Anne's homepage in English

  • Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson i eik på Jomfruland
    Morten Johannesen, FMTe

I am a professor of conservation biology at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences NMBU as well as a scientific advisor at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research NINA.

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 especially intrigued by the hidden biodiversity, like insects and fungi - species we rarely see and hardly think about, even though they are crucial for important processes in nature and therefore important to us humans.

I teach courses in nature management, insect ecology and forest biodiversity. I am also active in outreach activities, and in 2018 my popular science book called "Insektenes planet"/"Terra Insecta" was published. The book has been sold to 19 countries so far, and will be published in English in 2019.


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Read a Portrait interview with me in English



Anne's homepage in English

My popular science book on insects and why we should all love them: 

For more info about my book, please see

Bokomslag Insektenes planet
Bokomslag Insektenes planet
JM Stenersens forlag

There are more insects on the globe than there are sand grains on all beaches in the US. Most of these insects never bother us - on the contrary, we are completely dependent on them. In the book Terra Insecta, Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson tells you why we cannot live without these little creatures. She shows you the bizarre and fascinating world of insects, with far more links to our human world than you probably realize.

Did you know that insects carry their skeleton on the outside of their body, like a coat of armor? That they can have ears on their knees, eyes on the penis and a tongue under their tiny feet? Or did you know that insects, despite a brain the size of a sesame seed, are able to count to four and can recognize faces?

Every other species on the globe is an insect, and they live everywhere: In the freezing cold summits of the Himalayas and in the hot springs of Yellowstone, in baptismal fonts, in naturally occurring petroleum pools in California, in the stomach of horses and in the nostrils of walrus.

Moreover, the insects have been here for a long time. They have, by a wide margin, seen the dinosaurs both come and go. For more than 150 million years, the fluttering wings of insects dominated the air - no one else could fly. Millions of years before we humans set foot on Earth, insects had mastered agriculture: Termites grow fungi for food, and ants keep aphids like dairy cattle.

"It's really the insects that rule the world. Insects are the little ones that make the world tick. We need them for pollination, decomposition and soil formation, to be food for other animals, keep harmful organisms at bay, disperse seeds, help us in the research and inspire us with their smart solutions”, says Sverdrup-Thygeson.

The book recounts both historical and present-day examples of products and ideas stemming from insects. Just think of chocolate. If you like chocolate, you should really love insects. The tiny chocolate midge, no bigger than the size of a pinhead, is the only creature that can pollinate the cocoa flowers - so we get cocoa beans and chocolate.

We should also thank the insects for a number of famous documents, including The Declaration of Independence – written with iron gall ink made from small, apple-like structures on oak trees, induced by a tiny wasp. Today, termites has inspired self-cooling buildings in the tropics, with 90% lower energy consumption than normal. Fruit flies have been involved in six Nobel prizes in medicine. Cockroaches might save people in collapsed buildings, beetles can help us break down plastic and ants can give us new antibiotics.

Although the number of insects seems almost unimaginable, recent studies document a sharp decline in their abundance. While the human population has doubled in the past 35 years, the number of small, spineless critters has decreased by 45 percent. This might have far-reaching consequences. We actually do not know what will happen in a world with collapsing insect populations. Just that it will be very different.



Here are links to my ongoing projects (with English summaries at the end):


Scientific papers:

(You can also find my papers on my profile on Research Gate or Google Scholar)

2018, so far

  • Birkemoe, T., Jacobsen, R. M., A, S.-T. & Biederman, P. 2018. Insect-fungus interactions in dead wood systems. - I Ulyshen, M. D., red. Saproxylic Insects. Springer, USA
  • Jacobsen, R. M., Sverdrup-Thygeson, A., Kauserud, H. & Birkemoe, T. 2018. Revealing hidden insect–fungus interactions; moderately specialized, modular and anti-nested detritivore networks. - Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences 285. http://dx.doi.org10.1098/rspb.2017.2833
  • Nordén, J., Åström, J., Josefsson, T., Blumentrath, S., Ovaskainen, O., Sverdrup-Thygeson, A. & Nordén, B. 2018. At which spatial and temporal scales can fungi indicate habitat connectivity? - Ecological Indicators 91: 138-148. http://dx.doi.org10.1016/j.ecolind.2018.03.062


  • Gillespie, M. A. K., Birkemoe, T. & Sverdrup-Thygeson, A. 2017. Interactions between body size, abundance, seasonality, and phenology in forest beetles. - Ecology and Evolution 7: 1091-1100.
  • Jacobsen, R. M., Kauserud, H., Sverdrup-Thygeson, A., et al. 2017. Wood-inhabiting insects can function as targeted vectors for decomposer fungi. - Fungal Ecology 29: 76-84.
  • Skarpaas, O., Blumentrath, S., Evju, M. & Sverdrup-Thygeson, A. 2017. Prediction of biodiversity hotspots in the Anthropocene: The case of veteran oaks. - Ecology and Evolution: n/a-n/a.
  • Sverdrup-Thygeson, A., Skarpaas, O., Blumentrath, S., et al. 2017. Habitat connectivity affects specialist species richness more than generalists in veteran trees. - Forest Ecology and Management 403: 96-102.


