Main research interests: Spatial ecology, spatial modelling, species distribution and connectivity, population genetics, riparian ecology, conservation ecology


Current position: Since 2014, I am a scientific staff member in the group biodiversity (C. Scheidegger). I work in the interdisciplinary project “River engineering and Ecology”, which provides scientific background for the revitalization of approximately 4'000 km of Swiss rivers coordinated by the Federal Office for the Environment (for information see My work focuses on ecological habitat modelling and simulations of dispersal of non-mobile organisms inhabiting riparian areas along rivers (plants, fungi, lichens, animals).

Further publications

Fink, Fischer, Excoffier & Heckel (2010): Genomic scans support repetitive continental colonization events during the rapid radiation of voles (Rodentia: Microtus): the utility of AFLPs versus mitochondrial and nuclear sequence markers. Systematic Biology; 59, 548-572.

Heckel & Fink (2008): Evolution of the arginine vasopressin 1 a receptor and implications for mammalian social behavior. In Progress in Brain Research: Advances in vasopressin and oxytocin - from gene to behavior. Eds. Neumann & Landgraf, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 321-330.


Fink, Excoffier & Heckel (2007): High variability and non-neutral evolution of the mammalian avpr1a gene. BMC Evolutionary Biology; 7, 176.

Fink, Excoffier & Heckel (2006): Mammalian monogamy is not controlled by a single gene. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA; 103, 10956-10960.

Heckel, Burri, Fink, Desmet & Excoffier (2005): Genetic structure and colonization processes in European populations of the common vole Microtus arvalis. Evolution; 59, 2231-2242.

Fink, Excoffier & Heckel (2004): Mitochondrial gene diversity in the common vole Microtus arvalis shaped by historical divergence and local adaptations. Molecular Ecology; 13, 3501-3514.

Curriculum vitae

Since 2014

Scientific staff member Research Program “River Engineering and Ecology”


CAS Spatial Information Systems, ETH Zurich


CAS Applied Statistics, University of Bern


Diploma in Journalism, Freie Journalistenschule Berlin, Germany


Head of Bioanalytics and project manager at private lab


PhD University of Bern, Zoological Institute, Population genetics: "Molecular evolution in the genus Microtus"


Master University of Bern, Zoological Institute, Population genetics: „Mitochondrial DNA diversity in European populations of the common vole (Microtus arvalis)”