I'm interested in how the rapidly developing field of genomics can contribute to the field of conservation biology. During my PhD I applied various genetic techniques to gain insight into the distribution of genetic diversity in the lion. These data provide a rational basis for prioritising populations for conservation efforts, but also give insight into evolutionary drivers which may have contributed to the current genetic make-up. A similar approach was used in a later project in which we studied divergence times of freshwater fish, to understand historic connectivity of rivers in Africa and the potential effect of this on human evolution.
During my PhD, we have explored different sources of DNA e.g. by non-invasively collecting hair and scat samples and by using ancient DNA (aDNA) approaches for specimens in natural history collections. Analogue to this, I've also worked on metabarcoding and environmental DNA (eDNA), both for studying diet composition and for monitoring community composition from aquatic samples.
In my current project we integrate habitat and climate data with genomic data from co-distributed species from the Brazilian Atlantic forest. Hereby we aim to identify genomic regions under putative adaptive selection driven by climactic differences.