My research is focused on immune genes of passerine birds, the MHC-I (Major histocompatibility complex). The MHC genes are the most variable genes known in vertebrates and this variation is said to be maintained through balancing selection but the acting force is still an ongoing debate among researchers.
In collaboration with Terry Burke, University of Sheffield, UK I investigate the MHC-I genes in an isolated island population of house sparrows which has been monitored during the last ten years. Almost all birds are marked individually and the knowledge of each bird is large. My part of this project is to characterize the MHC-I genes in this population and investigate association between the genotype and the phenotype of the individual such as reproductive success, survival and mate choice.