Øystein Varpe's picture
  • E-mailoystein.varpe@uib.no
  • Phone+47 55 58 44 53+47 977 62 645
  • Visitor Address
    Thormøhlens gate 53 A/B
    5006 Bergen
  • Postal Address
    Postboks 7803
    5020 Bergen

Much of my research is on why we observe variation in life histories and behaviour, both within and between species, and how this variation influences population dynamics, interactions and ecosystems. I am also deeply fascinated by seasonality and aim to understand how seasonal environments shape ecological processes and evolutionary adaptations. Most of my work is on birds, fish, and zooplankton, but I happily jump between a wide range of systems and organism groups. I have worked a lot in polar (Arctic and Antarctic) ecosystems, and continue these efforts while also adding more projects on coastal ecology in the areas around Bergen and utilize the latitudinal gradients the Norwegian coast and Svalbard offer. I combine investigations in the field (including experiments) with mathematical models and statistical analyses of data. My main position is with BIO, with adjunct position at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA).

For more, visit the Seasonal Ecology Group or my Research Gate profile.

Keywords: evolutionary ecology, population biology, marine ecology, phenology, life history traits, migration, meta-ecosystems

I am involved in the following courses at BIO:

BIO212 Marine Community Ecology - Organisms and Habitats (main responsibility)

BIO340 Selected Topics in Fisheries and Marine Biology (main responsibility)

BIO102 Organismal Biology 2

I am the UiB and BIO coordinator of the IMBRSea program


Contributions at other institutions:

BL7056 Marine Ecosystem Dynamics, Stockholm University

AB322 Fluxes of Nutrients, Energy and Contaminants from Sea to Land, The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS)

AB204 Arctic Population Ecology, The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS)

AB201 Terrestrial Arctic Biology, The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS)


Check out the rich resources on teaching and learning offered by bioCEED

I was involved in bioCEED for several years. This link expands a bit on my involvement and pedagogical journey.

Via Google Scholar

or via Seasonal Ecology Group


Three recent publications:

Langbehn TJ, Aarflot JM, Freer J, Varpe Ø. Visual predation risk and spatial distributions of large Arctic copepods along gradients of sea ice and bottom depth. Limnology and Oceanography open access

Nowicki RC, Borgå K, Gabrielsen GW, Varpe Ø. 2023. Energy content of krill and amphipods in the Barents Sea from summer to winter: variation across species and size. Polar Biology open access

Varpe Ø, Gabrielsen GW. 2022. Aggregations of foraging black guillemots (Cepphus grylle) at a sea-ice edge in front of a tidewater glacier. Polar Research 41: 7141 open access  supplementary material  as a Tweet


And some "classics":

Varpe Ø. 2017. Life History Adaptations to Seasonality. Integrative & Comparative Biology 57: 943–960 abstract & full text

Varpe Ø, Daase M, Kristiansen T. 2015. A fish-eye view on the new Arctic lightscape. ICES Journal of Marine Science 72: 2532-2538 abstract pdf

Ji R, Jin M, Varpe Ø. 2013. Sea ice phenology and timing of primary production pulses in the Arctic Ocean. Global Change Biology  19: 734-741 abstract

Varpe Ø. 2012. Fitness and phenology: annual routines and zooplankton adaptations to seasonal cycles. Journal of Plankton Research 34: 267-276  full text

Varpe Ø, Jørgensen C, Tarling GA, Fiksen Ø 2007. Early is better: seasonal egg fitness and timing of reproduction in a zooplankton life-history model. Oikos 116: 1331-1342  pdf 

Varpe Ø, Tveraa T, Folstad I. 2004. State-dependent parental care in the Antarctic petrel: responses to manipulated chick age during early chick rearing. Oikos 106 (3) 479-488 pdf


My ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5895-6983









I frequently take part in MSc and PhD supervision. 

Information about the study program for Master's in biology at UiB can be found here: https://www.uib.no/en/studies/MAMN-BIO

The three specialisations (sub-programs) closest to my research interests and projects are: 1) Biodiversity, Evolution and Ecology, 2) Marine Biology, 3) Environmental Toxicology

For an overview of current and some past PhD and MSc candidates where I am/was involved as adviser, take a look at the people section of the Seasonal Ecology Group.


Research groups