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Institut für Evolutionäre Anthropologie (IEA)

Valentina Rossetti

Current activity

I am currently working as coordinator of the ProDoc Graduate Program "Proximate and Ultimate Causes of Cooperation". This encloses administrative, organizational and management tasks. Moreover,  I am involved in outreach and science communication projects developed together with our researchers.

Beside this, I work as postdoctoral researcher with Prof. Michael Griesser. Our current line of research is the study of group size distribution and the mechanisms regulating group size across the major evolutionary transitions.  Additionaly, we aim to develop a mathematical model that can explain the role of cooperation in delayed dispersal of birds.

I keep myself up to date with continuing education. In 2013 I obtained a Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in scientific journalism at MAZ I will attend the CAS Research Management at the University of Bern.

Research interests

  • Mathematical models and theoretical biology
  • Evolution of cooperation
  • Evolution of multicellularity and cellular differentiation
  • Developmental strategies of cyanobacteria

Other interests

  • Science communication
  • Scientific journalism
  • Research management


I sing regularly in the Aargauer Kantorei and in the Kantorat Grossmünster Zürich. I enjoy very much hiking in the Alps and cooking.


Rossetti V. and Bagheri H (2014). Multicellular life cycles as an emergent property in filamentous bacteria. In “Evolutionary transitions to multicellular life: Principles and mechanisms”, Nedelcu AM and Ruiz-Trillo I Editors, Springer, submitted .

Rossetti V, Ammann TW, Thurnheer T, Bagheri HC and Belibasakis GN (2013). Phenotypic diversity of multicellular filamentation in oral streptococci. PLoS ONE 8(9): e76221. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0076221

Svercel M, Filippini M, Perony N, Rossetti V and Bagheri HC (2013). Use of a four-tiered graph to parse the factors leading to phenotypic clustering in bacteria: a case study based on samples from the Aletsch Glacier. PLoS ONE 8(5): e65059. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0065059

Rossetti V and Bagheri HC (2012). Advantages of the division of labor for the long term population dynamics of cyanobacteria at different latitudes. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 279(1742), doi:10.1098/rspb.2012.0755.

Rodrigues JFM, Rankin DJ, Rossetti V, Wagner A and Bagheri HC (2012). Differences in cell division rates drive the evolution of terminal differentiation in microbes. PLoS Computational Biology, 8(4): e1002468, 2012. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002468.

Rossetti V, Filippini M, Svercel M, Barbour AD, Bagheri HC (2011) Emergent multicellular life cycles in filamentous bacteria owing to density-dependent population dynamics. J. R. Soc. Interface doi:10.1098/​rsif.2011.0102.

Rossetti V, Schirrmeister BE, Bernasconi MV and Bagheri HC (2010) The evolutionary path to terminal differentiation and division of labor in cyanobacteria. Journal of Theoretical Biology 262: 23-34.doi:10.1016/j.jtbi.2009.09.009.


05.2012 - presentCoordinator of the PhD Program "Proximate and Ultimate Causes of Cooperation", SNF ProDoc Program, University of Zurich
05.2012- present Postdoc, Anthropological Institute and Museum, University of Zürich (Group Prof.  M. Griesser)
03. 2012 - 07.2013Postdoc, Evolutionary Genetics and Theoretical Biology Group, University of Zurich (Group Prof. H. Bagheri)
2014-15 ongoing Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in Research Management, University of Bern
2012 - 2013 Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in Scientific Journalism, MAZ Die Schweizer Journalisten Schule, Luzern
2007 - 2012Ph.D. (Dr. sc. nat.) in Evolutionary Biology, Evolutionary Genetics and Theoretical Biology Group, University of Zurich (Supervisor: Prof. H. Bagheri)
2007Research assistant, Computational Science and Engineering Lab, ETH Zurich (Group Prof. P. Koumoutsakos)
2004 - 2006Master (M.Sc.) in Applied Mathematics, University of Milano, Italy
2001 - 2004 Bachelor (B.Sc.) in Applied Mathematics, University of Milano, Italy

Weiterführende Informationen


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

Phone: +41 (0)44 635 54 34