Personal profile

Research

My general interest in biology was quickly aimed towards evolutionary biology throughout both my undergraduate and MSc studies. During my PhD studies, which I started in February 2014, I am working with host-parasite interaction focusing on the adaptation of the host’s defense by studying one particular component of the immune system; the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC).

The function of MHC is to bind and present pathogens and it is one of the most polymorphic gene complexes found in vertebrates. One of the forces thought to maintain this high level of genetic variation is host-pathogen interactions. To date it is clear that passerine birds have a larger number of MHC genes than most other vertebrates although the function and purpose of these multiple gene copies are to a large extent unknown.

I will investigate this by performing gene expression studies as well as connecting the expression to different kinds of infections (e.g. avian influenza and avian malaria). The methods I use are mainly next generation sequencing, in form of amplicon sequencing, and quantitative PCR. My study species are two passerine birds, house sparrow and siskin. However, I will not only work with passerine birds but also with mallards. By comparing the organization and expression of MHC in mallards, house sparrows and siskins I hope to gain a better understanding of the enormous MHC diversity found in passerine birds.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

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Collaborations the last five years

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