I have broad interests in evolution, speciation genetics, phylogeography, biodiversity, molecular ecology, behavior and systematics, especially (but not only) of vertebrates. Science history tells us about the transitory nature of some scientific knowledge. Regarding the formation of new evolutionary lineages, I think that future research will reveal a much greater role for reticulate evolution enabled by interspecies/interpopulation interactions and hybridization in animals. This will change our insights into the diversity of genes, genomes and phenotypes, and their relation to environment and evolution.
To understand the processes that generate biodiversity, my research includes organismal, genetic and genomic topics to examine evolution through hybridization and allopolyploidization in a phylogenetic framework.
I am addressing these questions in selected vertebrate systems (mainly Palearctic frogs) on different spatial and temporal scales. This research also touches a variety of exciting evolutionary questions as the consequences of genome and gene duplication, evolutionary genetics of hybridization with the interplay of two or more foreign genomes in one nucleus and one organism, the evolution of sex and recombination, the occurrence or absence of meiosis, crossing over and recombination, mitochondrial evolution as co-evolution with the nucleus, hybrid fertility and fitness, and ultimately hybrid speciation and evolution. This stimulates pleasant interdisciplinary collaborations.
The major research topic of my current position with Prof. Nicolas Perrin is molecular genetic research on the sex determination systems in hylid and bufonid frogs. We have developed a phylogeographic framework (including the discovery of so far unrecognized Hyla-lineages) that will allow studying and dating the molecular evolution of sex-linked markers in several taxa.
Privat-docent, University of Lausanne
First Assistant with Prof. Nicolas Perrin, Molecular genetic research on the sex determining system and the evolution of sex specific markers in tree frogs of the Hyla arborea group
4/2006 - 9/2006
Guest researcher with Prof. Dr. Manfred Schartl (Chair Physical Chemistry I, Theodor-Boveri-Institute, Biocenter, University of Würzburg, Germany) collaborative research group "Mechanisms of interspecific interactions of organisms"
1/2004 - 4/2006
Guest researcher in the DOE Joint Genome Institute with Prof. Jeffrey Boore
8/2003 - 4/2006
Post-doctoral fellow (DFG), Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (MVZ), University of California, Berkeley co-funded by the German Research Council (DFG) and the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (Prof. Craig Moritz; Prof. David B. Wake), University of California, Berkeley [Topic: "Evolution of reproductive systems and gene flow between parental genomes in hybrid bufonid frogs"], using mitochondrial and nuclear markers to infer phylogeny, historical biogeography, polyploidization, hybridization and gene exchange in Palearctic bufonid frogs as a model
2001 - 2003
Scientific and collection based work in the Natural History Museum of Dresden, Germany Natural History Collection of Dresden, Museum für Tierkunde (Museum of Zoology), Department of Herpetology
Many research trips to Central Asia (field work in China, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Nepal, Pakistan)
1996 - 2000
Graduate student, Institute of Zoology, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany, advisor: PD Dr. habil. Wolf-Rüdiger Grosse; close scientific collaboration with the Institute of Human Genetics (Prof. Dr. Michael Schmid), and the Chair of Physiological Chemistry I (Prof. Dr. Manfred Schartl), both Bio-Center of the University of Würzburg; as well as Zoological Research Institute and Museum Alexander Koenig, Bonn (Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Böhme)
1989 - 1995
Studies in Biology, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Major: Zoology, Minor: Genetics, Botany, Geography; [also during this period: six month of practical training in the NGO "Naturschutzbund Deutschland" (wildlife protection) and first biological expedition to Central Asia (Uzbekistan, Nuratau Nature Reserve)
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