Genomic analysis of the process leading up to the extinction of the woolly mammoth
The overall goal of this project is to use palaeogenomics to study micro-evolutionary processes in the woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius). I plan to do this by using DNA capture to sequence partial genomes from ca 200 radiocarbon dated mammoth specimens ranging in age from 60 to 4 thousand years ago (ka). The DNA capture will be designed to sample broadly across the mammoth's genome, targeting both neutral and non-neutral markers. This will allow me to estimate temporal changes in Ne, track changes in genetic variation and individual inbreeding coefficients through time, investigate whether past environmental changes have led to genetic adaptation, and examine whether the small population size on Wrangel Island led to an accumulation of deleterious alleles prior to the species extinction.
Supervisor: Dr Love Dalén (Swedish Museum of Natural History)
Co-supervisors: Prof. Michael Hofreiter (Potsdam University) and Fredrik Ronquist (Swedish Museum of Natural History)
Molecular and morphological signals of speciation explosion of tree squirrels
The group of tree squirrels of the tribe Sciurini demonstrates a conflict of old taxonomy based on morphological traits and new molecular data, which contradict it. In my Master’s project I analysed a combined dataset of molecular samples (DNA sequences from tissues) and morphological data (photographs of skulls). Molecular phylogeny confirmed the pattern associated with zoogeographic distribution and revealed first information about the rapid divergence of the Neotropical squirrels. Geometric morphometry of photographs of squirrel skulls did not support the relationships suggested by molecular data, but agreed with the division of squirrels according to current systematics.
Supervisor: Mgr. Natália Martínková, PhD (Institute of Vertebrate Biology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic).
Oct 2013 – present…PhD in Systematics and Evolutionary Biology, Swedish Museum of Natural History
July – Sept 2013…Laboratory technician, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Sept 2011 – June 2013…Mgr. in Ecological and Evolutionary Biology, Masaryk University
Sept 2008 – June 2011…Bc. in Systematic Biology and Ecology, Masaryk University
2012 Short Visit Grant, FroSpects, European Science Foundation
2012 Rector's Program, Masaryk University
2011 PROVAZ, Institute of Vertebrate Biology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Pečnerová P & Martínková N. (2012) Evolutionary history of tree squirrels (Rodentia, Sciurini) based on multilocus phylogeny reconstruction. Zoologica Scripta, 41: 211-219.