Molecular Ecology and Global Climate Change | Lorenzen Lab – University of Copenhagen

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Molecular Ecology and Global Climate Change | Lorenzen Lab

My group studies the ecology and evolution of genetic and phenotypic diversification and historical biogeography in animals, mainly large mammals. To explore these questions we use wet lab and computational methods based on population genetics theory and phylogenetic inference to identify evolutionary forces that have shaped past and present patterns of biological diversity. We also use geometric morphometrics to understand patterns of phenotypic diversity within species and populations, linking morphological and genetic patterns. We actively use the unique mammal collections housed at the museum for our research.

We are currently working on projects on Arctic species (including polar bear, narwhal, beluga), Danish populations (incl otters), and extinct Ice Age megafauna (woolly rhino, woolly mammoth).

News and activities


30 November 2017. Invited speaker, Lundbeckfonden Lecture, Folkeuniversitetet, Emdrup

23 November 2017 Invited speaker, Department of Archaeology, University of Oxford


16 November 2017. Keynote speaker, Finnish Mammalogy Society, University of Helsinki

14 November 2017. Invited speaker, Lundbeckfonden Lecture, Folkeuniversitetet, AIAS, Århus

6 November 2017. Live TV interview, DR2 Dagen

10 October 2017. Invited speaker, FOF Gentofte 

17 June 2017. Invited speaker, Lundbeckfonden Learning, Folkemødet Bornholm

28 May 2017. Invited speaker, Bloom Science Festival, Copenhagen

30 March 2017. Invited speaker, Dyrehaven Rotary Klub, Lyngby

15 March 2017. Invited speaker, Global Review of Monodontids working group, Hillerød

9 March 2017. Invited speaker, joint meeting of Royal Danish Academy and The Young Academy, Copenhagen  

2 Feb 2017. Invited speaker, Zoologisk Have Frederiksberg  

30 Jan-1 Feb 2017. Keynote speaker, Oikos Finland Conference for Ecologists and Evolutionary Biologists, University of Helsinki


November. Congratulations to MSc student Cecilie Deleuran Christensen on the defense of her MSc project on Biogeography of Scandinavian otters using geometric morphometrics

November. Congratulations to Erasmus scholar Eve Treadaway on winning The Cardiff Naturalists Society Bioscience Prize!

November. Great news: Have been awarded a Carlsberg Foundation Distinguished Associate Professor Fellowship, which includes funding for two PhD students, for work on Arctic whales

November. Our paper out in Nature Ecology & Evolution on using environmental DNA from seawater to understand the population characteristics of a whale shark aggregation off the coast of Quatar. Great work by first author Eva Egelyng Sigsgaard and senior author Philip Francis Thomson. Here's the press release 

November. Invited speaker, Vin & Videnskab with five colleagues from The Young Academy. I got to talk about the Kostenki 11 mammoths  

November. At the Origins and Natural History of the Scandinavian Biota symposium at the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm 

September. At ISBA7 at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History

August. Live radio interview in DR P1 Morgen

June. At Folkemødet on Bornholm. Invited by the Lundbeck Foundation to give a joint talk on 'Big bang, human evolution and the technological future' with Troels Petersen (KU-NBI) and Jan Madsen (DTU Compute). Had the middle 18 minutes to cover the period from 65 Mya to 1950.   

April. Invited to give a joint talk with Trine Bilde on 'Evolution, biodiversity and Climate Change' during Forskningens Døgn 2016 at the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters. Video of the joint talk available here (my contribution starts 20 minutes in)

April. Invited Department seminar at Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Bern

March. Live radio interview in Radio 24syv Morgen

March. Invited speaker, Dansk Naturhistorisk Forening, Copenhagen

March. Invited speaker, Big Bang Naturfag for Fremtiden conference, Århus Universitet

February. Collection trip with Tina Brand to sample the Rodrigo Botet collection of extinct South American megafaua at Museo de Ciencias Naturales in Valencia  - thank you Marga for the incredible hospitality!

January. Great news: Have been awarded a Young Investigator Programme grant from the Villum Foundation to work on megafauna palaeogenomics

January. Live radio interview in DR P1 Morgen


December. Delighted to receive a grant from Dr Margrethe og Prins Henriks Fond to sequence the narwhal reference genome

December. Keynote speaker, Natural History Museum of Denmark Annual Science Conference, Copenhagen 

November. At workshop on 'African Biogeography and Modern Human Origins' workshop at the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced study at Harvard University. Thank you Christian Tryon for getting us all together and organizing two days of inspiring talks from great researchers from such different fields. Was so excited to link work on African ungulates with that of paople working on human evolution, palaeoclimate and palaeontology. And thanks for showing us the the mind-blowing glass flowers at the Harvard Museum of Natural History 

November. Invited speaker, Fra Forskning til Folkeskole workshop, Professionshøjskolen Metropol, Frederiksberg

September. Invited speaker, European Ecological Federation Congress ‘Ecology at the Interface: science-based solutions for human well being’, Rome

August. Field trip to Kostenki 11 in southern Russia to sample mammoths

August. Gave a talk on our polar bear research at the 'European Mammal Congress', Stockholm University

August. Moved with my family back to Copenhagen, Denmark from Berkeley, CA, to start my position at the Natural Histpy Museum of Denmark

July. Profiled by Science Careers as part of Science's special issue on Ancient DNA 


May. Paper on polar bear released with paperclip interview