Prof Love Dalén

Professor in Evolutionary Genetics

Department of Bioinformatics and Genetics
Swedish Museum of Natural History
Box 50007, SE-104 05 Stockholm

Phone: +46 (0) 8 5195 4281

Scholar: [Papers in Google Scholar]
ResearchGate: [ResearchGate Page]


lemmingMy general research interests are focused on the use of DNA technology to investigate the ecology and evolution of different species, and how past environmental changes have determined the distribution and abundance of organisms.

At present, the work we are doing in Stockholm is aimed at investigating how genetic variation, population structure and population size have changed over time, especially in the context of changes in climate during the Late Pleistocene (i.e. the last ice age). We are currently working on several projects on different vertebrate animals, for example lemmings, mammoths, cave lions and ptarmigan, using ancient DNA technology to access genetic information from fossils.

Arctic fox




Chang D, Knapp M, Enk J, Lippold S, Kircher M, Lister A, MacPhee RDE, Widga C, Czechowski P, Sommer R, Hodges E, Stümpel N, Barnes I, Dalén L, et al. 2017. The evolutionary and phylogeographic history of woolly mammoths: a comprehensive mitogenomic analysis. Scientific Reports 7: 44585.

Haddad NJ, Al-Nakeeb K, Petersen B, Dalén L, Blom N, Sicheritz-Pontén T. 2017. Complete mitochondrial genome of the Oriental Hornet, Vespa orientalis (Hymenoptera: Vespidae). Mitochondrial DNA Part B, 2: 139-140.

Smith S, Sandoval-Castellanos E, Lagerholm VK, Napierala H, Sablin M, Nyström J, Fladerer FA, Germonpré M, Wojta P, Miller R, Stewart J, Dalén L. 2017. Non-receding hare lines: genetic continuity since the Late Pleistocene in European mountain hares (Lepus timidus). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 120: 891-908.

Lagerholm VK, Norén K, Ehrich D, Ims RA, Killengreen ST, Abramson NI, Angerbjörn A, Henttonen H, Dalén L. 2017. Run to the hills: gene flow among mountain areas leads to low genetic differentiation in the Norwegian lemming. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 121: 1-14.

Ersmark E, Klütsch C, Chan YL, Sinding M-HS, Fain SR, Illarionova NA, Oskarsson M, Uhlén M, Zhang YP, Dalén L*, Savolainen, P*. 2016. From the past to the present: Wolf phylogeography and demographic history based on the mitochondrial control region. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 4: 134.

Lagerholm VK, Sandoval-Castellanos E, Vaniscotte A, Potapova O, Tomek T, Bochenski ZM, Shepherd P, Barton N, Van Dyck MC, Miller R, Höglund J, Yoccoz NG, Dalén L*, Stewart JR*. 2016. Range shifts or extinction? Ancient DNA and distribution modelling reveal past and future responses to climate warming in cold-adapted birds. Global Change Biology, 23: 1365-2486.

Hambäck PA, Weingartner E, Dalén L, Wirta H, Roslin T. 2016. Spatial subsidies in spider diets vary with shoreline structure: Complementary evidence from molecular diet analysis and stable isotopes. Ecology and Evolution, 6: 8431–8439.

Brace S, Thomas JA, Dalén L, Burger J, MacPhee RDE, Barnes I, Turvey ST. 2016. Evolutionary history of the Nesophontidae, the last unplaced Recent mammal family. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 33: 3095-3103.

Pecnerova P, Díez-del-Molino D, Vartanyan S, Dalén L. 2016. Changes in variation at the MHC class II DQA locus during the final demise of the woolly mammoth. Scientific Reports, 6: 25274.

Norén K, Godoy E, Dalén L, Meijer T, Angerbjörn A. 2016. Context-dependent inbreeding depression in a critically endangered canid. Molecular Ecology, 25: 3309-1338.

Zepeda-Mendoza LM, Lundberg, J, Ivarsson M, Campos P, Nylander JAA, Sallstedt T, Dalén L. 2016. Metagenomic Analysis from the Interior of a Speleothem in Tjuv-Ante’s Cave, Northern Sweden. PLoS ONE, 11: e0151577.

