Year Description
2018 Klopfstein, S., Van der Schyff, G., Tierney, S., Austin, A. (2018): Wolbachia infections in Australian ichneumonid parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae): evidence for adherence to the global equilibrium hypothesis. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 123(3): 518–534.
  Spasojevic, T., Broad, G., Bennett, A., Klopfstein, S. (2018): Ichneumonid parasitoid wasps from the Early Eocene Green River Formation: five new species and a revision of the known fauna (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae). Paläontologische Zeitschrift 92(1): 35-63.
2017 Klopfstein, S., Massingham, T., Goldman, N. (2017): More on the best evolutionary rate for phylogenetic analysis. Systematic Biology 66: 769-785.
  Peters, R.S., Krogmann, L., Mayer, C., Donath, A., Gunkel, S., Meusemann, K., Kozlov, A., Podsiadlowski, L., Petersen, M. Lanfear, R., Diez, P.A., Heraty, J., Kjer, K.M., Klopfstein, S., Meier, R., Polidori, C., Schmitt, T., Liu, S., Zhou, X., Wappler, T., Rust, J., Misof, B., and Niehuis, O. (2017): Evolutionary history of the Hymenoptera. Current Biology 27(7): 1013-1018.
  Rix, M., Cooper, S.J.B., Meusemann, K., Klopfstein, S., Harrison, S.E., Harvey, M.S., Austin, A.D. (2017): Post-Eocene climate change across continental Australia and the diversification of Australasian spiny trapdoor spiders (Idiopidae: Arbanitinae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 109: 302-320.
2016 Klopfstein, S. (2016): Revising Australian Pristomerus (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae, Cremastinae): species with a tooth on the hind femur. Zootaxa 4168(2): 201-238.
  Kittel, R.N., Austin, A.D., Klopfstein, S. (2016): Molecular and morphological phylogenetics of chelonine parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), with a critical assessment of divergence time estimations. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 101: 224-241.
  Zhang, C., Stadler, T., Klopfstein, S., Heath, T., Ronquist, F. (2016): Total-Evidence Dating under the Fossilized Birth-Death Process. Systematic Biology 65(2): 228-249.
  Klopfstein, S. (2016): Nine new species of Dimophora from Australia (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae): new insights on the distribution of a poorly known genus of parasitoid wasps. Austral Entomology 55(2): 185-207.
  Klopfstein, S., Kropf, C., Baur, H. (2016): Wolbachia endosymbionts distort DNA barcoding in the parasitoid wasp genus Diplazon (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society) 177(3): 541-557.
2015 Klopfstein, S., Vilhelmsen, L., Ronquist, F. (2015): A non-stationary Markov model detects directional evolution in hymenopteran morphology. Systematic Biology 64(6): 1089-1103.
  König, K., Krimmer, E., Brose, S., Ganter, C., Buschlüter, I., König, C., Klopfstein, S., Wendt, I., Baur, H., Krogmann, L., Steidle, J.L.M. (2015): Does early learning drive ecological divergence during speciation processes in parasitoid wasps? Proceedings of the Royal Society B – Biological Sciences 282: 20141850.
2014 Klopfstein, S. (2014): Revision of the Western Palaearctic Diplazontinae (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae). Zootaxa 3801(1): 1-143.
  Klopfstein, S. (2014): Review of the Diplazontinae (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae) of the Kuril islands, with descriptions of two new species. Zootaxa. 3779(1): 20-32.
  Ericson, P.G.P. , Klopfstein, S., Irestedt, M., Nguyen, J.M.T., Nylander, J.A.A. (2014): Dating the diversification of the major lineages of Passeriformes (Aves). BMC Evolutionary Biology 14: 8
2013 Klopfstein, S., L. Vilhelmsen, J. Heraty, M. Sharkey, F. Ronquist (2013): The hymenopteran tree of life: evidence from protein-coding genes and objectively aligned ribosomal data. PLoS One 8(8): e69344.
  Tschopp, A., Riedel, M., Kropf, C., Nentwig, W., Klopfstein, S. (2013): The evolution of host associations in the parasitic wasp genus Ichneumon (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae): convergent adaptations to host pupation sites. BMC Evolutionary Biology 13: 74.
  Klopfstein, S., Ronquist, F. (2013): Convergent intron gains in hymenopteran elongation factor-1α. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution67 (1): 266-276.
2012 Ronquist*, F., S. Klopfstein*, L. Vilhelmsen, S. Schulmeister, D.L. Murray, A.P. Rasnitsyn (2012): A total-evidence approach to dating with fossils, applied to the early radiation of the Hymenoptera. Systematic Biology. 61(6): 973–999. (*equal contribution).
  Quicke, D.L.J., Smith, M.A., Janzen, D.H., (...), S. Klopfstein, (...),Vogler, A.P. (total 22 authors) (2012): Utility of the DNA barcoding gene fragment for parasitic wasp phylogeny (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonoidea): data release and new measure of taxonomic congruence. Molecular Ecology Resources, 12 (4): 676-685.
  Tschopp, A., Kropf, C., Nentwig, W., Klopfstein, S. (2012): Choosy polyphagous parasitoids: On the host preferences of Ichneumon albiger and Ichneumon extensorius (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae). Mitteilungen der Schweizerischen Entomologischen Gesellschaft 85: 167-176.
2011 Klopfstein, S., Quicke, D.L.J., Kropf, C., Frick, H. (2011): Molecular and morphological phylogeny of Diplazontinae (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae). Zoologica Scripta, 40: 379-402.
  Klopfstein, S., Baur, H. (2011): Catalogue of the type specimens of Ichneumonidae (Hymenoptera) in the Jacques F. Aubert collection at the Musée de Zoologie, Lausanne, Switzerland. Zootaxa 3081: 1-90.
  Klopfstein, S. (2011): A review of the Diplazontinae of Mongolia (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae). Zootaxa 2790: 35-53.
2010 Klopfstein, S., Quicke, D.L.J., Kropf, C. (2010): The evolution of antennal courtship in diplazontine parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae, Diplazontinae). BMC Evolutionary Biology 10: 218.
  Klopfstein, S., Kropf, C., Quicke, D.L.J. (2010): An Evaluation of Phylogenetic Informativeness Profiles and the Molecular Phylogeny of Diplazontinae (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae). Systematic Biology 59(2): 226-241.
  Steiner, S., Graber, W., Kropf, C., Nentwig, W., Klopfstein, S. (2010): Antennal courtship and functional morphology of tyloids in the parasitoid wasp Syrphoctonus tarsatorius (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae: Diplazontinae). Arthropod Structure & Development 39(1): 33-40.
2006 Mevi-Schütz, J., S. Klopfstein, K. Zwakhals, D. Burckhardt (2006): The genus Dolichomitus Smith (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) in Switzerland. Mitteilungen der Schweizerischen Entomologischen Gesellschaft 79: 201-223.
  Klopfstein, S., M. Currat, L. Excoffier (2006): The fate of mutations surfing on the wave of a range expansion. Molecular Biology and Evolution 23(3): 482-490.

