Terrestrial Ecology Research Unit

Our main research activities focus on ecology and nature management in boreal and alpine ecosystems.


Our research activities focus on ecology and nature management in alpine, boreal and cultural landscapes. We explore the impacts of global change and human activities such as hunting on terrestrial ecosystems and how such impacts cascade further into life history, species interactions, community dynamics and ecosystem functioning. Focal research areas include forest ecology, lichen taxonomy and ecology, avian and mammalian population ecology, seed dispersal and carcass ecology.

We play an important role in the conservation of regionally, nationally and internationally important or threatened species and habitats. Much of our recent research is based on extensive field studies. We are building on existing knowledge by gathering complementary data from remote sensing, spatial analysis and genetic markers. Longstanding collaborations with NINA, NTNU, Norwegian Biodiversity Information Centre and Natural History Museum continue and be strengthened going forward.

Two examples of ongoing projects involving several members of our group are the REINCAR and the Taiga Bean Goose Projects. 


In REINCAR, the project team uses a holistic approach to study how animal carcasses impact their environment (from soil biogeochemistry to vegetation and vertebrate communities) and ecological processes and mechanisms (e.g. fear ecology, endozoochory). For a short project overview, see  https://vimeo.com/197340735.

Contact Sam Steyaert for more information.

Taiga Bean Goose

The Taiga Bean Goose (Anser fabalis fabalis) is protected under several international wildlife protection treaties. Important breeding and moulting areas for a small population of this subspecies are found in the northern part of Trøndelag County. In collaboration with the conservation authorities, we have since 2010 studied this population using GPS-based radio-transmitters and genetic markers. The main goal is to gather information that can be used in a conservation perspective. The project is a collaboration with researchers at NINA Trondheim and SLU in Sweden.

Contact Jan Eivind Østnes and Rolf Terje Kroglund for more information.


Jan Eivind Østnes
Assoc. Professor and Unit Manager
​Amy Elizabeth Eycott
​Assoc. Professor
Bjørn Roar Hagen
​Håkon Holien
​Assoc. Professor
Ingvild Buran Kroglund
Ole Jakob Sørensen
​Pål Fossland Moa
​Senior Lecturer
Rolf Terje Kroglund
​Senior Lecturer
Sam Steyaert
​Assoc. Professor
​Stig Tronstad
​Torgrim Sund