Palkopoulou E, Baca M, Abramson NI, Sablin M, Socha P, Nadachowski A, Prost S, Germonpré M, Kosintsev P, Smirnov NG,Vartanyan S, Ponomarev D, Nyström J, Nikolskiy P, Jass CN, Litvinov YN, Kalthoff DC, Grigoriev S, Fadeeva T, Douka A, Higham TFG, Ersmark E, Pitulko V, Pavlova E, Stewart JR, Węgleński P, Stankovic A, Dalén L. 2016. Synchronous genetic turnovers across Western Eurasia in Late Pleistocene collared lemmings. Global Change Biology, 22: 1710–1721.

Wennerström L, Ryman N, Tison JL, Hasslow A, Dalén L, Laikre L. 2016. Genetic landscape with sharp discontinuities shaped by complex demographic history in moose (Alces alces). Journal of Mammalogy, 97: 1-13.

Xenikoudakis G, Ersmark E, Tison JL, Waits L, Kindberg J, Swenson JE, Dalén L. (2015) Consequences of a demographic bottleneck on genetic structure and variation in the Scandinavian brown bear. Molecular Ecology, 24: 3441–3454.

Skoglund P, Ersmark E, Palkopoulou E, Dalén L. (2015) Ancient wolf genome reveals an early divergence of domestic dog ancestors and admixture into high-latitude breeds. Current Biology, 25: 1515–1519.

Palkopoulou E, Mallick S, Skoglund P, Enk J, Rohland N, Li H, Omrak A, Vartanyan S, Poinar H, Götherström A, Reich D, Dalén L. (2015) Complete genomes reveal signatures of demographic and genetic declines in the woolly mammoth. Current Biology, 25, 1395–1400.

Tison JL, Blennow V, Palkopoulou E, Gustafsson P, Roos A, Dalén L. (2015) Population structure and recent temporal changes in genetic variation in Eurasian otters from Sweden. Conservation Genetics, 16: 371–384.

Ersmark E, Orlando L, Sandoval-Castellanos E, Barnes I, Barnett R, Stuart A, Lister A, Dalén L. (2015) Population Demography and Genetic Diversity in the Pleistocene Cave Lion. 2015. Open Quaternary, 1: 1-14.

Shafer ABA, Wolf JBW, Alves PC, Bergström L, Bruford MW, Brännström I, Colling G, Dalén L, et al. (2015) Genomics and the challenging translation into conservation practice. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 30: 78–87.

Elmhagen B, Destouni G, Angerbjörn A, Borgström S, Boyd E, Cousins S, Dalén L, Ehrlén J, Ermold M, Hambäck P, Hedlund J, Hylander K, Jaramillo F, Lagerholm VK, Lyon S, Moor H, Nykvist B, Pasanen-Mortensen M, Plue J, Prieto C, van der Velde Y, Lindborg R. (2015) Interacting effects of change in climate, human population, land use, and water use on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Ecology and Society, 20: 23.

Liu S, Lorenzen ED, Fumagalli M, Li B, Harris K, Xiong Z, Zhou L, Sand Korneliussen T, Somel M, Babbitt C, Wray G, Li J, He W, Wang Z, Fu W, Xiang X, Morgan CC, Doherty A, O’Connell MJ, McInerney JO, Born EW, Dalén L, Dietz R, Orlando L, Sonne C, Zhang G, Nielsen R, Willerslev E, Wang J. (2014) Population genomics reveal recent speciation and rapid evolutionary adaptation in polar bears. Cell, 157: 785–794.

Sandoval-Castellanos E, Palkopoulou E, Dalén L. (2014) Back to BaySICS: a user-friendly program for Bayesian statistical inference from coalescent simulations. PLoS ONE, 9: e98011.

Tison JL, Edmark VN, Sandoval-Castellanos E, Van Dyck H, Tammaru T, Välimäki P, Dalén L, Gotthard K. (2014). Population history, genetic structure and local adaptation at the northern range margin of the speckled wood butterfly. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 113: 136–148.

