Background and activities
I was appointed Associate Professor in Population genetics at Dept. of Biology, NTNU, in 2014, and was promoted to full Professor in 2017. 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), 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.
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 we collaborate with Associate Professor Stefanie Muff, Professor Ingelin Steinsland and Professor Jarle Tufto at Dept. of Mathematical Sciences, NTNU.
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:
- Alina Niskanen (postdoc)
- Bernt Rønning (forsker/senioringeniør)
- Lars Rød-Eriksen (with Nina Eide, NINA, Siw Killengreen, UiT, and Ivar Herfindal, NTNU)
- Dilan Saatoglu
- Sindre Sommerli (with Bernt-Erik Sæther)
- Michael P. Pedersen (with Thor Harald Ringsby)
- Sarah Lundregan
- Ådne M. Nafstad
- Isabelle Russell (with Veerle Jaspers)
- Evelyn Fetterplace
- Ragnhild Thorseth Grevskott
- Lukas Tietgen
- Hamish Burnett
- Sophie Muller
- Attila Samu
- Thorbjørn Lundin (with Jonathan Wright and Yimen Araya-Ajoy)
- Simen Lilleng (with Jonathan Wright and Yimen Araya-Ajoy)
- Silje Langsrud
- Nina Østby (with Bernt-Erik Sæther, Henrik Pärn and Mike Martin)
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
- (2019) Characterizing morphological (co)variation using structural equation models: Body size, allometric relationships and evolvability in a house sparrow metapopulation. Evolution.
- (2019) Animal models with group-specific additive genetic variances: extending genetic group models. Genetics Selection Evolution. vol. 51.
- (2018) Signatures of genetic adaptation to extremely varied Australian environments in introduced European house sparrows. Molecular Ecology. vol. 27.
- (2018) Signs of adaptation to trace metal contamination in a common urban bird. Science of the Total Environment. vol. 650.
- (2018) Offspring fitness and the optimal propagule size in a fluctuating environment. Journal of Avian Biology. vol. 49 (7).
- (2018) Inferences of genetic architecture of bill morphology in house sparrow using a high-density SNP array point to a polygenic basis. Molecular Ecology. vol. 27 (17).
- (2017) The genomic mosaicism of hybrid speciation. Science Advances. vol. 3.
- (2017) Effects of drill cuttings on larvae of the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa. Deep-sea research. Part II, Topical studies in oceanography. vol. 137.
- (2017) Controlling for P-value inflation in allele frequency change in experimental evolution and artificial selection experiments. Molecular Ecology Resources. vol. 17 (4).
- (2017) Reversal of response to artificial selection on body size in a wild passerine bird. Evolution. vol. 71 (8).
- (2017) Demographic influences of translocated individuals on a resident population of house sparrows. Oikos. vol. 126 (10).
- (2017) Insights into the genetic architecture of morphological and sexually selected traits in two passerine bird species. Heredity. vol. 119 (3).
- (2017) Genetic rescue of an endangered domestic animal through outcrossing with closely related breeds: A case study of the Norwegian Lundehund. PLoS ONE. vol. 12 (6).
- (2017) Sensitivity analysis of effective population size to demographic parameters in house sparrow populations. Molecular Ecology. vol. 26 (9).
- (2016) Spatial variation in senescence rates in a bird metapopulation. Oecologia. vol. 181 (3).
- (2016) Steroids in house sparrows (Passer domesticus): Effects of POPs and male quality signalling. Science of the Total Environment. vol. 547.
- (2016) Is basal metabolic rate associated with recruit production and survival in free-living house sparrows?. Functional Ecology. vol. 30 (7).
- (2015) Endoparasite infection has both short- and long-term negative effects on reproductive success of female house sparrows, as revealed by faecal parasitic egg counts. PLoS ONE. vol. 10 (5).
- (2015) Molecular Genetics of Sex Identification, Breed Ancestry and Polydactyly in the Norwegian Lundehund Breed. Journal of Heredity. vol. 106 (4).
- (2015) On being the right size: Increased body size is associated with reduced telomere length under natural conditions. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences. vol. 282 (1820).
