Robert Ekblom

senior research engineer at Department of Ecology and Genetics, Evolutionary Biology

+4618-471 6468
Mobile phone:
+46 70 3353935
Visiting address:
Evolutionsbiologiskt Centrum
Norbyvägen 18D
752 36 UPPSALA
Postal address:
Evolutionsbiologiskt centrum
Norbyvägen 18D
752 36 UPPSALA

Short presentation

I'm currently working as an Assistant Professor in the Monitoring group at the Department of Evolutionary Biology. My main research interest is in evolutionary genomics, ecology and conservation biology. The focus is mainly on genetic variation important in and ecological and conservation biology context. I also work with more applied conservation biology issues.

My courses


Brief CV

2013-present: Assistant Professor at the department of Evolutionary Biology, Uppsala University
2011-2012: Researcher at the department of Evolutionary Biology, Uppsala University
2010-2011: Researcher and Lecturer at the department of Population Biology and Conservation Biology, Uppsala University
2008-2009: Marie Curie postdoctoral research fellow, Department of Animal & Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, UK
2004-2007: Working as a lecturer at the department of Population Biology, Uppsala University, Sweden and with issues concerning bird conservation for the Swedish Ornithological Society (SOF)
2000-2004: Graduate studies in Population Biology, Uppsala University, Sweden
1995-1999: Undergraduate studies in Biology, Uppsala University, Sweden

Research Projects

Whole genome sequencing of the Wolverine

Since October 2011 my main focus has been on a research project where we aim to sequence and assemble the whole genome of the wolverine (Gulo gulo). This resource will primarily be used to identify a large number of genome-wide SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) that can be typed in a panel of individuals from the Scandinavian population. One of the aims is to identify genetic variation which is important from a conservation biology perspective. We will also use these newly identified genetic markers in an ongoing monitoring project of the Swedish and Norwegian wolverine population.

Application of next generation sequencing and genomics tools in non-model organisms

I’m also interested in the application of genomics tools, particularly next generation sequencing, to study the genetics behind ecologically important variation in a range of other non-model species.

Genomics and transcriptomics in the Zebra Finch

The main focus of my post doc in Sheffield (UK) was genomic analyses of the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata). Recently the first draft of the Zebra Finch genome sequence was released. This is the second bird (after chicken) to have its whole genome sequenced. This means that there are now new possibilities to perform comparative genomics in birds. I’m also analysing high throughput sequencing data from Zebra Finch cDNA collected in different tissues to look for tissue specific expression patterns. In particular I’m focusing my studies on gene variation that may have ecological significance such as the genes controlling the immune response.

Immunoecology and genomics in the great snipe

For my PhD I studied the immunoecology of a lekking bird species called the Great Snipe (Gallinago media). This research included topics of MHC variation, geographic genetic structure, mate choice and immunocompetence (thesis). I now also take a broader prespective to use new genomics tools to investigate issues regarding variation in mating success and individual mate choice.

Main collaborators

Jens Persson

Hans Ellegren

Jon Slate (post-doc advisor)

Terry Burke (post-doc advisor)

Jacob Höglund (PhD supervisor)

Mats Grahn (PhD supervisor)

Stein Are Sæther

John Atle Kålås


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