List of interested and potential hosts. Host can register to be added here. Interested fellows are encouraged to contact suitable hosts directly to explore shared interests and develop a research concept for submission to the ForBio MSCA-IF Training Program by May 10th.

Inger Greve Alsos

Tromsø Museum, The Arctic University Museum of Norway, Tromsø

PI of ERC CoG IceAGenT: IceAge Genomic Tracking of Refugia and Postglacial Dispersal

PI of NFR Toppforsk ECOGEN: Ecosystem change and species persistence over time: a genome-based approach

Torkild Bakken

Department of Natural History, NTNU University Museum. Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Keywords: Marine invertebrates; Polychaeta; Nudibranchia; deep sea; biogeography; DNA barcoding; phylogeny; taxonomy; morphology; faunistics; underwater robotics


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Mika (Anna Marika) Bendiksby

Norwegian University of Science and technology (NTNU), University Museum, Dept. of natural History, Systematics and Evolution Group

Keywords: Biosystematics; integrative taxonomy; phylogenetics; museomics; biodiversity conservation; vascular plants; lichens

Projects: In my research group, we study a range of biological aspects using a phylogenetic approach. We address biosystematic questions at various taxonomic levels (from population to family level) in both vascular plants and lichens. We frequently include archived collections in our research and use recently developed molecular approaches and statistical tools for data analysis. We combine traditional and modern approaches to taxonomy, focusing on improving work-flows and bridging the gaps to other relevant disciplines.For ongoing projects, see here: (the three project listed at the top)




Hugo de Boer

Plant Evolution and DNA Metabarcoding Group, Natural History Museum, University of Oslo

Keywords: Systematic Botany; DNA metabarcoding; DNA barcoding; molecular phylogenetics

Project leader of H2020 MSCA-ITN-ETN Plant.ID on Molecular Identification of Plants. This project provides a lot of opportunities for plant identification related postdoctoral projects with large network of collaborators for international and intersectoral mobility as envisioned by the MSCA-IF program.

Project leader of ForBio - Research School in Biosystematics. ForBio provides a great platform for networking and expert courses, and can also be used to gain teaching experience.

Experience: FP7 MC-ITN; FP7 MC-IEF; H2020 MSCA-IF


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Nataliya Budaeva

Department of Natural History, University Museum of Bergen, University of Bergen, Norway

Keywords: Systematics and evolution of marine annelids, phylogenetics, morphology, biodiversity, deep sea

Coordinator of ForBio - Research School in Biosystematics.

Biodiversity, Systematics and Evolution Group, Biology Department, University of the Balearic Islands, Mallorca, Spain.

Keywords: Marine invertebrates, Annelida, systematics, phylogenetics, morphology, evolutionary biology, biogeography, species delimitation, non-indigenous species.

Potential research projects:  (i) Annelid systematics, species delimitation using molecular and morphological data; (ii) DNA barcoding/metabarcoding in marine and estuarine habitats; (iii) invasive species and phylogeography.



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Department of Natural History, University Museum of Bergen, University of Bergen, Norway
Keywords: Spider systematic; phylogenetics; macroevolution; macroecology and biogeography; biodiversity

Daniël Duijsings

BaseClear BV, Einsteinweg 5, 2333 CC Leiden, The Netherlands

Keywords: metabarcoding and analysis of eDNA samples; microbial metagenomics in human and animal health; plant-microbiome interactions; plant genetics

Potential research projects:  We welcome hypothesis-driven projects on the evolution and development of inflorescences, flowers and fruits, linking developmental genes and ontogonies to specific shapes. We investigate changes over deep evolutionary time as well as more shallow time frames such as for instance urban evolution.



Torbjørn Ekrem

Professor of biosystematics, Department of Natural History, NTNU University Museum, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.
Insect taxonomy, systematics and evolution; molecular systematics; DNA barcoding; metabarcoding

Barbara Gravendeel

Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden University, The Netherlands

Keywords: Evolution and Development; Museomics; Phylogenetics; Plant Speciation

Potential research projects:  We welcome hypothesis-driven projects on the evolution and development of inflorescences, flowers and fruits, linking developmental genes and ontogonies to specific shapes. We investigate changes over deep evolutionary time as well as more shallow time frames such as for instance urban evolution.