- (2015) Sex-linked inheritance, genetic correlations and sexual dimorphism in three melanin-based colour traits in the barn owl. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. vol. 28 (3).
- (2014) Effects of population characteristics and structure on estimates of effective population size in a house sparrow metapopulation. Molecular Ecology. vol. 23 (11).
- (2014) Lower survival probability of house sparrows severely infected by the gapeworm parasite. Journal of Avian Biology. vol. 45 (4).
- (2014) Extra-pair paternity in relation to regional and local climate in an Arctic-breeding passerine. Polar Biology. vol. 37 (1).
- (2014) On estimation and identifiability issues of sex-linked inheritance with a case study of pigmentation in Swiss barn owl (Tyto alba). Ecology and Evolution. vol. 4 (9).
- (2014) Quantitative genetic modeling and inference in the presence of nonignorable missing data. Evolution. vol. 68 (6).
- (2014) Multiple aspects of plasticity in clutch size vary among populations of a globally distributed songbird. Journal of Animal Ecology. vol. 83 (4).
- (2013) The easy road to genome-wide medium density SNP screening in a non-model species: development and application of a 10K SNP-chip for the house sparrow (Passer domesticus). Molecular Ecology Resources. vol. 13 (3).
- (2013) Animal Models and Integrated Nested Laplace Approximations. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics. vol. 3 (8).
- (2013) Temporal and spatial variation in prevalence of the parasite Syngamus trachea in a metapopulation of House Sparrows (Passer domesticus). Parasitology. vol. 140 (10).
- (2013) Genetic variation and structure of house sparrow populations: is there an island effect?. Molecular Ecology. vol. 22 (7).
- (2013) Correlates of egg size variation in a population of house sparrow Passer domesticus. Oecologia. vol. 171 (2).
- (2013) Low neutral genetic variability in a specialist puffin hunter: the Norwegian Lundehund. Animal Genetics. vol. 44 (3).
- (2013) Genetic variability and structure of the water vole Arvicola amphibius across four metapopulations in northern Norway. Ecology and Evolution. vol. 3 (4).
- (2012) Evidence of inbreeding depression but not inbreeding avoidance in a natural house sparrow population. Molecular Ecology. vol. 21 (6).
- (2012) Microsatellite resources for Passeridae species: a predicted microsatellite map of the house sparrow Passer domesticus. Molecular Ecology Resources. vol. 12 (3).
- (2012) Estimating fluctuating selection in age-structured populations. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. vol. 25 (8).
- (2012) Morphometric differentiation across House Sparrow Passer domesticus populations in Finland in comparison with the neutral expectation for divergence. Ibis. vol. 154 (4).
- (2012) Flere resultater fra forskning om genetisk mangfold hos lundehund. Lundehund Nytt. vol. 1.
- (2012) Spatial heterogeneity in the effects of climate and density-dependence on dispersal in a house sparrow metapopulation. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences. vol. 279 (1726).
- (2011) The common cuckoo Cuculus canorus is not locally adapted to its reed warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus host. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. vol. 24 (2).
- (2011) Does selection or genetic drift explain geographic differentiation of morphological characters in house sparrows Passer domesticus?. Genetics Research. vol. 93 (5).
- (2011) The genetic basis of response to selection and inbreeding depression in natural bird populations - insight from genomics analyses. Microarray Newsletter.
- (2011) Increased genetic differentiation in house sparrows after a strong population decline: From panmixia towards structure in a common bird. Biological Conservation. vol. 144 (12).
- (2011) Low genetic differentiation in a sedentary bird: house sparrow population genetics in a contiguous landscape. Heredity. vol. 106 (1).
- (2011) Diversity, Loss, and Gain of Malaria Parasites in a Globally Invasive Bird. PLoS ONE. vol. 6 (7).
- (2011) Variation in MHC genotypes in two populations of house sparrow (Passer domesticus) with different population histories. Ecology and Evolution. vol. 1 (2).
- (2011) Low genetic differentiation among reed warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus populations across Europe. Journal of Avian Biology. vol. 42 (2).
