Background and activities

In my research I focus on questions in the intersection between genetics, evolution, ecology and conservation biology.

I use house sparrow populations along the coast of mid- and northern-Norway as my main study system. In addition, I am involved in collaborative projects where we e.g. study arctic fox in Scandinavia (with Dr. Nina Eide, Dr. Øystein Flagstad, and Dr. Ingerid Hagen at NINA), water voles at the coast of northern Norway (with Prof. Stuart Piertney, Aberdeen University), song sparrows in Canada (with Jane Reid), zebrafish in the lab (with Ass. Prof. Fredrik Jutfelt, NTNU), and two-spotted goby (with Prof. Trond Amundsen, NTNU).

I finished my PhD in 2002: "Causes and consequences of individual variation in fitness-related traits in house sparrows". During my PhD I spent 1.5 years with Prof. Hans Ellegren at Dept. of Evolutionary Biology, University of Uppsala, Sweden. 2003-2004 I was postdoc in Conservation Biology at Dept. of Biology, NTNU. 2005-2008 I was research scientist on the Storforsk-project "Population genetics in an ecological context", and then spent some months with Prof. Jon Slate at Dept. of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, UK. During 2009-2012 I was principal investigator on the RCN-funded project "The genetic basis of response to selection in natural populations – insight from state-of-the-art genomics analyses".

I was also principal investigator on the project "The effect of population size on short-term rates of evolution in natural populations" financed by the RCN. The project was associated with the Centre of Excellence, Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics (CBD) at NTNU, and was running 2013-2015.

At the moment I am project leader on the project "The importance of inbreeding and drift in conservation of fragmented populations", which is connected to CBD and funded by the RCN 2020-2024. 

In connection with these projects I have collaborated with the research groups of Prof. Glenn Peter Sætre, University of Oslo, and Prof. Sigbjørn Lien, Norwegian University of Life Scienes, to sequence the house sparrow genome. Furthermore, my research group uses state-of-the-art genomic techniques such as high density SNP-genotyping and genome-resequencing to answer our questions. Much of this work is  carried out in collaboration with Associate Professor Arild Husby (CBD and Uppsala University). For advanced statistical modeling and analyses I collaborate with Associate Professor Stefanie Muff, Professor Ingelin Steinsland and Professor Jarle Tufto at Dept. of Mathematical Sciences, NTNU.

You can hear about some of our research on house sparrows in NTNUs podcast series 63 Degrees North.

I teach in these courses:

  • BI1001: Cell and molecular biology
  • BI2017: Genetics and evolution 1
  • BI2080: Global change biology
  • BI3082: Biodiversity and conservation 2
  • BI3083: Evolutionary and ecological genetics

These people are currently connected to my research group:

Postdocs/research scientists:

  • Debora Goedert


  • Dilan Saatoglu
  • Sindre Sommerli (with Bernt-Erik Sæther)
  • Michael P. Pedersen (with Thor Harald Ringsby)
  • Sarah Lundregan
  • Ådne M. Nafstad
  • Lisa Dickel (with Jane Reid)
  • John McAuley (University of Edinburgh, with Susan Johnston)
  • Gabriel David (Uppsala University, with Arild Husby)
  • Janne C. Hetle Aspheim (with Stefanie Muff)
  • Hamish A. Burnett
  • Ronja Kiviö (with Vebjørn Veiberg)
  • Kenneth Aase (with Stefanie Muff)

Master students:

  • Lina Arntsen
  • Karina Nybø
  • Jørgen Søraker
  • Sofie Moe Knudsen
  • Kiran Ghimire
  • Amanda Arvesen Folland
  • Amberly Buer
  • Fatemeh Gholami
  • Petra Nieminen (University of Oulu)
  • Jenni Siren (University of Oulu)
  • Eleonora Jenisch
  • Maryam Kazemi

I have a number of available MSc-projects related to my research. Please contact me if you are interested!

Scientific, academic and artistic work

Displaying a selection of activities. See all publications in the database

Journal publications


  • Sviland, Maria; Jensen, Henrik; Moe, Børge; Borg, Åsa. (2007) Gråspurv, farskap og forskningsmetoder. 2007. ISBN 978-82-7923-052-6.

Part of book/report

  • Simmonds, Emily Grace; Jensen, Henrik; Niskanen, Alina Katariina; Smith, Steven. (2021) Genetic Data Collection, Pedigrees and Phylogenies. Demographic methods across the tree of life.
  • Jensen, Henrik; Szulkin, Marta; Slate, Jon. (2014) Molecular quantitative genetics. Quantitative Genetics in the Wild.


  • Jensen, Henrik. (2002) Causes and consequences of individual variation in fitness-related traits in house sparrows. 2002.
  • Jensen, Henrik. (1998) Diet composition parental energy-provisioning in a pelagic seabird, the Antarctic petrel Thalassoica antartica. 1998.