Maria Jähde



Population genetics

The large samples of the collections facilitate the estimation of the degree of genetically relationship between mammal populations by the analysis of skull characters. This method permits to assess the risk of genetic isolation for rare species. Such population genetic research concerns different species like Eurasian otter, raccoon dog, badger, pine marten, polecat, mole, roe deer and wild ass.

Age determination and population ecology

Age determination from skull characters is of fundamental importance for different fields of biological research. By the use of a low speed precision saw thin cuts of the teeth or bones can be produced which show annual lines representing the age in years.
The age determination of large series of skulls is one of the requirements for current research in population ecology of different species from hedgehog to red deer. Thus a population model could be developed serving as a basis for the species conservation program of the otter.

Feeding ecology

The analyses of stomach contents, scat samples and owl pellets serve as a basis for investigations on the feeding ecology of carnivores and owls. Feeding analyses of the wolf or the raccoon dog are necessary for the evaluation of their importance in the ecosystem. Furthermore the prey animals found in the owl pellets provide information on the distribution of the small mammals.

Ongoing projects 

Population genetics of palaearctic mammals by the use of non-metric skull characters (eg population genetics of the Wild horse Equus przewalskii).

Age determination from the mammalian skull as a basis of population ecological models (eg population analysis of the Asiatic wild ass Equus hemionus).

Feeding ecology of functional important, endangered and invasive carnivores (eg feeding ecology of free-living wolves Canis lupus in eastern Germany).

Biodiversity of the ecosystems of Mongolia – Mammalia.

Interreg project: Objective wolves acceptance in human-altered cross boundary landscapes (OWAD)
The objective of the project is to improve cross-border cooperation between the Czech Republic and Saxony in the joint protection of biodiversity. The project targets to increase the intensity of cooperation and cross-border coherence in the effective protection of wolves and to reduce its conflict potential in the economic interests of both sides.


Senckenberg leads the “Federal documentation and advisory office on the wolf” (”Dokumentations- und Beratungsstelle des Bundes zum Thema Wolf“ DBBW). The DBBW brings the most accurate information on wolf distribution, data and wolf-related events to the public and advice to the authorities.