Animals are dependent on their nose in many aspects of life. Tasks like food search, navigation, partner choice and kin recognition often include the ability to evaluate odours and migrate towards or away from them. In my research I am interested in pheromones and individual odours, and particularly the molecular and genetic background to personal odours.
Currently I am doing a postdoc with Francesco Bonadonna, CNRS, Montpellier, France and Helena Westerdahl. In the project we are studying a subantarctic seabird, the Blue petrel, that has a very well developed sense of smell. The birds are able to find their partner and their underground nest just by smell. I am working on MHC immune genes (Major Histocompatibility Complex) and their possible influence on personal odour and mate choice in these birds. The MHC genes belong to the most variable gene family found in vertebrates. The MHC recognizes a wide range of pathogens but is also involved in partner choice in for example mammals.
Retrieved from Lund University's publications database
- 100 million years of multigene family evolution : Origin and evolution of the avian MHC class IIB
- Evolution of antigenic diversity in the tick-transmitted bacterium Borrelia afzelii : a role for host specialization?
- Expression and phylogenetic analyses reveal paralogous lineages of putatively classical and non-classical MHC-I genes in three sparrow species (Passer)
- Odour-based discrimination of similarity at the major histocompatibility complex in birds