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.