Nino Maag | PhD Student

nino I am an ecologist and I want to know how animals move through space and time, and how they perform in changing environments. My interests are population ecology, movement ecology, population dynamics, landscape genetics and conservation biology. During my MSc, I investigated the influence of a dynamic water regime on gene flow between local populations of a riparian grasshopper species. After my MSc, I worked as a research assistant on the effects of climate change on Alpine bird species that are indicative for structural diversity in mountain forests.

In 2013, I started my PhD thesis at the Population Ecology Research Group. By fitting light-weight GPS collars on dispersing female meerkats, I investigate the influence of social and environmental factors on different dispersal strategies. Assessment of how these factors affect individual performance during dispersal and later in life will improve our understanding of alternative life-history strategies and their consequences on population dynamics.

Beyond research, I love nature and doing outdoor sports such as hiking, climbing, ski touring, cycling, swimming and diving.




  • 2013-present, PhD student, Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies,
    University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2011-2012, Research Assistant, Swiss Federal Research Institute, WSL, Switzerland
  • 2010-2011, MSc in Ecology, University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2006-2009, BSc in Biology, University of Zurich, Switzerland



  • Maag N, Karpati T, Bollmann K (2013) Semi-natural river system maintains functional connectivity and gene flow of the critically endangered gravel grasshopper (Chorthippus pullus). Biological Conservation 158:88–97
  • Maag N, Gehrer L, Woodhams DC (2012) Sink or swim: a test of tadpole behavioral responses to predator cues and potential alarm pheromones from skin secretions. Journal of Comparative Physiology – A 198:841–846