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Research Interest and Projects

My research centres on determining the evolutionary causes and ecological consequences of variation in levels of neutral and adaptive genetic diversity in natural populations. Ongoing studies investigate:

 (1) the role of dispersal and connectivity in fragmented populations and the effect of metapopulation dynamics on the viability of natural populations.

(2) how species cope with extreme environmental conditions and adapt to alpine environments

Research Projects


Evolutionary genetics

Evolutionary genetics in the blackbird (Turdus merula)

Collaborator: Dr. Tim Coppack (MPI Ornithology)

Microevolution in blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla)

Collaborator: PD Dr. Martin Schaefer (University Freiburg)

Molecular and behavioural ecology

Molecular ecology in northern wheatears (Oenanthe oenanthe)

Collaborator: Dr. Wolfgang Fiedler (Vogelwarte Radolfzell, MPI Ornithology)

 Metapopulation structure in the little owl (Athene noctua)

Collaborator: Dr. Wolfgang Fiedler (Vogelwarte Radolfzell, MPI Ornithology)

 Extra pair paternity in purple-crowned fairy-wrens

Collaboration: Dr. Anne Peters (Vogelwarte Radolfzell, MPI Ornithology)

Mating strategies in hole-nesting birds

Collaborator:Prof. Jürgen Tomiuk, Dr. Michael Stauss (University Tübingen)

 Molecular ecology of edible dormouse (Glis glis) and garden dormouse (Eliomys quercinus)

Collaborator: Dr. Joanna Fietz (University Ulm)

Landscape genetics

Landscape genetics of capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) in the Black Forest

Collaborator: Dr. Rudi Suchant, Veronika Braunisch (Forest Research Institute Baden- Württemberg)

Landscape genetics of black grouse (Tetrao tetrix) in the Swiss Alps

Collaborator: Dr. Hannes Jenny (Amt für Jagd und Fischerei des Kantons Graubünden)

Conservation genetics

Phylogeography and population genetics of ptarmigan (Lagopus muta) in the Palearctic

Collaborator:  Dr. Olafur Nielsen (Iceland) and Dr. Tobias Sahlmann (Uppsala)

Populations genetics of the Golden Eagle in Bavarian Alps (Aquila chrysaetos) collaborator

Collaborator: Max Jakobus (LBV Bayern, Germany)

 Conservation genetics and phylogeography in burrowing parrots (Cyanoliseus patagonus)

Collaborator: Dr. Juan Masello, Dr. Petra Quillfeldt (Vogelwarte Radolfzell, MPI Ornithology)

Ecological genomics

Genetic diversity in lowland black grouse (Tetrao tetrix)

Collaborator: Prof. Jacob Höglund (EBC Uppsala, Sweden

MHC- variation and candidate genes in grouse

Collaborator: Dr. Stuart Piertney (Aberdeen University), Prof. Jacob Höglund (EBC, Uppsala)