Øistein Haugsten Holen

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Phone +47-22856186
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Visiting address Blindernveien 31 None 0371 OSLO
Postal address Postboks 1066 Blindern 0316 OSLO
Other affiliations Department of Biosciences

I'm a theoretical biologist. My interest for evolutionary biology was awakened when I read Did Darwin get it right? by John Maynard Smith and The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. Inspired by these books, I started to study biology with mathematics as a side subject. Evolutionary ecology and animal behaviour soon got my attention, and remain my chief interests. My current research focuses on the evolution of defence traits. My doctoral thesis was on aggressive mimicry and Batesian mimicry. 

I consider ethology and animal psychology as essential sources of knowledge. Information use cannot be understood without giving attention to its proximate aspects: The specific mechanisms by which animals focus attention to, learn about, and remember features of their external world greatly affect their behaviour and thus shape the selective environment of other organisms.

Much of my work rely on some sort of optimality argument. I use game theory, adaptive dynamics, kin selection models and simple population genetical models. I see modelling as serving a multitude of purposes. Prediction is an important part of theory development, and modeling activity will sooner or later cease to be meaningful if it is not connected to (and compared against) empirical data. Models are also useful in other ways: They clarify thinking and provide fresh perspectives, serve as metaphors that help us organize knowledge, and allow us to check the consistency of hypotheses and ideas. I put great value on these aspects of modelling.

Research Interests

  • The evolution and expression of defence traits
  • Information use and phenotypic plasticity
  • Mimicry and aposematism
  • Predator psychology
  • Avian brood parasitism
  • Parental investment and parent-offspring conflict
  • Honest signalling

Former projects

  • Signal evolution - adaptation and constraint
Tags: Adaptive dynamics, Animal signals, Evolutionary ecology, Evolutionary biology, Information use, Predator-prey interactions

Publications

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  • Holen, Øistein Haugsten & Kilner, Rebecca M. (2016). Avian brood parasitism: Defend early or wait and see?.
  • Holen, Øistein Haugsten & Svennungsen, Thomas Owens (2015). Patterns of trait expression: trade-offs and correlations.
  • Holen, Øistein Haugsten & Svennungsen, Thomas Owens (2015). Understanding patterns of trait expression: Trade-offs and correlations.
  • Stenseth, Nils Christian; Voje, Kjetil L.; Holen, Øistein Haugsten; Liow, Lee Hsiang & Trosvik, Pål (2014). Biotic and abiotic interactions in evolution: the Red Queen perspective on evolution in biotic communities.
  • Stenseth, Nils Christian; Voje, Kjetil L.; Holen, Øistein Haugsten; Liow, Lee Hsiang & Trosvik, Pål (2014). Coevolution in multispecies communities: the Red Queen Perspective.
  • Holen, Øistein Haugsten & Svennungsen, Thomas Owens (2013). Warning signals and handicap theory.
  • Svennungsen, Thomas Owens & Holen, Øistein Haugsten (2013). Epigenetic inheritance in invading species.
  • Holen, Øistein Haugsten (2012). Disentangling taste and toxicity in aposematic prey.
  • Svennungsen, Thomas Owens & Holen, Øistein Haugsten (2012). Transgenerational transmission of information in an autocorrelated world.
  • Holen, Øistein Haugsten (2010). The honesty of warning signals.
  • Svennungsen, Thomas Owens; Holen, Øistein Haugsten & Leimar, Olof (2009). Inducible defences: continuous reaction norms or threshold traits.
  • Svennungsen, Thomas Owens & Holen, Øistein Haugsten (2008). Optimal egg rejection with external cues.
  • Svennungsen, Thomas Owens & Holen, Øistein Haugsten (2007). The evolutionary stability of automimicry.
  • Holen, Øistein Haugsten (2006). Coevolutionary chases: Can defended prey escape from their Batesian mimics?.
  • Svennungsen, Thomas Owens & Holen, Øistein Haugsten (2006). On the persistence of automimicry in defended species.

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Published May 26, 2011 9:49 PM - Last modified Sep. 7, 2016 5:39 PM