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Prominent Evolutionary Biologist Appointed as Honorary Doctor


Professor Roger Butlin from the University of Sheffield has been appointed honorary doctor at the Faculty of Science, the University of Gothenburg. Butlin is a world-leading researcher in the field of evolutionary biology.

Professor Butlin is an evolutionary biologist with a long history of producing high-impact research. He has had over 200 articles published in leading scientific journals, including Nature, Nature Communication and Nature Review Genetics. He has also authored a book about speciation.

His publications are widely cited and Professor Butlin has served as president of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology and as editor-in-chief of the highly regarded scientific journal Heredity.

Long cooperation with the University of Gothenburg

Portrait of Roger ButlinProfessor Butlin has collaborated with researchers from the Faculty of Science at the University of Gothenburg for over 10 years. This cooperation has benefitted from two appointments of Butlin as visiting professor.

‘The Tage Erlander visiting professorship enabled Professor Butlin to launch an exciting speciation project based at the University’s research station at Tjärnö. A number of Swedish researchers soon became involved in this project. Roger Butlin is highly active in networking and initiating collaborations. His subsequent Waernska visiting professorship helped him further expand the project and now he has just found out that the project will continue with support from the EU through an ERC senior grant,’ says Kerstin Johannesson, professor at the Department of Marine Sciences.

Butlin and his research team are very active within the Linnaeus Centre for Marine Evolutionary Biology (CeMEB), and he is involved in collaborations with the research groups led by Kerstin Johannesson, Per Jonsson, Anders Blomberg and Carl André at the Department of Marine Sciences, Bernhard Mehlig at the Department of Physics and Torbjörn Lundh at the Department of Mathematical Sciences.

Multifaceted contributions

Professor Butlin’s contributions also include seminar activities, workshops and PhD courses.

In his more regular work, he supports Swedish PhD students with feedback on their projects, experimental design and choice of genetic methods.

He is also heavily involved in the ongoing development of model organisms within CeMEB and in the work with the small sea snail Littorina saxatilis, which includes intense field work and extensive DNA analyses of large amounts of material.

‘Professor Butlin is currently involved in close collaboration with the University of Gothenburg and an appointment as honorary doctor would acknowledge his highly valuable contributions at the University in both the past and the future,’ says Johannesson, who will serve as Professor Butlin’s host.

According to the University of Gothenburg’s rules for the appointment of honorary doctors, appropriate candidates are researchers/teachers at other academic institutions who for a long time have participated in the development of research projects and PhD studies at the University of Gothenburg.