Sylvia Hofmann, PhD

Guest Researcher
Population ecology and landscape structures

Centre of Taxonomy and Evolutionary Research
Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig
Adenauerallee 160
53113 Bonn



- Study of biology (main: zoology) at the Martin-Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
- PhD (Dr. rer. nat) at the UFZ. Thesis: Population biology of the common lizard (Zootoca vivipara JACQUIN, 1787) in Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony: Distribution, Ecology, Behaviour and Population genetics
- Postgraduate study of toxikology and environmental conservation at the University of Leipzig
- Study of geoinformation systems (Master of Engineering) at the Anhalt University of Applied Sciences

Research interests

  • phylogeography, evolution and systematics of High Asian herpetofauna
  • population genetics
  • impacts of land use changes on biodiversity
  • genetic epidemiology

Current projects

Understanding current patterns of diversity and distribution: How and when did Himalayan faunal elements evolve?

Phylogeography of Ground Beetles as a human-independent paleoenvironmental proxy in the Bale Mountains, Ethiopia


Faille A, Hofmann S, Merene Y, Hauth D, Opgenoorth L, Woldehawariat Y, Schmidt J (2023) Explosive radiation versus old relicts: The complex history of Ethiopian Trechina, with description of a new genus and a new subgenus (Coleoptera, Carabidae, Trechini). Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift. 70(2):311-335. https://doi: 10.3897/dez.70.107425

Hofmann S, Masroor R, Jablonski D (2023) First Comprehensive Tadpole Description of the Relict and Endemic Mountain Frog Chrysopaa sternosignata (Murray, 1885) from Afghanistan. Herpetologica 79:128-14.

Schmidt J*, Opgenoorth L*, Mao K, Baniya CB, Hofmann S* (2023) Molecular phylogeny of mega-diverse Carabus attests late Miocene evolution of alpine environments in the Himalayan-Tibetan Orogen. Scientific Reports. 13:13272. *corresponding authors

Jablonski D*, Mebert M, Masroor R, Simonov E, Kukushkin O, Abduraupov T, Hofmann S* (2023) The Silk roads: phylogeography of Central Asian dice snakes (Serpentes: Natricidae) shaped by rivers in deserts and mountain valleys. Current Biology: zoad008. *corresponding authors

Hofmann S, Schmidt J, Masroor R, Borkin LJ, Litvinchuk S, Rödder D, Vershinin V, Jablonski D (2023) Endemic lineages of spiny frogs demonstrate the biogeographic importance and conservational needs of the Hindu Kush Himalaya region. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society:zlac113.

Jablonski D, Masroor R, Hofmann S (2022) On the edge of the Shivaliks: on the taxonomic validity and molecular phylogeny of the endemic Pakistani lineage of Duttaphrynus melanostictus. Zoosystematics and Evolution 98(2):275-284.

Hofmann S (2022) New and highest record of the rare Szechwan ratsnake, Euprepiophis perlaceus (Serpentes: Colubridae) from Muge Co, Kangding, Garzê, China. Herpetology Notes 15: 15-21.

Hofmann S, Baniya CB, Stoeck M, Podsiadlowski L (2021) De novo assembly, annotation, and analysis of transcriptome data of the Ladakh ground skink provide genetic information on high-altitude adaptation. Genes 12(9), 1423.

Hofmann S, Masroor R, Jablonski D (2021) Genetic variation and tadpoles of the westernmost Himalayan lazy toad Scutiger occidentalis. Zoologischer Anzeiger 294: 205-209.

Opgenoorth L, Hofmann S, Schmidt J (2021) Rewinding the molecular clock in the genus Carabus (Coleoptera: Carabidae): Revisiting Andujar et al. in light of new fossil evidence and the Gondwana split. PLoS ONE 16(9): e0256679,

Hofmann S, Masroor R, Jablonski D (2021) Morphological and molecular data on tadpoles of the westernmost Himalayan spiny frog Allopaa hazarensis (Dubois and Khan, 1979). ZooKeys 1049: 67-77.

Jablonski D, Masroor R, Hofmann S (2021) Revisited Molecular Phylogeny of the Genus Sphaerotheca (Anura: Dicroglossidae): The Biogeographic Status of Northernmost Populations and Further Taxonomic Changes. Diversity 13(5):216.

Hofmann S, Jablonski D, Litvinchuk S, Masroor R, Schmidt J (2021) Relict groups of spiny frogs indicate Late Paleogene-Early Neogene trans-Tibet dispersal of thermophile faunal elements. PeerJ 9:e11793.

Hofmann S, Fritzsche P, Dorge T, Miehe G, Nothnagel M (2021) What makes a hot-spring habitat “hot” for the hot-spring snake: Distributional data and niche modelling for the genus Thermophis (Serpentes, Colubridae). Diversity 2021, 13(7), 325.

