Research Interests

Broadly, my research focuses on estimating parameters of a population's demography from genetic data. Direct observations are often costly and time consuming, thus having methods that analyze nowadays often easily accessible genetic data are useful for biologists and ecologists.

Recently, a new fascinating application of such techniques has emerged: In the last decade, it has become feasible to extract and analyze high-quality DNA from human remains. This new field, termed archaeogenetics, has produced much new insight into long-standing questions about connectivity and migrations of ancient cultures.

Demographic Inference using shared haplotypes

Ancient DNA

Snapdragon Hybrid Zone

I am involved in a project that focuses on a hybrid zone of Antirrhinum majus (snapdragons) in the Eastern Pyrenees. In this long-term project started in 2009, extensive sampling of a contact zone between two flower color morphs is conducted - with the goal to construct a pedigree to study selection and gene flow in this wild hybrid population. I am involved in field work since 2013, and every summer in my PhD I have spent a few weeks in a picturesque valley in north east Spain.

I am involved in data analysis of this project, where I primarily investigate the spatial patterns of genetic structure of this population. The aim is to understand whether indirect genetic methods agree with "direct" pedigree estimates. This will help to better understand how well methods that often make strong assumptions about population structure agree with the possibly very complex reality of natural populations.

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