Nicole Kröcker

Nicole pic2

My interest in Antarctic fur seals (A. gazella) was raised when I was working on my Bachelor’s thesis. I began working in the Hoffman Lab for a project module and worked there for almost two years. I am studying not only Biology, but also education and English to become a teacher. Now, for my master’s thesis I am again working on the species A. gazella and on their localization in the different breeding sites.

Previous Research and Other Interests

As a part of my Bachelor Studies, I did a project module about the MC1R-gene in Antarctic fur seals (A. gazella), which is the responsible gene for the blonde coat colourisation. We also looked at the spread of the mutant allele that leads to that different coat colour to other populations. Interesting was the difference in occurrence of the mutation at the different breeding sites of A.gazella.

During that time, I learned a lot about various analyzing methods and genetic tools. Throughout this project, I realized how fascinating genetics and also the possibilities of today’s research are, which was one reason for my decision to write my Master’s thesis in the Hoffman Lab.


Prof. Dr. Joseph I. Hoffman, University of Bielefeld

Curriculum Vitae
  • 2017-present: M. Ed. (consecutive), University Bielefeld
  • 2012-2017: BSc Biology (main), English (minor), Education (minor), University Bielefeld


Peters, L., Humble, E., Kröcker, N., Fuchs, B., Forcada, J., & Hoffman, J. I. (2016). Born blonde: a recessive loss-of-function mutation in the melanocortin 1 receptor is associated with cream coat coloration in Antarctic fur seals. Ecology and Evolution, 5705-5717

Hoffman, J.I., Bauer, E., Paijmans, A.P., Humble, E., Beckmann, L.M., Kubetschek, C., Christaller, F., Kröcker, N., Fuchs, B., Moreras, A., Shihlomule, Y., Bester, M.N., Cleary, A.C., De Bruyn, P.J.N., Forcada, J., Goebel, M.E., Goldsworthy, S.D., Guinet, C., Hoelzel, A.R., Lydersen, C., Kovaks, K.M., Lowther, A. (2018) A global cline in a colour polymorphism suggests a limited contribution of gene flow towards the recovery of a heavily exploited marine mammal. Royal Society Open Science, 5: 181227.  Doi: 10.1098/rsos.181227. 2

Contact Details

Bielefeld University
Postfach 100131
33501 Bielefeld

e-mail: Nicole.kroecker[at]