Postdoctoral fellow working on sedimentary ancient DNA to reconstruct human-ecosystem interactions over time
My research focusses on lake sediments and how they can be used to study changes in ecosystems over time. I have worked with sediments from Europe and Indonesia, reaching back as far as 1 million years.
Currently, I'm working on a project where I aim to differentiate between human impact and climate as drivers for soil erosion and ecosystem reorganisation. I use sedimentary ancient DNA to detect domestic animals that were herded in a lake's catchment over the past millennia. This way I will gain a better understanding of how humans have shaped the alpine environment over time.
I will also explore how well DNA from lake sediments represents the surrounding ecosystem, i.e. whether it is possible to detect the DNA from species that are currently present around the lake. This is important to know when interpreting data that we get from the analysis of old sedimentary DNA.
I have a background in palaeolimnology, limnogeology, and sediment geochemistry.