Nora Kerschbaumer, BEd

I come from a small town in South Tyrol, surrounded by nature. I spent the summer months with my grandmother and cousins at our mountain hut, where we stayed outside in the nature all day. In winter, I enjoyed my time outside in the snow. Already as a little girl, I fell in love with the beauty of nature. Landscapes, plants, people, and animals have always been the center of my interests. I always knew that I wanted to share my passion for nature and its preservation with others, so I thought about how to do this best. Since I really enjoy working with children and teenagers, I decided to study to become a teacher.

I started studying a teacher’s degree program in Biology and Environmental Education, as well as Geography and Economics. I have already completed my bachelor’s degree and focused then mainly on the topics of ecology and climate change. Therefore, I am now working with Salvatore Bruntetti (PhD student) on a project related to the population genetic analysis of the ant Lasius fuliginosus, a Central-European fungus-breeding ant. There are currently few studies on the reproductive mechanisms of Lasius fuliginosus; so our goal is to analyze them more closely. As part of my master thesis, we sample several nests at Nordkette, a mountain chain in Innsbruck, and do microsatellite analysis in the lab. We then evaluate these results using population genetic analysis methods.

I am very excited to work at the Group of Molecular Ecology, and I hope that I can further expand my knowledge and enthusiasm for nature and learn a lot for my future.

Research Topics:
Behavioural ecology
Population genetics and genomics
(Sexual) behaviour
Social organisation

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