Ecology of aquatic vertebrates
At IBV we are a number of people who study the ecology and evolution of aquatic vertebrates. In my group we usually study fish ecology, but also other aquatic vertebrates are relevant study objects. The questions asked and methods used are varied.
The fishes are particularly good study objects for investigating a large range of interesting questions in ecology and evolution. Populations of a given species are often constrained to a restricted area (fjords, lakes, rivers, streams), and thus populations may be reproductively isolated from each other. Given differences in environmental conditions this might lead to local adaptation – i.e. genetically based differences in phenotypic traits. Fish are also highly plastic in that they respond quickly on environmental change – this response needs not be adaptive. Also, the different species differ markedly in behaviour, life history, morphology, and also in how we humans handle them (harvesting, building of dams, etc.). Taken together, this makes fishes very interesting study objects.
Aquatic vertebrates such as mammals, birds and amphibians may also be studied, usually in context with how they interact with fish and fishing. For example, many aquatic mammals are captured as by-catch in coastal fisheries. Birds, like the dipper, may interact with river-living fish like juvenile salmon and trout. In freshwater environments various amphibians (salamanders, frogs) face challenges like climate change, habitat loss, and introduction of new pathogens, predators and competitors.
In 2020 there may be an opportunity for 2-3 new students to start a project in my group. The relevant projects will be developed together with external and/or internal collaborators. Some projects may depend on external funding. Take contact to get more information on what may be available during autumn 2020.