Name and citizenship: Ole Reidar Vetaas, born Bergen 08.02.60, Norwegian.

Home address: Nedre Lønborg 23, N-5039, Bergen, Norway.

Professional Address:Department of Geography, University of Bergen, PB 7802, 5020 Bergen, NORWAY.

TEL: 5558 9324,


Cand scient (MSc) Vegetation ecology (1986) University of Bergen (UiB), Norway
Dr. Scient (PhD) Quantitative Vegetation Ecology (1992) University of Bergen, Norway
Post-Doc, Norwegian Research Council, Department of Botany/ Centre for Development studies (CDS), University of Bergen.


2010 -today Assoc. Professor Department of Geography, University of Bergen
2007-2010   Researcher II at UNI–Global, UNI Research Ltd..
2005-2006   Project coordinator, editor ( Journal of Biogeography), and parttime lecturer
1999-2005   Researcher II, CDS, UiB.
1997-1999   Project leader, NRC-project, Dept. of Botany and CDS, UiB.
1994-1996   Post-Doc/Project leader, Norwegian Research Council (NRC).
1989-1992   Research Fellow/PhD student, Department of Botany, UiB.

Scientific coordinator of a NOrad MAster  program  (NOMA) project (2008-2014)
Regional Master programme on Biodiversity and Environmental Management.
Involving Tribhuvan University (Nepal), Department of Geography, Kumaun University (India), KIB - Chinese Academy of Science (Kunming China), Jawaharlal Nehru University (India),  UiB-Global, Dept. of Biology and Dept. of Geography, UiB. (

Project leader (2008-2011)
How to prevent invasion of alien species onto urban hills and coastal heath land ecosystems: Sustaining biodiversity in cultural landscapes. Environment 2015 programme ( Funded by NRC.
Scientific leader (2008-2009)
Nile-basin Research group on biodiversity   and land use change (1-2 scholars from each of the countries) under the Nile Basin Research Programme. (
Research fellow (2002-2006)
Local effects of large scale global changes: a case study in the Himalayas, Nepal. An interdisciplinary programme between UiB (Dept. of Geography  & CDS)
and Tribhuvan University. Funded by NORAD/NUFU.
Project leader / Principal Investigator (2002-2005)  
Globalisation processes in Himalayan mountain communities: marginalisation or development? A project between UiB (Dept. of Geography  & CDS) and Tribhuvan University. Funded by NRC.
Research fellow (1999-2005)
Nature, Society and Water. An interdisciplinary programme between Centre for Development Studies (CDS) and UiB. ( Funded by NRC.
Scientific adviser (1999-2001)
Linking people and Nature, Conservation and Sustainable use in the Himalaya-region. An IUCN Himal-Program. Funded by Norwegian Agency for Development (NORAD).
Research fellow (1997-2002)
Human Ecology Programme: Nature Society Interaction in the Arun valley, east Nepal. An interdisciplinary programme between UiB and Tribhuvan University (Nepal). Funded by NORAD/NUFU.
Project leader/Principal investigator (1997 -2001)
The Relationship between climatic limits for Rhododendron species in the Himalaya-region and at arboreta. Funded by NRC.

FUNDING received last five years (20.1 million NOK)
NRC (Norwegian Research Council)                                             8.7 million NOK
NUFU (Norwegian Council for Higher Education
in development research and education)                                           3.0 million NOK
NOMA (Norwegian Master programme)                                         8.4 million NOK
Global Net-Work
Nepal: Longstanding (1993-today)
Central Department of Botany , Tribhuvan University (contact person: Prof Ram P. Chaudhary) Supervision and research collaboration (
Central Department of Geography, Tribhuvan University (Ass. Prof.  Prem, S. Chapagain) NRC-project-proposal.
Ministry of forest and soil conservation: project collaboration and proposals
International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD): collaboration on NOMA student MSc thesis on forest, and proposals.

