Our research focus is on analysing the genetic structure of naturally occurring populations using molecular tools. Experimental data are evaluated by applying basic principles of genetics using statistical methods. This allows estimating parameters such as diversity within populations or divergence between populations. Statistical methods are also used to infer mechanisms underlying a given genetic structure, e.g., whether the genetic structure of populations is shaped by processes such as migration, genetic isolation, inbreeding, etc.
Markers representing protein coding genes and/or non-coding regions of the mitochondrial and nuclear genome are used in order to genetically analyse populations. Our methodological profile covers the application of already known genetic markers as well as establishing new ones in model- and non-model organisms. The laboratory is equipped to analyse DNA, RNA, and proteins. In addition, computational approaches are used to identify new genes, e.g., by screening EST or RNAseq data in public and non-public databases.
The methodological profile used in the population genetics subdivision is applied in many research projects performed at the museum of zoology at Senckenberg Dresden and allows contributing to many field in biology such as evolutionary research, phylogeography, conservation genetics, or systematics.
This reserach contributes to the field of Biodiversity and Systematics.