  • Evju, M. & Sverdrup-Thygeson, A. In press, 2016. Spatial configuration matters – a test of the Habitat Amount Hypothesis for plants in calcareous grasslands. - Landscape Ecology. (online early)
  • Pilskog, H. E., Birkemoe, T., Framstad, E. & Sverdrup-Thygeson, A. 2016. Effect of Habitat Size, Quality, and Isolation on Functional Groups of Beetles in Hollow Oaks. - Journal of insect science 16.
  • Sverdrup-Thygeson, A., Ørka, H. O., Gobakken, T. & Næsset, E. 2016. Can airborne laser scanning assist in mapping and monitoring natural forests? - Forest Ecology and Management 369: 116-125.



  • Evju, M., Blumentrath, S., Skarpaas, O., Stabbetorp, O. E. & Sverdrup-Thygeson, A. 2014. Plant species occurrence in a fragmented grassland landscape: the importance of species traits. - Biodiversity and Conservation 24: 547-561.
  • Fedrowitz, K., Koricheva, J., Baker, S. C., Lindenmayer, D. B., Palik, B., Rosenvald, R., Beese, W. J., Franklin, J. F., Kouki, J., Macdonald, E., Messier, C., Sverdrup-Thygeson, A. & Gustafsson, L. 2014. Can retention forestry help conserve biodiversity? A meta-analysis. - Journal of Applied Ecology 51 (6): 1669-1679.
  • Gough, L., Birkemoe, T. & Sverdrup-Thygeson, A. 2014. Reactive forest management can also be proactive for wood-living beetles in hollow oak trees. - Biological Conservation 180: 75-83.
  • Laksforsmo Vindstad, O. P., Schultze, S., Jepsen, J. U., Biuw, E. M., Kapari, L. T., Sverdrup-Thygeson, A. & Ims, R. A. 2014. Numerical responses of saproxylic beetles to rapid increases in dead wood availability following geometrid moth outbreaks in sub-arctic mountain birch forest. - PLoS ONE 9 (6).
  • Røed, K. H., Birkemoe, T., Sverdrup-Thygeson, A., Horak, J., Midthjell, L. & Leinaas, H. P. 2014. Isolation and characterization of ten microsatellite loci for the wood-living and threatened beetle Cucujus cinnaberinus (Coleoptera: Cucujidae). - Conservation Genetics Resources 6 (3): 641-643.
  • Sverdrup-Thygeson, A., Bendiksen, E., Birkemoe, T. & Larsson, K.-H. 2014. Do conservation measures in forest work? A comparison of three area-based conservation tools for wood-living species in boreal forests. - Forest Ecology and Management 330: 8-16.
  • Sverdrup-Thygeson, A., Gustafsson, L. & Kouki, J. 2014. Spatial and temporal scales relevant for conservation of dead-wood associated species: Current status and perspectives. - Biodiversity and Conservation 23 (3): 513-535.
  • Sverdrup-Thygeson, A., Søgaard, G., Rusch, G. & Barton, D. N. 2014. Spatial overlap between environmental policy instruments and areas of high conservation value in forest. - PLoS ONE 9 (12).


  • Nilsen, E. B., Finstad, A. G., Næsje, T. & Sverdrup-Thygeson, A. 2013. Using mass scaling of movement cost and resource encounter rate to predict animal body size-Population density relationships. - Theoretical Population Biology 86: 23-28.


