Stephanie Vallant, MSc
As an ornithologist, I investigate various bird species in several projects in the area of environmental protection.
In my master thesis, I specialized in the genetic analysis of grouse species. In cooperation with the Institute of Legal Medicine in Innsbruck, I optimized methods for DNA extraction and DNA analysis of non-invasive samples to investigate endangered and elusive species like capercaillie and black grouse. These methods were applied to an extensive monitoring project, now continued in collaboration with the Molecular Ecology group, in which faeces and moulted feathers of capercaillie, black grouse, hazel grouse, rock ptarmigan, and rock partridge are collected and genotyped. DNA analysis enables a determination of species and sex as well as a monitoring of individuals through genetic fingerprinting, which allows the estimation of population dynamics.
Biogeography and faunistics