Insights into bear evolution from a Pleistocene polar bear genome

A 130,000 to 115,000 years old polar bear jawbone fossil from Svalbard. Photo: Karsten Sund, Natural History Museum Oslo.

Genomic Diversity of endangered bowhead whales

The bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) in the East Greenland Sea, the Svalbard region and the Barents Sea (referred to as the East Greenland-Svalbard-Barents Sea (EGSB) stock) has been intensively studied for many years by members of the FEZ group. The stock is classified as Endangered in the International Union of […]

Stygocapitella – an incredibly old worm found beneath your beach towel

Species of the genus Stygocapitella belong to the ringed worms, also known as Annelida. Annelids are worms like earthworms, lugworm or christmas tree worms, but also leeches or very tiny worms living in the spaces between the sand grains, called the interstitium. Such an interstitial group of worms […]

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 […]

A tale of stone and ice

Our calendar is coming to its close and at the second-to-last day it features two Master projects, which started this year working with annelids, which are both completely computer-based making use of the SAGA supercomputer infrastructure through the command line, and all analytical programs used are monitored through […]

Beetles, sheep and the Faroes

Between different lockdowns and corona restrictions, we were lucky enough to go to the Faroe Islands. The field work at the Faroe Islands was an important link for describing the Staphylinidae arrival to Iceland, given the Faroes Islands are being placed roughly midway between mainland Europe and Iceland. […]

Huge and endangered

Øystein and Lutz have worked for many years together with international partners on the genetic differentiation of bowhead whale stocks with particular emphasis on the Spitsbergen stock. The Svalbard bowhead whale population is currently classified as ‘Endangered’ by The International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Extensive hunting, […]

Teaching in Covid times

FEZ members are also involved in academic teaching. This year, as for many others in the world it was special experience due to Covid. We will provide her an example of two Master level courses. This spring many members of the group as well as others from the […]

The intertidal beetle genus Aegialites

Last year, Marianne started her PhD-project in the FEZ-group. Marianne kick-started her project with a fieldtrip to the east-coast of USA to collect beetles. The beetles, which live in the cracks and crevices on rocky shores, proved to be difficult to find. With hammer and chisel, she managed […]