Ecological Genetics Working Group

We use a variety of molecular techniques 1 to answer questions related to wildlife ecology and evolutionary change.

Research themes

Population-level responses to a changing environment
Our principle research explores the maintenance of adaptive variation in wild populations and, more specifically, the role of habitat variability in driving genetic diversity.

Telomere dynamics and biological stress
Variation in telomere length and its rate of loss are closely associated with individual differences in rates of aging, survival probabilities and health. Rates of telomere loss are also associated with exposure to chronic stress and lifestyle factors particularly during early development. We use qPCR to estimate telomere length in a wide variety of species and explore how telomere erosion interacts with enzymatic repair as a combined marker of somatic maintenance.

Wildlife Forensics
We optimise molecular techniques for species and individual ID to facilitate population monitoring programs. This work typically involves non-invasively collected samples such as hair, faeces, saliva and urine. The resulting data helps to link samples to source populations and to match trace material to individuals in cases of wildlife crime.

Team Members

Technicians
Gopi Munimanda
Balint Boglarka
Maria Kral

Postdocs/students
Franz Hölzl
Julia Oppelmayer