Adele Mennerat


Associate Professor


Research groups


I am an evolutionary ecologist interested in species interactions, and especially host-parasite interactions, in a rapidly-changing world.

Currently our team focuses on human impacts on species interactions, through two main approaches: (1) in ParAnthrope we use experimental evolution to investigate what changes for parasites when host populations become crowded, and (2) through the monitoring of hole-nesting birds we seek to understand how climatic factors affect trophic relationships.

Here at UiB I am part of the Ecological and Environmental Change Research Group and the Evolutionary Ecology group, and collaborate with the Fish Disease Group, and University gardens where we have field sites.


The Covid penalty: women in academia lose out

Parasite movements: insights from mark-recapture. A. Mennerat (invited talk), Gordon Research Conference in Movement Ecology, Lucca, June 2023

How does host crowding affect parasite life histories? A mark-recapture in the ectoparasitic salmon louse (Lepeophtheirus salmonis). A. Folk, M. Heino, A. Mennerat (talk), 8th meeting of the Evolutionary Demography Society, March 2023, Paris

Evolution of resistance against vaccines versus drugs (in Norwegian)

Timing of incubation in relation to weather: a study in blue tits and great tits across Europe. L. Hansen Simonsen, F. Coursey & A. Mennerat (poster) 9th international hole-nesting birds conference, Oxford, September 2022

Nåtidens evolusjonNaturen 144 (03), 72-77 (Fægripris 2020, popular science article award)

Utvalgets kraft / The power of selection (exhibition, UiB's Natural History Museum)

En vitenskap for fremtiden / A science for the future (exhibition, UiB's Natural History Museum)

Skeptisk til om oppdrettslaksen vil bli helt luseresistent

The future of parasitology

Does farming drive fish disease? 

The meaning of life is 36.8 (in norwegian)

Sex & Gender (in norwegian)

Do female birds mate with multiple males to protect their young?

BBC Earth News: Blue tits embrace aromatherapy

Documentary movie: medication in blue tits (Jacques Mitsch, ARTE 2014: from minute 28'50 onwards)



I have earlier held various positions including teaching on a range of topics (mainly: evolutionary biology, ecology, behavioural ecology, and parasitology). Currently I am the course coordinator (and main teacher) for the BIO210 course, Evolutionary Biology

PhD students

2020-2024       Alexius Folk (main supervisor)

2015-2020       Camilla Håkonsrud Jensen (co-supervisor)

2013-2017       Mathias Stølen Ugelvik (co-supervisor) 

MSc students

Marie Hauso (2022, main supervisor) Should I stay or should I go? The factors affecting male dispersal in an ectoparasite, the salmon louse (Lepeiophtheirus salmonis)

Lisa Hansen Simonsen (2022, main supervisor) Phenological responses of breeding birds to weather variation across Europe

Kiran G. Lee (2021, co-supervisor) The effect of the COVID pandemic on the gender gap in research productivity within academia

Steinar Trengereid (2020, main supervisor) Influence of sex ratio on mating behaviour in a ectoparasite

Marie Danielsen (2017, main supervisor) Effects of perceived predation risk on extra-pair mating in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus)

Simon Miljeteig (2015, co-supervisor) Neighborhood effects of extra-pair mating on female fitness: testing model predictions on data from blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus)

Camilla Håkonsrud Jensen (2014, co-supervisor) Intensive aquaculture: life history responses in energy allocation towards offspring in salmon lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis)

Pauline Jacquemart (2014, main supervisor) The reproduction - survival tradeoff in Drosophila suzukii

Loris Petry (2014, co-supervisor) Wooden ravines in intensive farmland: climatic and epidemiological refugia for carabid beatles?

Marie Héraude (2013, main supervisor) Reproductive flexibility in an invasive species (Drosophila suzukii)

Stéphanie Robert (2007, co-supervisor) Direct benefits of mate choice and colour signals in the blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)

Nicolas Saulnier (2006, main supervisor) Olfaction and consequences of the use of aromatic plants in nests of the blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)


See also ResearchGateGoogleScholarORCID.


Folk, A. & Mennerat, A. 2024. Methods for tagging an ectoparasite, the salmon louse Lepeophtheirus salmonis. Peer Community Journal 4,e4. doi: 10.24072/pcjournal.361



Folk, A. and Mennerat, A. 2023. Methods for tagging an ectoparasite, the salmon louse Lepeophtheirus salmonis. BioRxiv, DOI: 10.1101/2023.08.31.555695

Håkonsrud Jensen, C. Weidner, J., Giske, J., Jørgensen, C., Eliassen, S. and Mennerat, A. 2023. Adaptive host responses to infection can resemble parasitic manipulation. Ecology and Evolution, 13:e10318, DOI: 10.1002/ece3.10318

Lee K.G.L., Mennerat A., Carter A, Lukas D, Dugdale H and Culina A. 2023. The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the gender gap in research productivity within academia. eLife, 12:e85427, DOI: 10.7554/eLife.85427

Ugelvik, M. S., Mennerat, A., Mæhle, S., & Dalvin, S. 2023. Repeated exposure affects susceptibility and responses of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) towards the ectoparasitic salmon lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis). Parasitology, 150(11), 990-1005,



