Aarhus Universitets segl

Publikationer og Aktiviteter


- Toft et al (2024) Prey killing rate of a generalist predator may be enhanced by macronutrient manipulation.

          BioControl, 69:145–155 https://doi.org/10.1007/s10526-024-10251-8

- Ortego et al (2024) Semi-natural areas act as reservoirs of genetic diversity for crop pollinators and

         natural enemies across Europe. Conservation Science and Practice. 6:e13080  https://doi.org/10.1111/csp2.13080

- Johnson et al (2023) The meso scale as a frontier in interdisciplinary modeling of sustainability from

         local to global scales. Environ. Res. Lett. 18, 025007. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/acb503

Alexander, P. et al. (2022) High energy and fertilizer prices are more damaging than food export

         curtailment from Ukraine and Russia for food prices, health and the environment. 

         Nat Food. https://doi.org/10.1038/s43016-022-00659-9


- Poster presentations

- Poster presentation - OIKOS - Finland 2023

Effects of Habitat Fragmentation per se on the Genetic Diversity of the Glanville Fritillary Butterfly 

Habitat loss and fragmentation are considered the key drivers of biodiversity loss. While evidence indicates that habitat loss has a negative impact on biodiversity, there is no consensus on whether the effect of fragmentation per se – more discontinuous habitat distribution but no difference in habitat amount - is negative or positive. We studied how fragmentation per se affects genetic diversity (GD) while controlling for habitat amount in the Glanville fritillary butterfly metapopulation in the Åland islands. We used 40 SNP neutral markers from two years to calculate GD indices in over 200 habitat patches with relatively high population abundance. We estimated our appropriate landscape size to be a 3.5 km radius around each focal patch. We then selected patches with surrounding landscapes with a similar habitat amount but various number of patches, and assessed their respective effect on focal patch GD. Our first results support the habitat amount hypothesis, as the number of fragments had a neutral effect on the GD. However, further assessment of lack of contrast or statistical power in our dataset is required as we also failed to find a significant effect of the habitat amount.

- Poster presentation - Ecological Immunity Workshop, Germany, 2023

Effective population size, genetic diversity and immune function in a soil arthropod. 

The ability of populations to maintain an effective immunity against diseases and parasites relies on the presence of genetic diversity. Genetic diversity protects against widespread infection in the population if the disease shows genetic specificity for infection. Therefore, genetically diverse host populations face a lower risk of infections. Genetic diversity can be reduced when there is a population decline which subsequently may affect the population immunity. Collembolas are soil microarthropods and are constantly exposed to potentially infectious fungi and bacteria, hence it is important for collembola populations to maintain effective immunity to survive. With agricultural practices intensifying, this causes high mortality in many collembola populations in the agricultural fields. Due to the high importance of collembola to soil processes, it is critical that we understand how a reduction in their genetic diversity can affect their immunity and subsequent survival. In my poster, I will be presenting my PhD research plans on measuring natural varying genetic diversity through population genetics, measuring immunity gene variation to assess whether there is selection to maintain effective immunity in small populations, and culturing collembola from the respective populations for immune assays to associate genetic diversity and immunity performance.


Poster presentation - OIKOS - Finland 2023

Unraveling the link between population fluctuations with changes in genetic diversity in Finnish butterflies 

Insects have been reported declining worldwide in terms of numbers of species but also in population densities. Several factors such as climate change, pollution or land-use changes have been pointed out as main drivers of these declines. Whereas species losses are quantifiable through long term biodiversity monitoring, genetic losses remain difficult to quantify over time. The long-term monitoring surveys of butterflies in Finland have shown that they respond differently to climate change with species presenting various population trends. This baseline offers the opportunity to assess how factors responsible for insect decline has shaped genetic diversity over time. Using a museomics approach, we aim to (i) investigate the changes in genetic diversity during the last century for butterfly species showing population decline, and (ii) to assess how genetic diversity has changed for species belonging to the same genus but presenting contrasting population trends. To study this, we will sequence whole genomes of museum specimens collected at historical time points and compare the data with contemporary samples from same areas of each species of interest to look for genetic patterns.