New Paper Exploring the Surprising Evolutionary History of Our Oral Bacteria*

Living in and on our bodies are trillions of microbial cells belonging to thousands of bacterial species – our microbiome. These microbes play key roles in human health, but little is known about their evolution. Here we investigated the evolutionary history of the hominid oral microbiome by analyzing […]

Sampling Modern Marine Invertebrates for Museum Research – A New Experience

While museum collections contain historic materials that provide insight into various evolutionary and social aspects of the past, museums are dynamic, not only for the types of collections they contain, but also for their diverse research foci. For the Natural History Museum of Oslo and the Frontiers in […]

Type Specimen Genetics?

Until relatively recently, museum collections have been amassed and utilized to investigate the morphological variation seen within and across species to understand evolutionary change. With the advent of next generation sequencing (NGS) and improved molecular methodologies, natural history collections have become ideal sources of curated (documented) materials to […]

Bad apples and a marine worm – sometimes they go together

During his PhD Jose was interested in the evolution of the cryptic species complexes in the annelid genus Stygocapitella, which occurs at sandy beaches around the world. Part of his thesis also comprised population-genomic studies to understand the underlying genomic background of morphological stasis. During the phylogenomic studies […]

What causes species not to change despite ongoing evolution?

Cryptic species have for long time been considered as purely a taxonomical challenge. However, in the last decade it has been shown that their recognition has also consequences for several other biological disciplines. Recently, their importance for understanding certain evolutionary processes has been highlighted. Most prominent among these […]

New Paper Exposing The Challenges and Limitations Inherent to Ancient Dietary Reconstructions Using Dental Calculus Metagenomic Data

New research highlights and tests the limitations of dental calculus (i.e., calcified dental plaque), a microbiome substrate regularly used to reconstruct ancient foodways. Under the direction of Allison E. Mann from Clemson University, a collaborative team analyzed both synthetic and ancient dental calculus datasets to demonstrate the intrinsic […]

A new paper on tardigrades! What’s in a (scientific) name?

            Systematics can be a tricky business, and the tardigrades are no stranger to this! The study of the diversification of life often requires sorting organisms into groups of more or less closely related ones. These groups are called species, genera, families, orders, classes, phylums and kingdoms. Whilst a […]

The Most Typical of All: Museum Type specimens

Natural history collections contain a plethora of objects, organisms, and information, representing real-world diversity, variation, and relationships. Collections allow scientists to understand and classify the natural world. Within biology, scientists classify and categorize animal species using taxonomy, a classification system based on the identification, description, and naming of […]

From the forest to the deep sea

This week a member of our group, Torsten Struck, published a review paper on the two annelid families Parergodrilidae and Orbiniidae together with Miguel Meca from the University Museum of Bergen as the first author and Anna Zhadan from the Lomonosov Moscow State University in the journal Diversity. […]

International Happy Seasons

We hope you enjoyed the wrap up of the year 2020 for the FEZ group as a traditional advent calendar. While setting up the various doors we noticed that we easily could have filled many more, indicating that it was a quite successful year despite all challenges. We are […]