Stephen Coulson

Project Manager (Artportalen, Swedish Species Observation System). ArtDatabanken (The Swedish Species Information Centre), the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7007, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden


Previous positions held include periods as lecturer and researcher focusing on the ecology and taxonomy of invertebrates in the Arctic at the universities of Leeds, Liverpool John Moores, Oslo, and 10 years at the University Centre in Svalbard before joining Artdatabanken (SLU, Uppsala) in 2016.

Current position as project manager for Artportalen, a world leading open access database and analysis system describing the biodiversity of Sweden. The platform contains > 59,000,000 mainly voluntary reports of some 30,000 species from Sweden and >1,000,000 images (correct as of May 2017). When targeted or surveillance monitoring programs are not available, data collected by the public is an alternative source of information and Artportalen is prime example of Citizen Science. As the comprehensive data set enables both spatial and temporal analysis, the Artportalen records are now frequently used by county and town councils in Sweden as a principle biodiversity resource and it has become an important tool in environmental planning and decision making.


Has extensive experience of teaching at university level including as course leader. Teaching qualifications - Pedagogisk basiskompetanse, Fakultet for Humaniora, Samfunnsvitenskap og Lærerutdanning, Universitetet i Tromsø, Dec. 2010).

Has supervised masters and PhD students.

Guest lecturer on AB-201 Arctic terrestrial biology & AB-329 Arctic winter ecology (UNIS). External examiner AB-203 Arctic environmental management (UNIS).


Main research Interests
Ecology of terrestrial polar invertebrates including:

Arctic biogeography, dispersal, colonisation and ecosystem development
Overwintering strategies (physiological and behavioural)
Arctic invertebrate population dynamics
Plant / insect interactions

Publikationer i urval

91 papers published (or in press) in international reviewed journals; three book chapters. ResearchGate score 35.25.

Dahl M.T. Yoccuz N.G., Aakra K., Coulson S.J. (2018) The Araneae of Svalbard: landscape scale spider community diversity in the High Arctic. Polar Biology

Müllerová J., Elsterová J., Černý J., Ditrich O.D., Žárský J., Culler L.E., Kampen H., Walther D., Coulson S.J., Růžek D. & Grubhoffer. (2018) No indication of arthropod vectored viruses among mosquitoes in Greenland and Svalbard. Polar Biology

Carlsson A.M., Albon S.D., Coulson S.J., Ropstad E., Stien A., Wilson K.  Loe L.E., Veiberg V. & Irvine R.J. (2017) No impact of over-winter parasitism on a free-ranging ungulate in the high Arctic. Functional Ecology

Seniczak, S., Seniczak A., Coulson S.J. 2017 Morphological ontogeny and distribution of Hermannia scabra (Acari: Oribatida: Hermanniidae) in Svalbard and descriptive population parameters. Acarologia 57, 877-892

Seniczak, S., Seniczak, A., & Coulson, S.J. (2017) Morphological ontogeny, distribution and descriptive population parameters of Hermannia reticulata (Acari: Oribatida: Hermanniidae) with comments on Crotonioidea. International Journal of Acarology 43, 52–72

Seniczak, S., Seniczak, A., Graczyk, R., Tømmervik, H. & Coulson, S.J. (2017) Distribution and certain population parameters of Diapterobates notatus and Svalbardia paludicola (Acari: Oribatida: Ceratozetidae) in High Arctic Svalbard (Norway). Polar Biology

Coulson S.J. (2015) The alien terrestrial invertebrate fauna of the High Arctic archipelago of Svalbard: potential implications for the native flora and fauna. Polar Research 2015, 34, 27364,

Convey, P., Abbandonato, H.D.A., Bergan, F., Beumer, L.T., Biersma, E.M., Bråthen, V.S., D'Imperio, L., Jensen, C.K., Nilsen, S.,  Paquin, K., Stenkewitz, U., Svoen, M.E., Winkler, J., Müller, E. and Coulson, S.J. (2015) Survival of rapidly fluctuating natural low winter temperatures by Arctic soil invertebrates. Manuscript resulting from project on UNIS masters/Ph.D. Arctic Winter Ecology course (AB329/829) 2012-13 Journal of Thermal Biology 54, 111–117 DOI: 10.1016/j.jtherbio.2014.07.009

Coulson S.J., Fjellberg A., Melekhina E.N.,  Taskaeva A.A:, Lebedeva N.V., Belkina O., Seniczak S., Seniczak A. and Gwiazdowicz D.J. (2015) Microarthropod communities of disturbed or imported soils in the High Arctic; the abandoned coal mining town of Pyramiden, Svalbard. Biodiversity and Conservation 24:1671–1690 DOI 10.1007/s10531-015-0885-9

