SINT Daniela Mag. Dr.


Daniela Sint

University of Innsbruck
Department of Zoology

Research Group: Applied Animal Ecology

Technikerstrasse 25 (Room 508)
A-6020 Innsbruck

Daniela obtained her doctoral degree (Zoology and Limnology) in 2006 from the University of Innsbruck. Since then she has been working on the analysis of all types of DNA traces in the environment to answer a broad spectrum of ecological questions. By analyzing dietary samples, Daniela gains insight into trophic interactions of animals and related ecological processes such as pest control or the development and dynamics of food-webs. She developed numerous diagnostic assays to identify a wide range of species from invertebrates to vertebrates and pathogens, based on non-invasive samples or left-overs. She applies those systems to many different types of ecosystems including e.g. the high mountains, agroecosystems and aquatic habitats. A major research focus of Daniela is currently the investigation of species communities and the monitoring of invasive or endangered species based on environmental DNA (eDNA).

Since many years, Daniela is involved in teaching in the MATI and MOTI university courses, where scientists from all over the world get a hands on start into the world of molecular food web ecology.

Daniela is furthermore a co-founder of the SinsomaGmbH, a spin-off company of the University of Innsbruck, where she is responsible for R&D. Sinsoma offers a wide range of DNA services in the fields of biomonitoring, conservation and nature management, providing scientific and technological excellence to scientific, governmental and business sectors alike.


Active projects



Previous projects

Vector Detect: Detection and Quantification of vectors and their associated pathogens in host tissue
Daniela Sint, Gernot Walder & Michael Traugott (PI), FFG-BRIDGE 1

BioAWARE: Could Biodiversity Assure Weed regulAtion for Resilient Ecosystem service provision? ERA-net project. Veronika Neidel, Corinna Wallinger, Michael Traugott (PI),

Frosch im Wassertropfen - Citizen Science - 350 years University of Innsbruck anniversary project

Monitoring of animals via eDNA

Effects of fertilization type on biocontrol of pests:
Oskar Rubbmark, Daniela Sint (Co-PI) and Michael Traugott (PI)

Sparkling Science: The effect of fertilization type on invertebrates and plants in cereal fields
Corinna Wallinger, Michael Traugott, Johannes Rainer, Ulrike Traugott-Priester, Gabriele Pallua, Andrea Illmer-Zotlöterer, Ute Hiederer-Willi, Daniel Nigg, Daniela Sint (PI) 

APPEAL: Assessment and valuation of Pest suppression potential through biological control in European Agricultural Landscapes
Mattias Jonsson (coordinator & PI), Josef Settele (PI) and Michael Traugott (PI)

Sustainable potato pest management in the Hindukush-Himalaya region
Johannes Oehm, Bettina Thalinger and Michael Traugott (PI)

Invertebrate food webs in recently deglaciated alpine areas
Daniela Sint, Lorna Raso, Rüdiger Kaufmann (co-PI) and Michael Traugott (PI)

Aphid parasitoids in organic and conventional farming systems (A cooperation with Dr. Jane Memmott & Dr. Sarina Pearce, School of Biological Sciences, Bristol University)

Who is eating whom in the glacier fore field?

Assessing arthropod predation on parasitized hosts by molecular approaches

EU-Network CRAYNET - European crayfish as keystone species - linking science, management and economics with sustainable environmental quality (EU; 2002-2006)

Interreg III „CRAYFISH-GENEFLOW: Genotypical and phenotypical characterisation of autochthonous crayfish populations in North and South Tyrol; (EU + Land Tirol, Provinz Bozen; 2003 – 2005)


Scientific publications


Auer, S., Graf, W., Hartmann, A., Lietner, P., Sint, D., Traugott, M., & Auer, S. (2023). Evaluation of three monitoring methods for the native European crayfish Austropotamobius torrentium. Freshwater Crayfish, 28(1), 1-9.

Rijal, D. P., Hanebrekke, T., Arneberg, P., Johansen, T., Sint, D., Traugott, M., Skern-Mauritzen, M., & Westgaard, J.-I. (2023). Contaminants reach everywhere: Fish dietary samples should be surface decontaminated prior to molecular diet analysis. Ecology and Evolution, 13(6), e10187.