- (2011) Broad-scale latitudinal patterns of genetic diversity among native European and introduced house sparrow (Passer domesticus) populations. Molecular Ecology. vol. 20 (6).
- (2010) Sex-dependent selection on an autosomal melanic female ornament promotes the evolution of sex ratio bias. Ecology Letters. vol. 13 (5).
- (2010) Utilizing Gaussian Markov Random Field Properties of Bayesian Animal models. Biometrics. vol. 66 (3).
- (2009) Sex-specific fitness correlates of dispersal in a house sparrow metapopulation. Journal of Animal Ecology. vol. 78 (6).
- (2009) Reproductive success and individual variation in feeding frequency of House Sparrows (Passer domesticus). Journal of Ornithology = Journal fur Ornithologie. vol. 150.
- (2009) Discussion on the Paper by Rue, Martino and Chopin. Journal of The Royal Statistical Society Series B-statistical Methodology. vol. 71.
- (2008) A comparison of synteny and gene order on the homologue of chicken chromosome 7 between two passerine species and between passerines and chicken. Cytogenetic and Genome Research. vol. 121.
- (2008) Evolutionary dynamics of a sexual ornament in the house sparrow (Passer domesticus): The role of indirect selection within and between sexes. Evolution. vol. 62.
- (2008) Senescence rates are determined by ranking on the fast-slow life-history continuum. Ecology Letters. vol. 11.
- (2007) Associations between persistent organic pollutants and vitamin status in Brunnich's guillemot and common eider hatchlings. Science of the Total Environment. vol. 381.
- (2007) Effective size of fluctuating populations with two sexes and overlapping generations. Evolution. vol. 61 (8).
- (2007) Fourteen polymorphic microsatellite loci characterized in the house sparrow Passer domesticus (Passeridae, Aves). Molecular Ecology Notes. vol. 7.
- (2007) Multilocus heterozygosity and inbreeding depression in an insular house sparrow metapopulation. Molecular Ecology. vol. 16.
- (2007) Repeatability and heritability of basal metabolic rate in the zebra finch. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A. vol. 148.
- (2007) Basal metabolic rate: heritability and genetic correlations with morphological traits in the zebra finch. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. vol. 20.
- (2007) Dispersal of introduced house sparrows Passer domesticus: an experiment. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences. vol. 274.
- (2006) Fitness consequences of hybridization between house sparrows (Passer domesticus) and tree sparrows (P-montanus). Journal of Ornithology = Journal fur Ornithologie. vol. 147.
- (2006) Causes and consequences of adaptive seasonal sex ratio variation in house sparrows. Journal of Animal Ecology. vol. 75.
- (2006) Indirect selection as a constraint on the evolution of sexual ornaments and other morphological traits in the House Sparrow. Journal of Ornithology = Journal fur Ornithologie. vol. 147.
- (2006) Environmental influence and cohort effects in a sexual ornament in the house sparrow, Passer domesticus. Oikos. vol. 114.
- (2006) Demographic characteristics of extinction in a small, insular population of house sparrows in Northern Norway. Conservation Biology. vol. 20.
- (2006) Dispersal patterns within a meta-population of House Sparrows after an introduction experiment. Journal of Ornithology = Journal fur Ornithologie. vol. 147.
- (2004) Lifetime reproductive success in relation to morphology in the house sparrow Passer domesticus. Journal of Animal Ecology. vol. 73.
- (2003) Sexual variation in heritability and genetic correlations of morphological traits in house sparrow (Passer domesticus). Journal of Evolutionary Biology. vol. 16.
- (2002) Asynchronous spatiotemporal variation in demography of a House Sparrow Passer domesticus metapopulation in a correlated environment. Ecology. vol. 83.
- (2007) Gråspurv, farskap og forskningsmetoder. 2007. ISBN 978-82-7923-052-6.
Part of book/report
- (2014) Molecular quantitative genetics. Quantitative Genetics in the Wild.
- (2002) Causes and consequences of individual variation in fitness-related traits in house sparrows. 2002.
- (1998) Diet composition parental energy-provisioning in a pelagic seabird, the Antarctic petrel Thalassoica antartica. 1998.