Eichenberg D, et al. (2020) Langfristige Biodiversitätsveränderungen in Deutschland erkennen - Mit Hilfe der Vergangenheit in die Zukunft schauen. Natur und Landschaft. 95(11):479-491.

Nemitz-Kliemchen M, Andres C, Hofmann S, Prieto-Ramirez AM, Stoev P, Tzankov N, Schaffer S, Bernhard D, Henle K, Schlegel M (2020) Spatial and genetic structure of a Lacerta viridis metapopulation in a fragmented landscape in Bulgaria. Global Ecology and Conservation 23:e01104.

Roitberg E, Orlova VF, Bulakhova NA, Kuranova VN …. Hofmann S, Leontyeva OA, Böhme W (2020) Variation in body size and sexual size dimorphism in the most widely-ranging lizard: testing the effects of reproductive mode and climate. Ecology and Evolution 10(11):4531-4561.

Auliya M*, Hofmann S*, Segniagbeto G, Delagon P, Ronfort D, Astrin J, Forat S, D’Cruze N (2020) The first genetic assessment of wild and farmed ball pythons (Reptilia: Serpentes: Pythonidae) in southern Togo. Nature Conservation 38:37-59. *equal contribution

Hofmann S (2020) A new record of Gloydius strauchi (Viperidae, Crotalinae) from Dêgê County, NW Sichuan, China and symptoms of that species’ bite. Russian Journal of Herpetology 27(2):113-122.

Hofmann S, Baniya CB, Litvinchuk SN, Miehe G, Li J.-T., Schmidt J. (2019) Phylogeny of spiny frogs Nanorana (Anura: Dicroglossidae) supports a Tibetan origin of a Himalayan species group. Ecology and Evolution 9(24):14498–14511. [doi: 10.1002/ece3.5909]

Hofmann S, Kuhl H, Baniya CB, Stöck M (2019) Multi-Tissue Transcriptomes Yield Information on High-Altitude Adaptation and Sex-Determination in Scutiger cf. sikimmensis. Genes 10(11):873 []

Litvinchuk SN, Melnikov DA, Borkin LJ, Hofmann S (2019) Rediscovery of the high altitude toad, Scutiger occidentalis DUBOIS, 1978, in India. Russian Journal of Herpetology 26(1):17-22 [doi: 10.30906/1026-2296-2019-26-1-17-22]

Hofmann S, Mebert K, Schulz K-D, Helfenberger N, Göçmen B, Boehme W (2018) A new subspecies of Zamenis hohenackeri (Strauch, 1873) (Serpentes: Colubridae) based on morphological and molecular data. Zootaxa 4471(1):137-153 [doi:]

Betto-Colliard C, Hofmann S, Sermier R, Perrin N, Stöck M (2018) Profound genetic divergence and asymmetric parental genome contributions as hallmarks of hybrid speciation in polyploid toads. Proceedings B 285(1872) [doi: 10.1098/rspb.2017.2667] press release

Hofmann S, Everaars J, Schweiger O, Frenzel M, Bannehr L, Cord AF (2017) Modelling patterns of pollinator species richness and diversity using satellite image texture. PLOS ONE []

Zimmermann A, Knecht H, Haesler R, Zissel G, Gaede K, Hofmann S, Nebel A, Mueller-Quernheim J, Schreiber S, Fischer A (2017) Atopobium and Fusobacterium as novel candidates for sarcoidosis associated microbiota. European Respiratory Journal 50: 1600746 [doi: 10.1183/13993003.00746-2016]

Hofmann S, Stöck M, Zheng Y, Ficetola GF, Li J, Scheidt U, Schmidt J (2017) Molecular Phylogenies indicate a Paleo-Tibetan Origin of Himalayan Lazy Toads (Scutiger). Scientific Reports 7:3308; press release in English, German and Korean [https://doi:10.1038/s41598-017-03395-4]

Hofmann S, Fritzsche P, Miehe G (2016) First record of Elaphe dione from high altitude in Western Sichuan reveals high intraspecific differentiation. Salamandra 52:273-277. [pdf]

Mohapatra P, Schulz KD, Helfenberger N, Hofmann S, Dutta SK (2016) A contribution to the Indian Trinket Snake Coelognathus helena (DAUDIN, 1803), with the description of a new subspecies. Russian Journal of Herpetology 23 (2):115-144. [abstract]

Hofmann S, Tillack F, Miehe G (2015) Genetic differentiation among species of the genus Thermophis Malnate (Serpentes, Colubridae) and comments on T. shangrila. Zootaxa 4028(1):102-120. [doi:]

Nutsua M, Fischer A, Nebel A, Hofmann S, Schreiber S, Krawczak M, Nothnagel M (2015) Family-based benchmarking of copy number variation detection software. PLoS One. 10(7):e0133465. [doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0133465]

