Go to: content | top | bottom | search
You are hereUNIL > Department of Ecology and Evolution > People > Group leaders > Prof. Michel Chapuisat

Michel Chapuisat - Associate Professor

I am interested in the evolution of social behaviour. My research draws on kin selection theory, population genetics and behavioural ecology.
More information on my research activities can be found here: Group Chapuisat

Curriculum vitae

Born on September 1st, 1967 in Vevey, Switzerland

Associate Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne

Maître d'Enseignement et de Recherche, Privat-Docent, Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne

Maître Assistant et Chargé de Cours, Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne

Privat-Docent, University of Lausanne

Senior assistant, Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne

Postdoctoral research fellow, Department of Genetics, La Trobe University, with Prof. R. H. Crozier

Graduate Research Fellow, Museum of Zoology, Lausanne

Ph.D, University of Lausanne, with Prof. Daniel Cherix


I am in charge of two innovative interdisciplinary teaching programs.

First, I am organising the Biology and Society program for the Bachelor in Biology. I am particularly involved in a course and seminar on ethics and relationships between science and society.

Second, I am coordinating the (Sciences)2 program, which offers courses in life sciences and physical sciences to students in the humanities. In this context, I teach a course and organise practicals in evolutionary biology. This teaching is specially designed for students in the humanities, such as arts, social sciences, psychology or theology.

I also teach a course on social evolution to biology students in the third year of the Bachelor.

Organisation of congresses and seminars

Co-organiser of Biology08 the annual congress of organismal and integrative biology of the Swiss Zoological, Botanical and Mycological Societies, University of Lausanne

Organiser of a symposium on The nature of human cooperation, University of Lausanne

Co-organiser of the interdisciplinary seminar series Déterminismes et liberté, University of Lausanne

2002 Organiser of a symposium on population genetics and genomics, Congress of the International Union for the Study of Social Insects, Sapporo

2001 Organiser of a symposium on conflicts in societies, Meeting of the European Sections of the International Union for the Study of Social Insects, Berlin.

Editorial duties

2005-2008 Reviewing Editor of the Journal of Evolutionary Biology

2009-2012 Associate Editor, Proceedings of the Royal Society B


2005-2009 Secretary of the Swiss Zoological Society

Member of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology, International Society for Behavioral Ecology, International Union for the Study of Social Insects, Société Académique Vaudoise, Société Vaudoise des Sciences Naturelles, Société Suisse de Zoologie, Society for the Study of Evolution.


Titre Date
Avis d'experts - RTS 26.07.2013

In press |  2016 |  2015 |  2014 |  2013 |  2012 |  2011 |  2010 |  2009 |  2008 |  2007 |  2006 |  2005 |  2004 |  2003 |  2002 |  2001 |  2000 |  1999 |  1998 |  1997 |  1996 |  1994 |  1992 |  Thèses (doctorat) | 