Skorping, A. and Mennerat, A. 2022. Hvorfor bør vi være mindre bekymret for utvikling av resistens mot vaksiner enn mot medikamenter? Naturen 146 (4), 145-148,

Eliassen, S., Krama, T., Luoto, S., Krams, R., Mennerat, A., Jõers, P., Elferts, D., Rantala, M.J., and Krams, I.A. 2022. Reply to Jan T. Lifjeld et al.: Female agency and fitness benefits of mixed-paternity broods remain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 119 (30) e2207741119,

Krams, I.A., Mennerat, A., Krama, T., Krams, R., Jõers, P., Elferts, D., Luoto, S., Rantala, M.J., and Eliassen, S. 2022. Extra-pair paternity explains cooperation in a bird species. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 119 (5) e2112004119,



Mennerat, A, Charmantier, A, Hurtrez-Bousses, S, Perret, P, and Lambrechts, M.M. 2021. Parasite intensity is driven by temperature in a wild bird. Peer Community Journal, 1:e60, ecology.100012

Culina, A., Adriaensen, F., Bailey, L. D., Burgess, M. D., Charmantier, A., Cole, E. F., …, Mennerat, A., ..., Visser, M. E. 2021. Connecting the data landscape of long-term ecological studies: the SPI-Birds data hub. Journal of Animal Ecology 90 (9), 2147-2160



Gabagambi, N.P., Skorping, A., Chacha, M., Kihedu, K.J., Mennerat, A. 2020. Life history shifts in an exploited African fish following invasion by a castrating parasite. Ecology and Evolution 10 (23), 13225-13235

Mennerat, A. 2020. Nåtidens evolusjonNaturen 144 (03), 72-77



Mennerat, A., Frago, E. 2019. The response of interacting species to biotic seasonal cues. Peer Community in Ecology, 100022 [doi:10.24072/pci.ecology.100022]

Mennerat, A. 2019. Limited dispersal in a vector on territorial hosts. Peer Community in Ecology, 100013 [doi:10.24072/pci.ecology.100013]

Mennerat A, Charmantier A, Hurtrez-Boussès S, Perret P, Lambrechts MM. 2019. Parasite intensity is driven by temperature in a wild bird. BioRxiv 323311 (ver 4), peer-reviewed and recommended by Peer Community in Ecology [doi:10.1101/323311]



Mennerat, A, Charmantier, A, Jørgensen, C, Eliassen, S. 2018. Correlates of complete brood failure in blue tits: could extra-pair mating provide unexplored benefits to females? Journal of Avian Biology 49(5) [ doi:10.1111/jav.01701 ]



Mennerat A, Ugelvik MS, Håkonsrud Jensen C, Skorping A. 2017. Invest more and die faster: the life history of a parasite on intensive farms. Evolutionary Applications10(9): 890-896 [ doi:10.1111/eva.12488 ]

Ugelvik MS, Skorping A, Moberg O, Mennerat A.2017. Evolution of virulence under intensive farming: Salmon lice increase skin lesions and reduce host growth in salmon farms. Journal of Evolutionary Biology30(6):1136-1142. [ doi:10.1111/jeb.13082 ]

Mennerat A, Lefèvre T. 2017. Evidence of epistasis provides further support to the Red Queen theory of host-parasite coevolution. Peer Community in Evolutionary Biology[ doi:10.24072/pci.evolbiol.100006 ] [ open access ]

Ugelvik MS, Mo T, Mennerat A, Skorping A. 2017. Atlantic salmon infected with salmon lice are more susceptible to new lice infections. Journal of Fish Diseases 40:311-317. [ doi:10.1111/jfd.12514 ] [ pdf ]

Ugelvik MS, Skorping A, Mennerat A. 2017. Parasite fecundity decreases with increasing parasite load in the salmon louse Lepeophtheirus salmonis infecting Atlantic salmon Salmo salarJournal of Fish Diseases 40:671-678. [ doi:10.1111/jfd.12547 ] [ pdf ]



Lambrechts MM, Blondel J, Bernard C, Caro SP, Charmantier A, Demeyrier V, Doutrelant C, Dubuc-Messier G, Fargevieille A, de Franceschi C, Giovannini P, Grégoire A, Lucas A, Mainwaring MC, Marrot P, Mennerat A, Perret S, Perret P. 2016. Exploring biotic and abiotic determinants of nest size in Mediterranean great tits (Parus major) and blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus). Ethology 122:492-501. [ doi:10.1111/eth.12494 ]

Skorping A, Jensen KH, Mennerat A, Högstedt G. 2016. When to reproduce? A new answer to an old question.American Naturalist 187:540-546. [ doi:10.1086/685423 ] [ open access ] [ pdf ]



Doury G, Pottier J, Ameline A, Mennerat A, Dubois F, Rambaud C, Couty A. 2015. Bioenergy crops and natural enemies: host plant mediated effects of miscanthus on the aphid parasitoid Lysiphlebus testaceipesBioenergy Research 8:1275-1273. [ doi:10.1007/s12155-015-9589-y ] [ pdf ]



