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Alice Petzold
Postdoctoral Researcher
Evolutionary Adaptive Genomics Group
Institute for Biochemistry and Biology
University of Potsdam
Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24-25, Haus 29, R 2.71
14476 Potsdam
phone: (049) (0331) 977-6328
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Researchgate Profile

PhD in Molecular Systematics, 2019. Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (MNHN) Paris
MSc in Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity, 2013. University of Leipzig
BSc in Biology, 2010. Martin-Luther University Halle (Saale)

Research Interests
I am an evolutionary scientist using genomic and morphometric approaches to tackle questions on animal taxonomy, speciation, evolution and conservation.

My current research focuses on the amphibians of Madagascar, using a diverse clade of narrow-mouthed frogs (Cophylinae) as a focal study system. Currently, 114 species of Cophylinae are recognised within nine genera. Recent studies, however, have shown that the group has suffered taxonomic underestimation, and that about 60 candidate species are still awaiting taxonomic description. As the reference material of taxonomic names, type specimens are of critical importance in taxonomic revisions, and removing ambiguity from their identity can help us to resolve taxonomic groups. The aim of my project is thus to develop methods for sequencing thousands of nuclear loci from old and important museum specimens. These data will then be integrated with micro-Computed Tomography, morphometric and bioacoustics’ data to perform both type-specimen explicit integrative species delimitation and evolutionary comparative analyses.

I gave guest lectures in zoology and phylogenetics classes and I have experience in giving guided tours through natural history museums.


  • Hassanin A., Petzold A. (2021). I y a deux cents ans, l’apogéede la diversité des girafes. Le Courrier de la Nature, 327, 18-21.
  • Petzold A., Magnant AS., Edderai D., Chardonnet B., Rigoulet J., Saint-Jalme M., Hassanin A. (2020). First insights into past biodiversity of giraffes (Cetartiodactyla: Giraffidae) based on mitochondrial sequences from museum specimens. European Journal of Taxonomy, (703).
  • Petzold A., Hassanin A. (2020). A comparative approach for species delimitation based on multiple methods of multi-locus DNA sequence analysis: A case study of the genus Giraffa (Mammalia, Cetartiodactyla). PLoS ONE, 15(2): e0217956.
  • Vargas-Ramírez M., Petzold A., Fritz U. (2016). Distribution modelling and conservation assessment for helmeted terrapins (Pelomedusa spp.). SALAMANDRA, 52(4), 306-316.
  • Claus C., Manssen L., Hübner D., Roßmark S., Bothe V., Petzold A., Große C., Reins M., Mankertz A., Frey TK., Liebert UG. (2015). Activation of the Mitochondrial Apoptotic Signaling Platform during Rubella Virus Infection. Viruses, 7(12), 6108-6126.
  • Fritz U., Mazuch T., Petzold A., Prokop H. (2015). Coloration and pattern of hatchlings of six Pelomedusa species. SALAMANDRA, 53(3), 277-287.
  • Fritz U., Petzold A., Kehlmaier C., Kindler C., Campbell P., Hofmeyr MD., Branch WR. (2014). Disentangling the Pelomedusa complex using type specimens and historical DNA (Testudines: Pelomedusidae). Zootaxa, 3795(5), 501-522.
  • Petzold A., Vargas-Ramirez M., Kehlmaier C., Vamberger M., Branch WR., Du Preez L., Hofmeyr MD., Meyer L., Schleicher A., Široký P., Fritz U. (2014). A revision of African helmeted terrapins (Testudines: Pelomedusidae: Pelomedusa), with descriptions of six new species. Zootaxa, 3795(5), 523- 548.
  • Große WR., Heinke N., Scheiding I., Petzold A. (2013). Verbreitung und Habitatwahl des Teichmolches in der Stadt Halle (Saale) (Sachsen-Anhalt). Mertensiella, 19, 63-67.
  • Schatz J., Petzold A., Große WR. (2012). Phänologie, Bestandsentwicklung und Populationsstruktur eines isolierten Vorkommens des Teichmolchs Lissotriton vulgaris (L.) in der Stadt Halle (Saale). Hercynia- Ökologie und Umwelt in Mitteleuropa, 45(2), 209-209.
  • Große WR., Petzold A., Albig K. (2012). Der Teichmolch (Lissotriton vulgaris) und der Kammmolch (Triturus cristatus) in der Stadt Halle/Saale - Verbreitung, Habitatwahl und Populationsbiologie. Symposium, Halle/Saale, 51-71.