Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum Frankfurt

Conservation Genetics

Research priorities

 Our research focuses on

  • the development of new methods for genetic wildlife monitoring
  • the application of molecular genetic procedures for wildlife monitoring and the determination of population genetic patterns of threatened species
  • the impact of genetic factors on the survival capability of natural populations, as well as the impact of anthropogenic environmental changes on the genetic structure.

Regarding the development of methods, we focus on the change from the conventional microsatellites to modern SNP marker systems, the establishment and optimisation of species identification based on environmental samples (eDNA), and the development of genotype databases. Genetic marker systems are applied for the detection of rare and elusive species, the reconstruction of dispersal pathways and gene flow patterns, as well as for the determination of introgression rates in mammals, insects, and other groups. Experimental populations of Chironomus riparius are our main model organisms for analysing genetic threats (e.g. inbreeding, genetic impoverishment). The analyses are conducted in close cooperation with BiK-F and external partners.

Our projects are financed with funds for fundamental research (DFG, LOEWE, SAW funding scheme of the Leibniz Association, Portuguese Science Foundation), as well as through cooperation with authorities (e.g. BMU, BfN, HMUELV, SMUL, MUGV, LfU) and conservation organisations (including BUND, BN, ZGF, WWF, RSPB).

On this page, you get an exemplary overview of some of our research priorities. If you are interested in cooperation regarding the genetic analysis of wildlife, click here, write us an email to or call us on +496051-619543138.

SAW 

           Development of SNP-based marker systems for wildlife 

 

wildcat 

          Genetic monitoring of the wildcat

 

wolf 

            National Reference Centre for lynx and wolf

 

common hamster 

          Genetic monitoring of the common hamster

 

beaver 

          Genetic monitoring of the beaver

 

brown bear 

           Genetic population structure of the brown bear

 

saiga antelope 

           Genetic population structure of the saiga antelope

 

Chironomus 

          Evolutionary ecotoxicology of Chironomus midges

 

eDNA 

          eDNA-based monitoring of aquatic invertebrates

 

genetic diversity and climate change 

          Genetic diversity and climate change

 

potential for dispersal in limnic insects 

          Potential for dispersal in limnic insects

 

genetic structure of montane plant species 

          Genetic structure of montane plant species

 

 

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