Elisabeth Weninger, BSc
Since my childhood, I have felt a great love for nature, the mountains, and animals.
Due to my fascination for nature, I chose to study biology. After successfully completing the bachelor’s degree at the University of Innsbruck, I am now enrolled in the master’s degree program in Ecology and Biodiversity there.
For my bachelor thesis, I started focusing on a special bird species, living high up in the mountains, the rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta ssp. helvetica). My thesis was developed in close cooperation with the High Mountain Nature Park Zillertal and the unit of Nature Conservation of the Tyrolean government within a rock ptarmigan monitoring project. Within this project, I had the opportunity to work many hours as a mapper in impassable alpine terrain, observing and documenting the occurrence of the bird species.
For my master thesis, I want to continue the study on the rock ptarmigan and focus more on genetic aspects. Therefore, I concentrate mainly on population genetics using non-invasive samples (feces and feathers). Due to the rapid pace of changes in the COI region in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), the analysis of these sequence divergences can be used to find out more about the distribution of the rock ptarmigan.
Population genetics and genomics