Main research interests:
- I mainly work with vascular plants, but also fungi, in particular fungi associated with plants (mycorrhiza). My research questions can usually be phrased as «Who is who? Who is where? And why are they there?» and I often combine field activities with molecular tools when I address these research questions.
- I have a strong back ground in phylogeography, and like to solve biological puzzles related to spatial and temporal variation of biodiversity, including genetic diversity. I am also interested in deciphering fungal species diversity from functional diversity, and this is one of the research questions PhD student Magdalena Wutkowska is working with.
- Another topic of interest is revealing drivers of plant reproduction modes and how this affects population genetics in the Arctic; where energy budgets are marginal and few active pollinators are present. There is a trade-off between sexual outcrossing and generation of genetic diversity, and insurance of reproduction trough selfing or clonal reproduction. We use Silene acaulis, Saxifraga oppositifolia and Bistorta vivipara as study systems. Saxifraga oppositifolia is also used as study system for autopolyploidy.
- I am interested in teaching development, and deputy leader of Centre of Excellence in Biology Education, bioCEED.
Are you part of the next generation of Arctic experts?
I am currently seeking new students to exiting master or bachelor projects within the Arctic Biology Department, UNIS. You may read about possible master/bachelor projects here (PDF).
Supervision PhD students
Moss campion (Silene acaulis) is a common Arctic-alpine plant growing dense cushions. The cushion shape traps heat and protects against both desiccation and abbreviation. Moss campion is also called the compass plant, since the flowers appear first on the south side of the cushion. Even under 24 hours daylight, the daily variation in sun angle creates enough energy difference to imitate this flowering pattern, as shown in this time lapse video. We also measured the temperature within the cushion, at both the south and the north side. You will be surprised how warm an Arctic cushion can be.
Pernille Bronken Eidesen in UNIS news:
31.03.2014: bioCEED: An excellent opening
08.11.2013: UNIS part of new centre for excellence in education: bioCEED
03.10.2013: New, carnivorous plant species found in Svalbard
16.01.2012: Arctic plants face an uncertain future
05.08.2009: A ”plum” discovery in Svea
20.08.2008: Awarded King’s gold medal for PhD thesis