Research homepage

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Vladimir Gusarov

University of Oslo, Natural History Museum

Keywords: systematic entomology; molecular phylogenetics


Galina Gusarova

Tromsø Museum, University of Tromsø

CEES - Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis, The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Oslo

keywords: Plant systematics; DNA metabarcoding; Species delimitation; Euphrasia taxonomy

Potential research projects: We could discuss potential projects in broad fields of : (i) Plant systematics, species delimitation using molecular multilocus (genomic) and morphological data ; (ii) DNA barcoding, Metabarcoding and Metagenomics of plant species


Google Scholar, personal website

Håvard Kauserud

University of Oslo, Department of Biosciences, Section for Evolutionary Biology and Genetics

Research interests: molecular ecology of fungi in different habitats and ecosystems, combining evolutionary and ecological studies

Potential projects: 

(1) Conservation genomics and landscape genomics of fungi: Fungi are suitable targets for population genomics analyses due to their small and simple genomes. By combining ecological and genetic data from genomics analyses, we may investigate the effect of habitat destruction (conservation genomics) or level of adaptations (landscape genomics)

(2) Community ecology of fungi: We use high throughput sequencing approaches to analyze fungal communities and reveal which factors that drives the community structure and which ecosystem-effects fungi have. We want to implement trait-based analyses in this regard.


Personal Website

Anneleen Kool

Natural History Museum, University of Oslo

Keywords: Ethnobotany; Archaeobotany; Viking Age; Central Asia

Research homepage

Lee Hsiang Liow


Keywords: paleobiology, macroevolution, bryozoology, statistical (paleo)ecology



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Manuel Malaquias

Section of Taxonomy and Evolution, Department of Natural History, University Museum of Bergen

Research interests: taxonomy, systematics, biogeography, phylogeny and speciation of marine molluscs from the Scandinavian region to the tropics across the entire marine realm from shallow to deep-sea environments.


Personal Website

Michael Martin

Department of Natural History, NTNU University Museum, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

Keywords: Bioinformatics; Genetics; genomics; Population genetics; Phylogeography; Ancient DNA; Population genomics; Phylogenomics


(1) Global analysis of functional diversity of a devastating plant pathogen
Phytophthora infestans is a fungus-like organism that causes late blight disease of potatoes and which, upon introduction to Europe in the 1840s, caused the Irish potato famine. Its ability to overcome the defenses of its potato host via rapid genome evolution makes P. infestans a persistent threat to global potato crops. Currently this threat can be definitely controlled only through repeated applications of fungicides. I propose a project to perform genomic sequencing of a global sampling of P. infestans diversity using newly collected isolates from Central and South America, as well as historical herbarium collections of potato hosts infected by this pathogen. Bioinformatic tools will be used to assess the diversity of genes related to host infection in this diverse collection of P. infestans isolates as well as functional (protein-coding sequence) diversity of virulence genes in order to characterize future threats to global potato production. Finally global genetic structure will be examined in order to reconstruct pathways of migration introduction, especially in the context of the Irish potato famine, as well as the evolutionary history of the pathogen on different New World hosts. 

(2) Phylogenomics of rapid diversification in the ‘Darwin’s finches of the plant world’
The proposed research draws on the complementary expertise of the project team to develop the Galápagos archipelago’s endemic daisy trees (genus Scalesia), widely recognized as the ‘Darwin’s finches of the botanical world’, as a model system for investigating the genetic architecture and molecular basis of adaptive diversification. Scalesia represents one of the most rapid and astounding phenotypic diversifications known to plant science, providing an unequaled opportunity for us to investigate the genetic mechanisms of rapid diversification in a plant system. But next to nothing is known about the genetic relationships that developed within this group of plants during millions of years of radiation and dispersal amongst newly forming volcanic islands, or about the relative importance of de novo mutations, standing genetic variation, inter-species introgression, and modulation of ecologically relevant gene interaction networks in Scalesia species’ remarkable adaptations to contrasting environments. We propose a comprehensive experimental design applying phylogenomic analysis, comparative transcriptomic network analyses, and cutting-edge population genomic approaches to a unique natural history collection, enabling us to test forward-thinking hypotheses about the genetic mechanisms driving rapid diversification in island endemics. We expect this project will fully resolve the evolutionary history of Scalesia, detail the first exploration of the genomic architecture of Scalesia evolution, and most importantly, produce fundamental advances in our understanding of the evolutionary processes that power rapid diversifications in plants.

(3) European megafaunal paleo-genomics
Europe's megafauna have experience dramatic changes in range and population size in response to climatic fluctuations since the last glacial maximum. Generating paleogenomic data from ancient, subfossil specimens can provide temporal data that helps to elucidate the recent demographic and evolutionary and history of these animals. I propose a project to extract ancient DNA from well-preserved ancient European reindeer bones and apply next-generation sequencing technologies. Then de novo assembly tools would be used to generate whole mitochondrial genome sequences. From these phylogenomic and population analyses could be performed.


