Dr. Daniel Förster


Head of Carnivore Conservation Genomics
External position: Associate Editor, BMC Genomics

Department of Evolutionary Genetics


Tel: 0049 (0) 30 5168 - 311

Short curriculum vitae

Daniel completed his PhD in Molecular Evolution at the University of York, UK, in 2008, after which he undertook postdoctoral studies on the impact of genomic rearrangements on genetic differentiation in wild populations (until 2011). He then came to the IZW to develop and apply high throughput methods for genetic monitoring of European carnivores. Since 2018 he is a staff scientist and head of ‘Conservation Genomics’ at the IZW.
Research interests
  • Genome evolution, molecular ecology & conservation
  • Employs various types of sample material for genetic analyses, including ancient and archival samples, a range of non-invasively collected material (e.g. hair, faeces, urine), as well as environmental DNA sources (e.g. waterholes)
  • Study species include felids, canids, ursids, mustelids, ungulates, rodents, and amphibians; it includes extinct species, such as sabre-toothed cats, and museum specimens to include data about populations that are now extinct in the wild
Selected publications

Paijmans JLA, Barlow A, Becker MS, Cahill JA, Fickel J, Förster DWG, Gries K, Hartmann S, Havmøller RW, Henneberger K, Kern C, Kitchener AC, Lorenzen ED, Westbury MV, Mayer F, Obrien SJ, von Seth J, Sinding MHS, Spong G, Uphyrkina O, Wachter B, Dalén L, Bhak J, Manica A, Hofreiter M (2021): African and Asian leopards are highly differentiated at the genomic level. CURR BIOL 31, 1–11. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2021.03.084

Paijmans JLA, Barlow A, Henneberger K, Fickel J, Hofreiter M, Förster DWG (2020): Ancestral mitogenome capture of the Southeast Asian banded linsang. PLOS ONE 15, e0234385. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0234385

Derežanin L, Fickel J, Förster DW (2020): The complete mitochondrial genome of the meerkat (Suricata suricatta) and its phylogenetic relationship with other feliform species. MITOCHOND DNA Part B5, 1100-1101. doi:10.1080/23802359.2020.1726221

Kunde MN, Martins RF, Premier J, Fickel J, Förster DW (2020): Population and landscape genetic analysis of the Malayan sun bear Helarctos malayanus. CONSERV GENET 21, 123-135. doi:10.1007/s10592-019-01233-w

Martins RF, Kampmann ML, Förster DW (2019): Sequencing Library Preparation from Degraded Samples for Non-illumina Sequencing Platforms. Methods Mol Biol. 1963, 85-92. doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-9176-1_10

Mengüllüoğlu D, Fickel J, Hofer H, Förster DW (2019): Non-invasive faecal sampling reveals spatial organization and improves measures of genetic diversity for the conservation assessment of territorial species: Caucasian lynx as a case species. PLOS ONE 14(5), e0216549. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0216549

Paijmans JLA, Fortes GG, Förster DW (2019): Application of Solid-State Capture for the Retrieval of Small-to-Medium Sized Target Loci from Ancient DNA. Methods Mol Biol. 1963, 129-139. doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-9176-1_14

Seeber PA, McEwen GK, Löber U, Förster DW, East ML, Melzheimer J, Greenwood AD (2019): Terrestrial mammal surveillance using hybridization capture of environmental DNA from African waterholes. MOL ECOL RESOUR 19(6), 1486-1496. doi:10.1111/1755-0998.13069

Stöck M, Fakharzadeh F, Kuhl H, Rozenblut-Kościsty B, Leinweber S, Patel R, Ebrahimi M, Voitel S, Schmidtler JF, Kami HG, Ogielska M, Förster DW (2019): Shedding Light on a Secretive Tertiary urodelean Relict: Hynobiid salamanders (Paradactylodon persicus sl) from Iran, Illuminated by Phylogeographic, Developmental and Transcriptomic Data. GENES 10(4), 306. doi: 103390/genes10040306

Ambarlı H, Mengüllüoğlu D, Fickel J, Förster DW (2018): Population genetics of the main population of brown bears in southwest Asia. PEERJ 6, e5660. doi:10.7717/peerj.5660

Förster DW, Bull JK, Lenz D, Autenrieth M, Paijmans LAJ, Kraus RHS, Nowak C, Bayerl H, Kuehn R, Saveljev AP, Sindičić M, Hofreiter M, Schmidt K, Fickel J (2018): Targeted resequencing of coding DNA sequences for SNP discovery in nonmodel species. MOL ECOL RESOUR 18(6), 1356-1373. doi:10.1111/1755-0998.12924

Paijamans JLA, Barlow A, Förster DW, Henneberger K, Meyer M, Nickel B, Nagel D, Worsøe Havmøller R, Barysshnikov GF, Joger U, Rosendahl W, Hofreiter M (2018): Historical biogeography of the leopard (Panthera pardus) and its extinct Eurasian populations. BMC EVOL BIOL 18, 156. doi: 10.1186/s12862-018-1268-0

