Tanja Slotte, Professor

Photo: Rickard Kilström/Stockholm University

Photo: Rickard Kilström /Stockholm University

Tanja is a population geneticist who studies the genetic basis and genomic consequences of classic evolutionary transitions such as plant mating system shifts. She is broadly interested in using population genetic methods to understand how selection affects different classes of sites across plant genomes, and in the evolution of loci under balancing selection, such as mating system supergenes and self-incompatibility loci.

Tanja received her PhD from Uppsala University in 2007. As a post-doctoral fellow with Stephen Wright, she worked on the demographics of speciation and mating system evolution. As an Assistant Professor at Uppsala University, she started her own group working on plant evolutionary genomics. In April 2014 she took up a position as SciLifeLab Fellow at Stockholm University. In 2016 she became docent in Ecological Genomics at Stockholm University, in 2018 Associate Professor, and in 2022 Professor. Since 2021 she is also the subject representative for the PhD programme in Ecology and Evolution at the Dept. of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, Stockholm University.


Panagiotis-Ioannis Zervakis, PhD student

Panagiotis_brighter-2Panagiotis received his Master’s Degree in Evolutionary Biology from Uppsala University, where he completed a degree project on human population genomic analyses in the group of Prof. Mattias Jakobsson. Panagiotis started his PhD studies on January 18th, 2021, and is working on the evolution of the distyly supergene in Linum and population genomic analyses of plant mating system shifts.

Dr. Marco Fracassetti, Bioinformatician and researcher


Marco joined the lab in 2017, first as a postdoctoral fellow, and then transitioned to a position as researcher and bioinformatician. Marco did his PhD on genetic diversity and climate adaptation in Arabidopsis lyrata, at University of Neuchatel and University of Basel. In the Slotte lab he has worked on mating system evolution and population genomic analyses in the Brassicaceae, and currently he is working on bioinformatic analyses in the Linum distyly S-locus project.

Dr. Aleksandra Losvik, Research engineer & lab manager

AleksandraAleksandra joined the group in October 2019 to work as a research engineer in our molecular lab. She completed her PhD at Stockholm University and has a background in plant physiology.

Maya Edlund, PhD student

Maya is a PhD student at Stockholm University, with Gitte Petersen as main supervisor and Tanja Slotte as co-supervisor. Maya is working on genome evolution in parasitic plants, and started her PhD studies in 2019.

Lovisa Thilén, PhD student

Lovisa is a PhD student at Stockholm University, with Catarina Rydin as main supervisor and Tanja Slotte and Sylvain Razafimandimbison at the Natural History Museum, as co-supervisors.

Ivar Westerberg, PhD student

Ivar is a PhD student at Stockholm University, with Hanna Johannesson as main supervisor and Tanja Slotte as co-supervisor. Ivar started his studies at Uppsala University and moved to Stockholm University in 2022.

Recent alumni

Juanita Gutiérrez-Valencia, PhD

Juanita was a PhD student at Stockholm University, with Tanja Slotte as main supervisor and Magne Friberg (Lund University) as co-supervisor. Juanita received her Master’s degree from University of Groningen and University of Munich as part of the MEME Erasmus Mundus programme. She started her PhD studies in 2018 and defended her PhD thesis entitled “Genomic studies of mating system variation in flowering plants” on December 16, 2022. Juanita is currently a postdoctoral researcher with Richard Merrill (LMU), Camilo Salazar and Carolina Pardo (University of El Rosario, Colombia).

Xuyue Yang, PhD

Xuyue was a PhD student at Stockholm University, with Peter Hambäck as main supervisor and Tanja Slotte as co-supervisor. Xuyue defended her PhD thesis entitled “Coevolution and molecular background of species interactions in geographic mosaics” on December 17th, 2021. She is now working as a data scientist in industry.

Dr. Emma Berdan, Carl Tryggers postdoctoral fellow

Emma joined the lab as a Carl Tryggers postdoctoral fellow in 2020 to work on the evolution of supergenes and linked selection. Emma has a strong interest in studying the evolution of large genomic structural variants (such as inversions, translocations, etc.) in nature. Emma is currently working as a research scientist at the Harvard Chan Bioinformatics Core, Harvard University. For more information, see Emma’s website.

Siri Birkeland, PhD

Siri was a PhD student at the Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, who had Tanja Slotte as a co-supervisor. Siri defended her PhD thesis “Tracing Molecular Patterns of Adaptation in Arctic Brassicaceae – Evolutionary repeatability and adaptations to extreme abiotic stress” on December 11th, 2020. After her defense, Siri started a postdoc at NMBU in Ås, Norway. After a mobility period in California, she will start a position as Associate Professor at University of Oslo in 2024.

Jörg Bachmann, PhD

Jörg defended his PhD thesis “Evolutionary consequences of dominance at the Brassicaceae self-incompatibility locus” on May 15th, 2020 with Tanja Slotte as main supervisor and Vincent Castric as co-supervisor. He then took up a postdoc at KTH/SciLifeLab in Pelin Sahlen’s lab in Stockholm and now holds a permanent position at the National Genomics Infrastructure in Stockholm.

Robert Horvath, PhD

Robert defended his PhD thesis entitled “Population genomic analyses of regulatory variation and selection in Brassicaceae species” on May 8th, 2020. He first did a postdoc in Jeff Ross-Ibarra’s lab at UC Davis in California and is now doing a postdoc at University of Zürich at the Dept. of Plant and Microbial Biology.

Kim Steige, PhD

Kim defended her PhD thesis entitled “Cis-regulatory variation and divergence in Capsella” in 2016 at Uppsala University. She then took up a postdoc with Prof. Juliette de Meaux at University of Cologne, and is now group leader in genomics at University of Hohenheim.


Full list of alumni