Jill Katharina Olofsson
Skov- og landskabsøkologi
1958 Frederiksberg C
I have studied population genetics since 2010 when I started writing my Masters thesis at Copenhagen University. I am fascinated by the evolutionary and demographic processes that genetically link populations and species and the aim of my research is to understand how these processes shape the genomic variability we observe today.
My current research aims to understand the importance of natural gene flow and adaptive introgression in oak trees and how this influences drought stress response. Oaks are iconic and important forest trees that will be vital for the green transition in Denmark. It is therefore important to ensure their health under future warmer and drier climates. The two common European oaks, pedunculate oak (Quercus robur) and sessile oak (Q. petraea), are closely related and show relatively high frequency of inter-fertility. However, Q. petraea is generally better suited for survival and growth under drought stress. To ensure healthy and productive oak stands in Denmark under future climates it has been suggested to focus re-forestation strategies on pre-adapted seed sources. In this project, we aim to evaluate phenotypic and genotypic difference in drought stress response among oaks. Specifically we are testing the hypothesis that genes associated with drought tolerance in Q. pretraea can be moved into Q. robur through natural gene flow and that Q. robur seed sources with pre-adapted Q. pretraea genes will be valuable for future re-forestation projects in Denmark.