Prof. Dr. Laura Epp

Research Interests

I use environmental DNA (eDNA) stored in samples such as sediment and water to analyse ecosystems and their history. I am particular interested in understanding how historical trajectories of ecosystems have shaped the biodiversity that surrounds us today - both at the level of communities and within single species. This can help us understand the relative roles of climatic changes and direct anthropogenic modifications on shaping past biodiversity and provide us with information to project possible future changes.

Key Publications

Epp L.S., Kruse, S., Kath, N.J., Stoof-Leichsenring, K.R., Tiedemann, R., Pestryakova, L.A., Herzschuh, U.  (2018) Temporal and spatial patterns of mitochondrial haplotype and species distributions in Siberian larches inferred from ancient environmental DNA and modeling.  Scientific Reports. 8:17436. DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-35550-w.

Niemeyer, B., Epp, L.S., Stoof-Leichsenring, K.R., Pestryakova, L.A., Herzschuh, U. (2017) Recording vegetation composition at the Siberian boreal treeline: A comparison between sedimentary DNA and pollen. Molecular Ecology Resources. 17(6): e46-e63. DOI: 10.1111/1755-0998.12689

Epp, L.S., Gussarova, G., Boessenkool, S., Olsen, J., Haile, J., Schrøder-Nielsen, A., Ludikova, A., Hassel, K., Stenøien, H. K., Funder, S., Willerslev E., Kjær, K., Brochmann, C. (2015) Lake sediment multi-taxon DNA from North Greenland records early post-glacial appearance of vascular plants and accurately tracks environmental changes. Quaternary Science Reviews 117: 152 - 163.

Boessenkool, S., McGlynn, G., Epp, L.S., Taylor, D., Pimentel, M., Gizaw, A., Nemomissa, A., Brochmann, C., Popp, M. (2014) Use of ancient sedimentary DNA from a biodiversity hotspot in the humid tropics as a novel conservation tool. Conservation Biology 28(2): 446 - 455.    

Willerslev, E., Davison, J., Moora, M., Zobel, M., Coissac, E., Edwards, M.E., Lorenzen, E.D., Vestergård, M., Gussarova, G., Haile, J., Craine, J., Gielly, L., Boessenkool, S., Epp, L.S., Pearman, P.B., Cheddadi, R. (...) Brochmann, C., Taberlet, P. (2014) Fifty thousand years of Arctic vegetation and megafaunal diet. Nature 506(7486): 47 - 51.

Bellemain, E.P., Davey, M.L., Kauserud, H., Epp, L.S., Boessenkool, S., Coissac, E., Geml, J., Edwards, M.E., Willerslev, E., Gussarova, G., Taberlet, P., Brochmann, C. (2013) Fungal paleodiversity revealed using high-throughput metabarcoding of ancient DNA from arctic permafrost. Environmental Microbiology 15 (4): 1176 - 1189.    

Epp, L.S., Boessenkool, S., Bellemain, E.P., Haile, J., Esposito, A., Riaz, T., Erséus, C., Gusarov, V., Edwards, M.E., Johnsen, A., Stenøien, H.K., Hassel, K., Kauserud, H., Yoccoz, N.G., Bråthen, K.A., Willerslev, E., Taberlet, P., Coissac, E., Brochmann, C. (2012) New environmental metabarcodes for analysing soil DNA: potential for studying past and present ecosystems. Molecular Ecology 21: 1821 - 1833.

Epp, L.S., Stoof, K.R., Trauth, M.H., Tiedemann, R. (2010) Historical genetics on a sediment core from a Kenyan lake: intraspecific genotype turnover in a tropical rotifer is related to past environmental changes. Journal of Paleolimnology. 43: 939 - 954.

further publications of my team and myself are listed here


Prof. Dr. Laura Epp
Junior Professor for Environmental Genomics in Aquatic Systems
+49 (0)7531 88 3391
Mainaustr. 252, 78464 Konstanz
Room U222

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