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Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Copenhagen

My great passion has always been nature conservation. I started my career off by studying wildlife management, followed by an MSc in ecology. During my BSc I was involved with a project on jaguar predation in Brazil, the impact of deforestation on mammal diversity in Paraguay, and the effect of habitat fragmentation on lynx distribution in Poland. During my MSc I changed my focus to Africa, a territory yet unknown to me. I initiated a study on the population structure of leopards in South Africa, and became involved with a project on the genetic uniqueness of West-Central African lions. This inspired me to move to South Africa, where I started a PhD on the conservation and genetics of African wild dogs.

For my doctorate I mainly studied the impact of habitat fragmentation on the genetic viability of wild dogs in Zimbabwe and South Africa, using mtDNA and microsatellite markers. During this time, I met many biologists in South Africa with the same interests as me, which led to new ideas and fresh projects. These formed the foundation of a postdoctoral position at the Centre for Ecological Genomics and Wildlife Conservation, University of Johannesburg. After these fruitful years I moved to Germany, for a postdoc position at the University of Koblenz, followed by a position at the University of Copenhagen. My research mainly focuses on the interface between carnivore ecology and landscape genomics, with a particular interest in identifying the effects of anthropogenic stresses such as hunting and habitat loss.

I have recently also gained an interest in using colour polymorphism to test evolutionary genetic theories, including the influence of heterozygosity deficiency, as well as in hybrid swamping and speciation. The impact of hybridization in the wild is still poorly understood, even though it is an important evolutionary force with significant implications for species conservation. Together with collaborators, we have developed genetic guidelines for conservation translocations, to provide managers with a simple decision-tree on how to adopt the best strategy when the aim is to maintain intraspecific genetic variation.


  • –present
    Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Copenhagen