Pernille Bronken Eidesen

Pernille Bronken Eidesen

Pernille Bronken Eidesen

Professor, Terrestrial Arctic Biology

Phone: +47 77 01 66 87
Room: B 239

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.

My publications in Cristin


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 at UNIS. You may read about possible master/bachelor projects here.

Supervision PhD students

Magdalena Wutkowska
Synnøve Botnen

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. Film credit: Eike Müller and Pernille Bronken Eidesen/The University Centre in Svalbard. 

Saxifraga oppositifolia / Rødsildre in Svalbard. Photo: Pernille Bronken Eidesen / UNIS

Saxifraga oppositifolia is efficiently pollinated by flies in Svalbard, where no specialised pollinators like bees or bumbelbees are present. Photo: Pernille Bronken Eidesen / UNIS

Pernille Bronken Eidesen in UNIS news:

29.04.2019: Funding for cross-disciplinary project in student active learning
08.04.2019: Here are our excellent teaching practitioners
15.01.2019: Funding for new high-arctic, interdisciplinary field laboratory
12.12.2017: BioCEED Centre of Excellence in Biology Education granted status of excellence for five new years
07.12.2015: Plants stand still, while their fungal partners come and go
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


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The University Centre in Svalbard
Telephone: +47 79 02 33 00
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Address: P.O. Box 156 N-9171 Longyearbyen
Org. no. 985 204 454


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