Skip to content
Logotyp för Naturhistoriska riksmuseet
Logotyp för Naturhistoriska riksmuseet

Martin Irestedt

Senior Curator and Deputy Head of Department

Bioinformatik och genetik

Martin Irestedt work as a senior curator, deputy head of the Department of Bioinformatics and Genetics, and is responsible for the museum's DNA-laboratory.

— My research is focused on avian evolution were I use genomics to study evolutionary processes and biodiversity. In my research, I am often utilizing genomic data generated from historical DNA from old museum collections, he explains.

His main project is to explore the evolutionary significance of introgressive hybridization in Birds-of-Paradise that have evolved under strong sexual selection.

— More explicitly, we investigate the impact hybridization has on structural genome evolution and in re-shuffling genetic variation across species.

A long-term goal Martin hopes to achieve with his research, is to improve our knowledge on the biological processes that builds up the biodiversity on earth.

— I have always been interested in birds and thus started to study biology.

For Martin, the joy of exploring the unknown and imparting new knowledge is what led him to the Natural History National Museum. His journey began with a Ph.D. at the museum, which later led to a position at the DNA-laboratory.

What's the biggest surprise you've experienced in your job?

— The discovery that an enigmatic South American bird was related to a group of birds that was believed to only occupy the Old World.

Contact details

Martin Irestedt

Senior Curator and Deputy Head of Department

Bioinformatics and genetics


Martin Irestedt is involved in the following projects:

Hybridization in Birds-of-Paradise, genomic implications and evolutionary advantages

Illustration of King of Holland´s Bird-of-Paradise a hybrid between Magnificent and King Bird-of-Paradise by Szabolcs Kokay. Lek-mating behavior is a

The formation of avian island diversity across barriers and along elevational gradients

The bewildering diversity and distribution of life around us have puzzled scientists for centuries. In this project we use birds of the Indo-Pacific