Natural Science

The Department is involved in research within the fields of ancient DNA, barcoding, taxonomy, phylogeography, ecology, palaeontology and biodiversity. The main focus is on northern Norway and the Arctic. The Department has well-established laboratory facilities for modern and ancient molecular biology, palynology, and palaeontology.

We are recruiting:

PhD candidate on the project IceAGenT

Laboratory tecnichian on the project IceAGenT

Ongoing projects

ERC consolidator grant: IceAGenT - Ice Age Genomic Tracking of Refugia and Postglacial Dispersal

RCN top research:  ECOGEN -Ecosystem change and species persistence over time: a genome-based approach

RCN:  Norwegian Barcode of Life (NorBOL)

ERC advanced grant: TerrACE - Terrace Arceology and Culture in Europe

Norwegian Biodiversity Information Center:  Biosystematics of Bibionomorpha (Diptera) in the Taiga and Tundra

RCN: Precambrian - Cambrian of the Digermulen Peninsula in Finnmark, northern Norway

BiodivERsA:  Future ArcTic Ecosystems (FATE): drivers of diversity and future scenarios from ethnoecology, contemporary ecology and ancient DNA


ForBio - Research School in Biosystematics

Research facilities

Our most important research facilities are of course our collections. Using our collections, we have sequenced the standard DNA barcodes for a large proportion of the local fauna, bryophytes, lichens and fungi. For vascular plants, we use a more advanced method called genome skimming (low-coverage shotgun sequencing of genomic DNA). This enables us to assemble the entire chloroplast and mitochondrial genome, as well as the ITS region of the nuclear ribosomal DNA. By doing this, we overcome the limitations of standard barcodes in vascular plants and build a reference library useful for e.g. studies of phylogeny, comparative analyzes of organometric evolution, and new plant barcodes for selective taxa and / or ancient DNA.

We also have well-equipped laboratories for molecular biology (both modern and ancient DNA), palynology, taxodermology, palaeontology, geoarchaeology and a general purpose lab. Our ancient DNA lab was renovated in 2016 and is fully operational.


 Employees at the Department of Natural Sciences