A. Lovisa S. Gustafsson

Postdoctoral Fellow
Image of A. Lovisa S. Gustafsson
Norwegian version of this page
Phone +47 22851824
Room 114 B
Visiting address Sars' gate 1 Tøyen
Postal address Blindern Postboks 1172 0318 OSLO

Research interests

My main research interest is in evolutionary biology. Particularly I am interested in speciation genetics in the Arctic flora. There are many morphologically described species in the hot tropics and few in the freezing arctic. This decreasing trend in species diversity from low to high latitudes is known as the “latitudinal diversity gradient” and represents one of the oldest recognized patterns in ecology. It is often believed that high temperatures lead to high rates of speciation. In my resent study, using one of the most extensive crossing experiments in the Arctic flora performed to this date, we show that new reproductively isolated species are formed at high rates in the Arctic. This means that the supposedly species poor Arctic is in fact characterized by exceptionally high and recent rates of formation of biological species. These findings are thus contrary to the expectation of low speciation in the Arctic, which typically has been regarded as an evolutionary freezer. We do not necessarily think that this pattern of cryptic speciation is specific to the Arctic, and in our current project "SpArc" we are interested to see if we can find similar patterns of cryptic speciation in other parts of the world, is it correlated to the plants mating system and what are the exact genetic mechanisms involved?


* PhD in Evolutionary Biology, University of Oslo, Norway (2008-2013)

* MSc in Evolutionary Biology, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

* BSc in Botany, University of Gothenburg, Sweden


Link to PhD thesis


  • Gustafsson, A Lovisa S; Skrede, Inger; Rowe, Heather C.; Gussarova, Galina; Borgen, Liv; Rieseberg, Loren; Brochmann, Christian & Parisod, Christian (2014). Genetics of cryptic speciation within an arctic Mustard, Draba nivalis. PLoS ONE.  ISSN 1932-6203.  9(4) . doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0093834 Full text in Research Archive.
  • Antonelli, Alexandre; Verola, Christiano F.; Parisod, Christian & Gustafsson, A Lovisa S (2010). Climate cooling promoted the expansion and radiation of a threatened group of South American orchids (Epidendroideae: Laeliinae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.  ISSN 0024-4066.  100(3), s 597- 607 . doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8312.2010.01438.x
  • Gustafsson, A Lovisa S; Verola, Christiano F. & Antonelli, Alexandre (2010). Reassessing the temporal evolution of orchids with new fossils and a Bayesian relaxed clock, with implications for the diversification of the rare South American genus Hoffmannseggella (Orchidaceae: Epidendroideae). BMC Evolutionary Biology.  ISSN 1471-2148.  10(177) . doi: 10.1186/1471-2148-10-177

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  • Birkeland, Siri; Gustafsson, A Lovisa S; Slotte, Tanja; Brysting, Anne Krag; Brochmann, Christian & Nowak, Michael (2017). Testing for convergent molecular evolution in Arctic plants.
  • Gustafsson, A Lovisa S; Birkeland, Siri; Gizaw, Abel; Rieseberg, LH; Slotte, Tanja; Nowak, Michael & Brochmann, Christian (2017). Searching for genetic mechanisms of plant speciation in the Arctic.
  • Birkeland, Siri; Gustafsson, A Lovisa S; Brysting, Anne Krag; Slotte, Tanja; Brochmann, Christian & Nowak, Michael (2016). Testing for convergent evolution of cold tolerance in Arctic plants.
  • Gustafsson, A Lovisa S; Borgen, Liv; Gusarova, Galina & Brochmann, Christian (2011). Cryptic Speciation in Arctic Plants.
  • Gustafsson, A Lovisa S; Brochmann, Christian; Gusarova, Galina & Borgen, Liv (2011). Cryptic Speciation in the Arctic.
  • Gustafsson, A Lovisa S; Brochmann, Christian; Borgen, Liv & Gusarova, Galina (2010). High Biological Species Diversity in the Arctic Flora?.
  • Gustafsson, A Lovisa S; Parisod, Christian; Schranz, Eric; Borgen, Liv; Gusarova, Galina & Brochmann, Christian (2010). Genetics of Intrinsic Postzygotic Isolation in Draba nivalis (Brassicaceae).
  • Gustafsson, Lovisa; Borgen, Liv; Gusarova, Galina & Brochmann, Christian (2009). High Biological Species Diversity in the Arctic Flora?.
  • Lannin, N; Gustafsson, A Lovisa S; Cusick, A; Walker, M; Steultjens, Esther; Fricke, JC; Turton, A; Aas, Randi Wågø; Logan, P; Froude, E; McCluskey, Adam; Drummond, A; Corr, Susan; Fletcher-Smith, J; Radford, K; Pinnington, L; Novak, I & Wallen, M (2009). Scholarly communication and concerns for our conferences.

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Published May 31, 2011 9:17 AM - Last modified Nov. 25, 2015 10:28 AM