Forestry effects on genetic diversity in mature boreal forests
We offer two available master projects in population genomics of fungi or insects. The project can be a part of the ecology and evolution master's degree at the University of Oslo.
Fomitopsis pinicola (rødrandkjuke), a possible choice of study organism. Photo: Inger Skrede
These master projects will focus on the effect forestry has on genetic diversity. A large part of the forest biodiversity is found belowground and in dead wood, where it plays important roles for C sequestration. The boreal forests in Norway are important contributors to the national C accounting and, hence, play a role in our future climate mitigation policy. At present, the effects of forestry on ecosystem function and overall C stocks, including forest soil, are insufficiently known. These master projects will assess how large-scale transformation (i.e. clear cutting) of boreal spruce forests affect genetic diversity of a wood decay fungus or an insect living in fungi.
The students will learn methods in fieldwork, molecular biology, bioinformatics and statistics, in the fields of organismal biology, ecology and evolutionary biology.
The master students will be involved in a large-scale sampling effort during the summer and fall 2021. For the fungal project, the candidate will further analyze the collected material using culturing methods, extracting DNA and applying full genome sequencing of the cultures and finally use population genomic analyses combined with statical analyses. The insect project will extract DNA directly from the insect, and then apply a restriction site-associated DNA sequencing approach (RADseq) and finally use population genomic analyses combined with statical analyses.
The candidates will be supervised by Inger Skrede, Sundy Maurice, and Håvard Kauserud.