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Rebekah Alice Oomen


Researcher UiO, Researcher II UiA

I'm an evolutionary ecologist interested in how organisms respond to environmental change, including how adaptation to local environments in the past influences contemporary plastic responses and future environmental adaptation. I combine experiments with molecular and bioinformatic techniques to investigate the genomic basis and spatial scale of local adaptation in the face of gene flow. I believe that the answers to these questions are critical for predicting the persistence of species in the face of environmental change and for managing populations effectively to lower the potential for extinctions and losses of biodiversity. 

I'm a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Coastal Research and the Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research at University of Agder, where I lead a project investigating the role of drumming vocalizations in the Atlantic cod mating ritual to better understand how reproductive behaviour influences gene flow. I'm also currently a James S. McDonnell Foundation Fellow at the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis at the University of Oslo, where I'm working to bridge the gap between genomics and modelling to better understand how natural populations respond to environmental disturbance. I also work with the Institute of Marine Research, Flødevigen to study the impact of cod body size on population productivity and ecosystem dynamics. I'm an open science advocate and an Editorial Board member for Scientific Data.

Research interests

adaptation | plasticity | behaviour
gene flow | structural variation | mating systems | reproductive barriers
common garden experiments | mating experiments
genomics | transcriptomics | bioacoustics | telemetry
bioinformatics | modelling | networks | AI


The spatial scale, molecular basis, and demographic consequences of variable responses to environmental change (PI; funded by the James S. McDonnell Foundation and American Genetics Association)

TORSKETROMMING (COD DRUMMING) (PI; funded by the Centre for Coastal Research, University of Agder, Norwegian Centre for Technology in Music and Art, and the Arts Council of Norway)

CODSIZE (Partner; funded by the Norwegian Research Council MARINFORSK programme)

Sociality Under Scarcity (Working group member; funded by the Santa Fe Institute and the James S. McDonnell Foundation)

Selected publications

Please see my Google Scholar page for the most up-to-date publications list.

Mérot, C, RA Oomen, A Tigano, & M Wellenreuther. 2020. A roadmap for understanding the evolutionary significance of structural genomic variation. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2020.03.002

Kao, AB, AK Hund, FP Santos, J-G Young, D Bhat, J Garland, RA Oomen, & HF McCreery. 2020. Changes in group size during resource shifts reveal drivers of sociality across the tree of life. bioRxiv

Oomen, RA, A Kuparinen, & JA Hutchings. 2020. Consequences of single-locus and tightly linked genomic architectures for evolutionary responses to environmental change. bioRxiv

Roney, NE, RA Oomen, H Knutsen, EM Olsen, & JA Hutchings. 2018. Fine-scale population differences in Atlantic cod reproductive success: a potential mechanism for ecological speciation in a marine fish. Ecology & Evolution. doi:10.1002/ece3.4615

Roney, NE, RA Oomen, H Knutsen, EM Olsen, & JA Hutchings. 2017. Temporal variability in offspring quality and individual reproductive output in a broadcast-spawning marine fish. ICES Journal of Marine Science.  doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsx232

Oomen, RA & JA Hutchings. 2017. Transcriptomic responses to environmental change in fishes: insights from RNA-seq. FACETS. doi:10.1139/facets-2017-0015

Oomen, RA & JA Hutchings. 2016. Genetic variation in plasticity of life-history traits between Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) populations exposed to contrasting thermal regimes. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 94:257-264. doi:10.1139/cjz-2015-0186
Kuparinen, A, NE Roney, RA Oomen, JA Hutchings, & EM Olsen. 2015. Small-scale life history variability suggests potential for spatial mismatches in Atlantic cod management units. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 73:286-292. doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsv181
Oomen, RA & JA Hutchings. 2015. Genetic variability in reaction norms in fishes. Environmental Reviews, 23:353-366. doi:10.1139/er-2014-0077
Oomen, RA & JA Hutchings. 2015. Variation in spawning time promotes genetic variability in population responses to environmental change in a marine fish. Conservation Physiology, 3:1-12. doi:10.1093/conphys/cov027
Oomen, RA, RM Gillett, & CJ Kyle. 2013. Comparison of 454 pyrosequencing methods for characterizing the major histocompatibility complex of nonmodel species and the advantages of ultra deep coverage. Molecular Ecology Resources, 13:103-116. doi:10.1111/1755-0998.12027
Oomen, RA, MW Reudink, JJ Nocera, CM Somers, MC Green, & CJ Kyle. 2011. Mitochondrial evidence for panmixia despite perceived barriers to gene flow in a widely distributed waterbird. Journal of Heredity, 102:584-592. doi:10.1093/jhered/esr055
Reudink, MW, CJ Kyle, JJ Nocera, RA Oomen, MC Green, & CM Somers. 2011. Panmixia on a continental scale in a widely distributed colonial waterbird. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 102:583-592. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8312.2010.01608.x

Last changed: 27.05.2021 16:05