such as immune response and plumage colouration – and studied the interplay between genetic effect underlying these traits and various environmental factors. From that moment on quantitative genetics became my second nature – which also allowed me to discover new and fascinating ways of approaching biological data statistically. My PhD. thesis also allowed me to work in the famous Swedish population of hole-nesting birds on the Baltic island of Gotland and through it – to cooperate with the Uppsala University. From 2007 every year I’ve been involved in the field season on Gotland, admiring and studying my main model species – the blue tit. Currently I’m leading a research project funded by the Polish National Science Foundation aimed at studying interactions between genetic effects underlying quantitative traits and the influence of steroid hormones. Apart from disentangling the secrets of quantitative genetics I have also contributed to several comparative meta-analyses – which led me to the University of Zurich. Here my main task is to study the relationships between life-history traits and the evolution of cooperation in social groups in birds. I’m working on a big dataset spanning over the entire taxonomy of birds and comprising a number of important life-history variables.


For a complete list of my publications please visit my google Scholar account:

After work

Apart from being a scientist I’m also a graphic designer. It is more a hobby than a real occupation now, but I really enjoy it. If you would like to see some of my works please visit


Present Post-doc in the Anthropological Institute & Museum, University of Zürich
2012Post-doc in the program “Society-Environment-Technology”, Institute of Environmental Sciences, Jagiellonian University, Poland
2008-2012PhD. in evolutionary biology, Institute of Environmental Sciences, Jagiellonian University, Poland
2003-2008MSc. in biology, within the course of the Interdisciplinary Studies of Mathematical and Nature Sciences, Jagiellonian University, Poland.
2004-2007BSc. in biotechnology, Jagiellonian University, Poland.

Weiterführende Informationen


Dr. Szymon Drobniak
Anthropological Institute and Museum
Office Y42-K-66
University of Zürich - Irchel
Winterthurerstrasse 190
CH-8057 Zürich

Phone: +41 (0)44 635 54 34