Prof. Monica A Sundset

Professor in animal physiology at Department of Arctic and Marine Biology (In the Research Group Arctic Chronobiology and Physiology), UiT – The Arctic University of Norway, Norway

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UiT - The Arctic University of Norway

Monica has been with this research group since 1988. First as a young biology student, completing her Cand mag (BSc) in 1990, and then continuing to do her Cand Scient (MSc) on the digestive physiology of minke whales i 1992. She became a full faculty member (associate professor) 1997, and defended her Dr philos (PhD) in 2000 on microbial digestion in minke whales and reindeer. Monica spent one year as a visiting scientist at Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA (2001-2002). She was the Vice Dean of Education at Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics (BFE), UiT – The Arctic University of Norway (2010-2018). Completed The Dean School of The Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions (Dekanskolen, UHR) 2012-2013.

List of publications
Sundset MA (married name since 2002), Olsen MA (maiden name)
  1. Acquarone M, Salgado-Flores A, Sundset MA (in prep) The bacterial community in the small intestine of hooded seals (Cystophora cristata).
  2. Salgado-Flores A, Tveit AT, Wright AD, Pope PB, Sundset MA (in press) Characterization of the cecum microbiome from wild and captive rock ptarmigans indigenous to Arctic Norway. PLOS ONE 
  3. Wegrzyn M, Wietrzyk P, Cykowska-Marzencka B, Galanty A, Sundset MA (2019) Incomplete degradation of lichen usnic acid and atranorin in Svalbard reindeer (Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus). Polar Research 38: 3375
  4.  Hansen KK, Sundset MA, Folkow LP, Nilsen M, Mathiesen SD (2018) Methane emissions are lower from reindeer fed lichens compared to a concentrate feed. Polar Research 37
  5.  Andersen-Randbert EU, Barnes CJ, Rasmussen L, Salgado-Flores A, Grøndahl C, Mosbacher JB, Hansen AJ, Sundset MA, Schmidt NM, Sonne C (2018) A comparative study on the faecal bacterial community and potential zoonotic bacteria of muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) in Northeast Greenland, Northwest Greenland and Norway. Microorganisms 6 (76)
  6. Allern M, Sundset MA, Sandvoll R (2017) "Peer Observation of Teaching as motivation for educational Development - From teaching as private enterprise to a collective approach" EuroSoTL 2017.
  7. Salgado-Flores A, Hagen LH, Ishaq SL, Zamanzadeh M, Wright ADG, Pope PB, Sundset MA (2016) Rumen and cecum microbiomes in reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) are changed in response to a lichen diet and may affect enteric methane emissions. PLOS ONE
  8. Salgado-Flores A, Bockwoldt M, Hagen LH, Pope PB, Sundset MA (2016) First insight into the faecal microbiota of the high Arctic muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus). Microbial Genomics
  9. Ishaq SL, Sundset MA, Crouse J, Wright ADG (2015) High-throughput DNA sequencing of the moose rumen from different geographical locations reveals a core ruminal mehtanogenic archeal diversity and a differential ciliate protozoal diversity. Microbial Genomics
  10. Glad T, Barboza P, Mackie RI, Wright A-D G, Brusetti L, Mathiesen SD, Sundset MA (2014) Dietary supplementation of usnic acid, an antimicrobial compound in lichens, does not affect rumen bacterial diversity or density in reindeer. Current Microbiology 68:724-728.
