Photo: Per Harald Olsen/ NTNU
Trond Amundsen is a Professor of Animal Behaviour at NTNU, and a specialist on the “sex and family life” of animals, in all its diversity. Amundsen has studied sexual selection, parental care and communication in a wealth of animal species, from Antarctica to tropical coral reefs, and not the least in the mountains and on the rocky coasts of Scandinavia.
Amundsen has published his research in leading international journals, including Nature, and is a co-editor of the book Animal Signals: Signaling and Signal Design in Animal Communication. He is an international expert on “the other side of sexual selection” – the study of female beauty in the animal world. Traditionally, animal splendor has been thought of a “male thing” – with female splendor largely overlooked. Amundsen’s research has contributed to reset the balance in studies of males and females. He focuses on the dynamics of sex roles in animals, and how competition not only among males but also among females leads to “good looks” and eye-catching mating displays. Today, Amundsen’s research focuses on how climate affects life history and sexual selection in animals.
Amundsen has engaged actively in public debates about science and in communicating science to lay audiences. Having in recent years witnessed coral reefs dying from high water temperatures while doing research there, Amundsen has recently been active in raising public awareness about climate threats to tropical reefs. He received the NTNU Award for Public Dissemination of Science in 2018.