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Forest Health

We monitor and study insects and pathogens that affect forest health. Two major threats to our trees and forests are climate change and invasive species. Our research is internationally oriented and we cooperate closely with colleagues in the Nordic countries, Canada, the US, South Africa and elsewhere.

Forest insects

One long-standing objective of our research is to understand how trees, and particularly conifers, defend themselves against bark beetles and other insect pests.

Pathogens and diseases

We study dispersal and infection biology, population genetics, genomics, virulence and molecular diagnostics of saprobic brown and white rot fungi and other tree pathogens (e.g., Postia placenta brown rot, Heterobasidion root and stem decay, and the ash dieback pathogen).

Invasive species

We model the spread and population dynamics of invasive insect species. We also study the spread and impact of ash dieback caused by the pathogen Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus and other emerging tree diseases.

Molecular biology and Next-generation sequencing

Key research areas are the molecular biology and genomics of tree resistance to pests and pathogens, epigenetic aspects of long lived trees' ability to adapt to climate change, and identification of fungal enzymes with applications for biofuel production.


Rowan rust is usual on rowan trees in the whole country. Photo: Halvor Solheim / NIBIO
Contact person:

Carl Gunnar Fossdal
Head of Department
(+47) 481 46 583