Institut für Evolution und Ökologie

Dr. Max Schmid

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My Research

With my research, I want to understand how species respond to spatial and temporal variation in the environment. I have therefore been investigating questions at the intersection of ecology and evolution, such as “which ecological factors favor genetic diversity within species?” and “which processes determine species’ extinction from environmental change?”. My research so far follows two main lines. First, I build and analyze theoretical models on eco-evolutionary processes in space and time. In particular, I have been studying the evolution of local adaptation, when species can adapt to spatial environmental heterogeneity. I also develop theory on evolutionary rescue, that is where evolution allows species to escape extinction from temporal environmental change. In my second line of research, I apply individual-based simulations as part of empirical projects. For instance, I have complemented empirical studies on alpine plant species by simulating their eco-evolutionary responses to climate change. I have enjoyed collaborations with a diverse set of scientists, ranging from the ecological genetics, applied nature conservation, up to plant ecology.

Professional Experience

10/2022 – present: Assistant Professor
University of Tübingen, with Prof. Katja Tielbörger

09/2020 – 09/2022: Postdoctoral Researcher
University of Lausanne, with Prof. Charles Mullon

09/2019 – 06/2020: Postdoctoral Researcher
University of Zurich, with Prof. Christoph Zollikofer

07/2019 – 08/2019: Postdoctoral Researcher
Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, with Dr. Felix Gugerli and Dr. Christian Rellstab


Terzer E., Schmid M., Bauert B., Weidmann-Csencsics D., Birrer S., Bolliger J., Brodbeck S., Gugerli F. (2023). Distinct spatial patterns of genetic structure and diversity in the butterfly Marbled White (Melanargia galathea) inhabiting fragmented grasslands. Conservation Genetics

Schmid M., Rueffler C., Lehmann L., Mullon C. (accepted). Resource variation within and between patches: Where exploitation competition, local adaptation and kin selection meet. The American Naturalist

Schmid M., Postuma M., Ozgul A., Paniw M., & Guillaume F. (2022). A tradeoff between robustness to environmental fluctuations and speed of evolution. The American Naturalist: 200: E16-E35

Dauphin B., Rellstab C., Schmid M., Zoller S., Karger D. N., Brodbeck S., Guillaume F., Gugerli F. (2020) Genomic vulnerability to rapid climate warming in a tree species with a long generation time. Global Change Biology 27: 1181–1195

Cotto O., Schmid M., Guillaume F. (2020) Nemo‐Age: Spatially explicit simulations of eco‐evolutionary dynamics in stage‐structured populations under changing environments. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 11: 1227-1236

Postuma M., Schmid M., Guillaume F., Ozgul A., Paniw M. (2020) The effect of temporal environmental autocorrelation on eco-evolutionary dynamics across life histories. Ecosphere 11: e03029

Schmid M., Dallo R., Guillaume F. (2019) Species’ range dynamics affect the evolution of spatial variation in plasticity under environmental change. The American Naturalist 193: 798-813

Schmid M. & Guillaume F. (2017) The role of phenotypic plasticity on population differentiation. Heredity 119: 214–225.                                       

Cotto O., Wesseley J., Georges D., Klonner G., Schmid M., Dullinger S., Thuiller W. & Guillaume F. (2017) A dynamic eco-evolutionary model predicts slow response of alpine plants to climate warming. Nature Communications 8: 15399.

Schmid M., Csencsics D. & Gugerli F. (2016) Repetitive flanking sequences challenge SSR marker development: a case study in the lepidopteran Melanargia galathea. Molecular Ecology Resources 16: 1499-1507.                     

Schmid M., Birrer S., Bolliger J., Csencsics D., Gugerli F. (2015) Monitoring genetischer Vielfalt: Fallbeispiel Schachbrettfalter. N+L Inside 1/15: 19-24.

Schmid M., Pautasso M. & Holdenrieder O. (2014) Ecological consequences of Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) cultivation in Europe. European Journal of Forest Research 133: 13-29.