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Ylva Sjunnesson

Ylva Sjunnesson


I am a researcher and teacher in the area of Reproduction, Department of Clinical Sciences at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, SLU from 2008. I am the manager of the In Vitro Embryo Production (IVP) facility at SLU, course leader for various PhD student courses and director of postgraduate studies at the Department of Clinical Sciences. I am the director of the Centre for Reproductive Biology in Uppsala, CRU and lead the work in Developmental Biology Platform SLU.


I teach 4th and 5th year veterinary students bovine and porcine reproduction. I supervise veterinary students exam thesis work during their 6th year. 


Main research area is within IVP of bovines, porcines and felines. Other research areas includes: 3R, the effect of environmental pollutants on reproduction, development of reproductive biotechnologies, pig production in Swedish organic farming, metabolic disorders in dairy cattle, sperm maturation and conservation in felids, the impact of stress on reproduction in pigs.


Postdoctoral position at Scottish Agricultural College, Roslin biocentre, Edinburgh, UK 2007 – 2008. University veterinarian at Karolinska Institutet: May 2006 to January 2007. University teacher at SLU: February 2006 to end of April 2006.

Licenced veterinarian: June 2000, SLU, Uppsala

Doctoral student at SLU: May 2002 – January 2006.

Doctoral degree PhD:Year: 2006 in veterinary medicine/reproduction, SLU, Uppsala.

Title of dissertation: The effect of ACTH during oestrus on the reproduction in the sow with special reference to duration of oestrus, ovulation, hormonal patterns, gametes and early embryo development. Supervisors: Prof. Stig Einarsson (main supervisor), Prof. Heriberto Rodríguez-Martínez, Ass. Prof. Andrzej Madej, Prof. Hans Kindahl.

Associate Professor (Docent): Year 2014 in Reproduction biotechnology, SLU, Uppsala.


Mentorship of postdoctoral fellows: Raquel Gonzalez Herrero (2009-2011). Malin Helmestam (2019), Denise Laskowski (ongoing).

Co-mentorship of PhD students: Ola Thomsson (2011-2016), Denise Laskowski (2011-2017), Panisara Kunkitti (2012-2016), Theodoros Ntallaris (2012-2018), Emy Wu (ongoing) and Linus Wiklund (ongoing).

Main supervisor of PhD student: Ida Hallberg (2016-2021).

Main supervisor of circa 10 master- and examwork students in SLU and Uppsala University.

Selected publications

Peer-reviewed original articles

Abraham MC, Gustafsson H, Ruete A, Brandt YC (2012). Breed influences on in vitro development of abattoir-derived bovine oocytes. Acta Vet Scand. 54:36.

Al-Essawe E, Wallgren M, Wulf M, Aurich C, Macias Garciad B, Sjunnesson Y, Morrell J (2018). Effect of adding seminal plasma prior to cryopreservation or after thawing on stallion sperm fertilization potential assessed by heterologous zona binding assay. Theriogenology 15;115:99-107.

Bellavia A, Zou R, Björvang RD, Roos K, Sjunnesson Y, Hallberg I, Holte J, Pikki A, Lenters V, Portengen L, Koekkoek J, Lamoree M, Van Duursen M, Vermeulen R, Salumets A, Velthut-Meikas A, Damdimopoulou P. 2023. Association between chemical mixtures and female fertility in women undergoing assisted reproduction in Sweden and Estonia. Environmental Research. v 216, Part 1, 114447. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2022.114447.

Björvang RD, Hallberg I, Pikki A, Berglund L, Pedrelli M, Kiviranta H, Rantakokko P, Ruokojärvi P, Lindh CH, Olovsson M, Persson S, Holte J, Sjunnesson Y, Damdimopoulou P. Follicular fluid and blood levels of persistent organic pollutants and reproductive outcomes among women undergoing assisted reproductive technologies. Environ Res. 2022 May 15;208:112626. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2021.112626. Epub 2021 Dec 29. PMID: 34973191.

Brandt Y, Einarsson S, Ljung A, Lundeheim N, Rodríguez-Martínez H, Madej A. (2009). Effects of continuous elevated cortisol concentrations during oestrus on concentrations and patterns of progesterone, oestradiol and LH in the sow. Animal Reproduction Science 110, 172–185.

Brandt, Y., Lang, A., Madej, A., Rodriguez-Martinez, H., Einarsson, S. (2006). Impact of ACTH administration on the oviductal sperm reservoir in sows: The local endocrine environment and distribution of spermatozoa. Animal Reproduction Science 92, 107–122.

Brandt, Y., Lang, A., Madej, A., Rodriguez-Martinez, H., Einarsson, S. (2006). Impact of ACTH during oestrus on the ultrastructure of the spermatozoa and their environment in the tubal reservoir of the postovulatory sow. Animal Reproduction Science 93, 231-45.