  • Gustafsson, L., Baker, S. C., Bauhus, J., Beese, W. J., Brodie, A., Kouki, J., Lindenmayer, D. B., Lõhmus, A., Pastur, G. M., Messier, C., Neyland, M., Palik, B., Sverdrup-Thygeson, A., Volney, W. J. A., Wayne, A. & Franklin, J. F. 2012. Retention forestry to maintain multifunctional forests: a world perspective. - BioScience 62: 633-645.
  • Lindenmayer, D. B., Franklin, J. F., Lõhmus, A., Baker, S. C., Bauhus, J., Beese, W., Brodie, A., Kiehl, B., Kouki, J., Pastur, G. M., Messier, C., Neyland, M., Palik, B., Sverdrup-Thygeson, A., Volney, J., Wayne, A. & Gustafsson, L. 2012. A major shift to the retention approach for forestry can help resolve some global forest sustainability issues. - Conservation Letters 5 (6): 421-431.


  • Birkemoe, T. & Sverdrup-Thygeson, A. 2011. Stable fly (Stomoxys calcitrans) and house fly (Musca domestica) densities: a comparison of three monitoring methods on pig farms. - Journal of Pest Science 84 (3): 273-280.
  • Skarpaas, O., Diserud, O. H., Sverdrup-Thygeson, A. & Ødegaard, F. 2011. Predicting hotspots for red-listed species: multivariate regression models for oak-associated beetles. - Insect Conservation and Diversity 4 (1): 53-59.


  • Gustafsson, L., Kouki, J. & Sverdrup-Thygeson, A. 2010. Tree retention as a conservation measure in clear-cut forests of northern Europe: a review of ecological consequences. - Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research 25 (4): 295-308.
  • Sverdrup-Thygeson, A. 2010. Colonization of experimentally arranged resource patches - a case study of fungivorous beetles. - Entomologica Fennica 21 (3): 139-150
  • Sverdrup-Thygeson, A., Skarpaas, O. & Ødegaard, F. 2010. Hollow oaks and beetle conservation: the significance of the surroundings. - Biodiversity and Conservation 19 (3): 837-852.
  • Timonen, J., Siitonen, J., Gustafsson, L., Kotiaho, J., Stokland, J. N., Sverdrup-Thygeson, A. & Monkkonen, M. 2010. Woodland key habitats in northern Europe: concepts, inventory and protection. - Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research 25 (4): 309-324.

 2009 and before

  • Fossestøl, K. O. & Sverdrup-Thygeson, A. 2009. Saproxylic beetles in high stumps and residual downed wood on clear-cuts and in forest edges. - Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research 24 (5): 403-416.
  • Sverdrup-Thygeson, A. & Birkemoe, T. 2009. What window traps can tell us: effect of placement, forest openness and beetle reproduction in retention trees. - Journal of Insect Conservation 13 (2): 183-191.
  • Engen, S., Sæther, B.-E., Sverdrup-Thygeson, A., Grøtan, V. & Ødegaard, F. 2008. Assessment of species diversity from species abundance distributions at different localities. - Oikos 117 (5): 738-748.
  • Sverdrup-Thygeson, A., Borg, P. & Bergsaker, E. 2008. A comparison of biodiversity values in boreal forest regeneration areas before and after forest certification. - Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research 23: 236-243.
  • Komonen, A., Jonsell, M., Økland, B., Sverdrup-Thygeson, A. & Thunes, K. 2004. Insect assemblage associated with the polypore Fomitopsis pinicola: a comparison across Fennoscandia. - Entomologica Fennica 15: 102-112.
  • Sverdrup-Thygeson, A. & Lindenmayer, D. B. 2003. Ecological continuity and assumed indicator fungi in boreal forest: the importance of the landscape matrix. - Forest Ecology and Management 174: 353-363.
  • Sverdrup-Thygeson, A. 2002. Key habitats in the Norwegian production forest: A case study. - Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research 17: 166-178.
  • Sverdrup-Thygeson, A. & Ims, R. A. 2002. The effect of forest clearcutting on the community of saproxyllic beetles on aspen. - Biological Conservation 10: 347-357.
  • Sverdrup-Thygeson, A. 2001. Can 'continuity indicator species' predict species richness or red-listed species of saproxylic beetles? - Biodiversity and Conservation 10: 815-832.
  • Midtgaard, F., Rukke, B. A. & Sverdrup-Thygeson, A. 1998. Habitat use of the fungivorous beetle Bolitophagus reticulatus (Coleoptera, Tenebrionidae): Effects of basidiocarp size, humidity and competitors. - European Journal of Entomology 95: 559-570.
  • Sverdrup-Thygeson, A. & Midtgaard, F. 1998. Fungus infected trees as islands in boreal forest: Spatial distribution of the fungivorous bettle Bolitophagus reticulatus (Coleoptera, Tenebrionidae). - Ecoscience 5: 486-493.
Published 27. juni 2016 - 13:40 - Updated 14. oktober 2018 - 17:38