In Press
Purcell J., Zahnd S., Athanasiades A., Türler R., Chapuisat M., Brelsford A., In Press. Ants exhibit asymmetric hybridization in a mosaic hybrid zone. Molecular Ecology . [DOI] [Pubmed]
Avril A., Purcell J., Chapuisat M., 2016. Ant workers exhibit specialization and memory during raft formation. The Science of Nature 103(36) pp. 1-6. [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Brand N., Chapuisat M., 2016. Low relatedness and frequent inter-nest movements in a eusocial sweat bee. Insectes Sociaux 63(2) pp. 249-256. [DOI] [Web of Science]
Clavien C., Chapuisat M., 2016. The evolution of utility functions and psychological altruism. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 56 pp. 24-31. [DOI]
Clavien C., Chapuisat M., 2016. The evolution of utility functions and psychological altruism. Studies In History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 56 pp. 24-31. [DOI] [Pubmed]
Clavien C., Mersch D.P., Chapuisat M., 2016. No Evidence for moral reward and punishment in an anonymous context. PLoS One 11(3) pp. e0150388. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Purcell J., Pirogan D., Avril A., Bouyarden F., Chapuisat M., 2016. Environmental influence on the phenotype of ant workers revealed by common garden experiment. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 70(3) pp. 357-367. [DOI] [Web of Science]
Purcell J., Pellissier L., Chapuisat M., 2015. Social structure varies with elevation in an Alpine ant. Molecular Ecology 24(2) pp. 498-507. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Brand N., Chapuisat M., 2014. Impact of helpers on colony productivity in a primitively eusocial bee. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 68(2) pp. 291-298. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science]
Brütsch T., Chapuisat M., 2014. Wood ants protect their brood with tree resin. Animal Behaviour 93 pp. 157-161. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science]
Brütsch T., Felden A., Reber A., Chapuisat M., 2014. Ant queens (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) are attracted to fungal pathogens during the initial stage of colony founding. Myrmecological News 20 pp. 71-76. [Document] [url editor site]
Chapuisat M., 2014. Evolution. Smells like queen since the Cretaceous. Science 343(6168) pp. 254-255. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Gálvez D., Chapuisat M., 2014. Immune priming and pathogen resistance in ant queens. Ecology and Evolution 4(10) pp. 1761-1767. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Keller L., Chapuisat M., 2014. The evolution of eusociality. pp. 697-702 in Losos J.B. (eds.) Princeton Guide to Evolution. Princeton University Press, Princeton.
Kocher S.D., Pellissier L., Veller C., Purcell J., Nowak M.A., Chapuisat M., Pierce N.E., 2014. Transitions in social complexity along elevational gradients reveal a combined impact of season length and development time on social evolution. Proceedings of the Royal Society. B Biological Sciences 281(1787) p. 20140627. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Purcell J., Avril A., Jaffuel G., Bates S., Chapuisat M., 2014. Ant brood function as life preservers during floods. PLoS One 9(2) pp. e89211. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Purcell J., Brelsford A., Wurm Y., Perrin N., Chapuisat M., 2014. Convergent genetic architecture underlies social organization in ants. Current Biology 24(22) pp. 2728-2732. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Purcell J., Chapuisat M., 2014. Foster carers influence brood pathogen resistance in ants. Proceedings of the Royal Society B Biological Sciences 281(1792) p. 20141338. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Clavien C., Chapuisat M., 2013. Altruism across disciplines: one word, multiple meanings. Biology and Philosophy 28(1) pp. 125-140. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science]
Tragust S., Ugelvig L.V., Chapuisat M., Heinze J., Cremer S., 2013. Pupal cocoons affect sanitary brood care and limit fungal infections in ant colonies. BMC Evolutionary Biology 13 p. 225. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Clavien C., Chapuisat M, 2012. Altruism - a philosophical analysis. p. 6 in eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd,, Chichester. [Document] [DOI]
Clavien C., Tanner C.J., Clément F., Chapuisat M., 2012. Choosy moral punishers. PLoS One 7(6) pp. e39002. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Purcell J., Brütsch T., Chapuisat M., 2012. Effects of the social environment on the survival and fungal resistance of ant brood. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 66(3) pp. 467-474. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science]
