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Johannes Bergsten

Johannes Bergsten

Dr., Senior curator


Phone:+46 (0)8 519 541 92
E-mail: johannes.bergsten@nrm.se

Billing and Mailing Address:

See the Staff and Contacts page.


MSc. Umeå University, Sweden, 1999

PhD. Umeå University, Sweden, 2005

Postdoc at the Natural History Museum/Imperial College, London UK, 2005-2008


Apart from conducting research I am curator of the World Beetle Collection at the museum as well as of the smaller insect orders Rhaphidioptera, Neuroptera, Megaloptera and Mecoptera. I supervise Postdocs, PhD students and Master Students enrolled at Stockholm University and also teach on courses in systematics and entomology.

Research Interests

Phylogenetic reconstruction of evolutionary history and integrative species delimitation analyses are my main research tools, most often applied in empirical studies of aquatic beetles like diving beetles (Dytiscidae) and whirligig beetles (Gyrinidae). With colleagues and PhD students I sometimes stray into other organisms like wasps, moths, or mites, and I also have a keen interest in phylogenetic methodologies per se. I work with both molecular and morphological data and use phylogenies to answer evolutionary questions such as how phenotypic characters have evolved, why taxa have certain geographic distributions and what is the time scale for the evolution in a group. I use species delimitation analyses to solve species complexes and phylogenies to test and revise classifications. Faunistically and taxonomically, my most ambitious long-term project is to chart the diversity of water beetles on Madagascar. I have since 2006 done a number of expeditions to all parts of the island and sampled at over 500 localities to generate georeferenced species occurrence data to be used for understanding speciation on the islands as well as for freshwater conservation. This includes alpha-taxonomical work especially in a handful of endemic radiations.

My research is funded mainly by the Swedish Research Council (VR) and the Swedish Taxonomy Initiative (STI) but also various other sources such as The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, (KVA).



Project I. The Water Beetle Fauna of Madagascar

Project II. Phylogenetics

Project III. Sexual conflict


Other professional roles

Board of SWEBOL (Swedish Barcode of Life Network, www.swebol.org)