I am interested to know why long-term biological evolution is so slow. Hundreds of short-term laboratory and field experiments have shown that populations can rapidly adapt to changing environments. Yet estimates of rates of evolution over geological time scales indicate that evolution is very slow, and that the amount of evolutionary change over a million years is about the same as that observed over a decade. Indeed, the fossil record reveals many mass extinctions but no mass adaptations. As we are witnessing the onset of the 6th major mass extinction, solving this question (known as the "paradox of stasis") is no longer of only academic importance.
I teach faunistics in the course Floristics and Faunistics, which is the very first course of the Programme in Biology. The core of my teaching, though, is the Zoology course, which is the last obligatory course of that programme. In addition, I teach statistics in the course Biological Methods and Analyses, but I may also show up in some other courses, like Evolution. And I supervise project and degree students, of course.
MSc. And PhD (2004) in animal ecology from the university of Oulu, Finland. Docent in Evolutionary Biology at Umeå University (2011). Research/teaching experience from the universities of Oulu (Finland), Groningen (Netherlands), Umeå (Sweden), Oslo (Norway), and Karlstad (Sweden).
The dynamics underlying avian extinction trajectories forecast a wave of extinctions MJ Monroe, SHM Butchart, AO Mooers, F Bokma. Biology letters 15:2. - We are entering the 6th major mass extinction, but how high are current extinction rates? It seems simple enough to calculate that by counting recently extinct species, but what if most species are on the decline, just not extinct yet? We calculated the extinction rate from looking how bird species had moved between IUCN Red List categories from 1988 to 2016. Thus, we based our estimate on all species, not just the (nearly) extinct ones. We found that the rate of extinction is 5 times higher than previously thought, and about 1000 times higher than in pre-human times. Covered by a.o. BBC Wildlife, Der Spiegel, Yahoo news, CBC, and Dagsavisen.
Estimating species colonization dates using DNA in lake sediment F Olajos, F Bokma, P Bartels, E Myrstener, J Rydberg, G Öhlund, ...
Methods in Ecology and Evolution 9 (3), 535-543. - DNA from the different plant and animal species that live in a lake ends up on the bottom, and accumulates in thin layers of sediment, year after year. The possibility to detect these minuscule quantities of DNA allows us to reconstruct which species lived in the lake thousands of years ago. Read more at forskning.se.
Evidence against universal metabolic allometry F Bokma. Functional Ecology, 184-187. - For about 200 years it has been known that the basal metabolic rate Q of animals (their energy demand during rest)scales allometrically with their body size M as Q=aMb, and that factor a differs between taxa (as for instance warm-blooded animals have far higher energetic demands than cold-blooded animals of the same size), but it was widely believed that exponent b is constant and that b=⅔ or b=¾. Influential studies attempting to explain b<1 were based on this assumption. Using a simple MANOVA, I showed that b≠⅔, b≠¾ and, most importantly, that there is no single, universal value of b. This work was cover by (a.o.) Nature in a “News and Views”.