  11. Josefsen TD, Sundset MA (2014) Fôring og fôringsbetingede sjukdommer hos rein. Norsk Veterinærstidsskrift 2:162-171.
  12. Præsteng KE, Pope PB, Cann IKO, Mackie RI, Mathiesen SD, Folkow LP, Eijsink VGH, Sundset MA (2013) Probiotic dosing of Ruminococcus flavefaciens affects rumen microbiome structure and function in reindeer. Microbial Ecology 66:840-849.  
  13. Pope PB, Mackenzie AK, Gregor I, Smith W, Sundset MA, McHardy AC, Morris M, Eijsink VGH (2012) Metagenomics of the Svalbard Reindeer Rumen Microbiome reveals Abundance of Polysaccharide Utilization Loci. PLOS ONE 7(6):1-10 e38571.
  14. Pæsteng KE, Mackie RI, Cann IKO, Mathiesen SD, Sundset MA (2011) Variation in the 16S-23S rRNA gene internal transcribed spacer of fibrolytic Butyrivibrio isolates from the reindeer rumen. Canandian Journal of Microbiology 57:617-621.
  15. Præsteng KE, Mackie RI, Cann IKO, Mathiesen SD, Sundset MA (2011) Development of 16S-23S rRNA internal transcribed spacer signature probes targeting a Ruminococcus flavefaciens from the reindeer rumen. Beneficial Microbes 2: 47-55.
  16. Glad T, Kristiansen VF, Nielsen KM, Brusetti L, Wright ADG, Sundset MA (2010) Ecological characterization of the colonic microbiota in Arctic and sub-Arctic seals. Microbial Ecology
  17. Glad T, Bernhardsen P, Nielsen KM, Brusetti L, Andsersen M, Aars J, Sundset MA (2010) Bacterial diversity in faeces from polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in Arctic Svalbard. BMC Microbiology
  18. Sundset MA, Barboza P, Green TK, Folkow LP, Blix AS, Mathiesen SD (2010) Microbial degradation of usnic acid in the reindeer rumen. Die Naturwissenschaften 97:273-278.
  19. Barboza PS, Bennett AF, Lignot JH, Mackie RI, McWhorter T, Secor S, Skovgaard N, Sundset MA (2010) Digestive challenges for vertebrate animals: microbial diversity, cardio-respiratory coupling, and dietary specialization. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 83(5):764-774.
  20. Sundset MA, Edwards JE, Cheng YF, Sensosiain RS, Fraile MN, Northwood KS, Præsteng KE, Glad T, Mathiesen SD, Wright ADG (2009) Rumen microbial diversity in Svalbard reindeer, with particular emphasis on methanogenic archaea. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 70:553-562.
  21. Sundset MA, Edwards JE, Cheng YF, Sensosiain RS, Fraile MN, Northwood KS, Præsteng KE, Glad T, Mathiesen SD, Wright ADG (2009) Molecular diversity of the rumen microbiome of Norwegian reindeer on natural pasture. Microbial Ecology 57:335-348.
  22. Sundset MA, Kohn A, Mathiesen SD, Præsteng KE (2008) Usneabacteria rangiferina, a novel usnic-acid resistant bacterium isolated from the reindeer rumen. Die Naturwissenschaften 95:741-749.
  23. Zoetendal EG, Smith AH, Sundset MA, Akan DH, Mackie RI (2008) The Two-Component Regulatory System BaeSR Mediates Resistance to Condensed Tannins in Escherichia coli. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 74:535-539.
  24.  Sundset MA, Cann IKO, Mathiesen SD, Præsteng KE, Mackie RI (2007) Novel rumen bacterial diversity in two geographically separated sub-species of reindeer. Microbial Ecology 54: 424-438.
  25.  Tyler NJC, Turi JM, Sundset MA, Strøm Bull K, Sara MN, Reinert E, Oskal N, Nellemann C, McCarthy JJ, Mathiesen SD, Martelo ML, Magga OH, Hovelsrud GK, Hanssen-Bauer I, Eira NI, Eira IMG, Corell RW (2007) Saami reindeer pastoralism under climate change: applying a generalized framework for vulnerability studies to a sub-Arctic social-ecological system. Global Environmental Change 17: 191-206.
