Christophe Praz

Domaines de recherche

Solitary bees

Bees number more than 20'000 species worldwide. This astonishing diversity reflects their evolutionary success, partly due to their intimate relationship with the flowering plants. Indeed, their diversity and abundance in most terrestrial ecosystems make bees key pollinators in both natural and agricultural communities. 

Our research focuses on the evolution, biology and conservation of solitary bees. We combine phylogenetic methods with experimental bio-assays to elucidate specific aspects of bee biology, such as the evolution of bee-flower relationships and nest-building behaviour in solitary bees.

Lastly, we are interested in bee conservation in Switzerland. More than 600 species of bees occur in this country, and nearly half of them are threatened. In collaboration with the Swiss Biological Records Center in Neuchatel (CSCF), we are involved in the compilation of a red list of the bees of Switzerland. Finally, we plan to study the biology and ecology of selected, endangered species, in order to develop action plans to protect them. 


Jessica R. Litman, Danforth, B. N., Eardley, C. D., Christophe J. Praz (2011) Why do leafcutter bees cut leaves? New insights into the early evolution of bees, Proc Roy Soc B in press.

Christophe J. Praz, Müller A., Dorn S. (2008) Specialized bees fail to develop on non-host pollen: do plants chemically protect their pollen?, Ecology 89(3), 795-804

C. Sedivy, Christophe J. Praz, Müller A., Widmer A., Dorn S. (2008) Patterns of host-plant choice in bees of the genus Chelostome: the constraint hypothesis of host-range evolution in bees , Evolution 62(10), 2487-250

Christophe J. Praz, Müller A., Dorn S. (2008) Host recognition in a pollen-specialist bee: evidence for a genetic basis, Apidologie 39, 547-557

Christophe Praz

Maître assistant


+41 32 718 31 48