Population genetics

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Population genetics

Population genetics

In the division of population genetics we study intraspecific genetic variation and the micro-evolutionary processes that govern this variation. Our broad interest is focused in finding out how and why genetic variation is structured within and among populations of animals over geographic space and time. We use genomic tools to investigate the genetic mechanisms behind important phenotypic traits affecting fitness in an evolutionary context. We use large scale genotyping of marker loci, computer simulations, and theoretical modelling to investigate how anthropogenic factors affect genetic biodiversity and how management can be designed to maintain of genetic variation in animal populations.

Monitoring genetic biodiversity in brown trout

The Lakes Bävervattnen Project is a unique long term study of natural brown trout populations in an undisturbed setting in the Hotagen Nature Reserve in central Sweden. We address a wide range of issues relating to microevolution and conservation genetics including methods for estimating and monitoring effective population size over space and time.

Functional genomics of life history evolution in Pieris napi

What are the genetic variants that help animals adaptation to their complex habitats? Using many different ‘omic tools, I am working with colleagues to answer this question for a range of adaptive phenotypes in the butterfly P. napi: diapause, wing patterning, polyphenism, polyandry, and immunity. Currently we are sequencing a high quality genome of this butterfly.

Large scale releases of salmon in the Baltic Sea

We have evaluated the conservation genetic risks for remaining wild salmon populations associated with compensatory releases of hatchery reared salmon into the Baltic Sea.

Colias butterfly color evolution

We are using genomic tools to investigate the evolution of color variation in Colias (Pieridae) butterflies. We are nearly finished with a revised phylogeny for all Pieridae using 8 genes, and will be adding as many Colias to this tree as we can.

Conservation genetic management of Swedish wolves

The Swedish wolf population is small, isolated and highly inbred. We address issues relating to the conservation genetic management of this, and similar populations.

Our latest publications

Alyssa Woronik, Kalle Tunström, Michael W. Perry, Ramprasad Neethiraj, Constanti Stefanescu, Maria de la Paz Celorio-Mancera, Oskar Brattström, Jason Hill, Philipp Lehmann, Reijo Käkelä, Christopher W. Wheat. 2019. A transposable element insertion is associated with an alternative life history strategy. Nature Communications 10.

Joana Meier, Rike B. Stelkens, Domino A. Joyce, Salome Mwaiko, Numel Phiri, Ulrich K. Schliewen, Oliver M. Selz, Catherine E. Wagner, Cyprian Katongo, Ole Seehausen. 2019. The coincidence of ecological opportunity with hybridization explains rapid adaptive radiation in Lake Mweru cichlid fishes. Nature Communications 10.

Callum J. Macgregor, Chris D. Thomas, David B. Roy, Mark A. Beaumont, James R. Bell, Tom Brereton, Jon R. Bridle, Calvin Dytham, Richard Fox, Karl Gotthard, Ary A. Hoffmann, Geoff Martin, Ian Middlebrook, Sören Nylin, Philip J. Platts, Rita Rasteiro, Ilik J. Saccheri, Romain Villoutreix, Christopher W. Wheat, Jane K. Hill. 2019. Climate-induced phenology shifts linked to range expansions in species with multiple reproductive cycles per year. Nature Communications 10.

Naomi L.P. Keehnen. 2019. Immunity & the butterfly - A functional genomic study of natural variation in immunity. Doctoral thesis. Department of Zoology, Stockholm.

Sara Kurland, Christopher W. Wheat, Maria de la Paz Celorio Mancera, Verena E. Kutschera, Jason Hill, Anastasia Andersson, Carl-Johan Rubin, Leif Andersson, Nils Ryman, Linda Laikre. 2019. Exploring a Pool-seq-only approach for gaining population genomic insights in nonmodel species. Ecology and Evolution 9: 11448-11463.

Jason Hill, Erik D. Enbody, Mats E. Pettersson, C. Grace Sprehn, Dorte Bekkevold, Arild Folkvord, Linda Laikre, Gunnar Kleinau, Patrick Scheerer, Leif Andersson. 2019. Recurrent convergent evolution at amino acid residue 261 in fish rhodopsin. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 116: 18473-18478.


Head of division: Linda Laikre

Staff: Population genetics

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