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Tommi Nyman

Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO), Svanhovd, Norway

Keywords: Speciation; phylogenetics; macroevolution; population genetics; coevolution; conservation genetics; phylogeography


We generally aim to combine genetic and ecological approaches in all of our projects. We could offer potential projects especially in our three main lines of research:

(1) Macroevolutionary history of the order Hymenoptera (sawflies, parasitoids, wasps, bees, and ants). Given the extreme diversity of this order, there would be numerous opportunities for phylogeny-based analyses of ecological evolution, macroevolutionary speciation-extinction dynamics, and phylogeography.

(2) Ecology and evolution of seal-parasite interactions. This line would present opportunities for projects on population genomics of seal parasites in relation to the genetic composition of northern seals, and would have direct links to ongoing genome projects (see

(3) Community ecology of insect-parasitoid interactions. In these studies, we have focused especially on willow-associated galling sawflies and their species-rich parasitoid community. The high species richness of willows, gallers, and parasitoids offers many possibilities for comparative phylogenetic and phylogeographic analyses using population-genomic datasets. We have recently expanded this line of research to mushroom-insect-parasitoid networks, which also provide many possibilities for genetic analyses.


Bastiaan Star

Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis, University of Oslo, Norway

Ancient DNA, Bioinformatics, Archaeogenomics, Evolutionary Biology, Marine Biology

My research focuses on how past environmental changes and human impacts have determined the evolution and distribution of organisms. I have a specific interest in the marine environment. At present, my group is working on several organisms, for example, Atlantic walrus, Atlantic cod, herring or New Zealand snappe. We ask how genetic variation, population structure and population size have changed over time in the context of the onset of human exploitation and the development of long-distance trade networks. We closely work together with archaeologists and zooarchaeologists using ancient DNA to retrieve whole genome data from archaeological material from several hundreds to thousands of years old.

Website Archaeogenomics group:


Hans K. Stenøien


Head of Department of Natural History, NTNU University Museum. Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Research interests: I am working on population genetics, evolutionary history and ecology of peat mosses (Sphagnum). I am particularly interesteded in what promotes speciation and genetic structuring in these plants, and their contribution to ecosystem services in general, taking into account that 1/4 of worldwide terrestrial carbon is bound to peat. I am also interested in the phylogeography of other plants, including highr plants like Carex, as well as archaeogenomics of human populations, including demographic history of Norwegians from medieval times up until today.

Potential projects: Potential projects could include work on bryophyte population genetics and phylogeography, as well as recent human demographic history in central Norway.


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Torsten Hugo Struck

Natural History Museum, University of Oslo

Keywords: Phylogenomics; Comparative Genomics; Bioinformatics; Annelida; Spiralia/Lophotrochozoa; Cryptic Speciation; Progenetic Evolution; Evolution of Complexity; Deep-level phylogeny

Research interests: My research encompasses different aspects of the evolution and biodiversity of marine lophotrochozoans at all taxonomic levels with an emphasis on annelids. My group thereby employs phylogenomic, phylogeographic and bioinformatic approaches to address questions in the evolution of these taxa. This allows for a wide range of different projects. In the moment my lab is concentrating on three major research topics. 
(1) The first topic is do understand the biogeography and evolution of cryptic species using marine species as model systems. Here are different projects possible: from investigations of the genomic foundation of the evolution of cryptic species to the development of methods from cancer research to make formalin-preserved material in museum collections accessible for biogeographical studies based on genomic data.
(2) The second topic is studying the genome evolution of simple-build animals and if they can be related to secondary simplification or show the ancestral condition. In this project are possibilities for project exploiting comparative genomic and transcriptomic approaches.
(3) The third topic is in the area of method development in phylogenomics. Even though unprecedented numbers of sequence data can be brought to bear on phylogenetic questions unfortunately systematic biases are getting only stronger. What is urgently needed is an understanding how biases interact and interfere with each other at the level of genome-scale. Systematic studies in this area are still in their infancy and need much higher attention. Here are different bioinformatic projects possible combining the development of new analytical methods with thorough simulation studies and exploration of empirical data.
As this is an MSCA IF workshop the project should fit both the host and the applicant and, therefore, instead of providing here concrete projects I rather highlighted the areas in which I think we can find interesting research project, which would suite both of us.



Published Apr. 23, 2019 6:52 PM - Last modified Apr. 25, 2019 9:57 PM