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Henrik Sjödin


Research Interests

Speciation and biological diversification

This project centers on understanding mechanism of the evolution of specialist and generalist strategies and following consequences for speciation and biological diversification. A species can fill an available niche-space in principle either by individual specialization or by individual generalization; the first constituting a diverse population with a high degree of niche differentiation, and the latter with a low degree of niche differentiation and where all rather similar individuals utilize a wide array of resources. While such individual-level (or phenotype-level) patterns will have interesting ecological consequences, they are likely also consequential to macro-evolutionary principles, for instance, by providing “raw material” for speciation processes. Speciation processes per se, such as adaptive radiations, depend directly on community composition in terms of resource-utilization patterns. Under which circumstances do generalist or specialist species emerge, how are they sorted within clades and what is the feedback between community structure and diversification? This becomes specifically interesting in the coevolution between trophically separated clades, e.g., in host-parasite systems, where one part exploits consumption and the other defense, and where they interactively drive the joint evolution of the opposing clades.

Evolution of cooperation

Cooperation exist on many levels of biological and social organization. Counterintuitive and yet bound to Darwinian principles, cooperation emerges through mechanisms that allow altruism to become a byproduct of selfishness. Specifically, I am interested in how group-formation processes naturally provide such mechanisms by assortment, and study the formation and dynamics of group-structured cooperative communities. 

Spatial ecology and evolution

I am also interested in the feedback between spatial community-structures and ecological and evolutionary processes. One specifically interesting problem is that in consumer-resource systems, where the two parts has opposing interests in the degree of spatial overlap between them. Such “space race” between a resource and consumer species builds on small-scale relocation decisions on an individual level, affecting survival and leading to behaviors that produce spatial correlations affecting population-level dynamics and food-web stability.


Retrieved from Lund University's publications database



Retrieved from Lund University's publications database

  • 2018
    • Principles of niche expansion

      Henrik Sjödin, Jörgen Ripa, Per Lundberg

      (2018) Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

      Journal article


Retrieved from Lund University's publications database

  • Journal article
Page Manager:
Henrik Sjödin
E-mail: henrik [dot] sjodin [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se


Evolutionary ecology


Sölvegatan 37, Lund