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Chris Barratt

University of Basel
Institute of Biogeography
Klingelbergstr. 27, Büro 1.08
CH-4056 Basel

Tel:  +41 (0)61-267 07 22
Fax: +41-61-267 08 01


PhD Student
Funded by the Humer Foundation (Humer-Stiftung zur Förderung des wissenschaftlichen Nachwuchses)


Research group
Historical Biogeography and Systematics

Hompepage and Publications

Research topic
Using Next Generation Sequencing data to estimate the Biodiversity value of the Coastal Forests of East Africa.

I am conducting a large-scale study into amphibians found throughout the coastal lowlands of Tanzania, a poorly understood global biodiversity hotspot. In 2013-2014 I collected tissue samples from across the entire coastal region which I am currently identifying using DNA barcoding. With additional tissue loans from museums and collaborators I am creating a comprehensive inventory of the whole coastal region and using phylogenetic methods to pinpoint areas that are high in biodiversity. Additionally I am using Next Generation Sequencing (RAD-seq) to elucidate the evolutionary relationships between highly differentiated populations belonging to three poorly understood species complexes. I will use high resolution phylogenetic trees and species distribution models to address different hypotheses of speciation (recent colonisation of forests from adjacent refugial areas vs. older radiations from coastal forest relicts).



Geographic investigation area
Coastal lowlands areas of Tanzania.



Research interests
Biogeography - Phylogenetics - Population genetics - Next Generation Sequencing - Conservation




MSc by research, University of Salford, UK. (Thesis: “Developing microsatellite markers for East African caecilian amphibians”; supervised by Dr. Robert Jehle)

2004–2008 BSc (Hons) in Wildlife and Practical Conservation, University of Salford, UK

Short-term courses and work experience:

2013: Nativeness of great crested newts (Triturus cristatus) in the Scottish Highlands, University of Salford collaboration. Microsatellite analysis of recently discovered populations of great crested newts found in the highlands of Scotland separated from their established range by over 80km of unfavourable habitat. We aimed to establish the origins of these isolated populations. This was a collaboration with Scottish Natural Heritage.

2012: Genetic identification of horse mackerel (Trachurus trachurus) in the North-East Atlantic, University of Salford collaboration. Microsatellite analysis of horse mackerel populations from the North and Irish seas to establish differentiation between populations. This was a collaboration with University College Dublin and the Pelagic Freezer Trawler Association.

2008–2009: Frontier Tanzania Savannah Research Project, Kilombero Valley, Tanzania. Investigating the diversity and abundance of amphibian assemblages throughout various localities in the Kilombero Valley, with a particular focus on the effects of habitat disturbance (both human and natural).

2005: GIS bird mapping project, Príncipe. Produced GIS habitat maps of the occurrence of endemic bird species of Principe as part of a university placement.

2004: Short course in African Wildlife Management, Mweka College, Moshi, Tanzania: Trained in field identification techniques of a high diversity of African animals, visiting Arusha, Lake Manyara, Tarangire, Serengeti national parks and conducting fieldwork on herbivore abundance in the Ngorongoro crater.



UK, Tanzania, Sao Tome and Príncipe


ConGenOmics short visit grant (European Science Foundation)
Freiwillige Akademische Gesellschaft grant for fieldwork



©2011 Departement Umweltwissenschaften, Biogeographie. Universität Basel, update 22/Feb/2016 by JBeck