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Molecular Ecology and Evolution Lab

Group photo
Some of the MEEL members (complete list here)


Our research is rooted in the fields of Behavioral Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. The DNA lab, which is the common centre of our activities, was formed in the late 1980’s by Torbjörn von Schantz, when DNA-fingerprinting was the cutting-edge technique and in our group applied to analyses of parentage in studies of the ring-necked pheasant, the great reed warbler, and the sedge warbler.

Members in our group were among the first to investigate the highly polymorphic MHC genes in wild species of birds and fish and developing an ELISA assay for immunoecological studies of songbirds. The molecular basis of speciation, together with parasite-mediated selection on vertebrate hosts, whether by Borrelia or malaria parasites, are some of the major research areas in MEEL. Over the years, the methods we are using have closely followed the rapid development of techniques and resources in molecular biology. 

The present studies within our lab cover a broad range of organisms including mammals, birds, insects, parasites and bacteria. Irrespective of organism, the projects make use of various genetic markers to identify processes of isolation, resolving phylogenetic relationships, testing host–parasite associations or identifying genes under selection. We employ both standard PCR-based methods and next generation sequencing (NGS) techniques, such as RNA-seq, RAD-seq, amplicon-seq or whole genome-sequencing, to investigate ecological and evolutionary research questions.

Recent publications

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Students at the lab

Contact information

Staffan Bensch

Telephone: +46 46-222 42 92
E-mail: Staffan [dot] Bensch [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Lab Address

Molecular Ecology & Evolution Lab
Dept of Biology, Lund University

Ecology Building (Sölvegatan 37)
SE-223 62 Lund, Sweden

Science communication