  26. Mackie RI, Aminov RI, Hu W, Klieve AV, Ouwerkerk D, Sundset MA, Kamagata Y (2003) Ecology of uncultivated Oscillospira species in the rumen of cattle, sheep and reindeer as assessed by microscopy and molecular approaches. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 69: 6808-6815.
  27. Storeheier PV, Sehested J, Diernæs L, Sundset MA, Mathiesen SD (2003) Effects of seasonal changes of food quality and food intake on the transport of sodium and butyrate across ruminal epithelium of reindeer. Journal of Comparative Physiology 173:391-399.
  28. Storeheier PV, Mathiesen SD, Sundset MA (2003) Estimating faecal output in reindeer during winter. Livestock Production Science 84: 23-30.
  29. Storeheier PV, van Oort B, Sundset MA, Mathiesen SD (2003) Food intake of reindeer in winter. Journal of Agricultural Science, Cambridge 141:93-101.
  30. Olsen MA, Myklebust R, Keino T, Elbrønd VS, Mathiesen SD (2002) The gastrointestinal tract of Adélie penguins – morphology and function. Polar Biology 25: 641-649.
  31. Storeheier PV, Mathiesen SD, Tyler NJC, Olsen MA (2002) Nutritive value of terricolous lichens for reindeer in winter. Lichenologist 34: 247-257.
  32. Storeheier PV, Mathiesen SD, Tyler NJC, Schjelderup I, Olsen MA (2002) Utilization of nitrogen and mineral-rich vascular forage plants by reindeer in winter. Journal of Agriculture Science, Cambridge 139:151-160.
  33. Olsen MA, Blix AS, Aagnes TH, Sørmo W, Mathiesen SD (2000) Chitinolytic bacteria in the minke whale forestomach. Canadian Journal of Microbiology 46: 85-94.
  34. Wasteson Y, Arnemo JM, Johansen BK, Vold L, Mathiesen SD, Olsen MA, Wiig Ø, Derocher A (1999) Analysis of Fecal Samples from Wild Animals for Shigatoxinogenic Escherichia coli and E. coli O157. The Veterinary Record 144: 646-647.
  35. Olsen MA, Mathiesen SD (1998) The bacterial population adherent to plant particles in the rumen of reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) fed lichen, timothy hay or silage. Rangifer 18 (2): 55-64.
  36. Moen R, Olsen MA, Haga ØE, Sørmo W, Mathiesen SD (1998) Digestion of timothy hay and silage in reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus). Rangifer 18 (1): 35-45.
  37. Olsen MA, Aagnes TH, Mathiesen SD (1997) The effect of timothy silage on the bacterial population in rumen fluid of reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) from natural summer and winter pasture. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 24: 79-86.
  38. Olsen MA, Nilsen KT, Mathiesen SD (1996) Gross anatomy of the gastrointestinal system of harp seals (Phoca groenlandica). Journal of Zoology, London 238: 581-589.
  39. Olsen MA, Mathiesen SD (1996) Production rates of volatile fatty acids in the forestomach of minke whales. British Journal of Nutrition 75: 21-31
  40. Olsen MA, Aagnes TH, Mathiesen SD (1995) Failure of cellulolysis in the rumen of reindeer fed timothy silage. Rangifer 15(2): 79-86.¨
  41. Olsen MA, Nordøy ES, Blix AS, Mathiesen SD (1994) Functional anatomy of the gastrointestinal system of north-eastern Atlantic minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata). Journal of Zoology, London 234: 55-74.
  42. Olsen MA, Aagnes TH, Mathiesen SD (1994) Digestion of herring by indigenous bacteria in the minke whale forestomach. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 60 (12): 4445-4455.
  43. Sørmo W, Aagnes TH, Olsen MA, Mathiesen SD (1994) The bacteriology of the small intestinal mucosa of free-living reindeer. Rangifer 14: 65-78.

