AAU logo

Evolutionary biology

Evolutionary biology

The research focuses on evolutionary genetics and evolutionary physiology. Key topics include studies on effects of population size on evolutionary potential and inbreeding, selection experiments aiming at elucidating the genetic architecture of key fitness traits, genomics studies aiming at detecting candidate genes explaining phenotypic variation in fitness and transcriptomics, and metabonomics studies to pinpoint physiological fingerprints of e.g. inbreeding, genotype by environment interactions and stress resistance. Drosophila spp. and Musca domestica are used as model organisms in many of our studies but also domestic and wild mammals are increasingly being investigated. For further information, please see below projects: 


Torsten Nygaard Kristensen

Assistant Professor
Simon Barhndorff

Genotype by environment interactions

Genotype by environment interactions describes the phenomenon that different genotypes may respond differently to changes in the environment. We are starting up projects with Drosophila melanogaster where we e.g. aim at locating genetic variation explaining variation in populations’ ability to maintain high fitness across environments.

In an ongoing project we assess the evolutionary potential to evolve increased heat resistance in lines of Drosophila melanogaster kept at different population sizes and with temperature increases mimicking those predicted in the future.


Read more

Thermal adaptations in soil ecosystems

Thermal adaptations in soil ecosystems: We focus on adaptation to environmental stress especially in field populations in relation to thermal stress. We have shown that the soil fauna shows complex and unique thermal adaptations to life in soil ecosystems. This includes both species specific adaptation to thermal stress, but also differences within species locally and globally.