Aline Finger's Homepage


Phone: +44 (0) 131 248 2840


My research focus is conservation and ecological genetics of threatened plant species. During my PhD (ETH Zurich) I worked on potential negative ecological and genetic consequences of habitat fragmentation for rare, threatened and endemic tree species of the Seychelles. Following on from that I came to RBGE to work on the evolution and population dynamics of threatened and endemic New Caledonian Araucaria tree species. The use of ecological means in combination with high throughput molecular data can be fundamental to develop appropriate conservation strategies for species. Therefore, using a multidisciplinary approach, my current work aims to detect contemporary and potential future risks for endangered but also common species which are faced with climate change and habitat loss.

Research Interests

  1. Conservation and ecological genetics
  2. Landscape genetics and population dynamics
  3. Inbreeding and outbreeding effects in small populations
  4. Restoration genetics

Publications (peer reviewed)


Ruhsam M, Clark A, Finger A, Wulff AS, Mill RR, Thomas P, Gardner M, Gaudeul M, Ennos RA and PM Hollingsworth (2016). Hidden in plain view: cryptic diversity in the emblematic Araucaria of New Caledonia. American Journal of Botany 103(5): 888-898


Tito de Morais, C., Ghazoul, J., Bagchi, R., Maycock, C.R., Khoo, E., Burslem, D.F.R.P., Akira, I., Nanami, S., Finger, A., Ismail, S., Kettle, C.J. (submitted) Understanding local patterns of genetic diversity in dipterocarps using a multi-site, multi-species approach: Implications for forest management and restoration. Forest Ecology and Management


Finger, A., Kaiser-Bunbury, C.N., Kettle, C.J., Valentin, T., & Ghazoul, J. (2014) Genetic connectivity of the moth pollinated tree Glionnetia sericea in a highly fragmented habitat.  PLoS One, 9 (10): e111111. 10.1371/journal.pone.0111111

Habel, J., Husemann, M., Finger, A., Danley, P. D., Zachos, F. (2014) The relevance of time series in molecular ecology and conservation biology. Biological Reviews 89: 484-492. doi: 10.1111/brv.12068


Kettle, C.J. & Finger, A. (2012) Fragmentation Genetics in the Tropics. Conservation Genetics Resources. doi: 10.1007/s12868-012-9771-x.

Finger, A., Kettle, C.J., Kaiser-Bunbury, C.N., Valentin, T., Mougal, J. & Ghazoul, J. (2012) Forest fragmentation genetics in a formerly widespread island endemic tree: Vateriopsis seychellarum (Dipterocarpaceae). Molecular Ecology, 21: 2369-2382. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2012.05543.x.


Finger, A., Kaiser-Bunbury, C.N., Kettle, C.J. (2011) Development of polymorphic microsatellite markers of the Seychelles endemic tree Glionnetia sericea (Rubiaceae). Conservation Genetics Resources. doi: 10.1007/s12686-011-9515-3

Finger, A., Kettle, C.J., Kaiser-Bunbury, C.N., Valentin, T., Doudee, D., Matatiken, D. & Ghazoul, J. (2011) Back from the brink: barriers to reproduction and the potential for genetic rescue in the jellyfish tree. Molecular Ecology 20: 3773–3784. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2011.05228.x


Habel, J. C., Schmitt, T., Meyer, M., Finger, A., Rödder, D., Assmann, T. & Zachos, F. E. (2010) Biogeography meets conservation: the genetic structure of the endangered lycaenid butterfly Lycaena helle (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 101: 155–168

Habel, J.C., Finger, A., Schmitt, Th. & Nève, G. (2010) Survival of the endangered butterfly Lycaena helle in a fragmented environment: Genetic analyses over 15 years. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 49 (1): 25-31. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0469.2010.00575.x.

Finger A., Ismail S., Ghazoul J. & Kettle C.J. (2010) Development of polymorphic microsatellite markers of the endangered and endemic Vateriopsis seychellarum (Dipterocarpaceae), a relict canopy tree of the Seychelles. Conservation Genetic Resources 2, Supplement 1: 309-311 Doi: 10.1007/s12686-010-9213-6

Finger, A., Ghazoul, J., Todd, M., Kaiser-Bunbury C. & Kettle, C.J. (2010) Development of thirteen polymorphic microsatellite markers for the Seychelles endangered and endemic jellyfish tree Medusagyne oppositifolia (Medusagynaceae). Conservation genetic resources 2: 173–175. doi 10.1007/s12686-009-9120-x.  


Finger, A., Schmitt, T., Meyer, M., Assmann, T., Zachos, F.E. & J.C. Habel (2009) The genetic status of the Violet Copper Lycaena helle, a relict of the cold past in times of global warming. Ecography 32: 382-390

Habel, J.C., Zachos, F., Finger, A., Meyer, M., Louy, D., Assmann, T. & T. Schmitt (2009) Unprecedented long-term genetic monomorphism in an endangered relict butterfly species. Conservation Genetics 10: 1659-1665


Habel, J., Finger, A., Meyer M. & Assmann, T. (2008) Polymorphic microsatellite loci in the endangered butterfly Lycaena helle (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae). European Journal of Entomology 105(2): 361-362

Schmitt, T., Augenstein, B. & Finger, A. (2008) The influence of changes in viticulture management on the butterfly (Lepidoptera) diversity in a wine growing region of southwestern Germany. European Journal of Entomology 105: 249-255


Wipking, W., Finger, A. & Meyer, M. (2007) Habitatbindung und Bestandssituation des Blauschillernden Feuerfalters Lycaena helle (Denis & Schiffermüller) in Luxemburg (Lepidoptera, Lycaenidae). Bull. Soc. Nat. Luxemb. 108: 81-87.

Book chapters and non peer-reviewed publications

Book chapters

Finger, A., Radespiel, U., Habel, J., Kettle C. (2014) Forest fragmentation genetics. In: C.J. Kettle and L.P. Koh (Eds) Global Forest Fragmentation. (pp. 51-68). Wallingford, U.K.: CABI.

Habel, J., Finger, A., Meyer, M., Schmitt, T. (2014) Isolated but unique: The conservation value of extant populations of Lycaena helle at the species’ western distribution edge. In: J.C. Habel and M. Meyer (Eds) Jewels in the mist - A synopsis on the endangered Violet Copper butterfly Lycaena helle. (pp. 127-136). Bulgaria: PENSOFT

Finger, A. & Kettle, C. (2014) How genetics can contribute to conservation. In: J.C. Habel and M. Meyer (Eds) Jewels in the mist - A synopsis on the endangered Violet Copper butterfly Lycaena helle. (pp. 125-126). Bulgaria: PENSOFT

Finger, A. & Klank, C. (2010) Molecular methods – Blessing or curse? In: J.C. Habel & T. Assmann (Eds) Relict Species - Phylogeography and Conservation Biology. Springer Heidelberg, p.309-320.


Finger, A., Kettle, C., Kaiser-Bunbury, C., Valentin, T., Doudee, D., Matatiken, D., Ghazoul, J. (2012) The importance of genetic information for three Seychelles endemic tree species. Kapisen November edition 2012.

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Aline Finger

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a charity (registration number SC007983)