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New professor at the Department of Biology

Bengt Hansson has been promoted to professor in Evolutionary Biology.
Bengt Hansson with a neospiza.
Bengt Hansson with a neospiza. Photo: Alexandre Vaz

When he describes how he has noticed his promotion so far he mentions friends and colleagues congratulating him.

”That, and of course that my twelve-year-old son’s friends have started to call me professor Hansson.”  

Sex chromosomes

Bengt Hansson’s research follows two main tracks: sex chromosomes and the processes of speciation.

The sex chromosomes and their genes code differences between male and female. Bengt Hansson and his research group investigates the evolution of these chromosomes.

”Right now we are trying to figure out why they cease to exchange genetic material and why they quite often have a very fast evolution,” he says.

Ecological speciation

His fascination for the processes of speciation and how populations diverge has led him to focus on ecological speciation. In other words, what significance adaptation to different environments has for the speciation process. For instance, he studies what effects isolation and hybridization have on the speciation process.

”There are interesting connections between sex chromosomes and speciation, and that is something I hope to look into a lot more in the future.”

In his research projects Bengt Hansson often analyzes large, sequence-based sets of data from different bird species. In some projects he studies insects and plants.

Text: Jan Olsson

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