University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU)
Institute of Computational Biology

Sabine Felkel, PhD

2o2o ::: Award ::: Award of Excellence - Austrian State Award for the best dissertations
2o19 ::: PostDoc ::: Himmelbauer lab at BOKU
2o19 ::: PhD ::: Population Genetics at PopGen, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna ::: Thesis "Y-chromosomal evolution in equids" HeartOfThesis Asians CamelY Przewalski Domestication
2o18 ::: Guest Scientist at Wellcome Sanger Institute in Cambridge ::: Project Insights into human genetic variation and population history from 929 diverse genomes
2o15 ::: MSc ::: Microbial Ecology at (dome) ::: Thesis "Ancient gene transfer from Chlamydiae to plants?"
2o14 ::: Internship at AIT ::: Project "Do endophytes improve Douglasie seed germination?"
2o12 ::: BSc ::: Biology at University of Vienna

Current research: Main Project

At BOKU I am analysing a dataset of more than 600 whole genome sequenced beets.
The dataset consists mainly of domestic sugar beet (B. v. vulgaris) and its closest wild relative, sea beet (B. v. maritima), but contains also a small collection of other wild beet species (B. v. adanensis, B. patula and B. macrocarpa).
I am performing a series of bioinformatic analyses based on variants detected in the dataset relative to the sugar beet reference genome RefBeet-1.2.
The comparison of a domestic species with its wild relatives can give valuable insights into both, the process of domestication and evolution. Results can be used to validate archeological findings, but also, to deepen historical knowledge: When and where was a species domesticated? Is there one or are there multiple origins of domestication? What parts of the genome are conserved among domestic and wild species? What was aquired due to either artificial selection or natural adaptation? Are there valuable resistances in the wild relatives that can be used to improve cultivated crops? Is there population structure in the wild - are there barriers to gene flow or is it all a well mixed population? Are hybrids occurring and is speciation potentially going on?

Current research: Collaborations

I am responsible for the analysis of a genotyping-by-sequencing dataset of two alpine plant species. Individuals were collected from three mountains and three altitudes each.
Apart from studying the variation and detecting signals of adaptation to the different environmental conditions, the long-term goal for this project is to test if individuals are migrating up or down the mountains due to climate change.
Still involved in Y-chromosomal research.


ancient DNA, domestication, sex chromosomes, plastid DNA, symbioses
cycling, home-made food, photography, yoga


Phone internal 79153
Email sabine.felkel
BOKU profile
04 Jul 2022 - 17:10 Foswiki v2.0.2