Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum Frankfurt

Conservation Genetics

Carsten Nowak

Dr. Carsten Nowak
Head of Section Conservation Genetics

Tel.: 06051-61954-3122
Fax: 06051-61954-3118




I am fascinated by the great potential of molecular methods to answer urgent questions in the fields of species conservation and population management in a world of rapid environmental change. Nture conservation often suffers from a lack of sound scientific data as a solid base for effecient management of populations or protected areas. Genetics may be used to answer questions which otherwise remain mysterious; such as the origin of populations, inbreeding rates, or the native or introduced status of populations. Moreover, I have a longlasting interest in the effects of rapid, human-caused environmental alterations _mce_on the fundamental level of biodiversity, namely genetic variation within and among species.In my research group, we try to provide answers to some questions which are relevant for biodiversity conservation in Central Europe, including the potential loss of genetic diversity by means of climate change and environmental pollution, as well as the detection of rare species with the help of sensitive molecular tools.

Fields of particular interest:

    * Role of genetic diversity for the survival of populations under environmental stress
    * Temporal and spatial fluctuations in the genetic variation of populations
    * Use of sensitive genetic tools for the detection of rare species (endangered and nonindigenous species)
    * Evolutionary ecotoxicology: Including evolutionary concepts and population genetics in ecological risk assessment
    * Genetic patterns of the ongoing resettlement of previously extinct species (e.g. large carnivores) in Central Europe