Completed the University Seminar in Pedagogics (UPS) 2003-2004

Bio-2002 Fysiologi II - dyrefysiologi (10 stp)
Bio-1006 Dyre- og Plantefysiologi (10 stp) 
Bio-2310 Arctic Biology (10 stp)
Bio-3008 Animal Physiology (20 stp)
Bio-2504 Fish Physiology (10 stp)

PhD students

  • PhD Alejandro Salgado-Flores (2017) Gut metagenomics in relation to diet and methanogenesis in Arctic herbivores, ISBN 978-82-8266-140-9. UiT.
  • PhD Kirsti E Præsteng (2012) Genetic identification and ruminal dosing of cellulolytic bacteria to reindeer in search of a future probiotic, ISBN 978-82-8266-040-2. UiT.
  • PhD Trine Glad (2010) Antimicrobial resistance and bacterial diversity in Arctic Environments, ISBN 978-82-7589-313-8. UiT.
  • PhD Pål Vegar Storeheier (2003) Food intake and forage utilization in reindeer during winter, ISBN 82-7589-139-6. UiT.
MSs Thesis Advisor
  • Pernille Meyer (current) Identification of seasonal changes in the diet of the Svalbard Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus) and validation of DNA metabarcoding as a tool for diet analysis (Supervisors: Galina Gusarova, Stefaniya Kamenova, Anne K. Brysting, Monica A. Sundset, Lars Folkow). Pernille is a MSc student at the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis, Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo - doing parts of her project with us in Tromsø.
  • MSc Marte Nilsen (2013) Ernæringsbasert metanproduksjon hos sau (Methane emissions from sheep).
  • MSc Kia Krarup Hansen (2012) Methane emissions from reindeer. Do reindeer fed lichens emit less methane than reindeer on a pelleted feed diet? 
  • MSc Anders J Hamnes (2007) Evaluering av lokalprodusert gresspellet som fôr til rein og effekt av melassetilsetning.
  • MSc Vibeke F Kristiansen (2007) Ampicillin resistance and bacterial diversity in colon content from grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) and harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) at the coast of northern Norway.
  • MSc Pål Bernhardsen (2007) Bacterial diversity and ampicillin resistance in faecal content from polar bears (Ursus maritimus). 
German Diploma Thesis Advisor
  • Alexandra Kohn (2008) Antibiotic usnic acid in lichens. Review and screening for usnic acid-resistant rumen bacterial strains from reindeer. Visiting Scholar. 
Veterinary Medicine Thesis Advisor
  • Larsen AK & Marhaug T (2004) Digestion in polar bear - An anatomical study of the digestive system in Polar bear related to its ability to adapt to future climatic changes in the Arctic.
BSc Thesis Advisor
  • André Moan (2014) The SF6 tracer gas technique: Can it be used to determine methane emissions from reindeer? (Bio-2201 Bachelor thesis in Biology, 10 stp).
  • Renathe Lohne (2011) Sammenhengen mellom fôropptak og melkekvalitet hos geiter (Bio-2201, 10 stp)
  • Mads Kile & Jørgen Benjaminsen (2011) devising an anaerobic culture medium for enriching and selecting usnic acid resistant rumen bacteria (Bio-2203 Bachelor thesis in Biology, 20 stp)
  • Kia Krarup Hansen (2010) Rumen methanogens and putative methods for quantification of methane emissions from reindeer.
  • Anne Birgitte Gaup Aamot (2007) Feeding of moose in captivity.
  • Máret Risten A. Sara (2007) Gabba ja muzet misiid heiveheapmi dálkadatrievdamiidda boahtteáiggis - Erohus gabba ja muzet misiin ceavzima dáfus (The adaptation of black and white reindeer to future climate changes).
  • Roberto S Senosiain (2007) Phylogenetic analysis of rumen methanogens in reindeer.
  • Alexandra Kohn (2007) Bacterial detoxification of usnic acid from lichens in the reindeer rumen.
  • Maria N Fraile (2006) Molecular screening for methanogens in the rumen of reindeer.
  • Anders J Hamnes (2004) Local Production of hay and pelleting feed for reindeer by use of the Press PP300.
  • Jørgen Eira Solbakke (2003) Scientific and traditional knowledge on feeding of reindeer in the Saami reindeer herding.
  • Anders J Hamnes (2003) Small scale production of pelleted feed for reindeer. 

