Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

MICHAEL MØLLER HANSEN - Population genomics

My area of research is population genomics and evolutionary biology. I use fishes as model organisms in particular. In my group we use molecular genetics and genomics data to study the demographic history of species and populations, their adaptation to environmental conditions, and their potential to respond to future environmental change. For instance, this is highly relevant in a climate change perspective; can populations and species adapt through evolution to a warmer climate and altered seasonal change? I am also generally interested in how humans alter evolutionary trajectories, for instance through (over)fishing, eutrophication and fragmentation of habitats.


Ongoing projects: 

Evolutionary potential and contemporary evolution in a changing Arctic environment: Arctic charr and three-spine stickleback in Greenland. Funded by the Danish Council for Independent Reasearch, Natural Sciences.

The Arctic is one of the regions where climate change will become most pronounced. When forecasting the effects of climate change on biodiversity, it is necessary to consider the possibility that species can adapt through evolution to the altered environment. We test the overarching hypothesis that the fish species Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) and three-spine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) in Western Greenland can invoke adaptive responses to ongoing climate change. The project makes use of methods for genome-wide scans for detecting footprints of selection: RAD sequencing, sequence capture and whole genome sequencing, along with genotyping subsets of SNPs. For Arctic char we analyze DNA from both contemporary samples and ca. 60 year old archived samples from the same populations, in order to reveal possible selective changes in response to the climate change that have already occurred.



MARGEN is a research cluster funded by EU Interreg (Øresund-Kattegat_Skagerrak). MARGEN focuses on research within marine genomics, population genetics, marine ecology and fish biology. It includes research groups from the following research Institutes

Norway: Institute of Marine Research, University of Oslo, University of Agder, The Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA). Denmark: Aarhus University, Technical University of Denmark. Sweden: University of Gothenburg.