Zimmermann A, Zissel G, Müller-Quernheim J, Hofmann S, Schreiber S, Fischer A (2015) Are bronchoalveolar lavages a good source for microbial profiling? Differences between throat and BAL microbiome. Journal of Medical Microbiology 64(8):948-951. [doi:10.1099/jmm.0.000112]

Fischer A, Ellinghaus D, Nutsua M, Hofmann S, Montgomery CG, Iannuzzi MC, Rybicki BA, Petrek M, Mrazek F, Pabst S,Grohé C, Grunewald J, Ronninger M, Eklund A, Padyukov L, Mihailovic-Vucinic V, Jovanovic D, Sterclova M, Homolka J, the GenPhenReSa Consortium, Nöthen MM, Herms S, Gieger C, Strauch K, Winkelmann J, Boehm BO, Brand A, Büning C, Schürmann M, Ellinghaus E, Baurecht H, Lieb W, Nebel A, Müller-Quernheim J, Franke A, Schreiber S (2015) Identification of immune-relevant factors conferring sarcoidosis genetic risk. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 192(6):727–36. [doi: 10.1164/rccm.201503-0418OC]

Hofmann S, Kraus S, Dorge T, Nothnagel M, Fritzsche P, Miehe G (2014) Phylogeographic, demographic and population structure effects of Pleistocene climatic fluctuations in a high elevation snake species, Thermophis baileyi, on the Tibetan Plateau. Journal of Biogeography 41(11): 2162-2172. [doi:10.1111/jbi.12358]

Roitberg ES, Kuranova VN, Bulakhova NA, Orlova VF, Eplanova GV, Zinenko OI, Shamgunova RR, Hofmann S, Yakovlev VA (2013) Variation of Reproductive Traits and Female Body Size in the Most Widely-Ranging Terrestrial Reptile: Testing the Effects of Reproductive Mode, Lineage, and Climate. Evolutionary Biology 40:420-438. [doi:10.1007/s11692-013-9247-2]

Hofmann S, Fischer A, Nothnagel M, Jacobs G, Schmid B, Wittig M, Franke A, Gaede KI, Schürmann M, Petrek M, Mrazek F, Pabst S, Grohé C, Grunewald J, Ronninger M, Eklund A, Rosenstiel P, Höhne K, Zissel G, Müller-Quernheim J, Schreiber S (2013). Genome-wide association analysis reveals 12q13.3-q14.1 as new risk locus for sarcoidosis. European Respiratory Journal 41(4):888-900. [doi:10.1183/09031936.00033812]

Hofmann S, Fritzsche P, Dorge T, Solhøy T, Miehe G. (2012) Microsatellites show evidence of sex-biased dispersal in Thermophis baileyi. Herpetologica 68(4):514–522. [doi:]

Hofmann S (2012) Population genetic structure and geographic differentiation in the hot spring snake Thermophis baileyi (Serpentes, Colubridae): indications for glacial refuges in southern-central Tibet. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 63(2):396-406. [doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2012.01.014]

Fischer A, Schmid B, Ellinghaus D, Nothnagel M, Gaede KI, Schürmann M, Lipinski S, Rosenstiel P, Zissel G, Höhne K, Petrek M, Kolek V, Pabst S, Grohé C, Grunewald J, Ronninger M, Eklund A, Padyukov L, Gieger C, Wichmann HE, Nebel A, Franke A, Müller-Quernheim J, Hofmann S, Schreiber S (2012). A Novel Sarcoidosis Risk Locus for Europeans on Chromosome 11q13.1. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 186(9):877-85. [doi: 10.1164/rccm.201204-0708OC]

Hunt KA, Smyth DJ, Balschun T, Ban M, Mistry V, Ahmad T, Anand V, Barrett JC, Bhaw-Rosun L, Bockett NA, Brand OJ, Brouwer E, Concannon P, Cooper JD, Dias KR, van Diemen CC, Dubois PC, Edkins S, Fölster-Holst R, Fransen K, Glass DN, Heap GA, Hofmann S, Huizinga TW, Hunt S, Langford C, Lee J, Mansfield J, Marrosu MG, Mathew CG, Mein CA, Müller-Quernheim J, Nutland S, Onengut-Gumuscu S, Ouwehand W, Pearce K, Prescott NJ, Posthumus MD, Potter S, Rosati G, Sambrook J, Satsangi J, Schreiber S, Shtir C, Simmonds MJ, Sudman M, Thompson SD, Toes R, Trynka G, Vyse TJ, Walker NM, Weidinger S, Zhernakova A, Zoledziewska M; Type 1 Diabetes Genetics Consortium; UK Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Genetics Consortium; Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium, Weersma RK, Gough SC, Sawcer S, Wijmenga C, Parkes M, Cucca F, Franke A, Deloukas P, Rich SS, Todd JA, van Heel DA. (2011). Rare and functional SIAE variants are not associated with autoimmune disease risk in up to 66,924 individuals of European ancestry. Nature Genetics 44(1):3-5. [doi: 10.1038/ng.1037]

