Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Stenseth, Nils C.
Location University of Oslo
Primary Field Evolutionary Biology
Secondary Field Environmental Sciences and Ecology
 Election Citation
Stenseth pioneered studies of how past and present climate variation influences the ecology and evolution of diverse organisms. His creative research on rodent density cycles brought clarity to long-standing debates about causes. His assembly and leadership of multidisciplinary teams led to several breakthrough studies in climate change biology.
 Research Interests
My research interests span a broad spectrum of ecological and evolutionary topics, most of which are rooted in population biology. Before the early 1990s, much of my work was purely theoretical. Later, I have adopted the research strategy of 'asking' available data what the underlying ecological or evolutionary process might most likely be - all within a theoretical perspective. Variations in population densities in time and space - and the underlying demographic processes - have been a main interest of mine over the years. An important example is the interdependent relation between density-dependent and density-independent processes, where the ecological effect of climate is an important example of the latter. ~Most of my work relates to basic issues. However, I find great pleasure in working on more applied issues as well; I have never been ashamed of my research being of practical use here and now. These applied interests have brought me into work on pest control (e.g., rodents in Africa), harvesting (marine and terrestrial), bio-economics (e.g., the ecological dynamics of dry-land pastoral systems) and epidemiology (Plague). ~I am convinced that it is helpful to try to understand what has happened in the past, in preparing for what might happen in the future, e.g., ecological and evolutionary effects of climate change. For this reason, I value the existence of long-term time series - and the analysis of them.

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