Alice Petzold

I’m a postodoctoral researcher interested in animal taxonomy, phylogenetics, phylogeography, speciation, evolution and conservation. My particular expertise lies in the analysis of past biodiversity using samples gathered from museum specimens. Given the highly degraded nature of these samples, I am using different ancient DNA approaches to isolate DNA for further genetic analyses including data from contemporary conspecifics.

My current research focuses on the amphibians of Madagascar, using a diverse clade of narrow-mouthed frogs (Cophylinae) as a focal study system. Currently, 115 species of cophyline frogs are recognised within nine genera, but due to taxonomic underestimation in the past, about 50 species are still awaiting taxonomic description. However, the description of some is hampered, either because they belong to species complexes or due to the uncertain attribution of historical species names. I thus aim resolve cophyline taxonomy using a newly established type-specimen explicit protocol for integrative species delimitation, including morphological, osteological and molecular data from contemporary individuals as well as museum specimens including name-bearing types. My work will not only facilitate the description of remaining candidate species, but also open the door for macroevolutionary studies to better understand amphibian evolution in general.