I am interested in evolutionary and population genetics with a focus on conservation aspects.
In my PhD thesis I am investigating the among- and within-population variation in the genetic basis and magnitude of inbreeding depression, genetic load and hybrid vigor in Daphnia magna. I use a marker-based approach and a setup of experiments under outdoor conditions. Daphnia magna reproduce by cyclical parthenogenesis and is a convenient model organism. It allows the establishment of clonal lines derived from single females and within-clone mating. These are – together with its high reproductive potential – important features for genetic studies.
With my work I like to increase the empirical data about inbreeding depression and genetic load in natural populations, the influence of population size and structure and the maintenance of fitness variation. Improved knowledge in these topics is important for the management of endangered species in fragmented landscape and has also implications for breeding programs of zoo- and livestock-animals.
|2003-2006||Undergraduate studies in Biology at the University of Bern, Switzerland|
|2006-2007||Master thesis in population genetics at the University of Bern, Switzerland|
|2008-today||PhD in population genetics at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland|
Walser, B. & C.R. Haag (2011). Strong intraspecific variation in genetic diversity and genetic differentiation in Daphnia magna: the effects of population turnover and population size. Mol. Ecol. 21: 851–861. download pdf
Walser, B. & G. Heckel (2008). Microsatellite markers for the common vole (Microtus arvalis) and their cross-species utility. Conservation Genetics, 9: 479-481. download pdf