Nagler, M., Podmirseg, S. M., Ascher-Jenull, J., Sint, D., & Traugott, M. (2022). Why eDNA fractions need consideration in biomonitoring. Molecular Ecology Resources, 22, 2458– 2470.

Neidel, V., Sint, D., Wallinger, C., & Traugott, M. (2022). RNA allows identifying the consumption of carrion prey [Article]. Molecular Ecology Resources, 22(7), 2662-2671.

Sint, D., Kolp, B., Rennstam Rubbmark, O., Füreder, L., & Traugott, M. (2022). The amount of environmental DNA increases with freshwater crayfish density and over time. Environmental DNA, 4(2), 417-424.

Thalinger, B., Deiner, K., Harper, L. R., Rees, H. C., Blackman, R. C., Sint, D., Traugott, M., Goldberg, C. S., & Bruce, K. (2021). A validation scale to determine the readiness of environmental DNA assays for routine species monitoring. Environmental DNA, 3(4), 823-836.

Traugott, M., Thalinger, B., Wallinger, C., & Sint, D. (2021). Fish as predators and prey: DNA-based assessment of their role in food webs. Journal of Fish Biology, 98(2), 367-382.

Rennstam Rubbmark, O., Sint, D., Cupic, S., & Traugott, M. (2019). When to use next generation sequencing or diagnostic PCR in diet analyses. Molecular Ecology Resources, 19(2), 388-399.

Sint, D., Kaufmann, R., Mayer, R., & Traugott, M. (2019). Resolving the predator first paradox: Arthropod predator food webs in pioneer sites of glacier forelands. Molecular Ecology, 28(2), 336-347.

Rennstam Rubbmark, O., Sint, D., Horngacher, N., & Traugott, M. (2018). A broadly applicable COI primer pair and an efficient single-tube amplicon library preparation protocol for metabarcoding. Ecology and Evolution, 8(24), 12335-12350

Sint, D., Guenay, Y., Mayer, R., Traugott, M., & Wallinger, C. (2018). The effect of plant identity and mixed feeding on the detection of seed DNA in regurgitates of carabid beetles. Ecology and Evolution, 8(22), 10834-10846.

Staudacher, K., Rennstam Rubbmark, O., Birkhofer, K., Malsher, G., Sint, D., Jonsson, M., & Traugott, M. (2018). Habitat heterogeneity induces rapid changes in the feeding behaviour of generalist arthropod predators. Functional Ecology, 32(3), 809-819.

Thalinger, B., Sint, D., Zeisler, C., Kirschner, D., Traugott, M., Moritz, C., & Schwarzenberger, R. (2018). Quantifizierung von Fischbeständen mittels eDNA in alpinen Fließgewässern. Wasserwirtschaft, 108(2-3), 30-34.

Wolf, S., Zeisler, C., Sint, D., Romeis, J., Traugott, M., & Collatz, J. (2018). A simple and cost-effective molecular method to track predation on Drosophila suzukii in the field. Journal of Pest Science, 91(2), 927-935.

Wallinger, C., Staudacher, K., Sint, D., Thalinger, B., Oehm, J., Juen, A., & Traugott, M. (2017). Evaluation of an automated protocol for efficient and reliable DNA extraction of dietary samples. Ecology and Evolution, 7(16), 6382-6389.

Sint, D., Sporleder, M., Wallinger, C., Zegarra, O., Oehm, J., Dangi, N., Giri, Y. P., Kroschel, J., & Traugott, M. (2016). A two-dimensional pooling approach towards efficient detection of parasitoid and pathogen DNA at low infestation rates. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 7(12), 1548-1557.

Sint, D., & Traugott, M. (2016). Food Web Designer: a flexible tool to visualize interaction networks. Journal of Pest Science, 89(1), 1-5.

Sint, D., Thurner, I., Kaufmann, R., & Traugott, M. (2015). Sparing spiders: faeces as a non-invasive source of DNA. Frontiers in Zoology, 12(3).

Wallinger, C., Sint, D., Baier, F., Schmid, C., Mayer, R., & Traugott, M. (2015). Detection of seed DNA in regurgitates of granivorous carabid beetles. Bulletin of Entomological Research, 105(6), 728-735.

Raso, L., Sint, D., Mayer, R., Plangg, S., Recheis, T., Brunner, S., Kaufmann, R., & Traugott, M. (2014). Intraguild predation in pioneer predator communities of alpine glacier forelands. Molecular Ecology, 23(15), 3744-3754.

