I studied Biology at Gothenburg University/Sweden where I also continued to do my PhD on the topic – “The ecology and physiology of carotenoid pigmentation", which I obtained in 2007. The main finding of my thesis was that urban great tits had a paler yellow (carotenoid-based) plumage coloration, and that the most likely explanation was that urban birds had a poorer quality of their diet. During this time, I also had a number of side-projects working on lizard coloration and oxidative stress in Australia, which continued over a number of years.
Following my PhD, I moved to Groningen University in the Netherlands to take up a post doc fellowship for one year (Rubicon from the NWO). Here I worked on endocrinology in the world’s most sexually dimorphic bird species, trying to understand whether maternal hormone allocation affected this dimorphism. After this post doc I moved to Oxford University supported by two subsequent post doc fellowships: one from the Swedish Research council (VR) and the other from Wenner-Gren Foundation. In Oxford my work focused on ecophysiology of great tits, trying to explain natural variation in oxidative stress in relation to life-history, environmental heterogeneity, and avian malaria infections.
In January 2012, I was appointed as Associate Senior Lecturer in Biology at Lund University. In 2014 I became Associate Professor (Docent), and in 2016 I was promoted to Senior Lecturer.
Some of the topics that I currently work on are (see project pages for more information):
- Urban environmental stress and its impact on birds
- Epigenetics in birds
- Avian health and biomarkers
- Nutrition and metabolism in birds
I use a combination of epidemiological, experimental and comparative analyses to understand the impacts of urbanization on birds.
My main study species is the great tit (Parus major), however, I also study other bird species common to both urban and rural habitats, along with aviary birds such as the zebra finch.
The main study locations are in and around Scania (southern Sweden). For example, we have around 400 nest boxes placed in the city of Malmö, and a similar number of nest boxes in a rural forest (Vombs fure). Other localities are under preparation. These nest boxes are mainly occupied by great tits and blue tits.
In the laboratory we analyze regular markers of oxidative stress (i.e. different antioxidants and oxidative damages) and nutrition (e.g., fatty acids and vitamins) using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), Gas Chromatography- Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) and micro-plate readers for absorbance and fluorescence measures.
Retrieved from Lund University's publications database
- Fatty acid profiles of great tit (<i>Parus major</i>) eggs differ between urban and rural habitats, but not between coniferous and deciduous forests
- Migratory refueling affects non-enzymatic antioxidant capacity, but does not increase lipid peroxidation.
- Urban environment shortens telomere length in nestling great tits, Parus major
- A theoretical model of the evolution of actuarial senescence under environmental stress.
- Composition of physiologically important fatty acids in great tits differs between urban and rural populations on a seasonal basis
- Oxidative stress and life histories: unresolved issues and current needs.
- The effects of spatial and temporal ecological variation on fatty acid compositions of wild great tits Parus major
- Urbanization, oxidative stress and inflammation: a question of evolving, acclimatizing or coping with urban environmental stress
- Explaining variance of avian malaria infection in the wild: the importance of host density, habitat, individual life-history and oxidative stress
- Opposing effects on glutathione and reactive oxygen metabolites of sex, habitat, and spring date, but no effect of increased breeding density in great tits (Parus major).
- Aggression, but not testosterone, is associated to oxidative status in a free-living vertebrate.
- Oxidative stress physiology in relation to life-history traits of a free-living vertebrate: the spotted snow skink, Niveoscincus ocellatus.
- The challenges of integrating oxidative stress into life history biology.
- Androgens during development in a bird species with extremely sexually dimorphic growth, the brown songlark, Cinclorhamphus cruralis.
- Pollution and its impact on wild animals: a meta-analysis on oxidative stress physiology.
- Repeatable in plasma testosterone concentration and its links to aggression in a social lizard.
- Carotenoid-based colours reflect stress response in the common lizard.
- Free Radicals Run in Lizard Families without (and perhaps with) mitochondrial uncoupling.
- Polymorphic ROS scavenging revealed by CCCP in a lizard.
- The impact of urban environment on oxidative damage (TBARS) and enzymatic and non-enzymatic defence system in lungs and liver of great tits, Parus major.
- The life-cycle of carotenoids: from plants to birds.
- Variation in Levels of Reactive Oxygen Species is explained by family, sex and clutch size.
- Carotenoid intake does not mediate a relationship between Reactive Oxygen Species and bright coloration: Experimental test in a lizard.
- Egg yolk carotenoids in relation to habitat and reproductive investment in the great tit, Parus major.
- Free radical run in lizard families
- Oxidative stress does not influence carotenoid mobilization and plumage pigmentation.
- Sex and age differences in reflectance and biochemistry of carotenoid-based colour variation in the great tit Parus major.
- Carotenoid diet and nestling provisioning in urban and rural great tits, Parus major.
- Carotenoid pigmentation does not reflect total non-enzymatic antioxidant activity in plasma of adult and nestling great tits, Parus major.
- Sexual, seasonal, and environmental variation in plasma carotenoids in great tits, Parus major.