Background and activities

Research interests

I am interested in evolution, systematics and biogeography, in particular of non-biting midges of the family Chironomidae (Diptera). My research focuses on taxonomy, biology, phylogeny, zoogeography and molecular systematics of genera and species in the tribe Tanytarsini, but I am also involved in work with other groups of animals and plants. Among these, tardigrades through the project Tardigrades in Norwegian forests.

The last few years I have been heavily involved in various projects testing and using DNA barcoding in biosystematics. I am currently chairing the Norwegian Barcode of Life network and project (NorBOL) which is a national research infrastructure on DNA Barcoding. NorBOL aims to develop a barcode reference database for Norwegian species to support barcoding in applied projects (such as EBAI). I am also involved in the COST action DNAqua-Net as member of the Management Committee and co-lead of the working group on reference libraries.


The last couple of years I have lectured courses in biosystematics, biogeography and molecular techniques (BI1002, BI2001 and BI8002) at the NTNU Department of Biology.

Scientific collections

I am curator of Diptera, Hymenoptera, Arachnida and a few minor insect orders at the NTNU University Museum.

Scientific, academic and artistic work

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

Journal publications


Part of book/report

  • Leese, Florian; Bouchez, A; Abarenkov, Kessy; Altermatt, F; Borja, Ángel; Bruce, Kat; Ekrem, Torbjørn; Čiampor, Fedor; Ciamporová-Zaťovičová, Zuzana; Costa, Filipe O.; Duarte, Sofia; Elbrecht, Vasco; Fontaneto, Diego; Franc, A.; Geiger, Matthias F.; Hering, Daniel; Kahlert, Maria; Stroil, Belma Kalamujic; Kelly, Martyn; Keskin, Emre; Liska, Igor; Mergen, Patricia; Meissner, Kristian; Pawlowski, Jan; Penev, Lyubomir; Reyjol, Yorick; Rotter, Ana; Steinke, D; van der Wal, Bas; Vitecek, Simon; Zimmermann, Jonas; Weigand, AM. (2018) Why We Need Sustainable Networks Bridging Countries, Disciplines, Cultures and Generations for Aquatic Biomonitoring 2.0: A Perspective Derived From the DNAqua-Net COST Action. Next generation biomonitoring: Part 1.
  • Ekrem, Torbjørn; Ashe, Patrick; Andersen, Trond; Stur, Elisabeth. (2017) Chironomidae (non-biting midges). Manual of Afrotropical Diptera. Volume 2: Nematocerous Diptera and lower Brachycera.
  • Seberg, Ole; Ekrem, Torbjørn; Hyvönen, Jaakko; Sundberg, Per. (2016) Willi Hennig's legacy in the Nordic countries. The future of phylogenetic systematics.


  • Finstad, Anders Gravbrøt; Boer, Hugo de; Brurberg, May Bente; Dahle, Geir; Edgar, Kristin Skarsfjord; Eiler, Alexander; Ekrem, Torbjørn; Endresen, Dag Terje Filip; Fossøy, Frode; Hansen, Haakon; Hobæk, Anders; Hoem, Stein Arild; Hosia, Aino Laila Johanna; Hovstad, Knut Anders; Jeppesen, Thomas Stjernegaard; Johnsen, Arild; Kallioniemi, Eveliina; Larsen, Aud; Lifjeld, Jan Terje; Pitelkova, Iva; Prager, Maria; Rey, Jessica L.; Salvesen, Ingrid; Vrålstad, Trude; Willassen, Endre. (2020) Kriterier for lagring av miljø-DNA prøver og data, herunder henvisning til referansemateriale. Criteria for depositing eDNA samples and data, including vouchered specimens. 2020.
  • Meissner, Kristian; Aroviita, Jukka; Baattrup-Pedersen, Annette; Buchner, Dominik; Ekrem, Torbjørn; Friberg, Nikolai; Johnson, Richard K.; Leese, Florian; Majaneva, Markus; Ólafsson, Jón S.; Schartau, Ann Kristin; Elbrecht, Vasco. (2020) Metabarcoding for use in Nordic routine aquatic biomonitoring - a validation study​. 2020. ISBN 978-92-893-6806-3. TemaNord (538).
  • Åström, Jens; Birkemoe, Tone; Dahle, Sondre; Davey, Marie Louise; Ekrem, Torbjørn; Endrestøl, Anders; Fossøy, Frode; Handberg, Øyvind Nystad; Hanssen, Oddvar; Magnussen, Kristin; Majaneva, Markus; Navrud, Ståle; Staverløkk, Arnstein; Sverdrup-Thygeson, Anne; Ødegaard, Frode. (2020) Forslag til nasjonal insektovervåking. Erfaringer fra et pilotforsøk samt en nytte-kostnadsanalyse. 2020. ISBN 978-82-426-3479-5. NINA rapport (1725).
  • Ekrem, Torbjørn; Majaneva, Markus. (2019) DNA-metastrekkoding til undersøkelser av invertebrater i ferskvann. 2019. ISBN 978-82-8322-204-3. NTNU Vitenskapsmuseet naturhistorisk notat (10).
  • Åström, Jens; Birkemoe, Tone; Ekrem, Torbjørn; Endrestøl, Anders; Fossøy, Frode; Sverdrup-Thygeson, Anne; Ødegaard, Frode. (2019) Nasjonal overvåking av insekter. Behovsanalyse og forslag til overvåkingsprogram. 2019. ISBN 978-82-426-3287-6. NINA rapport (1549).