Reber A., Chapuisat M., 2012. No evidence for immune priming in ants exposed to a fungal pathogen. PLoS One 7(4) pp. e35372. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Abbot P., Abe J., Alcock J., Alizon S., Alpedrinha J.A., Andersson M., Andre J.B., van Baalen M., Balloux F., Balshine S. et al., 2011. Inclusive fitness theory and eusociality. Nature 471(7339) pp. E1-E4; author reply E9-E10. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Chapuisat M., Dubochet J., 2011. La révolution darwinienne. pp. 23-58 in Bornet P. (eds.) Et Dieu créa Darwin: théorie de l'évolution et créationnisme en Suisse aujourd'hui. Religions et modernités 7. Labor et Fides, Genève.
Meunier J., Reber A., Chapuisat M., 2011. Queen acceptance in a socially polymorphic ant. Animal Behaviour 81(1) pp. 163-168. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science]
Reber A., Purcell J., Buechel S.D., Buri P., Chapuisat M., 2011. The expression and impact of antifungal grooming in ants. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 24(5) pp. 954-964. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Castella G., Christe P., Chapuisat M., 2010. Covariation between colony social structure and immune defences of workers in the ant Formica selysi. Insectes Sociaux 57(2) pp. 233-238. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science]
Chapuisat M., 2010. Evolution: plastic sociality in a sweat bee. Current Biology 20(22) pp. R977-R979. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Chapuisat M., 2010. Social evolution: sick ants face death alone. Current Biology 20(3) pp. R104-R105. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Keller L., Chapuisat M, 2010. Eusociality and cooperation. p. 9 in eLS. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd,, Chichester. [Document] [url editor site] [DOI]
Meunier J., Delaplace L., Chapuisat M., 2010. Reproductive conflicts and egg discrimination in a socially polymorphic ant. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 64(10) pp. 1655-1663. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science]
Reber A., Meunier J., Chapuisat M., 2010. Flexible colony-founding strategies in a socially polymorphic ant. Animal Behaviour 79(2) pp. 467-472. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science]
Castella G., Christe P., Chapuisat M., 2009. Mating triggers dynamic immune regulations in wood ant queens. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(3) pp. 564-570. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Chapuisat M., 2009. Social evolution: the smell of cheating. Current Biology 19(5) pp. R196-R198. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Devevey G., Chapuisat M., Christe P., 2009. Longevity differs among sexes but is not affected by repeated immune activation in voles (Microtus arvalis). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 97(2) pp. 328-333. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science]
Holzer B., Keller L., Chapuisat M., 2009. Genetic clusters and sex-biased gene flow in a unicolonial Formica ant. BMC Evolutionary Biology 9 p. 69. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Meunier J., Chapuisat M., 2009. The determinants of queen size in a socially polymorphic ant. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(9) pp. 1906-1913. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Ulrich Y., Perrin N., Chapuisat M., 2009. Flexible social organization and high incidence of drifting in the sweat bee, Halictus scabiosae. Molecular Ecology 18(8) pp. 1791-1800. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Castella G., Chapuisat M., Christe P., 2008. Prophylaxis with resin in wood ants. Animal Behaviour 75(4) pp. 1591-1596. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science]
Castella G., Chapuisat M., Moret Y., Christe P., 2008. The presence of conifer resin decreases the use of the immune system in wood ants. Ecological Entomology 33(3) pp. 408-412. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science]
Chapuisat M., 2008. Sex allocation. pp. 466-499 in Danchin E., Giraldeau L. A., Cézilly F. (eds.) Behavioural ecology. Oxford University Press, Oxford. [url editor site]
Devevey G., Niculita-Hirzel Hélène, Biollaz F., Candice Y., Chapuisat M., Christe P., 2008. Developmental, metabolic and immunological costs of flea infestation in the common vole. Functional Ecology 22(6) pp. 1091-1098. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science]
Holzer B., Chapuisat M., Keller L., 2008. Foreign ant queens are accepted but produce fewer offspring. Oecologia 157(4) pp. 717-723. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Holzer B., Meunier J., Keller L., Chapuisat M., 2008. Stay or drift? Queen acceptance in the ant Formica paralugubris. Insectes Sociaux 55(4) pp. 392-396. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science]
