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Institut für Evolutionäre Anthropologie (IEA) Evolutionary Genetics Group

Maja Greminger-Mattle

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+41 44 635 54 32 +41 44 635 68 04 maja.greminger*

Research Interests

I am broadly intrigued by fundamental questions of evolutionary biology. In particular, my research interests focus on understanding evolutionary processes and how they shape patterns of genetic diversity and differentiation. More specifically, I am interested in the genetic basis of adaptation. I am also interested in technical aspects, i.e. in developing novel tools and methods required to tackle relevant questions in evolutionary- and conservation genomics. The technical revolution of next-generation sequencing has opened up new possibilities for long standing quests in evolutionary genetics, which I explored for my doctoral degree. Using a population genomics approach, I investigated the demographic history and local adaptations of orangutans - the most basal great apes to humans. More broadly, I am interested in several other fields, in particular in personalized medicine.

Academic Record

Ph.D. in Evolutionary Genomics, University of Zurich, Switzerland (2015)

Master of Science in Biology, University of Zurich, Switzerland (2007)

Bachelor of Science in Biology, University of Zurich, Switzerland (2005)


Greminger MP, Nater A, Roos C, Goossens B, Gut M, Gut IG, van Schaik CP, Marques-Bonet T, and Krützen M. Power and Necessity of Incorporating Male-Specific Genomic Data in Analyses of Species with Discordant Sex-Specific Evolutionary Histories: a Case Study in Orangutans (genus: Pongo). In review.

Bilgin Sonay T, Carvalho T, Robinson M, Greminger MP, Krützen M, Comas D, Highnam G, Mittelman D, Sharp A, Marques-Bonet T, and Wagner A (2015). Tandem repeat variation in human and great ape populations and its impact on gene expression divergence. Genome Research.

Nater A, Greminger MP, Arora N, van Schaik CP, and Krützen M (2015). Reconstructing the Demographic History of Orangutans using Approximate Bayesian Computation. Molecular Ecology, 24(2):310-327.

Greminger MP, Stölting KN, Nater A, Goossens B, Arora A, Bruggmann R, Patrignani A, Nussberger B, Sharma R, Kraus RHS, Ambu LN, Singleton I, Chikhi L, van Schaik CP and Krützen M (2014). Generation of SNP datasets for orangutan population genomics using improved reduced-representation sequencing and evaluation of SNP calling algorithms. BMC Genomics, 15(1):16.

Nussberger B, Greminger MP, Grossen C, Keller LF, and Wandeler P (2013). Development of SNP markers identifying European wildcats, domestic cats, and their admixed progeny. Molecular Ecology Resources, 13(3):447-460.

Nater A, Arora N, Greminger MP, van Schaik CP, Singleton I, Wich S, Fredriksson G, Perwitasari-Farajallah D, Pamungkas J, and Krützen M (2013). Marked Population Structure and Recent Migration in the Critically Endangered Sumatran Orang-Utan (Pongo abelii). Journal of Heredity, 104(1): 2-13.

Rotheray EL, Nater A, Krützen M, Greminger MP, Goulson D, and Bussière LF (2012). Genetic variation and population decline of an endangered hoverfly Blera fallax (Diptera: Syrphidae). Conservation Genetics, 13(5): 1283-1291.

Arora N, van Noordwijk MA, Ackermann C, Willems EP, Nater A, Greminger MP, Nietlisbach P, Dunkel LP, Utami Atmoko SS, Pamungkas J, Perwitasari-Farajallah D, van Schaik CP, and Krützen M (2012). Parentage-based pedigree reconstruction reveals female matrilineal clusters and male-biased dispersal in nongregarious Asian great apes, the Bornean orang-utans (Pongo pygmaeus). Molecular Ecology, 21(13): 3352-3362.

Rotheray EL, Greminger MP, Nater A, Krützen M, Goulson D, and Bussière LF (2011). Polymorphic microsatellite loci for the endangered pine hoverfly Blera fallax (Diptera: Syrphidae). Conservation Genetics Resources, 4: 117-120.

Nietlisbach P, Nater A, Greminger MP, Arora N, and Krützen M (2010). A multiplex-system to target 16 male-specific and 15 autosomal genetic markers for orang-utans (genus: Pongo). Conservation Genetics Resources, 2(1): 153-158.

Greminger MP, Krützen M, Schelling C, Pieńkowska-Schelling A, Wandeler P (2010). The quest for Y-chromosome specific markers – methodological strategies for mammalian non-model organisms. Molecular Ecology Resources, 10(3): 409-420. Invited technical review.

Greminger MP, Schäfer MA, Nater A, Blanckenhorn WU and Krützen M (2009). Development of polymorphic microsatellite markers for the dung fly (Sepsis cynipsea), Molecular Ecology Resources, 9: 1554-1556.


Unraveling the Evolutionary History of Orangutans (genus: Pongo) — The Impact of Environmental Processes and the Genomic Basis of Adaptation . Ph.D. dissertation. Anthropological Institute and Museum, University of Zurich (2015)

The Quest for the Y - Development and Application of Male-Specific Markers in Orangutans (Pongo spp.) and bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops spp.). M.Sc. thesis. University of Zurich, Switzerland (2007)


Weiterführende Informationen

Maja Greminger

Maja Greminger