Brandt, Y., Lundeheim, N., Madej, A., Rodríguez-Martínez, H., Einarsson, S. (2007). Effects of ACTH injections during estrus on concentrations and patterns of progesterone, estradiol, LH, and inhibin alpha and time of ovulation in the sow. Domestic Animal Endocrinology 32, 122-37.

Brandt, Y., Madej, A., Rodríguez-Martínez, H., Einarsson, S. (2007). Effects of exogenous ACTH during oestrus on early embryo development and oviductal transport in the sow. Reproduction in Domestic Animals 42, 118-25.

Einarsson, S., Ljung, A., Brandt, Y., Hager, M. and Madej, A. (2007). Impact of exogenous ACTH during pro-oestrus on endocrine profile and oestrous cycle characteristics in sows. Reproduction in Domestic Animals 42, 100-4.

González R, Gómez MC, Pope CE, Brandt Y (2012). Characterization of mitochondrial and actin patterns in cat oocytes and blastocysts. Reproduction in Domestic Animals 47 Supplement 6: 1-3.

González R, Kumaresan A, Bergqvist AS, Sjunnesson YCB (2015). Blood plasma collected after adrenocorticotropic hormone administration during the preovulatory period in the sow negatively affects in vitro fertilisation by disturbing spermatozoa function. Theriogenology 83: 1128-39.

González R, Pericuesta E, Gutiérrez-Adán A, Sjunnesson, YC (2021). Effect of an altered hormonal environment by blood plasma collected after adrenocorticotropic administration on embryo development and gene expression in porcine embryos. Theriogenology 162: 15-21.

González R, Sjunnesson, YC (2013). Effect of blood plasma collected after adrenocorticotropic hormone administration during the preovulatory period in the sow on oocyte in vitro maturation. Theriogenology, 80:673-83.

Hallberg I, Kjellgren J, Persson S, Örn S, Sjunnesson Y (2019). Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) alters lipid accumulation in bovine blastocysts after oocyte exposure during in vitro maturation. Reproductive Toxicology 84: 1-8.

Hallberg I, Plassmann M, Olovsson M, Holte J, Damdimopoulou P, Sjunnesson YCB, Benskin JP, Persson S (2021). Suspect and non-target screening of ovarian follicular fluid and serum – identification of anthropogenic chemicals and investigation of their association to fertility. Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2021,23, 1578-1588 

Hallberg I, Persson S, Olovsson M, Sirard MA, Damdimopoulou P, Rüegg J, Sjunnesson YCB (2021). Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) exposure of bovine oocytes affects early embryonic development at human-relevant levels in an in vitro model. Toxicology 464: 153028. 

Hallberg I, Persson S, Olovsson M, Moberg M, Ranefall P, Laskowski D, Damdimopoulou P, Sirard M-A, Rüegg J, Sjunnesson Y (2022), Bovine oocyte exposure to perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS) induces phenotypic, transcriptomic, and DNA methylation changes in resulting embryos in vitro, Reproductive Toxicology, 109: 19-30.

Kunkitti P, Axnér E, Bergqvist AS, Sjunnesson Y (2016). In vitro fertilization using frozen-thawed feline epididymal spermatozoa from corpus and cauda regions. Theriogenology 86:1403-8.

Kunkitti P, Bergqvist AS, Sjunnesson Y, Johannisson A, Axnér E (2016). The tolerance of feline corpus and cauda spermatozoa to cryostress. Theriogenology 85:502-8.

Kunkitti P, Bergqvist AS, Sjunnesson Y, Axnér E (2015). The ability of feline spermatozoa in different epididymal regions to undergo capacitation and acrosome reaction. Animal Reproduction Science, 161: 64 – 74

Kunkitti P, Chatdarong K, Suwimonteerabutr J, Nedumpun T, Johannisson A, Bergqvist AS, Sjunnesson Y, Axnér E (2017). Osmotic tolerance of feline epididymal spermatozoa. Anim Reprod Sci. 185:148-153.

Laskowski D, Båge R, Humblot P, Andersson G, Sirard M-A, Sjunnesson Y (2017). Insulin during in vitro oocyte maturation has an impact on development, mitochondria, and cytoskeleton in bovine Day 8 blastocysts. Theriogenology 101, 15–25.

Laskowski D, Sjunnesson Y, Gustafsson H, Humblot P, Andersson G, Båge R (2016). Insulin concentrations used in in vitro embryo production systems: a pilot study on insulin stability with an emphasis on concentrations measured in vivo. Acta Vet Scand. 58(Suppl 1):66.

Laskowski D, Sjunnesson Y, Humblot P, Sirard M-A, Andersson G, Gustafsson H, Båge R (2017). Insulin exposure during in vitro bovine oocyte maturation changes blastocyst gene expression and developmental potential. Reproduction, Fertility and Development 29, 876-998. doi: 10.1071/RD15315.

