Leif Andersson is a specialist in genetics and genome biology. He explores the relationship between genetic and phenotypic variation. He has been working on comparative genomics using domestic animals as study objects the last 30 years. The work has focused on domestic animals as models for phenotypic evolution which has resulted in the identification of mutations affecting for instance pigmentation, gaits in horses, comb morphology in chickens and muscle growth in pigs. He has also studied the genetic basis for domestication of rabbits, chickens and pigs. More recently the research program has been expanded to include natural populations such as the Darwin’s finches, the ruff and Atlantic herring because of the exciting opportunities opened up by the development of new sequencing technologies. Leif Andersson is professor in Functional Genomics at Uppsala University and in Animal Genomics at Texas A&M University, and Senior Advisor at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. He is member of The Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences, The Swedish Royal Academy of Agriculture and Forestry, Foreign Associate of the National Academy (USA) and International Member of the American Philosophical Society. He was awarded the Wolf prize in Agriculture 2014.

Research Interests

The current research program involves population genomics of Atlantic herring and other fish species, Darwin's finches, wagtails and ruff. This work involves whole genome sequencing with the aim to explore genome evolution, population biology and molecular mechanisms underlying adaptation. Major research activities also include functional studies of the medical significance of the ZBED6-IGF2 axis and of ZC3H11A, and the genetics of pigmentation polymorphisms in chicken and other domestic animals.

Membership Type

International Member

Election Year


Primary Section

Section 61: Animal, Nutritional, and Applied Microbial Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 26: Genetics