My research interests circle around the life history evolution and phylogeny of amphibians and reptiles (QT 1). Another research topic focuses on the comparative ecology of the herpetofauna of South-Western Germany (QT 2). Various approaches and methods such as scanning electron microscopy, CT-scanning, histochemistry, stable isotope analysis, determination of paternity using molecular tools and comparative phylogenetic analysis are applied. Collections-based research at the SMNS is a key to successfully run the program.
Herpetology is a discipline of zoology focusing on amphibians (caecilians, frogs and salamanders) but also on “reptiles” (turtles, crocodilians, amphisbaenians, lizards, snakes and sphenodontids). Herpetology usually refers to existant species of amphibians and reptiles, whereas paleoherpetology focuses on fossil taxa. Today’s research in herpetology is interdisciplinary and integrates ecology, morphology, evolutionary biology and phylogeny among other disciplines of zoology.