I come from Norway where I studied Biology at Bergen University. After my Master's thesis on cave-hibernating fungus gnats (Diptera, Mycetophilidae), I replaced winter ecology with a PhD project on caddisflies (Trichoptera) in tropical Africa, resulting in a thesis in systematic entomology defended 2002. In 2004 I got a postdoc financed by the Swedish Taxonomy Initiative to resume my taxonomic studies on Nordic fungus gnats and moved to Lund where I was affiliated with the Museum of Zoology. The postdoc project expanded to my ongoing research project and I was appointed docent at Lund University in 2010.
My research interest is primarily to study patterns of diversity in nature in a taxonomic framework. What creates the immense morphological diversity in many insect groups? How did it evolve through time and space (phylogenetic relationships and biogeographic history)? How do species-rich groups live together in communities? One way to approach these questions is to go beyond model organisms and look at patterns in entire taxa and their interactions in ecosystems.
My current project is contributing to build a taxonomic knowledge base of the Holarctic fauna of fungus gnats, with systematic emphasis on the tribe Exechiini. With some 1000 Nordic species and an increasing diversity towards the north fungus gnats play an important role in the ecosystem of the boreal taiga and adjacent environments. Hundreds of species live together (sympatrically) on a geographic scale but have a wide range of microhabitat and life mode adaptations, many yet to be uncovered, that will make them attractive for community studies dealing with everything from decomposition and pollination to effects of climate change. I am further particularly interested in the functional evolution of their various organs such as genitalia and wings and how they are used in mating-systems and for species recognition.
Since the start in 2010 I am a member of the new Department of Biology
Link to the research project page at the Swedish Taxonomy Initiative (in Swedish): http://www.slu.se/sv/centrumbildningar-och-projekt/artdatabanken/svenska-artprojektet1/forskning/
Link to the EDIT/Scratchpad expert network platform for cybertaxonomy on fungus gnats called "Fungus Gnats Online": http://sciaroidea.info/
Website about wing interference colours in small insects (informal research group): http://www.wipbarcode.com/