Dr. Johannes Wirz

phone: +41 61 7064 230  |  Fax. +41 61 7064 215
Molecular biologist
Leader of the Natural Science Section

Areas of work

Developmental biology work on amphibians (R. temporaria, T. alpestris, T. helveticus). Various work on insects, including single-animal observations of butterflies (in particular M. galathea) in different biotopes, as well as projects on bee health and beekeeping. Another focus of the work is genetics; in particular the relationship between genotype and phenotype. Unintended effects were also investigated on genetically modified crops using morphodynamic methods. Other research projects dealt with non-Mendelian inheritance in common ragwort (Senecio vulgaris) under stress conditions, documented by morphology and developmental dynamics. Similar phenomena were studied in an earlier project on the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster).

Various courses for "Studies at the Goetheanum" and in "English Studies" and supervision of student work. International lectures, courses and seminars.


Born 1955 in Thun. Studied molecular biology (Bio II) at the University of Basel. Doctorate in molecular developmental genetics on "Immunolocalization, Regulation of Expression and Properties of the Protein of the Antennepedia Gene of Drosophila melanogaster" with Prof. W. J. Gehring in Basel 1987. Since then scientific collaborator at the Research Institute at the Goetheanum. Founded the "International Forum for Genetic Engineering" (Ifgene) in 1993 together with John Armstrong, Christine Ballivet, David Heaf and Edith Lammerts van Bueren and coordinator until 2003. Editor of "Elemente der Naturwissenschaft" since 1993, and since 2012 on the board of the Swiss Working Group on Genetic Engineering (SAG) and collaborator on "Zukunft säen!". Three children.