Doctoral Thesis Award to Tobias Andermann


Tobias Andermann's research on biological diversity has in a short time had a clear impact in the field of evolutionary biology. He is now being awarded the Faculty of Science’s 2021 Doctoral Thesis Award.

Tobias Andermann received his doctorate from the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences in December 2020, and has already received a great deal of attention in both the research world and the media. His program for the processing of DNA data has been downloaded more than 26,000 times in the last 3 years.

Congratulations! How does it feel?
– It is a great and motivating feeling to see my academic work valued in this way by the Faculty of Science. It also makes me grateful to have been given the opportunity to conduct my PhD research in a very active and engaging research group, which has majorly influenced my research.

Tobias Andermann
Tobias Andermann

What is your thesis about?
– It deals with utilizing the potential of big data in biodiversity research. I have developed several computational methods that enable downloading, processing, and analyses of a different data types, for example DNA data. I have also I applied these methods to better understand the ongoing biodiversity crisis, for example which species are most threatened by extinction.

Why is this important?
– We are currently in the middle of a very severe biodiversity crisis, which -next to the issue of combatting climate change- presents one of the biggest global challenges of our time. Species are disappearing at an alarming rate, and it is very important that we as a researchers use the potential of big data to better understand the remaining nature around us, so we can protect it more efficiently. I hope my research will lead to a deeper understanding of the severity of the current biodiversity crisis, and the mechanisms that threaten it the most

What are your future plans?
– At the moment I’m developing new ways of using the power of Artificial Intelligence for biodiversity research. Since the biological reality is usually very complex, machine learning methods provide a very promising toolbox to address things that we previously could not analyse.
– I plan to continue my research in the field of data-driven biodiversity analyses, preferably here in Sweden, which has a very active research community in this field and is actively investing in expanding this line of research. Eventually I want to build up my own research group here with a focus on biodiversity informatics, developing new computational methods and data standards that will help us understand the astonishing complexity of the natural world around us.

Award explanation

Despite the short time that has passed since then, the research and publications presented in Tobias Andermanns dissertation have already had a clear impact in the field of evolutionary biology, especially in understanding the current crisis of biodiversity. More specifically, this dissertation promotes the field of evolutionary biology, by showing how big data can be effectively processed and analysed to inform us about current and past changes in biodiversity - a topic of the highest relevance internationally and in Sweden. Tobias has produced remarkable research during his doctoral studies that has already received a large media coverage.

About the doctoral thesis award

The award is given for successful and innovative research presented in a well-written doctoral thesis. The author receives a diploma and an award.