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MARINFORSK-Marine ressurser og miljø

Research stay at the University of Helsinki, Finland

Awarded: NOK 0.51 mill.

Wild populations are adapting to human-caused stressors such as fishing, hunting, climate warming, and habitat change. Research on particularly harvest-induced phenotypic and evolutionary adaptations started from field observations and forming theory about how anthropogenic drivers can be expected to change life-history traits. From there the focus moved towards documenting human-induced adaptive change in natural populations, and to selection experiments in the laboratory and in semi-natural conditions. Recently the focus has moved towards understanding the molecular basis of life-history adaptations, both in the lab and in wild populations. For taking advantage of all this information for sustainable management and conservation, we use simulation modelling where different what-if scenarios allow forecasts and management strategy scenarios. In this project I aim at bridging the gap between our understanding of molecular processes underlying adaptation on the one side, and our knowledge of natural and harvesting selection and population dynamic processes on the other side. I have worked on life-history evolution of harvested population both using data from wild populations, as well as by developing simulation models. This project will build upon the individual-based models that I have developed earlier, where each individual is characterized not only by its age and size, but also different genetic and phenotypic traits reflecting maturation process, growth, and reproductive effort. Working with Professor Primmer and the research group Evolution, conservation and genomics at the University of Helsinki will allow merging my modelling competence with their expertise on genotypes, phenotypes and fitness. The main species the group is working with is Atlantic salmon, a species of great importance also for the Norwegian ecosystems. Many unanswered questions about the salmon life history still prevails, and the model to be developed can hopefully help to answer some.

Funding scheme:

MARINFORSK-Marine ressurser og miljø