Raso, L., Sint, D., Rief, A., Kaufmann, R., & Traugott, M. (2014). Molecular identification of adult and juvenile linyphiid and theridiid spiders in Alpine glacier foreland communities. PloS One, e1017555.

Sint, D., Niederklapfer, B., Kaufmann, R., & Traugott, M. (2014). Group-specific multiplex PCR detection systems for the identification of flying insect prey. PloS One, 9(12), e115501.

Waldner, T., Sint, D., Juen, A., & Traugott, M. (2013). The effect of predator identity on post-feeding prey DNA detection success in soil-dwelling macro-invertebrates. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 63, 116-123.

Sint, D., Raso, L., & Traugott, M. (2012). Advances in multiplex PCR: balancing primer efficiencies and improving detection success. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 3(5), 898-905.

Traugott, M., Bell, J. R., Raso, L., Sint, D., & Symondson, W. O. C. (2012). Generalist predators disrupt parasitoid aphid control by direct and coincidental intraguild predation [Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]. Bulletin of Entomological Research, 102(2), 239-247.

Sint, D., Raso, L., Kaufmann, R., & Traugott, M. (2011). Optimizing methods for PCR-based analysis of predation. Molecular Ecology Resources, 11, 795-801. 0998.2011.03018.x

Maguire, I., Lucić, A., Schletterer, M., Sint, D., Erben, R., & Füreder, L. (2010). Fecundity of indigenous stone crayfish, Austropotamobius torrentium, populations: Implications for crayfish conservation in Austria and Croatia. Freshwater Crayfish, 17, 103-107.

Sint, D., & Füreder, L. (2010). Interspecific competition between two endangered European freshwater decapods, the stone crayfish (Austropotamobius torrentium) and the whiteclawed crayfish (Autstropotamobius pallipes). Freshwater Crayfish, 17, 213-219.

Macfadyen, S., Gibson, R., Raso, L., Sint, D., Traugott, M., & Memmott, J. (2009). Parasitoid control of aphids in organic and conventional farming systems. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 133(1-2), 14-18.

Sint, D. (2009). Flusskrebse als Bioindikatoren. In L. Füreder (Ed.), Flusskrebse. Biologie – Ökologie – Gefährdung (Vol. 6, pp. 114-117). Veröffentlichungen des Naturmuseums Südtirol.

Sint, D., Dalla Via, J., & Füreder, L. (2007). Phenotypical characterization of indigenous freshwater crayfish populations. Journal of Zoology, 273(2), 210-219. 7998.2007.00318.x

Füreder, L., Edsman, L., Holdich, D., Kozák, P., Machino, Y., Pöckl, M., Renai, B., Reynolds, J., Schulz, H., Schulz, R., Sint, D., Taugbøl, T., & Trouilhé, M. C. (2006). Indigenous crayfish habitat and threats. In C. Souty-Grosset, D. Holdich, P. Noel, J. Reynolds, & P. Haffner (Eds.), Atlas of crayfish in Europe (pp. 25-47). Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle.

Sint, D., dalla Via, J., & Füreder, L. (2006). The genus Austropotamobius in the Ausserfern region (Tyrol, Austria) with an overlap in the distribution of A. torrentium and A. pallipes populations. Bulletin Français de la Pêche et de la Pisciculture, 380-381, 1029-1040.

Sint, D., dalla Via, J., & Füreder, L. (2005). Morphological variations in Astacus astacus L. and Austropotamobius pallipes (Lereboullet) Populations. Bulletin Français de la Pêche et de la Pisciculture, 376-377, 637-652.

Sint, D., & Füreder, L. (2004). Reintroduction of Astacus astacus L. in East Tyrol, Austria. Bulletin Français de la Pêche et de la Pisciculture, 372-373, 301-314. Thesis

Sint, D. (2006). Phenotypical differentiation and interspecific competition of indigenous freshwater crayfish in Tyrol [Doctoral Thesis, University of Innsbruck]. Innsbruck.

Sint, D. (2003). Untersuchungen zur Wiederansiedlung des Edelkrebses (Astacus astacus, L.) im Tristacher Seebach (Osttirol) [Master Thesis, University of Innsbruck]. Innsbruck.

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