Lagerholm VK, Sandoval-Castellanos E, Ehrich D, Abramson NI, Nadachowski A, Kalthoff DC, Germonpré M, Angerbjörn A, Stewart JR, Dalén L. (2014) On the origin of the Norwegian lemming. Molecular Ecology, 23: 2060-2071.

Cappellini E, Gentry A, Palkopoulou E, Ishida Y, Cram D, Roos AM, Watson M, Johansson US, Fernholm B, Agnelli P, Barbagli F, Littlewood DTJ, Kelstrup CD, Olsen JV, Lister AM, Roca AL, Dalén L, Gilbert MTP. (2014) Resolution of the type material of the Asian elephant, Elephas maximus (Proboscidea: Elephantidae) Linnaeus, 1758. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 170: 222–232.

Palkopoulou E, Dalén L, Lister AM, Vartanyan S, Sablin M, Sher A, Nyström Edmark V, Brandström MD, Germonpré M, Barnes I, Thomas JA. (2013). Holarctic genetic structure and range dynamics in the woolly mammoth. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 280.

Angerbjörn A, Eide N, Dalén L, Elmhagen B,Hellström P, Ims RA, Killengreen S, Landa A, Meijer T, Mela M, Niemimaa J, Norén K, Tannerfeldt M, Yoccoz NG, Henttonen H. (2013). Carnivore conservation in practice: replicated management actions on a large spatial scale. Journal of Applied Ecology, 50: 59-67.

Lundberg JEK, Ivarsson M, Sallstedt T, Sjöberg R, Vidal Romaní JR, Dalén L, Höglund S. (2013) Calcite speleothems in pseudokarst Tjuv-Antes grotta, Northern Sweden. Proceedings of the 16th International Congress of Speleology, Brno (Eds. M. Filippi and P. Bosák). Volume 3: 461-464.

Mellows A, Barnett R. Dalén L, Sandoval-Castellanos E, Linderholm A, McGovern TH, Church MJ,  Larson G. (2012) The impact of past climate change on genetic variation and population connectivity in the Icelandic arctic fox. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 279: 4568-4573.

Brace S, Palkopoulou E, Dalén L, Lister AM, Miller R, Otte M, Germonpré M, Blockley SPE, Stewart JR, Barnes I. (2012) Serial population extinctions in a small mammal indicate Late Pleistocene ecosystem instability. PNAS, 109: 20532-36.

Norén K, Hersteinsson P, Samelius G, Eide NE, Fuglei E, Elmhagen B, Dalén L, Meijer T, Angerbjörn A. (2012) From monogamy to complexity: Arctic fox social organization in contrasting ecosystems. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 90: 1102-1116

Dalén L, Orlando L, Shapiro B, Brandström-Durling M, Quam R, Gilbert MTP, Fernández-Lomana JCD, Willerslev E, Arsuaga JL, Götherström A. (2012) Partial genetic turnover in neandertals: continuity in the east and population replacement in the west. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 29: 1893-1897.

Nyström V, Humphrey J, Skoglund P, McKeown NJ, Vartanyan S, Shaw PW, Lidén K, Jakobsson M, Barnes I, Angerbjörn A, Lister A, Dalén L. (2012) Microsatellite genotyping reveals end-Pleistocene decline in mammoth autosomal genetic variation. Molecular Ecology, 21: 3391–3402. 

Geffen E, Kam M, Hefner R, Hersteinsson P, Angerbjörn A, Dalén L, Fuglei E, Norén K, Adams J, Vucetich J, Meier TJ, Mech DL, vonHoldt BM, Stahler DR, Smith DW, Wayne RK. (2012) Kin encounter rate and inbreeding avoidance in canids. Molecular Ecology, 20: 5348–5358 

Rodriguez R, Ramirez O, Valdiosera CE, Garcia N, Alda F, Madurell-Malapeira J, Marmi J, Doadrio I, Willerslev E, Götherström A, Arsuaga JL, Thomas MG, Lalueza-Fox C, Dalén L. (2011) 50,000 years of genetic uniformity in the critically endangered Iberian lynx. Molecular Ecology 20: 3785-3795.

