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Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies

Béatrice Nussberger

Research interests

Hybridization between wild and domestic animals often results in lower levels of viability and fertility of hybrid offspring and may lead to genetic extinction. The locally endangered European wildcat (Felis silvestris silvestris) does hybridize with the domestic cat. I am interested in the impact of this hybridization on the Wildcats. During my PhD I developed genetic SNP-markers to distinguish between wildcats, domestic cats and their admixed progeny. I then inferred the hybridization rate of wildcats in Switzerland. I am currently still working on this theme, but on a larger scale. My findings should help defining conservation priorities for wildcat populations.


Education and professional positions

2013 - present Post-doctoral researcher at the IEBES, University of Zurich, Switzerland
2013 - present Scientific collaboration with Federal Office of Environment
2009 - 2013 Ph.D. at the IEBES, University of Zurich, Switzerland
2009 - 2010 Scientific collaboration, Faunalpin, Bern, Switzerland
2004 - 2008 Scientific collaboration in ecological consultancy, Hintermann & Weber, Bern, Switzerland
2003 Internships in nature education
2003 Diploma in Biology, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Selected publications

  • Nussberger B., Wandeler P., Weber D., Keller LF. (2014). Monitoring introgression in European wildcats in the Swiss Jura. Conservation Genetics, 15(5):1219-1230. DOI: 10.1007/s10592-014-0613-0
  • Nussberger B., Wandeler P., Camenisch G. (2014). A SNP chip to detect introgression in wildcats allows accurate genotyping of single hairs. European Journal of Wildlife Research, 60(2):405-410. DOI: 10.1007/s10344-014-0806-3
  • Nussberger B., Wandeler P., Weber D., Keller LF. (2013). Development of SNP markers identifying European wildcats, domestic cats, and their admixed progeny. Molecular Ecology Resources 13(3): 447-460 . DOI: 10.1111/1755-0998.12075
  • Nussberger B. (2012). Detecting introgression is important for wildcat conservation. Säugetierkundl. Info. 8 (45): 319-328.
  • Nussberger B., Weber D., Hefti-Gautschi B., Lüps P. (2007). Neuester Stand des Nachweises und der Verbreitung der Waldkatze (Felis silvestris) in der Schweiz. Mitteilungen der Naturforschenden Gesellschaft in Bern 64: 67-80.

Weiterführende Informationen

Béatrice Nussberger

Béatrice Nussberger

Post-doctoral researcher

Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
University of Zurich
Winterthurerstrasse 190
8057 Zurich

Office: Y13-J-42b
Phone: +41 44 635 4752