My research includes both empirical and theoretical aspects of systematics, phylogenetics, and macroevolution. My main study group is the largest family of Hymenoptera, the ichneumon wasps (Ichneumonidae). Ichneumonids are parasitoids, i.e., they develop on or in insect or spider hosts, killing the host individual in order to complete their development. Their enormous species-richness, understudiedness and intriguing biology makes them the ideal study system to test taxonomic and phylogenetic methods, study the evolution of host interactions, and identify the correlates of large radiations.

I am based at the University and the Natural History Museum of Bern.

Bachelor and Master theses available. Check bottom of this page for details!

My research program can be divided into four major parts:

I) Methods to speed-up species discovery and description

The family Ichneumonidae is among the most poorly known animal groups. Making use of both morphological and molecular data, we describe new species of extant and fossil taxa, mostly from Europe and Australia. The critical evaluation of recent methods for species delimitation forms an integral part of this undertaking.

II) Phylogenomics of pimpliforme parasitoid wasps

Using a combination of traditional Sanger sequencing, next-generation sequencing approaches, and morphology, we build the first genus-level phylogeny of pimpliforme parasitoid wasps. This phylogeny will help us understand the evolution of various ecological strategies and parasitation modes and provide insights into switches between host groups.

III) The total-evidence approach to dating phylogenies with fossils

We recently introduced a new approach to using fossils to calibrate molecular trees which does not rely on the a priori calibration the nodes of a phylogenetic tree, but instead includes the fossils in the data matrix as terminals, using a morphological data partition. Major questions about the performance and applicability of total-evidence dating remain open, most of all pertaining to the existence of a morphological clock. Using simulation approaches and empirical data, we aim to tackle these questions and provide guidelines for the quality control of morphological matrices.

IV) Diversification patterns in pimpliforme parasitoid wasps

In order to date the molecular tree of pimpliforme ichneumonids, we are currently reviewing the known fossils of the group from collections all over the world. The fossils will inform a tip-dating approach to obtain a dated tree, which in turn will allow us to compare switches between host groups to the time of appearance of those groups in the fossil record. This will deepen our understanding of the speed of evolution of host relations in some of the most important host-parasitoid assemblages. Furthermore, the dated tree will allow us to investigate patterns of diversification in Pimpliformes in relation to biogeography, host group, and parasitoid life history strategies.

Bachelor and Master theses available. Please contact me for details!


Year Description
2015 - 2018
Group leader (AMBIZIONE fellowship SNF), University of Bern, Switzerland and Natural History Museum Bern
2013 - 2014
Postdoctorate at the University of Adelaide, Australia
2012 - 2013
Postdoctorate at the Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet in Stockholm, Sweden
2012 Short-term postdoctorate at the European Bioinformatics Institute in Cambridge, United Kingdom
2010 - 2012
Postdoctorate at the Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet in Stockholm, Sweden
2006 - 2010
PhD project at the University of Bern, Switzerland and Natural History Museum Bern
2004 - 2005
Master thesis in theoretical population genetics at the University of Bern, Switzerland
2000 - 2003
Undergraduate studies at the University of Bern