Norén K, Carmichael L, Dalén L, Hersteinsson P, Samelius G, Fuglei E, Kapel CMO, Menyushina I, Strobeck C, Angerbjörn A. (2011) Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) population structure: circumpolar patterns and processes. Oikos 120: 873-885.

Kodandaramaiah U, Weingartner E, Janz N, Dalén L, Nylin S. (2011) Population structure in relation to host-plant ecology and Wolbachia infestation in the comma butterfly. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 24: 2173-2185.

Workman C, Dalén L, Vartanyan S, Shapiro B, Kosintsev P, Sher A, Götherström A, Barnes I. (2011) Population-level genotyping of coat colour polymorphism in woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius). Quaternary Science Reviews 30: 2304-2308.

Särnblad A, Danbolt M, Dalén L, Amir OA, Berggren P. (2011) Phylogenetic placement and population structure of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) off Zanzibar, Tanzania, based on mtDNA sequences. Marine Mammal Science 27: 431-448.

Nyström V, Dalén L, Vartanyan S, Lidén K, Ryman N, Angerbjörn A. (2010) Temporal genetic change in the last remaining population of woolly mammoth. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 277: 2331-2337.

Arsuaga JL, Quam R, Daura J, Sanz M, Subirá ME, Dalén L, Götherström A. (2011) Neandertal mtDNA from an Upper Pleistocene human mandible from the Cova del Gegant (Spain). In: Continuity and Discontinuity in the Peopling of Europe (eds. Condemi S & Weniger GC). Springer, Dordrecht.

Herfindal I, Linnell JDC, Elmhagen B, Andersen R, Eide NE, Frafjord K, Henttonen H, Kaikusalo A, Mela M, Tannerfeldt M, Dalén L, Strand O, Landa A, Angerbjörn A. (2010) Population persistence in a landscape context: the case of endangered arctic fox populations in Fennoscandia. Ecography, 33: 1-10.

Stewart JR, Lister AM, Barnes I, Dalén L. (2010) Refugia revisited: individualistic responses of species in space and time. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 277: 661–671.

Irestedt M, Fjeldså J, Dalén L, Ericson PGP. (2009) Convergent evolution, habitat shifts and variable diversification rates in the ovenbird-woodcreeper family (Furnariidae). BMC Evolutionary Biology 9: 268.

Orr TJ, Lindenfors P, Dalén L, Angerbjörn A, Garland T. (2009) Delayed implantation in carnivores, causes and consequences and reproductive effort. Integrative and Comparative Biology 49: E127-E127.

Norén K, Kvaløy K, Nyström V, Landa A, Dalén L, Eide NE, Ostbye E, Henttonen H, Angerbjörn A. (2009) Farmed Arctic foxes on the Fennoscandian mountain tundra: implications for conservation. Animal Conservation 12: 434-444

Miller W, Drautz DI, Janecka JE, Lesk AM, Ratan A, Tomsho LP, Packard M, Zhang Y, McClellan LR, Qi J, Zhao F, Gilbert MTP, Dalén L, Arsuaga JL, Ericson PGP, Huson DH, Helgen KM, Murphy WJ, Götherström A, Schuster SC. (2009) The mitochondrial genome sequence of the Tasmanian tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus). Genome Research 19: 213-220.

Gilbert MTP, Drautz DI, Lesk AM, Ho SYW, Qi J, Ratan A, Hsu CH, Sher A, Dalén L, et al. (2008) Intraspecific phylogenetic analysis of Siberian woolly mammoths using complete mitochondrial genomes. PNAS 105: 8327-8332.

Meijer T, Norén K, Hellström P, Dalén L, Angerbjörn A. (2008) Estimating population parameters in a threatened arctic fox population using molecular tracking and traditional field methods. Animal Conservation, 11: 330-338

Stewart JR, Dalén L. (2008) Is the glacial refugium concept relevant for northern species? Climatic Change, 86: 19-22.

