Manfred Milinski

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Manfred Michael Milinski (born February 8, 1950 in Oldenburg ) is a German biologist and university professor .


Milinski studied biology and mathematics at Bielefeld University and at Ruhr University Bochum . After obtaining the diploma in 1978 he received his doctorate in Bochum Dr. rer. nat. with the work Experimental analysis of the hunt of the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus L.) for swarm prey . In 1985 his habilitation followed with a thesis on the behavioral ecology of competition. After a stay as visiting professor at the University of Bergen , he went to Oxford University as a fellow of the Heisenberg research program .

In 1987, Milinski accepted a call to the University of Bern , where he held a professorship for vertebrate biology and became director of the Zoological Institute. Since 1999 he has been a Scientific Member of the Max Planck Society and Director at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön . Milinski has also been an honorary professor at the University of Kiel since 2000 . He retired in March 2018 .

Milinski was admitted to the Faculty of 1000 in 2004 and to the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in 2010 .

Research priorities

Milinski's research focuses on behavioral research and evolutionary economics . Occasionally he does interdisciplinary research with, among others, the economist Bettina Rockenbach .

Among other things, Milinski is known for his stickleback experiment, in which he offered sticklebacks in an aquarium two sources of food. The quality of the food sources changed over time as different numbers of daphnia were fed into the tank as food per time. He could observe that the sticklebacks were distributed between the two sources of food, so that each animal received the same amount of food at all times. He was able to illustrate the principle of ideal-free distribution across habitats.

Publications (selection)

  • The collective-risk social dilemma and the prevention of dangerous climate change. PNAS 105: 2291-2294 (2008) (with Sommerfeld, RD, Krambeck, H.-J., Reed, FA, Marotzke, J. ).
  • The efficient interaction of indirect reciprocity and costly punishment. Nature 444: 718-723 (2006) (with Rockenbach, B.).
  • Mate choice decisions of stickleback females predictably modified by MHC peptide ligands. PNAS 102: 4414-4418 (2005) (with Griffiths, S., Wegner, KM, Reusch, TBH, Haas-Assenbaum, A., Boehm, T.).
  • Parasite selection for immunogenetic optimality. Science 301: 1343 (2003) (with Wegner KM, Kalbe M., Kurtz J., Reusch TBH).
  • Reputation helps solve the "tragedy of the commons". Nature 415: 424-426 (2002) (with Semmann D., Krambeck H.-J.).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Manfred Milinski on (as of May 25, 2019).
  2. ^ Member entry of Manfred Milinski (with picture) at the German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina , accessed on July 19, 2016.