Hansen B.B., Isaksen K.,  Benestad R.E., Kohler J., Pedersen Å.Ø.,  Loe L.E.,  Coulson S.J., Larsen J.O. and Varpe Ø. (2014) Warmer, Wetter, Wilder Winters: Characteristics and implications of an extreme weather event in the High Arctic. Environmental Research Letters 9, 114021 (10pp) doi:10.1088/1748-9326/9/11/114021

Coulson, S.J., Convey, P., Aakra, K., Aarvik, L., Ávila-Jiménez, M.L., Babenko, A., Biersma, E., Boström, S., Brittain, J., Carlsson, A.M., Christoffersen, K.S., De Smet, W.H., Ekrem, T., Fjellberg, A., Füreder, L., Gustafsson, D., Gwiazdowicz, D.J.,  Hansen, L.O., Holmstrup M., Kaczmarek, L.,  Kolicka, M., Kuklin, V., Lakka, H-K., Lebedeva, N., Makarova, O., Maraldo, K., Melekhina, E., Ødegaard, F., Pilskog, H.E., Simon, J.C., Sohlenius, B., Solhøy, T., Søli, G.,  Stur, E., Tanaevitch, A., Taskaeva, A., Velle, G. Zawierucha, K. and Zmudczyńska-Skarbek, K. (2014). The terrestrial and freshwater invertebrate biodiversity of the archipelagoes of the Barents Sea; Svalbard, Franz Josef Land and Novaya Zemlya. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 68; 440-470.

Pilskog, H.E., Solhøy, T., Gwiazdowicz, D.J., Grytnes, J.A. and Coulson S.J. (2014). Invertebrates in the nests of migrating passerine, wild fowl and sea birds breeding in the High Arctic, Svalbard. Polar Biology 37:981–998. DOI 10.1007/s00300-014-1495-9

Coulson, S.J.,  Fjellberg, A., Gwiazdowicz, D.J., Lebedeva,  N.V.,  Melekhina, E.N., Solhøy, T.,  Erséus, C., Maraldo, K., Miko, L., Schatz,  H., Schmelz, R.M., Søli, G. and Stur, E. (2013) Introduction of invertebrates into the High Arctic via imported soils: the case of Barentsburg in Svalbard. Biological Invasions 15;1–5. doi 10.1007/s10530-012-0277-y

 Carlsson, A.M., Irvine, R.J., Wilson, K.  and Coulson, S.J. (2013). Adaptations to the Arctic: low-temperature development and cold tolerance in the free-living stages of a parasitic nematode from Svalbard. Polar Biology 36; 997-1005 doi: 10.1007/s00300-013-1323-7

Convey, P., Aitken, S., di Prisco, G., Gill, M.J., Coulson, S.J., Barry, T., Jónsdóttir, I.S., Dang, P.Y., Hik, D., Kulkarni T., & Lewis, G. (2012). The impacts of climate change on circumpolar biodiversity Biodiversity (Key Note paper Special Issue: Circumpolar Biodiversity) 13;134-143 doi: 10.1080/14888386.2012.732556

Carlsson, A.M., Wilson, K., Irvine, R.J., Piertney, S.B., Halvorsen, O., Coulson, S.J., Stien, A. & Albon S.D. (2012) Disease transmission in an extreme environment: nematode parasites infect reindeer during the Arctic winter. International Journal of Parasitology 42; 789-795.

Ávila-Jiménez M.L & Coulson S.J. (2011) Can snow depth predict the distribution of the high Arctic aphid Acyrthosiphon svalbardicum (Hemiptera: Aphididae) on Spitsbergen? BMC Ecology 11:25

Ávila-Jiménez, M. L., Coulson S.J , Solhøy T. & Sjöblom A. (2010) Overwintering of Arctic arthropods; the case of the invertebrate fauna of Svalbard now and in the future. Polar Research 29;127-137.

Coulson S.J., Monson F., Moe B. & Gabrielsen G.W. (2009) The invertebrate fauna of High Arctic seabird nests:  the microarthropod community inhabiting nests on Spitsbergen, Svalbard. Polar Biology 32;1041-1046.

Coulson, S.J. & Refseth, D. (2004) The terrestrial and freshwater invertebrate fauna of Svalbard (and Jan Mayen), pp57-122 in A catalogue of the terrestrial and marine animals of Svalbard (eds. Prestrud, P. Strøm H. & Goldman H.). Skrifter 201. Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromsø.