South-east Asia:
Department of Geography, Kumaun University (Nanital India),
School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University (India),
Kunming Institute of Botany; Chinese Academy of sciences (China),
Ghansu Agriculture University (China),
Department of Geography and Botany, University of Lhasa in Tibet.

Global-invasive plants: Research collaboration on invasive biology, includes
Stellenbosch University (South Africa), University of California Davis (USA),
University of Lund (Sweden), and Royal Botanical Gardens Kew (UK).

Nile Basin: Collaboration with 12 post-doc/senior scholars in each of the 10 Nile Basin countries (potential co-authors)

European network
Oxford University Centre for the Environment (OUCE), School of Geography is a key collaborator in Europe.  Contact person Prof. R.J. Whittaker, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Biogeography of which I am an editorial board member.
University of Nottingham, Department of Geography, UK. BiodivERsA (proposal)
University of Hamburg, Institute of Geography, Germany, Nepal collaboration
The European Heathlands Network is another strong and broad European and national network on cultural landscapes.

Himalaya-Europe: Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh (UK), (proposal)
Forest & Landscape, University of Copenhagen (Denmark), and NORDECO (NO, DK) (proposals, co-author)
Centre for Macroecology at University of Copenhagen, DK (proposal)
Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Biodiversity and Global Change Lab, Madrid (proposal)
University of Salamanca, Unit of Ecology, Faculty of Biology, Spain (co-author)

National network
LYNET Coastal heathland network in Norway (
University of Life Science, Aas. Department of Ecology and Natural Resource Management/NORAGRIC (proposal, co-authorships, opponent).
REDD–nettverk: Climate and Forest initiative in Norway, Centre for Development and Environment (SUM), NINA, UMB, and CICERO.
Other national partners in present projects and pending proposals include NINA, Skog & Landskap, BioForsk, DN, and University College Telemark, Bø.
Local network
Environmental and Societal Changes was a research cluster at UNI–Global which I lead.
This is an interdisciplinary group with members from Department of Geography, Department of Social Anthropology, Department of Biology, and Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI).
Ecological and Environmental Change Research Group (EECRG, formerly QEPRG) is affiliated to UNI-Global and I chaired the group seminars in 2003 and 2004.
Bergen Museum, The Natural History Collections and The  Arboretum at Milde.   
UNI Bjerknes, Centre for Climate Research

Current supervision of  PhD-candidates
1)  Jan-Håkon Vikane (UiB/UNI-Global): Population and community dynamics in relation to alien coniferous trees invading open heath land.
2)  Heidi Saure (UiB/NLA/ UNI-Global): The impact of naturalisation of Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) on biodiversity in cultural landscapes in Western Norway (from 2009)
3)  Krishna B. Shrestha (UiB): Responses in tree lines to environmental and climate changes in the Himalayas (co-supervision).
Previous supervision:
        PhD students: 1
Co-supervisor/External supervisor PhD: 6        
MSc students: 13 
Co-supervisor/External supervisor MSc: 17
MSc Thesis NORAGRIC (6)
MSc Thesis Department of Ecology and Natural Resource Management (1)
MSc Thesis Department of Geography NTNU (1)
MSc Thesis Central Department of Botany Tribhuvan University, Nepal (15)
Examiner / Opponent for PhD-defence at University of Life Sciences, Ås (1)
Scholarship Committee: Leader of 2 expert committees to evaluate candidates for PhD-stipend at UiB/NRC.

 Courses at Faculty of Social Sciences; Department of Geography,  UiB.

  • Interdisciplinary science and natural resource management (Geography BSc-level)
  • Environment and Development in the 3.- World: Tropical Ecology (BSc-level; GEO 131)
  • Theory of science and research design for geographers (MSc-level; GEO 308)

Interfaculty courses for Bachelor in Environment and resource management and courses at former ‘Centre for Studies of Environment and Resources’

  • Sustainable development in a scientific perspective: Biodiversity (MNF 115; BSc-level)
  • The Sceptical Environmentalist: environmental crises myth or reality? (MNF105 BSc-level)
  • The Natural History of Water (MSc-level; WAT 310) (Emundus-program course)

