Adaptation Hologenomics

We aim to understand how increasing temperatures and aridity are affecting population genomic features and microbial community properties of small mammals, by focusing on edge-of-range that are expected to be either expanding (in the north) or contracting (in the south) under climate change.

Coordinator: University of Exeter
Participants: University of Copenhagen
Funding: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) & Carlsberg Foundation
Period: 2021-2024

The research goals of Adaptation Hologenomics are already defined but not limited to the following. We aim to generate population hologenomic data for the target species across their entire ranges in Europe to cover the climatic gradients experienced by the species. We will mainly focus on edge-of-range populations in order to get better insights into how populations are responding to the extremes of changing conditions. At the northern range edge we aim to sample populations expanding into new climatically suitable areas in order to determine the adaptations that enable populations to colonise new areas. At the southern range edge we will sample populations already experiencing pronounced changes in climatic conditions, through increasing temperatures and increased frequency and duration of summer droughts, in order to identify adaptive responses to changing conditions. The northern and southern range edge populations will be compared to each other and to populations at the centre of the species’ ranges to identify signatures of emerging genetic adaptations and phenotypic responses to climate change. We also aim to explore the role of the gut microbiota in facilitating adaptive responses to environmental change.

We anticipate new exciting questions will arise when collaborators join the project through both new samples and thought-provoking discussions. By joining Adaptation Hologenomics, you are joining an open global interdisciplinary and collaborative effort.

The following samples have already been collected for the project.


Center for Evolutionary Hologenomics, GLOBE Institute
University of Copenhagen
Øster Farimagsgade 5, 7
1353 Copenhagen K, Denmark


Coordinator: Antton Alberdi, PhD