Hofmann S, Fischer A, Till A, Müller-Quernheim J, Häsler R, Franke A, Gäde KI, Schaarschmidt H; GenPhenReSa Consortium, Rosenstiel P, Nebel A, Schürmann M, Nothnagel M, Schreiber S (2011) A genome-wide association study reveals evidence of association with sarcoidosis at 6p12.1. European Respiratory Journal 38(5):1127-1135. [doi: 10.1183/09031936.00001711]

Keller A, Leidinger P, Bauer A, Elsharawy A, Haas J, Backes C, Wendschlag A, Giese N, Tjaden C, Ott K, Werner J, Hackert T, Ruprecht K, Huwer H, Huebers J, Jacobs G, Rosenstiel P, Dommisch H, Schaefer A, Müller-Quernheim J, Wullich B, Keck B, Graf N, Reichrath J, Vogel B, Nebel A, Jager SU, Staehler P, Amarantos I, Boisguerin V, Staehler C, Beier M, Scheffler M, Büchler MW, Wischhusen J, Haeusler SF, Dietl J, Hofmann S, Lenhof HP, Schreiber S, Katus HA, Rottbauer W, Meder B, Hoheisel JD, Franke A, Meese E (2011) Toward the blood-borne miRNome of human diseases. Nature Methods 8(10):841-843. [doi:10.1038/nmeth.1682]

Hofmann S, Dorge T, Solhoy T, Miehe G (2010) Isolation and characterization of microsatellite markers in the Tibetan hot spring snake (Thermophis baileyi). Molecular Ecology Resources 10(6):1098-1105. [doi: 10.1111/j.1755-0998.2010.02898.x]

Fischer A, Nothnagel M, Franke A, Saadati H R, Schürmann M, Müller-Quernheim J, Schreiber S, Hofmann S (2010) Association of inflammatory bowel disease risk loci with sarcoidosis, and its acute and chronic subphenotypes. European Respiratory Journal 37(3):610-616. [doi: 10.1183/09031936.00049410]

Fischer A, Müller-Quernheim J, Schürmann M, Schreiber S, Nothnagel M, Hofmann S (2010) A genome-wide linkage analysis in 181 German sarcoidosis families using clustered biallelic markers suggests new candidate genes. Chest 138(1):151-157. [doi: 10.1378/chest.09-2526]

Hofmann S, Franke A, Jacobs G, Fischer A, Müller-Quernheim J, Schürmann M, Gaede KI, Nothnagel M, Krawczak M, Rosenstiel P, Schreiber S (2008) Genome-wide association study identifies a new susceptibility gene for sarcoidosis. Nature Genetics 40:1103-1106. [doi: 10.1038/ng.198]

Franke A, Fischer A, Nothnagel M, Becker B, Grabe N, Till A, Müller Quernheim J, Wittig M, Hermann A, Balschun T, Hofmann S, Hampe J, Nürnberg P, Nikolaus S, Krawczak M, Schürmann M, Rosenstiel P, Nebel A, Schreiber S (2008) Combined analysis for sarcoidosis and Crohn disease discovers a common susceptibility locus on chromosome 10p12.2 in a genome-wide 100k SNP scan. Gastroenterology 135:1207-1215. [doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2008.07.017]

Müller-Quernheim J, Schürmann M, Hofmann S, Gaede KI, Fischer A, Prasse A, Zissel G, Schreiber S (2008) Genetics of Sarcoidosis. Review. Clinics in Chest Medicine 29:391-414. [doi:]

Hofmann S (2008) Who is sitting next to me? Relatedness between next neighbours in common lizards. Amphibia-Reptilia 29:19-24. [doi:10.1163/156853808783431497]

Dorge T, Hofmann S, Wangdwei M, Lapager D, Solhøy T, Miehe G (2008) The ecological specialist, Thermophis baileyi (WALL, 1907) - new records, distribution and biogeographic conclusions. Herpetological Bulletin 101:8-12.

Hofmann S, Henle K (2006) Male reproductive success and intrasexual selection in the common lizard determined by DNA-microsatellites. Journal of Herpetology 40(1):1-6. [doi:]

Hofmann S (2002) A simple method to get blood from Zootoca vivipara. Salamandra 38:145-148.

Weinandy R, Hofmann S, Gattermann R (2002) The estrus of female gerbils, Meriones unguiculatus is indicated by locomotor activity and influenced by male presence. Folia Zoologica 51:145-156.

Weinandy R, Hofmann S, Gattermann R (2001) Mating behaviour during the estrous cycle in Mongolian gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus). Mammalian Biology 66:116-120.