• E-mailNina.Mikkelsen@uib.no
  • Phone+47 920 94 352
  • Visitor Address
    Allégaten 41
  • Postal Address
    Postboks 7800
    5020 Bergen

Diversity, evolution and phylogeny of mollusca.

Mollusca is a highly diverse phylum. My research aims to investigate the processes and evolutionary forces that are behind the organism diversity that we can observe. I am studying phylogeny and systematics in several groups of molluscs, including Bivalvia, Scaphopda and the aculiferan molluscs Polyplacophora and Aplacophora.

My current research focuses on the phylogeny and systematics of aculiferan molluscs. The clade Aculifera consists of the aplacophoran molluscs (Mollusca, Aplacophora) and chitons (Polyplacophora). The shell-less, worm-shaped morphology of the aplacophoran Caudofoveata (=Chaetodermomorpha) and Solenogastres (=Neomeniomorpha) is unique among the Mollusca. These exclusively marine molluscs are characterised by a mantle covered in calcareous sclerites, and reduction or complete loss of the foot. The Polyplacophora share a spicule covered mantle, but in contrast has eight shell plates and a creeping foot.

Aculifera is sister to the remaining Mollusca (Conchifera), thus understanding the evolutionary history of aculiferan molluscs is important for understanding early molluscan evolution. I am using phylogenetic analyses based on morphology and on molecular methods to produce a robust phylogenetic hypothesis of the evolutionary relationships within Aculifera. 

Kocot, Kevin M.; Todt, Christiane; Mikkelsen, Nina Therese; Halanych, Kenneth M. 2019. Phylogenomics of Aplacophora (Mollusca, Aculifera) and a solenogaster without a foot. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, 286. p.1-9. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2019.0115

Mikkelsen, Nina Therese; Kocot, Kevin M.; Halanych, Kenneth M. 2018. Mitogenomics reveals phylogenetic relationships of caudofoveate aplacophoran molluscs. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 127. p.429-436. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2018.04.031

Mikkelsen, Nina Therese; Todt, Christiane. One or many? Molecular versus morphological diversity in the aplacophoran Chaetoderma nitidulum Loven, 1844 (Mollusca: Caudofoveata). 2018. Journal of molluscan studies, 84 (2). p.113-131. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mollus/eyy009

Mikkelsen, Nina Therese; Todt, Christiane; Kocot, Kevin M.; Halanych, Kenneth M.; Willassen, Endre. 2018. Molecular phylogeny of Caudofoveata (Mollusca) challenges traditional views. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution,132. p.138- 150. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2018.10.037

Mikkelsen, Nina Therese. Phylogeny and systematics of Caudofoveata (Mollusca, Aplacophora). 2018. University of Bergen (ISBN 978-82-308-3736-8).

Mikkelsen, Nina Therese; Todt, Christiane. 2014. Diversity of Caudofoveata (Mollusca) around Iceland and description of Psilodens balduri sp. n. Polish Polar Research, 35 (2). p.279- 290. https://doi.org/10.2478/popore-2014-0014

Meyer, Achim; Todt, Christiane; Mikkelsen, Nina Therese; Lieb, Bernhard. 2010. Fast evolving 18S rRNA sequences from Solenogastres (Mollusca) resist standard PCR amplification and give new insights into mollusk substitution rate heterogeneity. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 10. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2148-10-70

Schander, Christoffer; Rapp, Hans Tore; Kongsrud, Jon Anders; Bakken, Torkild; Berge, Jørgen; Cochrane, Sabine; Oug, Eivind; Byrkjedal, Ingvar; Todt, Christiane; Cedhagen, Tomas; Fosshagen, Audun; Gebruk, Andrey; Larsen, Kim; Levin, Lisa; Obst, Matthias; Pleijel, Fredrik; Stöhr, Sabine; Warén, Anders; Mikkelsen, Nina Therese; Hadler-Jacobsen, Silje Hope; Keuning, Rozemarijn; Petersen, Kristin Heggøy; Thorseth, Ingunn Hindenes; Pedersen, Rolf-Birger. 2010. The fauna of hydrothermal vents on the Mohn Ridge (North Atlantic). Marine Biology Research, 6 (2). p.155-171. https://doi.org/10.1080/17451000903147450

Mikkelsen, Nina Therese; Osca, David Ferriol; Schander, Christoffer; Todt, Christiane. Molecular Phylogeny of Aplacophoran Molluscs: Inferences from Mitochondrial Genes. 2010.Tropical Natural History, Supplement 3. p.79.

Ivanov, Dimitri L.; Mikkelsen, Nina Therese; Schander, Christoffer. 2009. Falcidens sagittiferus Salvini-Plawen, 1968: additional data on morphology and distribution (Mollusca, Aplacophora, Caudofoveata). Fauna Norvegica, 29. p.3-9. https://doi.org/10.5324/fn.v29i0.610

Skage, Morten; Mikkelsen, Nina Therese; Sjøtun, Inga Kjersti. 2009. Genetic separation of different entities of Mastocarpus stellatus (Stackhouse) Guiry. Phycologia, 48 (4). p. 121-122

Mikkelsen, Nina Therese; Schander, Christoffer; Willassen, Endre. 2007. Local scale DNA barcoding of bivalves (Mollusca): a case study. Zoologica Scripta, 36 (5). p.455-463. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1463-6409.2006.00289.x


1. NorChitons: Norwegian Chitons–mapping of the occurence and distribution of Polyplacophora in Norwegian waters


2. Where are the Caudofoveata (Mollusca) in the tree of life?- Phylogeny and evolution of the caudofoveate aplacophoran molluscs.

3. Barcoding of Scaphopoda.