Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson og en stamme.

I am a professor of conservation biology, researcher and teach nature management, insect ecology and forest biodiversity.

I am advocate for nature's anonymous species diversity, such as insects and fungi - species we rarely see and do not think about, but which are nevertheless crucially important for processes in nature and thus for us humans.

I have written five books about insects and nature. The books have been translated into more than 25 languages and are sold in bookstores all over the world.

About me

  • I am currently a professor at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) in Ås, where I research and teach about nature management and forest biodiversity.

    I do research on species diversity, natural resources, forests and nature crisis. Much of my research is about how we affect the forest's species diversity and thus also the ecosystem services the forest provides us.

    My research is within nature management and biodiversity, especially the ecological role of insects in trees and forests. I work both with boreal and temperate forest, spanning from old-growth taiga to remaining legacy trees in urban landscapes.

    I am particularly concerned with nature's anonymous species diversity, such as insects and fungi - species we rarely see and do not think about, but which are nevertheless crucially important for processes in nature and thus for us humans.

    You will find a list of all my publications in ResearchGate here (external link).

  • I love to convey knowledge about nature - both about the wonderful life and ecological role of insects, and about biodiversity and natural resources more generally. I am active in the media, give lectures and have written five books, which have been translated into more than 25 different languages.

    "Planet of the Insects" was nominated for the Brage Prize, was on the Sunday Times' bestseller list and was named one of the ten most important books on science by the Smithsonian in the USA, and "On Nature's Shoulders" was nominated for the Critics' Prize. In 2018 I received the Bonnevie award for my communication of biology to the public, and in 2020 I received the The Research Council of Norway's science dissemination award.

  • You may contact me at:

Books in English

  • Fascinating tales of our interactions with nature. Millions of species give us food, medicine and a habitable environment. Go out into the rainforests, where orchid bees make perfume and pollinate the nuts you crack at Christmas; beneath the cool shade of great trees on city streets that reduce the need for air-cooling systems.

    Read about trees in ancient woodland that provide us with cancer medicines and the kingfisher that inspired the design of bullet trains. Discover how our behaviour can place all this in jeopardy, because our capacity to exploit nature also risks undermining the basis for our very existence. What we are seeing today is a biodiversity crisis in which species are threatened and habitats vanishing – a situation just as acute and serious as the climate crisis.

  • Insects comprise roughly half of the animal kingdom. They live everywhere—deep inside caves, 18,000 feet high in the Himalayas, inside computers, in Yellowstone’s hot springs, and in the ears and nostrils of much larger creatures.

    There are insects that have ears on their knees, eyes on their penises, and tongues under their feet. Most of us think life would be better without bugs. In fact, life would be impossible without them.

Books in Norwegian

  • Age group: Adults

    Forsiden til "Skogen"

    In "Skogen", the story stretches through time and space, from a great-great-grandfather's flora to the present, and from an insect's tiny life under a piece of bark to the mile-wide forest landscapes.

    Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson offers entertaining knowledge about the forest, about the intricate interaction of the forest species and about the importance of the forest for our history and culture.

  • Age group: Adults

    Norway has more than 19 000 insect species and this book gives an introduction to them. It countains an overview of all the 23 orders of insects, and the most important families.

    For each group the number of species, physical description, habitat, status and ecological significance is covered.

  • Age group: Adults

    How ten million species save your life.

  • Age: Children 3-6 years

    This book is aimed at kids 3 to 6 years old. It tells the amazing story of the sloth and the moth that lives in the sloth’s fur – and how the two depend on each other.

    Full page color illustrations by Bård Sletvold Torkildsen. 

  • Age: Children 6-12 years

    Beetles, Bugs and Butterflies is aimed at the younger readers, 6-9 (9-12) years. Kids have a natural curiosity when it comes to small critters, and I want to stimulate this interest. 

    My book covers cool and common insects we find all around us. Through facts, fun-facts and colorful illustrations by Nina Marie Andersen at @fabelillustrasjon, the intention is to educate in a fun way.

  • Age: Adults

TEDx talk