Courses at Department of Biology/Botany

  • Special courses for MSc-students: Biodiversity and Environmental Management
  • Special course ‘The problem of scale in ecology’ (MSc-level) (15-hour):
  • Field-course in Ecology: sampling techniques (BSc-level)
  • Basic and advanced courses in Plant/Community Ecology, and Numerical Methods
  • Introduction to ‘Experimental design and data analysis’ (BIO 300; MSc-level)
  • Ecology: Course introduction, Succession, and Biogeography and distribution (BIO 202)

Peer review for 23 different journals:
Science in General
Geography and human ecology
Ecography, Global Ecology and Biogeography, Norwegian Journal of Geography, Journal of Biogeography, Human Ecology, Mountain Research and Development.

Ecology and Conservation Biology
American Naturalist, Ecology,  Ecology Letters, Journal of Ecology, Journal of Vegetation Science, Australian Journal of Ecology, Plant Ecology, Biodiversity and Conservation, Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Diversity and Distributions, Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, SARSIA (Journal of North Atlantic Marine Science), The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters,

Book Reviewer: Cox, C.B. & Moore, P.D. (2005) Biogeography 7th. Edition
Editorial board: Journal of Biogeography (since 2005). Editor on 101 manuscripts, where 26 of them have been accepted for publication.
Referee for grant Proposal: Austrian Academy of Science: ‘Mega-project on climate change’ .
Organised international workshops: For NUFU-projects, NRC-projects 2004, and open interdisciplinary workshop together with CMI 2003. Alien forest trees and Biodiversity 2009

Administrative duties at Centre for Development Studies/ UINIFOB -Global: e.g. Responsible for Health, Security, and Environment, HMS-person in two periods.

Research strategic committee: UNI Research–UiB: Climate Change and Society-Nature interaction (2008).

Public outreach: (2007-2010) 3 TV presentations and 3 newspaper articles.

Peer-reviewer journals since 2001
Citation Impact: 652 citations from 33 publications on ISI; Best-cited article = 152 and 2nd = 95

*= Publication from projects where I have been principal investigator and/or (**) supervised the first author. Thus I have had overall responsibility for sampling design, introduction, hypothesis formulation, interpretation and discussion.

Aase, T.H., Chaudhary, R.P. & Vetaas, O.R. 2010 Farming flexibility and food security under  climatic uncertainty: Manang, Nepal Himalaya, AREA 42: 228–238.

Shrestha K.B.  & Vetaas O.R.** 2009 The forest ecotone effect on species richness in an arid trans-Himalayan landscape of Nepal, Folia Geobotanica, 43: 44:247–262.

Acharya, R.K.,  Chaudhary, R.P. & Vetaas O.R. 2009. Medicinal plants of Nepal: Distribution pattern along an elevational gradient and effectiveness of existing protected areas fortheir conservation. Journal of forestry information for Nepal, Bankojankari, 19:16-22.

Baniya, C.B., Solhøy, T. & Vetaas, O.R.** 2009. Temporal changes in species diversity and composition in abandoned fields in a Trans-Himalayan landscape, Nepal. Plant Ecology, 201:383–399.

Bini L.M.  et al. + Vetaas, O.R. & B. Hawkins 2009. Coefficient shifts in geographical ecology: an empirical evaluation of spatial and non-spatial regression, Ecography, 32: 1-12.

Vetaas, O.R & Ferrer-Castan, D. 2008. Richness of woody plants in the Iberian Peninsula: evaluating the importance of climate, topography and substrate at two spatial scales,     Journal of Biogeography, 35: 1863–1878.

Ghimire B.K., Lekhak, H.D., Chaudhary, R.P. & Vetaas, O.R.* 2008. Vegetation analysis along an altitudinal gradient of Juniperus indica forest in southern Manang Valley, Nepal. International Journal of Ecology & Development, 9: 20-29.

Aase, T.H. & Vetaas, O.R.* 2007. Risk management by communal decision in trans-Himalayan farming: Manang Valley in Central Nepal. Human Ecology, 35: 453-460.

