Michelle Nordkvist

Michelle Nordkvist
Post-doc in ecology with a focus on plant-herbivore interactions in forest ecosystem.


Forest factors and insect damage - spruce bark beetle risk (post-doc project)

I am currently working in a project trying to understand/investigate how different stand and tree level factors affect the damage risk of the spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus). The aims of the project are:

(i) Develop a spruce bark beetle risk index which will be implemented in the forest simulation tool 'Heureka!'. 

(ii)  Assessing existing satellite data used for identifying bark beetle infected patches 

(iii) Identify underlying processes relating stand characteristics to tree susceptibility (e.g. relating soil moisture to tree stress)


Indirect interactions - moose and sawflies

During my PhD I studied the indirect interactions between large browsers (i.e. moose) and forest insects (mainly sawflies), mediated through their shared host plant (Scots pine). I'm currently finishing the last paper which explores the effect of moose on sawfly performance and they consequences for population growth and outbreaks, using modelling. 


Climate and insects - fruit flies in Australia 

In collaboration with Matt Hill (CSIRO, Australia). We are trying to explore distribution shifts for a number of pest fruit flies using species distribution modelling. 


I've been teaching on the following courses:

Floristics and entomology 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021

Ecological botany 2017

Conservation biology 2017, 2018

Diversity of organisms 2017 

Forest Ecology 2019, 2020, 2021

Ecology and management of diseases and pests of forest trees 2017, 2019


Teaching merits:

I've taken to following courses 

Teaching in Higher Education, basic course

Practical and pedagogical skills in vascular plant field botany



Jeannette Eggers, Department of Forest Resource Management, SLU Umeå.

Matt Hill, CSIRO, Canberra Australia 


Lars Edenius, Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies, SLU Umeå.

Jonathan Gershenzon and Axel Schmidt, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Jena Germany

Holmen Skog 



I received my PhD in Biology from the department of Ecology, SLU. My research focused on plant-mediated interactions between herbivores. I explored how browsing by large ungulates (such as moose) indirectly affects insect herbivores, particularly outbreak insects. I investigated both the effect of browsing on single trees and the mediated effect it had on insects but also the effect browsing has on a forest stand and how that affects abundance and performance of herbivorous insects as well as their natural enemies. I used the European pine sawfly (Neodiprion sertifer) as a model insect. I studied how induced responses, such as changes in needle nutrient content, affected the performance of the sawflies and linked it to sawfly population dynamics using modelling. The project also investigated the effects on tree growth from the attack of multiple herbivores (browsers and sawflies). I used a coimbination of field experiments, observational studies and population modelling to study this. 


I got my Master's degree in biology at Uppsala Univeristy. In my Master's thesis I explored how different types of anthropogenic disturbances affected the occurance of salt water crocodiles, by conducting field suryes in the Kinabatangan river in Borneo. I received my Bachelor degree in Biology at Uppsala Univeristy, and for my thesis I explored local population dynamics of black grouse. I conducted field surveys in Färnebofjärden National Park. 


I've recently been involved as a co-supervisor for Stephanie Jonsson's Master's thesis on the effect of dead wood on arthropod predator diversity and predation rate of herbivorous insects. I'm currently co-supervising Matilda Gille's Master's thesis on arthropod diveristy in mixed and monoculture forest stands, with a focus on natural enemies. 

Publikationer i urval

Nordkvist M, Klapwijk MJ, Edenius L, Gershenzon J, Schmidt A & Björkman C. 2019. Trait‐mediated indirect interactions: Moose browsing increases sawfly fecundity through plant‐induced responses. Ecology and Evolution 9:10615-10629. 


Nordkvist M, Klapwijk MJ, Edenius L, & Björkman C. 2020. Interacting effects of insect and ungulate herbivory on Scots pine growth. Scientific Reports 10:22341.


Nordkvist, M. 2020. Interactions between ungulates and forest insects. PhD-thesis.


Nordkvist M, Björkman C & Klapwijk MJ. 2021. Plant Mediated Interactions: Lower Sawfly Survival on Pines Previously Browsed by Moose. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution.


Auffret A, Ekholm A, Hämäläinen A, Jonsell M, Lehto C, Nordkvist M, Öckinger E, Torstensson P, Viketoft M, Thor G. 2022. Can field botany be effectively taught as a distance course? Experiences and reflections from the COVID-19 pandemic. AoB PLANTS. 


Postdoktor vid Institutionen för ekologi; S, Enheten för skogsentomologi
Telefon: +4618671930
Inst för Ekologi, Box 7044
750 07 UPPSALA
Besöksadress: Ulls Väg 16, Uppsala