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Group Ecological Genetics

Dr. Felix Gugerli, Stv. Daniela Csencsics

We study ecological processes in populations of plants and animals with molecular-genetic methods and supplement them with experimental approaches.

We emphasize on adaptation as well as landscape genetics and conservation genetics. We mainly investigate species that are relevant for Switzerland owing to their function in ecosystems, their distributional focus or their conservation status. We apply molecular-genetic methods and complement these with experimental studies. This allows us to describe how plants of the Alpine region evolve to adapt to changing environmental conditions (adaptation), what effects the characteristics and configuration of landscape elements impose on the dispersal and the functional connectivity of organisms and their populations (landscape genetics) and how population processes affect rare species of plants and animals (conservation genetics).

Our findings serve for deducing implementation strategies and formulating specific guidelines. They provide fundamentals particularly important in the planning of connectivity measures and allow for subsequent evaluations of their effectiveness.

Current main projects