Commissions of Trust
  • Member of the Organizing Committee for the MNT Conference "CONSTRUCTIVE ALIGNMENT" March 28-29th 2019
  • Co-Editor with Prof. Kazunari Ushida on a Special Issue for "Wildlife Microbiology" in the Open Access Scientific Journal Microorganisms (ISSN 2076-2607; CODEN: MICRKN) published by MDPI
  • Member of the Strategic Committee on Education (Strategisk Utdanningsutvalg) at UiT - The Arctic University of Norway (2013-2017)
  • Board member of The University Library of Tromsø at UiT - The Arctic University of Norway (2013-2017)
  • Board member (2017) and Debuty Board member (2013-2017) of Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (RESULT)
  • Member of the Employment Committee (Tilsetningsutvalget) at Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics, UiT - The Arctic University of Norway (2010-2013, 2013-2017)
  • Member of the Committe on Learning Environment (Læringsmiljøutvalget) at UiT - The Arctic University of Norway (2011-2013)
  • NOKUT - The Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (Norway): Chairman of Expert Committee (2010). Evaluation of application for accreditation of PhD studies in ecology at Høgskolen i Telemark, Bø.
  • Deputy board member of the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry (2010-2014): Appointed by The Royal Norwegian Ministry of Reform, Government Administration and Church Affairs
  • Board member of the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry (2005-2010): Appointed by Kommunal- og Regionaldepartementet (KRD) in accordance with the World Reindeer Husbandry.
  • Opponent / Evaluator at PhD Dissertation Committees: 6 at UiT Norway, 1 at Massey University in New Zealand, 1 The University of Western Australia in Australia and 1 at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Sweden. Sundset has also led a large number of PhD defences during her time as Vice Dean of Eduction at Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics, UiT - The Arctic University of Norway.
  • Chair of Workshop “Adaptations to seasonal environment in Arctic Ruminants” during the X International Symposium on Ruminant Physiology, Copenhagen, Denmark, August 30 – September 4, 2004.
  • Member of Lafonor – Landbruksforum Nord (1996-2003)
  • Member (2005-2009) and Vice Chair (2004-2005) in The Board of the Study Program "Use of Nature and Agriculture in the Arctic" (Programstyret for Arktisk Naturbruk og Landbruk) at UiT (2005-2009)
  • Board Member (1998-2001) and Vice Chair (2001) of the Centre for Saami Studies at UiT - The Arctic University of Norway
  • Member of the Planning Committee for a new research program on the Effect of Climate on Arctic Ecosystems, The Norwegian Research Council (2001). Chaired by Prof. Rolf A. Ims.
  • Board member of the Oranizing Committee and Head of the Technical Committee for the International Arctic Ungulate Conference (1997-1999) 
  • Member of the Technical Organizing Committee for the 2nd Circumpolar Agricultural Conference (1993-1996)
  • Reviewer for the Nordic Journal of STEM-Education (Editor Reidar Lyng), a peer-reviewed, open-access journal publishing in the broad field of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education (2017)
  • Serves / has served as a reviewer for Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease, Polish Polar Research, The Science of Nature, PLoS ONE, Entropy, Applied Microbiology, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek International Journal of General and Molecular Microbiology,Beneficial Microbes, Canadian Journal of Microbiology, Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Current Microbiology, Environmental Microbiology, European Journal of Wildlife Research, FEMS Microbiology Ecology, Journal of Animal Sciences, Journal of Applied Microbiology (JAM), Journal of Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, Letters of Applied Microbiology, Marine Mammal Science, Microbial Ecology, Polar Biology, Symbiosis, The ISME Journal and The Icelandic Research Fund