Meunier J., West S., Chapuisat M., 2008. Split sex ratios in the social Hymenoptera: a meta-analysis. Behavioral Ecology 19(2) pp. 382-390. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science]
Reber A., Castella G., Christe P., Chapuisat M., 2008. Experimentally increased group diversity improves disease resistance in an ant species. Ecology Letters 11(7) pp. 682-689. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Chapuisat M., Keller L., 2007. Les fourmis, en froid avec Darwin? Les Dossiers de La Recherche 27 pp. 56-63. [Document]
Chapuisat M., Oppliger Anne, Magliano P., Christe P., 2007. Wood ants use resin to protect themselves against pathogens. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences 274(1621) pp. 2013-2017. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Rosset H., Chapuisat M., 2007. Alternative life-histories in a socially polymorphic ant. Evolutionary Ecology 21(5) pp. 577-588. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science]
Holzer B., Chapuisat M., Kremer N., Finet C., Keller L., 2006. Unicoloniality, recognition and genetic differentiation in a native Formica ant. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 19(6) pp. 2031-2039. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Holzer B., Kümmerli R., Keller L., Chapuisat M., 2006. Sham nepotism as a result of intrinsic differences in brood viability in ants. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences 273(1597) pp. 2049-2052. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Regnaut S., Christe P., Chapuisat M., Fumagalli L., 2006. Genotyping faeces reveals facultative kin association on capercaillie's leks. Conservation Genetics 7(5) pp. 665-674. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science]
Rosset H., Chapuisat M., 2006. Sex allocation conflict in ants: when the queen rules. Current Biology 16(3) pp. 328-331. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Chapuisat M., 2005. Allocation des ressources dans la progéniture mâle et femelle. pp. 331-363 in Danchin E., Giraldeau L.A., Cézilly F. (eds.) Ecologie comportementale : cours et questions de réflexion. Dunod, Paris. [url editor site]
Chapuisat M., Bernasconi C., Hoehn S., Reuter M., 2005. Nestmate recognition in the unicolonial ant Formica paralugubris. Behavioral Ecology 16(1) pp. 15-19. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science]
Dronnet S., Chapuisat M., Vargo E.L., Bagnères A.G., Lohou C., 2005. Genetic analysis of the breeding system of an invasive subterranean termite, Reticulitermes santonensis, in urban and natural habitats. Molecular Ecology 14(5) pp. 1311-1320. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Jemielity S., Chapuisat M., Parker J. D., Keller L., 2005. Long live the queen: studying aging in social insects. Age 27(3) pp. 241-248. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science]
Schwander T., Rosset H., Chapuisat M., 2005. Division of labour and worker size polymorphism in ant colonies: the impact of social and genetic factors. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 59(2) pp. 215-221. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Chapuisat M., 2004. Evolution: social selection for eccentricity. Current Biology 14(23) pp. R1003-R1004. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Christe P., Oppliger Anne, Bancala F., Castella G., Chapuisat M., 2003. Evidence for collective medication in ants. Ecology Letters 6(1) pp. 19-22. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science]
Sundström L., Keller L., Chapuisat M., 2003. Inbreeding and sex-biased gene flow in the ant Formica exsecta. Evolution 57(7) pp. 1552-1561. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Zhu D., Chapuisat M., Pamilo P., 2003. Highly variable social organisation of colonies in the ant Formica cinerea. Hereditas 139(1) pp. 7-12. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Chapuisat M., Keller L., 2002. Division of labour influences the rate of ageing in weaver ant workers. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences 269(1494) pp. 909-913. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Chapuisat M., Crozier R., 2001. Low relatedness among cooperatively breeding workers of the greenhead ant Rhytidoponera metallica. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 14(4) pp. 564-573. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science]
Keller L., Chapuisat M., 2001. Eusociality and cooperation. pp. 1-9 in Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester. [Document] [url editor site] [DOI]
