Erik Svensson



Research Interests and Research Profile

Research in my lab has four main themes: (1) Phenotypic evolution; particularly natural and sexual selection in the wild, (2) evolutionary dynamics, ecology, behaviour and genetic architecture of phenotypic polymorphisms, such as colour polymorphisms, (3) the ecology and evolution of color signaling and how natural and sexual selection operates on animal colouration, and (4) the evolution of phenotypic plasticity, particularly thermal plasticity and learning.

In my lab, we explore these four themes using a variety of different analytical and experimental approaches. Our methods include field and laboratory experiments, evolutionary quantitative genetics, measurements of selection in the wild and molecular, genomic and transcriptomic tools such as Next-generation DNA and RNA-sequencing. We are increasingly using phylogenetic comparative methods and we do also develop theory and use modelling tools. Our lab is theory-oriented and our research aims to answer basic and fundamental questions in ecology, evolution and behavior. However, we do rely on our strong tradition of field experimentation in natural populations. My main research organisms these days are odonates (“dragonflies and damselflies”), although I do also work with and have performed research on other organisms, including birds (passerines, ostriches), crustaceans (freshwater isopods), fruitflies (Drosophila melanogaster) and reptiles (lizards).

Although I am originally trained as an empirical population biologist and experimental evolutionary ecologist, I am also interested in general evolutionary theory. I consider myself partly rooted in the research traditions of population genetics, ecology and systematics, and I am increasingly using phylogenetic comparative methods in my research. I have also used various theoretical approaches and modelling techniques, such as population genetic and individual-based simulation models. See my publication list below for further information. I am mainly interested in the interface between ecology and genetics and evolutionary processes rather than outcomes. I therefore prefer to use explicit genetic models in my research, rather than phenotypic models such as game theory, adaptive dynamics and optimization models.

Recent research outputs

Mads Schou, Maud Bonato, Anel Engelbrecht, Zanell Brand, Erik Svensson, Julian Melgar, Pfunzo T. Muvhali, Schalk WP Cloete & Charlie Cornwallis, 2021 Feb 2, In: Nature Communications. 12, 10 p., 666 (2021) .

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Beatriz Willink, Rachel Blow, David J. Sparrow, Rosalyn Sparrow & Erik I. Svensson, 2021 Jan 4, In: Ecological Entomology.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Filip Ruzicka, Ludovic Dutoit, Peter Czuppon, Crispin Y. Jordan, Xiang‐yi Li, Colin Olito, Anna Runemark, Erik Svensson, Homa Papoli Yazdi & Tim Connallon, 2020 Oct 1, In: Evolution letters. 4, 5, p. 398-415

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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