Mennerat A, Sheldon B. 2014. How to deal with PCR contamination in molecular microbial ecology. Microbial Ecology 68:834-841. [ doi:10.1007/s00248-014-0453-y ] [ pdf ]

Mennerat, A., Eslin, P. 2014. À quoi servent les parasites? (What are the benefits of parasites?) in Faune sauvage, biodiversité et santé, QUAE, Morand S., Moutou F., Richomme C. and Gauthier-Clerc M. (eds), pp 51-58



Mennerat A, Hamre L, Ebert D, Nilsen F, Dávidová M, Skorping A. 2012. Life history and virulence are linked in the ectoparasitic salmon louse Lepeophtheirus salmonisJournal of Evolutionary Biology 25:856-861. [ doi:10.1111/j.1420-9101.2012.02474.x ] [ pdf ]



Mennerat A, Nilsen F, Ebert D, Skorping A. 2010. Intensive farming: Evolutionary implications for parasites and pathogens. Evolutionary Biology 37:59-67. [ doi:10.1007/s11692-010-9089-0 ] [ pdf ]



Mennerat A, Mirleau P, Blondel J, Perret P, Lambrechts MM, Heeb P. 2009. Aromatic plants in nests of the blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus protect chicks from bacteria. Oecologia 161:849-855. [ doi:10.1007/s00442-009-1418-6 ] [ pdf ]

Mennerat A, Perret P, Bourgault P, Blondel J, Gimenez O, Thomas DW, Heeb P, Lambrechts MM. 2009. Aromatic plants in nests of blue tits: positive effects on nestlings. Animal Behaviour 77:569-574. [ doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2008.11.008 ] [ pdf ]

Mennerat A, Perret P, Lambrechts MM. 2009. Local individual preferences for nest materials in a passerine bird. Plos ONE 4:e5104. [ doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0005104 ] [ open access ] [ pdf ]



Mennerat A. 2008. Blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) respond to an experimental change in the aromatic plant odour composition of their nest. Behavioural Processes 79:189-191. [ doi:10.1016/j.beproc.2008.07.003 ] [ pdf ]

Mennerat A, Perret P, Caro SP, Heeb P, Lambrechts MM. 2008. Aromatic plants in blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus nests: no negative effect on blood-sucking Protocalliphora blow fly larvae. Journal of Avian Biology 39:127-132. [ doi:10.1111/j.0908-8857.2008.04400.x ] [ pdf ]



Lambrechts MM, Bourgault P, Mennerat A, Galan MJ, Cartan-Son M, Perret P, Doutrelant C, Charmantier A. 2007. Cavity-nesting black rats in distinct Corsican oak habitats and their potential impact on breeding Paridae. Folia Zoologica 56:445-448. [ open access ] [ pdf ]



Mennerat A, Bonadonna F, Perret P, Lambrechts MM. 2005. Olfactory conditioning experiments in a food-searching passerine bird in semi-natural conditions. Behavioural Processes 70:264-270. [ doi:10.1016/j.beproc.2005.07.005 ] [ pdf ]


Anthropogenic Evolution of Parasites

In the ParAnthropE project (NFR, FRIMEDBIO) we test how selection on parasites varies with environmental change, how parasites respond, and what trade-offs underlie these responses. To address these questions we have developed mark-recapture in the salmon louse, a model of infectious organism facing rapid environmental change.

Behavioural ecology

We also address a range of questions on the adaptive costs and benefits of animal behaviour, including parasitic behaviour. These range from the causes and consequences of medication and the benefits of extra-pair mating in birds, to mating behaviour and sexual selection in parasites. Some of these questions are addressed using data from monitoring our local population of breeding tits, which is part of the larger SPI-birds network.


Study organisms

I have been using a wide range of organisms depending on the research question (bacteria, parasitoid wasps, Drosophila flies, parasitic blow flies, salmon lice, birds). Here is some more information on my two favourite study species. 

The salmon louse Lepeophtheirus salmonis

What exactly are salmon lice? What is their biology and what do they do to their hosts? What do we know about them?

The Salmon Lice Research Centre (SLRC, Bergen) has prepared a little overview here: The Atlantic salmon louse, Lepeophtheirus salmonis

The blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus 

Blue tits are my favourite study species; I have been watching their behaviour for about 30 years (yes, that long!) and they have been involved in my research since 2003. I have studied their olfactory abilities, their behavioural responses to parasitism, and more recently their extra-pair mating behaviour.

Blue tits are widely used as a model species in evolutionary ecology because they can be ringed and their reproduction can be monitored using nestboxes, which they readily adopt. This allows to collect large amounts of longitudinal data that can be used in many ways, and in particular to study processes of adaptive evolution in the wild.

The blue tit is a non migratory bird species, which means it can be seen throughout the year in Europe. It is a territorial, socially monogamous species where different pairs breed on different, adjacent territories. Copulations (including extra-pair copulations) occur in early spring. Females build a nest in a cavity (or a nestbox) and lay clutches of 6-12 eggs, which hatch after ca. 2 weeks and the chicks fledge ca. 3 weeks later. The young rely on food and protection provided by both parents.