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Dr. Laura Sandberger-Loua

Laura Sandberger-Loua
Fax: +49 30 889140 - 8565

Museum für Naturkunde
Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions- und Biodiversitätsforschung
Invalidenstraße 43
10115 Berlin


  • Research scientist in the Lab of PD Dr. Mark-Oliver Rödel
  • Management and scientifique research within the Nimba Project (Project lead: PD Dr. Mark-Oliver Rödel)


My main interest is the influence of abiotic and biotic environmental parameters on population structure, abundance and distributions of species or species assemblages and how historic changes in these environmental parameters allow to predict future abundances and distributions. I am very interested to analyse the indirect effects of e.g. large economic projects on biodiversity and particular species. With these studies not only our scientific knowledge should increase but the respective results should be valuable for conservation issues. My taxonomic focus is on West African amphibians in general and in the Nimba toad (Nimbaphrynoides occidentalis) in particular. This toad is the only known (eu-) viviparous anuran (frogs and toads) – the mother gives birth to 4 – 16 fully developed juveniles after nine months and nourishes the young during the gestation.

Publications (selection)

L. Sandberger‑Loua, M‑O Rödel, Heike Feldhaar (2017) Gene-flow in the clouds: landscape genetics of a viviparous, montane grassland toad in the tropics. Conservation Genetics. doi: 10.1007/s10592-017-1029-4

L. Sandberger-Loua, H. Müller, M.-O. Rödel (2017) A review of the reproductive biology of the only known matrotrophic viviparous anuran, the West African Nimba toad, Nimbaphrynoides occidentalis. Zoosystematics and Evolution 93 (1): 105–133

L. Sandberger-Loua, H. Feldhaar, R. Jehle and M.-O. Rödel (2016) Multiple paternity in a viviparous toad with internal fertilisation. Science of Nature: 103:51.

L. Sandberger-Loua, J. Doumbia, M.-O. Rödel (2016) Conserving the unique to save the diverse – Identifying key environmental determinants for the persistence of the viviparous Nimba toad in a West African World Heritage Site. Biological Conservation 198:15–21

M. F. Barej, A. Schmitz, J. Penner, J. Doumbia, L. Sandberger-Loua, M. Hirschfeld, C. Brede, M. Emmrich, N. G. Kouamé, A. Hillers, N. L. Gonwouo, J. Nopper, P. J. Adeba, M. A. Bangoura, C. Gage, G. Anderson, M.-O. Rödel (2015) Life in the spray zone – overlooked diversity in West African torrent-frogs (Anura, Odontobatrachidae, Odontobatrachus). Zoosystematics and Evolution: 91(2): 115-149. DOI 10.3897/zse.91.5127

J. Penner, G. B. Adum, M. T. McElroy, Th. Doherty-Bone, M. Hirschfeld, L. Sandberger, C. Weldon, A. A. Cunningham, T. Ohst, E. Wombwell, D. M. Portik, D. Reid, A. Hillers, C. Ofori-Boateng, W. Oduro, J. Plötner, A. Ohler, A. D. Leaché, M.-O. Rödel (2013) West Africa - A Safe Haven for Frogs? A Sub-Continental Assessment of the Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis). PLoS ONE 8(2): e56236. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056236

Rödel, M.-O., A.B. Onadeko & L. Sandberger (2012) A new polymorphic Phrynobatrachus (Amphibia: Anura: Phrynobatrachidae) from Nigeria. -Zootaxa: 3328: 55-65

Rödel, M.-O., T. Doherty-Bone, M.T. Kouete, P. Janzen, K. Garrett, R. Browne, N.L. Gonwouo, M. Barej & L. Sandberger (2012) A small Phrynobatrachus (Amphibia: Anura: Phrynobatrachidae) from southern Cameroon. Zootaxa: 3431: 54 - 68.

Rödel, M.-O., A. Hillers, A.D. Leaché, N.G. Kouamé, C. Ofori-Boateng, N.E. Assemian, B. Tohé, J. Penner, M.F. Barej, M. Hirschfeld, J.Doumbia, L.N. Gonwouo, J. Nopper, C. Brede, R. Diaz, M.K. Jujita, M. Gil, B.H. Seniagbeto, R. Ernst & L. Sandberger (2012) The genus Astylosternus in the Upper Guinea rainforests, West Africa, with the description of a new species (Amphibia: Anura: Arthroleptidae). -Zootaxa 3245:1-29.

L. Sandberger, A. Hillers, J. Doumbia, N.-S. Loua, C. Brede & M.-O. Rödel (2010) Rediscovery of the Liberian Nimba toad, Nimbaphrynoides liberiensis (Xavier 1978) (Amphibia: Anura: Bufonidae), and reassessment of its taxonomic status. -Zootaxa 2355: 56 -68.

L. Sandberger, H. Feldhaar, K. P. Lampert, D. K. Lamatsch & M.-O. Rödel (2010) Small, specialized and highly mobile? The tree-hole breeding frog, Phrynobatrachus guineensis, lacks fine scale population structure.- African Journal of Herpetology. 59 (1): 79-94.

complete list