Laskowski D, Andersson G, Humblot P, Sirard MA, Sjunnesson Y, Ferreira CR, Pirro V, Båge R (2018). Lipid profile of bovine blastocysts exposed to insulin during in vitro oocyte maturation. Reprod Fertil Dev. 30:1253-1266. doi: 10.1071/RD17248.

Laskowski D, Humblot P, Sirard MA, Sjunnesson Y, Jhamat N, Båge R, Andersson G (2018). DNA methylation pattern of bovine blastocysts associated with hyperinsulinemia in vitro. Mol Reprod Dev. 85:599-611.

Leclercq A, Ranefall P, Sjunnesson YCB, Hallberg I (2022) Occurrence of late-apoptotic symptoms in porcine preimplantation embryos upon exposure of oocytes to perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) under in vitro meiotic maturation. PLOS ONE 17(12): e0279551.

Ntallaris N, Humblot P, Båge R, Sjunnesson Y, Dupont J, Berglund B (2017). Effect of energy balance profiles on metabolic and reproductive response in Holstein and Swedish Red cows. Theriogenology 90, 276-283.

M. Sabes-Alsina A , M. Wallgren A , Y. Sjunesson A , N. Lundeheim A , M. López-Béjar B and J. M. Morrell A 2020. Effect of season on the in vitro fertilizing ability of frozen-thawed Spanish bovine spermatozoa. Accepted for publication in Journal of Dairy Sciences.

Sjunnesson YC, Morrell JM, González R, (2013). Single layer centrifugation-selected boar spermatozoa are capable of fertilization in vitro. Acta Vet Scand, 55:20.

Thomsson O, Bergqvist A-S, Sjunnesson Y, Eliasson-Selling L, Lundeheim N, Magnusson U (2015). Aggression and cortisol levels in three different group housing routines for lactating sows. Acta Vet Scand.18, 57:9.

Thomsson O, Magnusson U, Bergqvist AS, Eliasson-Selling L, Sjunnesson Y (2018). Sow performance in multi-suckling pens with different management routines. Acta Vet Scand. 8; 60:10.

Thomsson O, Ström-Holst B, Sjunnesson Y, Bergqvist AS (2014).Validation of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay developed for measuring cortisol concentration in human saliva and serum for its applicability to analyze cortisol in pig saliva. Acta Vet Scand. 6, 56:55.

Thomsson O, Sjunnesson Y, Magnusson U, Eliasson-Selling L, Wallenbeck A, Bergqvist AS (2016). Consequences for Piglet Performance of Group Housing Lactating Sows at One, Two, or Three Weeks Post-Farrowing. PLoS One. 3;11(6):e0156581.

Peer-reviewed Review articles

Einarsson S, Sjunnesson Y, Hultén F, Eliasson-Selling L, Dalin A-M, Lundeheim N, Magnusson U. (2014). A 25 years experience of group-housed sows – reproduction in animal welfare-friendly systems. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 2014 56:37.

Einarsson S., Brandt Y., Lundeheim N., Madej A. (2008). Stress and its influence on reproduction: a review. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica, vol 50, nr 48, 1-27.

Einarsson, S, Brandt, Y., Rodriguez-Martinez, H., Madej, A. (2008). Conference Lecture: Influence of stress on estrus, gametes and early embryo development in the sow. Theriogenology  70,1197 – 1201.

Laskowski D, Sjunnesson Y, Humblot P, Andersson G, Gustafsson H, Båge R (2016). The functional role of insulin in fertility and embryonic development-What can we learn from the bovine model? Theriogenology 86:457-64.

Madej, A., Brandt, Y., Einarsson, S. (2009). Endocrine dynamics associated with follicle development in pigs: a review. Animal Reproduction 6, 135 – 143.

Madej, A., Madsen, M.T., Brandt, Y., Kindahl, H., Einarsson, S. (2005). Stress-related effects on reproductive capacity of pigs. Journal of Animal Feed Science 14, Suppl. 1, 205-212.

Madej, A., Lang, A., Brandt, Y., Kindahl, H., Madsen, M.T., Einarsson, S. (2005). Factors regulating ovarian function in pigs. Domestic Animal Endocrinology 29, 347-361.

Morrell J, Sabes Alsina M, Abraham MC, Sjunnesson Y (2016). Practical applications of sperm selection techniques for improving reproductive efficiency. Animal Reproduction 13, 340-345.

Sjunnesson YCB (2020). In vitro fertilisation in domestic mammals-a brief overview. Accepted for publication in Ups J Med Sci. doi: 10.1080/03009734.2019.1697911.


Lecturer at the Department of Clinical Sciences; Division of Reproduction
Telephone: +4618672174
Postal address:
SLU, Institutionen för kliniska vetenskaper
Box 7054
750 07 UPPSALA
Visiting address: Ulls väg 26, Uppsala