Keller L., Liautard C., Reuter M., Brown W.D., Sundström L., Chapuisat M., 2001. Sex ratio and Wolbachia infection in the ant Formica exsecta. Heredity 87(2) pp. 227-233. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Chapuisat M., Painter J.N., Crozier R.H., 2000. Microsatellite markers for Rhytidoponera metallica and other ponerine ants. Molecular Ecology 9(12) pp. 2219-2221. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Wedekind C., Bettens F., Chapuisat M., Füri S., Homberger F.R., Macas E., Paepke A.J., Rülicke T., Seebeck T., 2000. Examples of MHC-correlated sexual selection in mice and humans. pp. 437-444 in Espmark Y., Amundsen T., Rosenqvist G. (eds.) Animal signals: signalling and signal design in animal communication. Tapir Academic Press, Trondheim.
Chapuisat M., Keller L., 1999. Extended family structure in the ant Formica paralugubris: the role of the breeding system. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 46(6) pp. 405-412. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science]
Chapuisat M., Keller L., 1999. Testing kin selection with sex allocation data in eusocial hymenoptera. Heredity 82(5) pp. 473-478. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Keller L., Chapuisat M., 1999. Cooperation among selfish individuals in insect societies. Bioscience 49(11) pp. 899-909. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science]
Beye M., Neumann P., Chapuisat M., Pamilo P., Moritz R. F. A., 1998. Nestmate recognition and the genetic relatedness of nests in the ant Formica pratensis. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 43(1) pp. 67-72. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science]
Rülicke T., Chapuisat M., Homberger F.R., Macas E., Wedekind C., 1998. MHC-genotype of progeny influenced by parental infection. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B Biological Sciences 265(1397) pp. 711-716. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Chapuisat M., Keller L., 03-1997. Les fourmis sont-elles encore en froid avec Darwin ? La Recherche 296 pp. 90-93. [Web of Science]
Chapuisat M., Sundstrom L., Keller L., 1997. Sex-ratio regulation: the economics of fratricide in ants. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences 264(1385) pp. 1255-1260. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science]
Keller L., Sundstrom L., Chapuisat M., 1997. Male reproductive success: paternity contribution to queens and workers in Formica ants. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 41(1) pp. 11-15. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science]
McRae S. B., Chapuisat M., Komdeur J., 1997. The ant and the lion: common principles and idiosyncratic differences in social evolution. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 12(12) pp. 463-465. [DOI] [Web of Science]
Chapuisat M., Brown W. D., 1996. Social Evolution in ants. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 9(6) pp. 1032-1034. [DOI]
Sundstrom L., Chapuisat M., Keller L., 1996. Conditional manipulation of sex ratios by ant workers: A test of kin selection theory. Science 274(5289) pp. 993-995. [Document] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Wedekind C., Chapuisat M., Macas E., Rulicke T., 1996. Non-random fertilization in mice correlates with the MHC and something else. Heredity 77(4) pp. 400-409. [Document] [DOI] [Web of Science] [Pubmed]
Ruedi M., Chapuisat M., Iskandar D.T., 1992. Genetic structure of the Lesser Gymnure (Genus Hylomys) in SE-Asia: evidence for two species. pp. 732-733 in Revue Suisse de Zoologie. [Web of Science]
Phd thesis
Brand N., 06-2014. Social evolution in the sweat bee Halictus scabiosae. Université de Lausanne, Faculté de biologie et médecine, Chapuisat M. (dir.). [Document]
Gálvez D., 2014. Social evolution and defences against pathogens in ants. 108 p., Université de Lausanne, Faculté de biologie et médecine, Chapuisat M. (dir.).
Reber A., 2010. Parasites and sociality in ants. 137 p., Université de Lausanne, Faculté de biologie et médecine, Chapuisat M. (dir.).
Meunier J., 06-2009. Conflict resolution and evolution of social structures in insect societies. 144 p., Université de Lausanne, Faculté de biologie et médecine, Chapuisat M. (dir.).
Holzer B., 2008. The evolution of unicoloniality in ant societies : recognition, dispersal and population genetic structure. 101 p., Université de Lausanne, Faculté de biologie et médecine, Chapuisat M. (dir.).
Rosset H., 2006. Impact of social structure variation on population genetics, social conflicts and life histories in ants. 94 p., Université de Lausanne, Faculté de biologie et médecine, Chapuisat M. (dir.).


Office room: 3123
Phone: +41(0)21 692 41 78
Fax: +41(0)21 692 41 65

Biophore - CH-1015 Lausanne  - Switzerland  -  Tel. +41 21 692 41 60  -  Fax +41 21 692 41 65
Swiss University