Disputation: Anna Theresia Maria ter Schure

PhD candidate Anna Theresia Maria ter Schure at the Department of Biosciences will be defending the thesis "Dung, Dirt & DNA: unearthing past and present biodiversity through eDNA metabarcoding" for the degree of PhD.

Profile picture of Anna Theresia Maria ter Schure

Anna Theresia Maria ter Schure. Photo: UiO.

The meeting opens for participation just before 13.15 PM, and closes for new participants approximately 15 minutes after the disputation has begun. 

The trial lecture is: "Palaeoecology, ecological baselines and restoration management in a warming world".

Time and place: Dec. 10, 2021 10:15 AM, Nucleus, Bikuben, the Kristine Bonnevie building

The meeting opens for participation just before 10.15 PM, and closes for new participants approximately 15 minutes after the trial lecture has begun. 

Main research findings

We are currently facing catastrophic biodiversity loss. Understanding what causes changes in biodiversity is important for its conservation. Trace DNA in environmental settings such as water, soil or faeces, allows for species detection and monitoring without the need to sight the actual organisms. Particularly environmental DNA metabarcoding proves a useful tool for the simultaneous identification of many organisms in an environmental sample. However, interpretations of the results can be complex, especially in interdisciplinary contexts requiring multiple lines of evidence.

This thesis aims to untangle this complexity by combining environmental DNA metabarcoding with different kinds of data using a diversity of statistical and data visualization approaches. The work focuses on DNA from modern and ancient faeces and sediments for dietary reconstructions as well as human-environment interactions. Different topics are addressed, i.e. biomonitoring of herbivores in a wildlife reserve in India, reconstructing the diets and habitats of Pleistocene megafauna, reconstructing prehistoric human plant use, and untangling human-environment interactions in southeast Norway during the Holocene. This work illustrates that the combination of DNA metabarcoding of ancient and modern environmental records with other lines of evidence can provide unprecedented insight into past and present biodiversity, including biological interactions, effects of climate change and human activities.

Department of Biosciences

Published Nov. 26, 2021 10:43 AM - Last modified Feb. 4, 2022 1:40 PM