Bilde av Øistein Holen

Øistein Haugsten Holen
CEES, Dept. of Biology
University of Oslo
.P.O. Box 1066 Blindern
N-0316 Oslo, Norway

Øistein Holens norske hjemmeside
I'm a theoretical biologist with an interest in evolutionary ecology and animal behaviour. My research focuses on information use, the evolution of animal signals, and the evolution and expression of anti-predatory defences. My doctoral thesis was on aggressive mimicry and Batesian mimicry.

Current position

I am currently at the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES) at the University of Oslo.

Research interests
  • The evolution of Batesian and Müllerian mimicry
  • The evolution and expression of anti-predatory defences
  • Predator psychology
  • Avian brood parasitism
  • Parental investment and parent-offspring conflict
  • The use of signal detection theory in behavioural ecology
  • Coevolution and the 'Red Queen' hypothesis
Teaching experience

BIO4220: Lectures on kin selection, game theory.
BIO9910: Adaptive dynamics (as assistant teacher)
  • seven-spotted lady beetle

    The seven-spotted lady beetle is chemically defended, and advertises this using red and black warning colours.

    bee beetle

    The 'bee beetle' (Trichius fasciatus) is thought to mimic a bumble bee to avoid predation (Norwegian: humlebille).


    Many hoverflies have wasp-like warning colours, but are harmless.


    This hoverfly mimics a bumble bee.


    This cicada rely on crypsis to avoid predation.

    Chortippus grasshopper

    Another example of crypsis, by a grasshopper (most likely Chorthippus sp.)

    Coryzus hyoscyami

    A warning-coloured bug, Coryzus hyoscyami. (Norwegian: Rød kanttege)

    peacock butterfly (Inachis io)

    The eyespots of the peacock butterfly (Inachis io) have been suggested to mimic vertebrate eyes and scare predators. Alternatively, the "eyes" may deflect predator attacks to less important parts of the body, or even function in mate choice. (Norwegian: Dagpåfugløye)

Maintained by Øistein Holen. Last updated: October 31st 2018.