Since high school, I have been interested in insects and in computational biology, an unusual combination that has worked well for me in my research career. For my thesis, I studied the phylogeny and evolution of gall wasps and their relatives, and I still keep an active interest in this group, but also in insect diversity more broadly. On the computational side, I have worked for a long time with the development of Bayesian techniques for the analysis of phylogenetic problems. I enjoy interdisciplinary research and encourage my students and postdocs to explore new approaches and combine methods and perspectives from different disciplines.
Project Research Manager
I am the Insect Biome Atlas project research manager. I am responsible for the implementation of the project and this involves doing a little bit of everything; general project overseeing, leading the operational, logistics and administrative tasks, managing fieldwork and labwork, keeping an eye on the budget, and, together with the PI´s of the project, conducting and overseeing the research. I have a PhD in evolutionary biology from the University of East Anglia, UK and several years´ experience as a postdoc at the University of Helsinki and the Natural History Museum of Denmark. Apart from making sure that IBA runs smoothly, I also try to keep up with my research on global patterns of genetic diversity.
I am an evolutionary geneticist interested in uncovering and understanding the diversity of life. Currently I am working within the Insect Biome Atlas to develop and implement novel metabarcoding protocols to describe insect fauna of Sweden and Madagascar. Comprehensive sampling of insects both in time and space allows us to understand how insect communities are distributed and how they react to changing environment. Outside of research I have passion for science outreach and bio-hacking. Read more about my current and past projects at ela.iwaszkiewicz.org.
Laura van Dijk
Since March 2022, I am working as a post doc on the Insect Biome Atlas project. For my current project, I am interested in describing the composition of insect communities through space and time, the effects of environment and climate on the composition of insect communities, as well as the consequences for ecosystem functioning. My scientific interests have always revolved around insects and species interactions. During my master thesis, I studied brain plasticity of generalist and specialist butterflies during host plant search. I obtained my PhD at Stockholm University, where I studied the interactions between plants, microbes and insects in a spatio-temporal context.
I am an ecologist with broad interests in the processes that drive population dynamics, community structure, and species richness across regions. I have a particular interest in combining novel technologies and methodologies to collect data over large spatial scales, and developing empirically backed models to investigate the responses of populations and communities to their drivers. I studied for my PhD at The University of Sheffield, where I undertook research on developing methods to investigate the dynamics of plant populations with large-spatial distributions. Now, I’m currently working on the insect biome atlas project where we’re aiming to understand the assembly rules that drive the structure and dynamics of insect communities in Sweden and Madagascar.
As a person I am driven by curiosity. I obtained my PhD at the John Innes Centre in the UK, where I combined mathematical modeling and molecular biology to study the cellular signalling system of symbiotic legumes. Since May 2021 I am a Researcher in the Ronquist lab, working in the MISTRA-funded Finance to Revive Biodiversity program: FinBio. Here I combine my experience with research and environmental monitoring, focusing on analyzing biodiversity data for financial metrics. I work with probabilistic programming and contribute to several other projects including on diversification models, insect metabarcoding and the co-evolution of plants and butterflies. Additionally, I am involved in developing a domain-specific probabilistic programming language for phylogenetics: TreePPL
My PhD in the Ronquist lab was finalised in 2022. I got my Masters in Molecular Biology at the University of Padova, Italy. Because of my training, I usually try to address biological questions with a molecular approach, and I rely a lot on sequencing techniques and bioinformatics. The main focus of my research in the Ronwuist lab was the biology of Cynipids, a family of galling insects. I worked on the evolutionary history of the family as a whole, as well as the genetic basis of gall induction in the genus Andricus.
I was a Marie Skłodovska-Curie post-doctoral researcher at the lab April 2020 to September 2022. My research was supported by a grant from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement PhyPPL No 898120. My research project PhyPPL aims to achieve the first large-scale application of probabilistic programming in phylogenetics.
Emily Hartop is originally from Los Angeles, California. She is a specialist on the genus Megaselia (Diptera: Phoridae). Her research in the Ronquist lab was focused on the evolution and diversity of the Megaselia of Sweden as well as methods for large-scale species discovery and delimitation for hyper-diverse groups. Emily is now a researcher on Hyperdiverse Diptera at the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin.
