Philipp Kirschner, PhD

Room 513

My main research interests are biogeography, molecular phylogenetics, and phylogeography of animals, especially arthropods. I am particularly interested in the ability of species to disperse, colonise new habitats, and establish and sustain new populations. My research focus will be on the genetics behind these processes and their influence on the structure and evolution of populations over time and space.

In my PhD project, I will work on the origin and range dynamics of the fauna of inner-Alpine steppes. These xeric environments are patchily distributed all over the Alps and represent insular, sometimes very isolated, and biodiversity-rich habitats. The Alpine occurrence of the specialized species inhabiting the dry valleys is often strictly confined to these ecosystems. By applying next-generation genotyping methods on three xerophilic arthropods (ant, grasshopper, spider) occurring in inner-Alpine and non-Alpine steppes, we will try to reveal the origin and possible colonisation pathways of these species. Furthermore, we will determine the extent of gene flow among populations and unravel intraspecific diversification based on phylogeographic patterns.

Research topics
Biogeography and faunistics
Phylogeny and phylogeography
Population genetics
Development and application of genetic markers
Conservation biology

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