11 April 2022 – Giulia Fabbri’s PhD project focusses on the genetic make-up of wild boar and wolf populations on Sardinia and in mainland Italy. “I want to understand why these populations are genetically very different from all other populations in Europe,” she explains. “One theory we have is occasional mixing and breeding with individuals of their domesticated forms, i.e. pigs and dogs. We are looking for evidence of this in the genomes of the wild forms.” Her group’s research in Italy aims to inform conservation measures.
At the GLOBE Institute, where she is an EMBO Scientific Exchange Grantee, Fabbri has been taking a deeper dive into her data to explore the evolution of the populations. “I have realized I am really interested in genome assembly and the evolution of these populations. Being in Copenhagen has opened up new possible future research directions.” Coming from a small group in Italy, Fabbri is also enjoying the support and sense of community she has found in Copenhagen. The weekly lab meetings in which challenges are discussed have been particularly helpful. She is keen to keep in touch once she heads back to Sardinia: “We have so many ideas on the table we want to develop!”