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Since March 2006, Martin Ackermann has been SNF Professor and since August 2008 Associate Professor of Molekular Microbial Ecology at ETH Zurich. Martin Ackermann was born in Schwyz in 1971. He studied Biology at the University of Basel and did his PhD with Urs Jenal and Steve Stearns in Basel on the evolution of aging. After his PhD he worked for two years as a postdoc with Lin Chao at UC San Diego. In 2004 he joined Sebastian Bonhoeffer’s group at ETH Zurich.
Martin Ackermann’s group uses experimental evolution with bacteria to investigate fundamental questions about evolutionary biology. The main focus is on phenotypic variation — phenotypic differences between individuals with or without underlying genetic differences. The group investigates how selection acts on the mechanisms that control the level of phenotypic variation, and how the level of phenotypic variation can influence the course of evolution. A second area of research is the evolutionary origin of aging. Experiments with bacteria are used together with theoretical models to investigate when and why aging originated in the history of life.
evolutionary biology, phenotypic variation, aging