Nils Christian Stenseth, Norwegian biologist

Nils Christian Stenseth, Norwegian biologist

Tue, 31/05/2011


Doctor Honoris Causa of ENS de Lyon - May 31, 2011


Nils Christian Stenseth (born 29 July 1949 in Fredrikstad, Norway) is a Norwegian biologist with a focus on ecology and evolution. He is the director of the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES) at the University of Oslo. He is also the Chief Scientist at the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research in Norway. In December 2006, CEES was given Centre of Excellence status by the Research Council of Norway.

Stenseth finished his first degree in 1972 with main topics biology, zoology and mathematics. He then became a student of John Maynard Smith, still working mostly on the theoretical aspects of evolution and ecology. Major publications from this period is his work on the Red Queen Hypothesis (Van Valen, 1973; Stenseth, 1979; Stenseth and Maynard-Smith, 1984) in addition to his work on population cycles of the Norwegian lemming. A dr. philos. since 1978, he was appointed as a professor of population ecology and zoology at the University of Oslo in 1980. He later turned to more empirical investigations, and as chair of CEES he continues to be a well-known and respected scientist within biology. He is an ISI Highly Cited researcher within Ecology/Environment.

He was the vice-president/president of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters from 2009 to 2014.

Awards and distinctions

Visiting scholar for the Chinese Academy of Sciences

Member of the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters

Member of the French Academy of Sciences 

Member of the Academia Europaea

Honorary degree at the University of Antwerp


Where Have All the Species Gone? On the Nature of Extinction and the Red Queen HypothesisWhere Have All the Species Gone? On the Nature of Extinction and the Red Queen Hypothesis
Nils Chr. Stenseth
Vol. 33, No. 2 (1979), pp. 196-227