Former Marie Curie fellow, BIG4 consortium, and subsequently affiliated to NRM, SU and Savantic (Stockholm based SME). I obtained my masters degree, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, from the University of Sarajevo, BIH (masters) and PhD degree from University of Veterinary and Pharmaceuticals Sciences, Brno, CZ.
My current interests are computer vision and machine learning, which I mainly utilize for research and development of automated species identifications. Check out my research awarded by Systematic Biology as the best graduate student paper or my winning solution to Microsoft sponsored competition Hakuna Ma-data on recognizing species from camera-trap images in the Serengeti National Park (1st/800+teams, also presented at CVPR - No1 conference in AI).
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My research uses statistical modeling, Bayesian inference, Big Data, and computer vision to understand morphological evolution and macroevolutionary patterns and processes. As a postdoc in the Ronquist lab, I worked on developing probabilistic models of morphological evolution for phylogenetic inference, specifically focusing on detecting correlation structure in large “phenomic” datasets using both discrete state and continuous multivariate normal models. Currently, I am a researcher in the Department of Geological Sciences at Stockholm University, where I am using high-throughput imaging and machine learning to study the morphological evolution of planktonic foraminifera across the K-Pg mass extinction with the goal of correlating community-level morphological patterns with paleoenvironmental records.
Personal Website | Google Scholar
I was a PhD student at the Ronquist lab from September 2015 to May 2020. My project was framed within the European project BIG4 (Horizon 2020 framework - Marie Curie innovative training network). During my PhD I worked on optimising metabarcoding of insects from bulk samples and eDNA for it to be used as a powerful tool to accelerate and facilitate taxonomic work.
Personal Webpage | Google Scholar
I did a PhD in Ecology at Stockholm University and was co-supervised by Fredrik. For my thesis, I combined host use records, phylogenetic information, network theory, and computer simulations to study the relationship between the evolution of butterfly-host plant interactions and butterfly diversification. We have also developed a model of host-repertoire evolution that is available in RevBayes and is applicable to a variety of host-symbiont systems.
(Visiting graduate student; Fall 2017, part of BIG4 consortium). Research topic: visualization of phylogenomic and taxonomic information.
Long-standing collaborator in the development of Bayesian methods for the analysis of problems in phylogenetics and evolutionary biology. Author of PhyloBayes and several other software packages for this problem domain. Directeur de recherche – CNRS.
Isabel Sanmartín Bastida
Long-standing collaborator in the development of phylogeny-based methods in historical biogeography. Research Scientist, Real Jardín Botánico, Madrid.
Insect ecologist, co-PI on the Insect Biome Atlas Project. Professor of entomology at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
Ecologist interested in insect-plant-microbe interactions, co-PI on the Insect Biome Atlas Project. Associate Professor, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plants, Stockholm University.
Biologist focused on metagenomic analyses of microbial communities, co-PI on the Insect Biome Atlas Project. Associate Professor, SciLifeLab and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.
Biologist focused on insect symbiosis research using the latest genetic methods, co-PI on the Insect Biome Atlas Project. Group Leader, Institute of Environmental Sciences, Jagiellonian University, Kraków.
Computer scientist focused on modeling language theory and compilers for domain-specific languages, among other things. Collaborator in the development of universal probabilistic programming for statistical phylogenetics.
Dave Karlsson is the managing director of Station Linné and a taxonomist focused on Opinnae wasps (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). He is a naturalist with a passion for education and outreach. Dave was awarded the prestigous Ärets Ölänning award in 2017 for his leadership and dedication to insect research on the island of Öland.
Key Collaborating Institutions
Field station on the island of Öland in South Sweden, focused on insect diversity research and outreach.
Station Linné is a field station situated on the Baltic island of Öland, Sweden. It is, among other things, home to two large insect inventory projects: The Swedish Malaise Trap Project, and the newly established Swedish Insect Inventory Project. The station is a source for natural history education on Öland, and seasonally offers a number of programs on topics ranging from butterflies and bumblebees to local history.