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H20-MSCA-Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions

The Metabolic Niche Framework – Linking Metabolic Changes and Behavioural Responses of Fishes to Climate Change.

Awarded: NOK 2.0 mill.

Anthropogenic warming of the oceans and the expansion of aquatic oxygen deficient (hypoxic) “dead zones” are changing the abundance and distribution of fishes, with more pronounced effects expected in the future. The behavioural responses of fishes to environmental changes may influence species’ distribution patterns through habitat selection and modification of depth and latitude ranges. Fish behaviour and metabolism have been linked in several species, but despite the profound effects of hypoxia and temperature on fish metabolism, virtually nothing is known about how the behavioural responses of fishes to hypoxia and temperature are affected by metabolic changes. The proposal combines my expertise in fish metabolism with Dr Jutfelt’s knowledge on zebrafish behaviour to answer a call by the international scientific community to establish and test a comprehensive experimental framework for studying how the responses of fishes to aquatic hypoxia and ocean warming are affected by changes in their metabolism. Furthermore, the project utilises unique selectively bred zebrafish lines to assess how climate-driven selection affects the identified relationships between behavioural responses and metabolic changes. The research results will contribute significantly to conservation planning by providing the necessary mechanisms to forecast changes in species distributions with anthropogenic climate change. The mentorship, training, and practical work of this project will provide the Fellow with the necessary skills to become a research leader in fish ecophysiology and climate change biology. The expected outcome of this project is a robust framework for use by scientists to better understand and predict the effects of climate change on fishes worldwide. This new knowledge and predictive power should provide significant benefits to policy makers and management agencies in the ongoing effort to mitigate the impacts of climate change on fish and fisheries.

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H20-MSCA-Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions

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