Chaudhary, Ram P., Aase, Tor H., Vetaas, O.R.* & Subedi, Bhim P. (eds.) 2007. Local Effects of Global Changes in the Himalayas: Manang, Nepal. Kathmandu: Tribhuvan University, Nepal and University of Bergen, Norway.
Måren, I.E. & Vetaas, O.R.** 2007. Does regulated land use allow regeneration of keystone forest species in the Annapurna Conservation Area, Central Himalaya? Mountain Research and Development, 27: 345-351.

Panthi, M.P., Chaudhary, R.P. & Vetaas, O.R.** 2007. Plant species richness and composition in a trans-Himalayan dry inner valley of Central Himalayas, Nepal. Himalayan Journal of Sciences, 6: 31-38.

Bhattarai, K.R. & Vetaas, O.R**. 2006. Can Rapoport’s rule explain tree species richness alongthe Himalayan elevation gradient, Nepal? Diversity and Distributions, 12: 373-378.

Mong, C.E. & Vetaas, O.R**. 2006. Establishment of Pinus wallichiana on a Himalayan glacier foreland: stochastic distribution or safe sites? Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine     Research, 38: 584-592.

Vetaas, O.R. 2006. Biological relativity to water-energy dynamics: a potential unifying theory? Journal of Biogeography, 33: 1866-1867.

Ferrer-Castan, D. & Vetaas, O.R. 2005. Pteridophyte richness, climate and topography at the Iberian Peninsula: comparing spatial and nonspatial models of richness patterns.   Global Ecology and Biogeography, 14: 155-165.

Bhattari, K. R. & Vetaas O.R**. 2005. Local factors influence herbaceous species diversity in   macro scale. Journal of forestry information for Nepal, Bankojankari, 15:26-32.

Vetaas , O.R. & Knudsen, A. 2004. Fragile mountain – Fragile people? Understanding the fragility in the Himalayas. Mountain Research and Development 24: 174-175.

Bhattarai, K.R., Vetaas, O.R.* & Grytnes, J.A. 2004. Fern species richness along a central Himalayan elevation gradient, Nepal. Journal of Biogeography 31: 389-400.

Bhattarai, K.R., Vetaas, O.R.** & Grytnes, J.A. 2004. Relationship between plant species richnessand  biomass in arid sub- alpine grassland of the central Himalayas, Nepal. Folia Geobotanica 39: 57-71.

Ferrer-Castan, D. & Vetaas, O.R. 2003. Floristic variation, chorological types, and diversity: do they correspond at broad and local scales? Diversity and Distributions, 9: 221-235.

Muhanguzi H.D.R., Obua J., Oryem-Origa H., & Vetaas O.R.* 2003. Tree fruiting phenology in Kalinzu Forest, Uganda African Journal of Ecology, 41:171-178.

Bhattarai, K.R. & Vetaas, O.R.** 2003. Variation in plant species richness of different lifeforms along a subtropical elevation gradient in the Himalayas, east Nepal. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 12: 327-340.

Grytnes, J.A. & Vetaas, O.R. 2002. Species richness and altitude: a comparison between simulation models and interpolated plant species richness along the Himalayan gradient, Nepal. American Naturalist, 159: 294-204.

Vetaas, O.R. & Grytnes, J.A. 2002. Distribution of vascular plant species richness and endemic richness along the Himalayan elevation gradient in Nepal. Global Ecology and    Biogeography, 11: 291-301.

Vetaas, O.R. 2002. Realized and potential climate niches: a comparison of four Rhododendron tree species. Journal of Biogeography, 29: 545-554.

Vetaas, O.R. 2001. Niche, scale and stability: conceptual problems in nature-society analyses. Norsk Sosiologisk Tidsskrift (Journal of Sociology) 9: 92-106



Citation Impact: 598 citations from 33 publications on ISI; Best-cited article = 188 and 2nd = 88

Public outreach: (2007) 2 TV presentations and 3 newspaper articles.