Cooper, E.J., Alsos, I.G., Hagen, D., Smith, F.M., Coulson, S.J. & Hodkinson, I.D. (2004) Plant recruitment in the Arctic: Seedbank and seeding emergence on Svalbard.  Journal of Vegetation Science 15; 115-124.

Glasser, N.F., Coulson, S.J., Hodkinson, I.D. & Webb, N.R. (2004) Photographic evidence of the return period of a Svalbard surge-type glacier: Pedersenbreen, Kongsfjord. Journal of Glaciology. 50(169); 307-308.

Hodkinson, I.D., Coulson, S. J. & Webb, N.R. (2004) Invertebrate community assembly along proglacial chronosequences in the high Arctic. Journal of Animal Ecology 73; 556-568

Hodkinson I.D. & Coulson S.J. (2004) Are high Arctic terrestrial food webs really that simple? - Bear Island revisited. Oikos 106; 427-431

Ims R.A., Leinaas, H.P. & Coulson, S.J.  (2004) Spatial and temporal variation in patch occupancy and population density in a model system of an arctic species assemblage of Collembola. Oikos 105; 89-100.

Hodkinson, I.D., Coulson, S. J. & Webb, N.R. (2003) Community assembly on proglacial chronosequences in the high Arctic: vegetation and soil development in north west Svalbard. Journal of Ecology 91; 651-653

Coulson, S.J., Hodkinson, I.D. & Webb, N.R. (2003)  Microscale distribution patterns in high Arctic soil microarthropod communities: the influence of the vegetation mosaic. Ecography 26; 801-809.

Coulson, S. J., Hodkinson, I.D., Webb, N.R. & Harrison, J. A.  (2002) Survival of saltwater immersion by terrestrial invertebrates. Implications for the colonisation of Arctic islands. Functional. Ecology 16; 353-356

Coulson, S. J., Hodkinson, I.D., Webb, N.R.. Mikkola, K., Harrison, J. A. & Pedgley, D.  (2002) Aerial colonisation of high Arctic islands by invertebrates: the Diamondback Moth, Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Yponomeutidae) as a potential indicator species. Diversity and Distributions 8; 327-334.

Hodkinson, I.D Webb, N.R. & Coulson, S. J. (2002) Primary community assembly on land: why are the predators and scavengers always there first? Are we missing a vital stage? Journal of Ecology 90; 569-577.

Hodkinson I.D. Coulson, S.J. Harrison J. & Webb N.R. (2001) What a wonderful web they weave: spiders, nutrient capture in early ecosystem development in the High Arctic - some counter intuitive ideas on community assembly. Oikos 95; 349-352

Coulson, S.J., Leinaas, H.P., Ims R.A. & Søvik G. (2000) Experimental manipulation of the  winter surface ice layer: the effects on a High Arctic soil microarthropod community. Ecography 23; 299-314

Birkemoe, T., Coulson, S.J. & Sømme, L. (2000) Life cycles and population dynamics of enchytraeids (Oligochaeta) from the high Arctic. Canadian Journal of Zoology 78; 2079-2086.

Hodkinson I.D., Webb N.R., Bale J.S., Coulson S.J. & Strathdee A.T. (1998) Global change and high arctic ecosystems: conclusions and predictions from experiments with terrestrial invertebrates on Spitsbergen. Arctic and Alpine Research, 30; 306-313.

Coulson S.J., Hodkinson I.D., Webb N.R., Block W., Bale J.S., Strathdee A.T., Worland M.R. & Wooley C. (1996) Effects of experimental temperature elevation on high-arctic soil microarthropod populations. Polar Biology 16; 147-153.

Strathdee A.T., Bale J.S., Strathdee F.C., Block W., Coulson S.J., Hodkinson I.D. & Webb N.R. (1995) Climatic severity and the response to warming of Arctic aphids. Global Change Biology 1; 23-28.

Strathdee, A.T., Bale, J.S., Block, W., Coulson, S.J., Hodkinson, I.D. & Webb, N.R. (1993) Effects of temperature elevation on a field population of Acyrthosiphon svalbardicum (Hemiptera: Aphididae) on Spitsbergen. Oecologia 96; 457-465.

Coulson S.J. & Bale J.S. (1991) Anoxia induces rapid cold hardening in the housefly Musca domestica (Diptera: Muscidae). Journal of Insect Physiology 37; 497-501.

Coulson S.J. & Bale J.S. (1990) Characterisation and limitations of the rapid cold hardening response in the housefly Musca domestica (Diptera: Muscidae). Journal of Insect Physiology 36; 201-211.