Personal profile


I am an evolutionary biologist, interested in the interface between ecology and evolutionary biology. My research programme has both theoretical and empirical components.

I explore problems such as how frequency-dependent processes within and between species maintains diversity, whether genetic polymorphisms or species in ecological communities. I also strive to understand how natural and sexual selection interact and affect population divergence, reproductive isolation and ultimately speciation and biodiversity. In addition, I am in interested in the role of phenotypic plasticity - including learning - in the early stages of divergence and in population persistence and in evolutionary rescue vs. extinction by natural or sexual selection.

A more recent theme in my research lab has been the role of temperature in natural and sexual selection in shaping local adaptation, biogeographic patterns and phenotypic evolution on micro- and macroevolutionary time scales.

Empirically, I address these problems by mainly focussing on insects, particularly the order Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) although I have also worked with other organisms, including birds (blue tits and ostriches), lizards and freshwater isopods. I combine classical population biological studies in nature with field and laboratory experiments, quantitative genetic approaches, measurements of selection and phylogenetic comparative methods.

Research group ("Svensson Lab")

Henrik Frietsch (Master's student)

Moa Metz (Master's student)

Daniel Schönberger (Master's student)

Iain Moodie (PhD-student, co-advisor)           

Sofie Nilén (Ph-student, main advisor)

Zachary Nolen (PhD-student, co-advisor)

Moritz Luerig (Postdoc)

Masahito Tsuboi (Postdoc)

Stephen De Lisle (Researcher, collaborator)

Giuseppe Bianco (Research engineer)

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
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

UKÄ subject classification

  • Natural Sciences
  • Biological Sciences

Free keywords

  • evolutionary biology
  • evolutionary ecology
  • genomics
  • microevolution
  • macroevolution
  • natural selection
  • phylogenetics
  • sexual selection
  • speciation
  • Thermal adaptation
  • insects
  • birds
  • reptiles
  • physiological ecology
  • animal behaviour
  • philosophy of biology
  • history of biology
  • quantitative genetics
  • population genetics
  • evolutionary theory
  • statistics
  • population biology
  • fitness
  • adaptive landscapes


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Collaborations the last five years

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