Dalén L, Götherström A, Meijer T, Shapiro B. (2007) Recovery of DNA from footprints in the snow. Canadian Field Naturalist 121: 121-122

Gilbert MTP, Tomsho LP, Rendulic S, Packard M, Drautz DI, Sher A, Tikhonov A, Dalén L, et al. (2007) Whole-genome shotgun sequencing of mitochondria from ancient hair shafts. Science 317: 1927-1930.

Dalén L, Nyström V, Valdiosera C, Germonpré M, Sablin M, Turner E, Angerbjörn A, Arsuaga JL, Götherström A. (2007) Ancient DNA reveals lack of postglacial habitat tracking in the arctic fox. PNAS 104: 6726-6729.

Valdiosera CE, García N, Anderung C, Dalén L, Crégut-Bonnoure E, Kahlke RD, Stiller M, Brandström M, Thomas MG, Arsuaga JL, Götherström A, Barnes I. (2007) Staying out in the cold: glacial refugia and mitochondrial DNA phylogeography in ancient European brown bears. Molecular Ecology, 16: 5140–5148.

Geffen E, Waidyaratne S, Dalén L, Angerbjörn A, Vila C, Hersteinsson P, Fuglei E, White PA, Goltsman M, Kapel CMO, Wayne RK. (2007) Sea ice occurrence predicts genetic isolation in the Arctic fox. Molecular Ecology 16: 4241–4255.

Dalén L, Kvaløy K, Linnell JDC., Elmhagen B, Strand O, Tannerfeldt M, Henttonen H, Fuglei E, Landa A, Angerbjörn A. (2006) Population structure in a critically endangered arctic fox population: does genetics matter? Molecular Ecology 15: 2809-2819.

Nyström V, Angerbjörn A, Dalén L. (2006) Genetic consequences of a demographic bottleneck in the Fennoscandian arctic fox . Oikos 114: 84-94.

Valdiosera C, García N, Dalén L, Smith C, Kahlke R, Lidén K, Angerbjörn A, Arsuaga JL, Götherström A. (2006) Typing single polymorphic nucleotides in mitochondrial DNA as a way to access Middle Pleistocene DNA. Biology Letters 2: 601-603.

Nyström J, Ekenstedt J, Angerbjörn A, Thulin L, Hellström P, Dalén L. (2006) Golden eagles on the Swedish arctic tundra – diet and breeding success in relation to prey fluctuations. Ornis Fennica 83: 145–152.

Nyström J, Dalén L, Ekenstedt J, Angleby H, Angerbjörn A. (2006) The effect of local prey availability on gyrfalcon predation: DNA analysis on ptarmigan remains at nest sites. Journal of Zoology 269: 57-64.

Dalén L, Fuglei E, Hersteinsson P, Kapel CMO, Roth JD, Samelius G, Tannerfeldt M, and Angerbjörn A. (2005) Population history and genetic structure of a circumpolar species: the arctic fox. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 84: 79-89.

Malmström H, Storå J, Dalén L, Holmlund G, Götherström A. (2005) Extensive human DNA contamination in extracts from ancient dog bones and teeth. Molecular Biology and Evolution 22: 2040-2047.

Norén K, Dalén L, Kvaløy K, Angerbjörn A. (2005) Detection of farm fox and hybrid genotypes among wild arctic foxes in Scandinavia. Conservation Genetics 6: 885-894.

Dalén L, Elmhagen B, Angerbjörn A. (2004) DNA analysis on fox faeces and competition induced niche shifts. Molecular Ecology 13: 2389-2392.

Dalén L, Götherström A, Angerbjörn A. (2004) Identifying species from pieces of faeces. Conservation Genetics 5: 109-111.

Lindenfors P, Dalén L, Angerbjörn A. (2003) The monophyletic origin of delayed implantation in carnivores and its implications. Evolution 57, 1952-1955.

Dalén L, Götherström A, Tannerfeldt M, Angerbjörn A. (2002) Is the Fennoscandian arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) population genetically isolated? Biological Conservation 105: 171-178.

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