Bayerl H, Kraus RHS, Nowak C, Foerster DW, Fickel J, Kuehn R (2018): Fast and cost-effective single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) detection in the absence of a reference genome using semideep next-generation Random Amplicon Sequencing  (RAMseq). MOL ECOL RESOUR 18(1), 107-117. doi:10.1111/1755-0998.12717

Giménez MD, Förster DW, Jones EP, Jóhannesdóttir F, Gabriel SI, Panithanarak T, Scascitelli M, Merico V, Garagna S, Searle JB, Hauffe HC (2017): A half-century of studies on a chromosomal hybrid zone of the house mouse. J HERED 108(1), 25-35. doi: 10.1093/jhered/esw061

Martins RF, Fickel J, Le M, Nguyen T, Nguyen HM, Timmins R, Gan HM, Rovie-Ryan JJ, Lenz D, Förster DW, Wilting A (2017): Phylogeography of red muntjacs reveals three distinct mitochondrial lineages. BMC EVOL BIOL 17, 34. doi:10.1186/s12862-017-0888-0

Patel RP, Lenz D, Kitchener AC, Fickel J, Förster DW, Wilting A (2017): Threatened but understudied: supporting conservation by understanding the genetic structure of the flat-headed cat. CONSERV GENET 18(6), 1423–1433. doi:10.1007/s10592-017-0990-2

Patel RP, Wutke S, Lenz D, Mukherjee S, Ramakrishnan U, Veron G, Fickel J, Wilting A, Förster DW (2017): Genetic Structure and Phylogeography of the Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) Inferred from Mitochondrial Genomes. J HERED 108(4), 349-360. doi:10.1093/jhered/esx017

Bull JK, Heurich M, Saveljev AP, Schmidt K, Fickel J, Förster DW (2016): The effect of reintroductions on the genetic variability in Eurasian lynx populations: the cases of Bohemian-Bavarian and Vosges-Palatinian populations. CONSERV GENET 17(5), 1229-1234. doi:10.1007/s10592-016-0839-0

Didion JP, Morgan AP, Yadgary L, Bell TA, McMullan RC, Solorzano LO, Britton-Davidian J, Bult CJ, Campbell KJ, Castiglia R, Ching YH, Chunco AJ, Crowley JJ, Chesler EJ, Förster DW, French JE, Gabriel SI, Gatti DM, Garland T, Giagia-Athanasopoulou EB, Giménez MD, Grize SA, Gündüz İ, Holmes A, Hauffe HC, Herman JS, Holt JM, Hua K, Jolley WJ, Lindholm AK, López-Fuster MJ, Mitsainas G, Mathias ML, McMillan L, Ramalhinho MG, Rehermann B, Rosshart SP, Searle JB, Shiao MS, Solano E, Svenson KL, Thomas-Laemont P, Threadgill DW, Ventura J, Weinstock GM, Pomp D, Churchill GA, Pardo-Manuel de Villena F (2016): R2d2 drives selfish sweeps in the house mouse. MOL BIOL EVOL 33(6), 1381-1395. doi:10.1093/molbev/msw036

Förster DW, Jones EP, Jóhannesdóttir F, Gabriel SI, Giménez MD, Panithanarak T, Hauffe HC, Searle JB (2016): Genetic differentiation within and away from the chromosomal rearrangements characterising hybridising chromosomal races of the western house mouse (Mus musculus domesticus). CHROM RES 24, 271-280. doi:10.1007/s10577-016-9520-1

Paijmans JLA, Fickel J, Courtiol A, Hofreiter M, Förster DW (2016): Impact of enrichment conditions on cross-species capture of fresh and degraded DNA. MOL ECOL RESOUR 16(1), 42–55.doi:10.1111/1755-0998.12420

Patel RP, Förster DW, Kitchener AC, Rayan MD, Mohamed SW, Werner L, Lenz D, Pfestorf H, Kramer-Schadt S, Radchuk V, Fickel J, Wilting A (2016): Two species of Southeast Asian cats in the genus Catopuma with diverging histories: an island endemic forest specialist and a widespread habitat generalist. ROYAL SOC OPEN SCI 3(10), 160350. doi:10.1098/rsos.160350

Wilting A, Patel A, Pfestorf H, Kern C, Sultan K, Ario A, Peñaloza F, Kramer-Schadt S, Radchuk V, Förster DW, Fickel J (2016): Evolutionary history and conservation significance of the Javan leopard Panthera pardus melas. J ZOOL 299(4), 239–250. doi:10.1111/jzo.12348

Kraus RHS, Vonholdt B, Cocchiararo B, Harms V, Bayerl H, Kuhn R, Förster DW, Fickel J, Roos C, Nowak C (2015): A single-nucleotide polymorphism-based approach for rapid and cost-effective genetic wolf monitoring in Europe based on noninvasively collected samples. MOL ECOL RESOUR 15(2), 295–305. doi:10.1111/1755-0998.12307

Last updated on April, 15th 2021.