Associate professor in biology, particularly ecological physiology, at Lund University
Membership period 2022–2027
I am a broadly interested in how animals adapt to a world in constant change, such as in relation to a warmer, more unstable climate and in response to alterations in land use in the broad sense. Hence, work in my research group tries to understand how the environment affects different control systems in the body. Some of this work happens at the whole animal level, where we study how various mechanisms by which animals keep warm or cool have evolved and how they function today, and we also invest much time into understanding how the body’s own engines – the mitochondria – are affected by various stressors such as fluctuating temperature and toxins. Current research topics include studies of how extreme weather events during development impacts temperature tolerance over a lifetime. Perhaps you will forever be more adapted to a Mediterranean climate if you happened to be born during a heat wave? Increasingly we also address how the risk of overheating affects how animals care for their young. Our work shows that overheated parents are worse parents, and their progeny pays the price for it.
We mostly study various types of birds, from small songbirds in southern Sweden to large birds near the North Pole, all of which live in environments that are threatened in one way or the other. We also do some work on bumblebees and other bees, which are pretty much like small birds in many respects!
1. and 2. Photo: Erik Thor/YAS 3. Photo: Inger Ekström (Click to enlarge)
The pictures show our work where we try to understand how the world's northernmost bird (Svalbard grouse), living in the archipelago Svalbard in the High Arctic, does to maintain its temperature when it is cold, and to cool off in the summer. Much of this work has been about using an infrared camera to remotely measure how hot or cold the birds are during different parts of the year. Photo: 1. Vebjørn Jacbosen Melum 2. Maria Caules 3. Click for larger images.
Click for high resolution press photo. Photo: Erik Thor/YAS
Born: 26 November 1983
Interests: I am a dedicated entomologist with specialist knowledge of certain insects (bugs, planthoppers and beetles). I do biodiversity surveys, and lecture and teach about insects on behalf of county administrative boards and various NGOs. I am also an enthusiastic fly fisherman. You will often find me fishing for trout on the coast or in the Swedish mountains. When I'm not waving the insect net or fishing rod, I like to play classical music and folk music on my violin.
Other: Ever since I was a child, I thought I would dedicate my professional life to studying toads. That I later became a bird researcher was pure coincidence!
“Top-quality research is based on an intimate understanding between the higher education institutions, the researchers there, and the public. I am part of the Young Academy of Sweden to contribute so that more young researchers can conduct research beyond the state-of-the-art in Sweden. I also want to promote the outreach activities at Swedish universities, because communicating what we research and why we do is the only way to achieve the broad anchoring of, and high confidence in, evidence-based research in society that is required to meet the future challenges. YAS' good reputation, interdisciplinary working methods and scientific excellence make the academy an excellent platform for this work.”