Ellinor Spörndly-Nees

My name is Ellinor Spörndly-Nees, I am a veterinary and a researcher. I am interested in anatomy and are doing research in the area of reproduction, functional anatomy and environmental chemicals. I have both worked with horses, polar bears, rats and mink in my research.


Presentation: Currently I am working as a post-doctoral researcher at the department of Anatomy Physiology and Biochemistry at SLU. I graduated as a veterinarian at the Faculty of Life Science in Denmark, 2008. After my graduation, I worked with small animals at veterinary clinics in Enköping and in Lund. I received my PhD at SLU November 2018.


Research areas

Current research

No hoof no horse:

Right now, I am working as a post doctor in a project investigating hoof quality in Standardbred trotters. Our research group has shown that Standardbred trotters run faster without shoes. However, some horses do not have strong enough hoof to run barefoot which can result in sore hoofs after races, which is a welfare problem. We aim to find out why some horses can compete barefoot and some can´t. We also want to find robust measures, for the trainers to use before a race, which can evaluate hoof quality to help predicting if the horse will be able to compete barefoot.

Hoofs from two groups of horses are collected. "Barfoot horses", that competed frequently barefoot and "Shoe horses", that not compete barefoot and raced with shoes due to poor hoof quality. We investigate the difference between the groups by measureing angels, hardness of the hoofs, conductivity and chemical properties. We also take samples from the hoofs to study the cells in details in microscope and investigate gene expression.

The project will lead to a better knowledge in hoof quality in Standard breed horses.

Here is a link to further project information

project information



Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Medicine at Uppsala University and Julie Boberg at Technical University of Denmark

Finally, we investigated how environmental chemicals effected the reproduction of male Polar bear. The Polar bear organs are collected in Greenland. International collaborator in the projects are Christian Sonne from the Department of Bioscience - Artic Research Center, Roskilde, Denmark

Here you can read more about the polar bear project

Wild polar bear (photo Lena Holm)


  •  Leg. Vet DVM, Copenhagen University, Faculty of life science, Denmark, 2008
  • "Lunds djursjukhus" (Lunds animalhospital) 2008
  • "Din veterinär" in Enköping 2008-2009
  • PhD student and teacher at Swedish University of Agricultural Science, 2010-2018
  • Lecturer at the department of Anatomy Physiology and Biochemistry, SLU 2018-2019
  • Post doctor at the department of Anatomy Physiology and Biochemistry, SLU, 2019-2021


Hoof from a Standard bred trotter during an examination (photo Ellinor Spörndly-Nees)

 Other research

Environmental chemicals and reproduction:

During the last decades, there has been a growing concern for the increased frequency of reproductive disturbances in both animals and humans. Chemicals in the environment disrupting the action of reproductive hormones seems to be part of the explanation. To detect adverse effects on male reproduction, histopathology of testicular tissue is considered to be the most sensitive tool. Subtle changes in cells in testis might lead to infertility. During my PhD, I worked with finding good robust methods to detect alteration in the male reproductive organs by using different staining techniques as well as image analyze. I studied both rat, a frequently used laboratory animal and wild animals, such as mink and polar bear, to find out how chemicals in our immediate environment affect male reproduction.

During the first project, we investigated how to best collect samples from wild animals to be able to separate damage due to inadequate sampling from damage due to disturbed reproduction. We also developed a novel computerized method to analyze testicular tissue from Mink. This project was a collaboration with the Center of Image Analysis at Uppsala University.

We also investigated the effect of Bisphenol A on male reproduction when the rats were exposed at environmental relevant doses BPA during pregnancy. This project is a collaboration with scientists at the Department of Medical


  • Lecturer in anatomy and histology for students that study veterinary, animal science and veterinary nursing.
  • Practical anatomy teaching at dissections for students that study veterinary, animal science and veterinary nursing.
  • Histology practical sessions for veterinary students.
  • Supervisor for bachelor and master students.
  • Lecture at PhD course in reproductive toxicology.
  • Examinations in anatomy for veterinary students and animal scientists.


Supervisory group:
Assoc prof Lena Holm SLU, PhD Elisabeth Ekstedt SLU, Professor Ulf Magnusson SLU, Professor Leif Norrgren SLU, Cris Luengo Flagship Bioscience, USA, Senior scientist Julie Boberg, DTU Denmark, professor Christian Sonne, Åhus University, Denmark


Publikationer i urval


Selected publications

Low-dose exposure to Bisphenol A during development has limited effects on male reproduction in prepubertal and aging Fischer 344 rats. Ellinor Spörndly-Nees, Julie Boberg, Elisabeth Ekstedt, Lena Holm, Azadeh Fakhrzadeh, Linda Dunder, Margareta H Lejonklouand Monica Lind, Reproductive toxicology, 81, pp.196-206, 2018

New computerized staging method to analyze mink testicular tissue in environmental research. Azadeh Fakhrzadeh, Ellinor Spörndly-Nees, Elisabeth Ekstedt, Lena Holm, Cris L. Luengo Hendriks. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Vol. 9999, No. 9999, pp. 1–9, 2016;jsessionid=8922AEC2402D55DE86263E395C04D997.f02t04

Effect of pre fixation time and freezing on mink testicular endpoints for environmental research. Ellinor Spörndly-Nees, Elisabeth Ekstedt, Ulf Magnusson, Azadeh Fakhrzadeh, Cris L. Luengo Hendriks, Lena Holm. PLoS ONE 10(5): e0125139. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0125139, 2015

Age and seasonal variation in testes and baculum morphology in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus martimus) in relation to high concentrations of persistent organic pollutants. Ellinor Spörndly-Nees, Lena Holm, Floris M. van Beest, Azadeh Fakhrzadeh, Elisabeth Ekstedt, Robert Letcher, Ulf Magnusson, Jean-Pierre Desforges, Rune Dietz, Christian Sonne,Environmental Research, Volume 173, June 2019, pp. 246-254

See all the scholarly articles on Google Scholar


Testis, image analysis, histopathology, wild animals, mink, endocrine disruptors, immunohistochemistry, staining techniques, fixation, post mortem changes, fixation, hoof, Standardbred trotter, harness racing, RNA sequencing, chemical analysis, anatomy.