Evolutionary ecology
Letters from Taiwan

EvoFish back in Taiwan

The temporary EvoFish outpost in Taiwan is active again, this time for a full year: I am now a guest professor at the National Taiwan University.

A bird with long tail and strong bil sitting on a tree branch
A flock of grey treepies (Dendrocitta formosae) greeted us this morning.
Mikko Heino

Last year I spent the first half of my half-year sabbatical at the Institute of Oceanography, National Taiwan University, in Taipei. Now I am back as a guest professor for a full year, from August 2016 to July 2017. My host is professor Hui-Yu Wang.

During this year, I will be working with fish and fisheries data from Taiwan and nearby areas. There are no regular scientific fisheries surveys, so the kind of fisheries-independent data we are used to around the North Atlantic are virtually absent. However, data on trade volumes and prices from fish landings sites are readily available. These open interesting alternative avenues to gain insights to the status of fish resources around Taiwan, as well as to behaviour of fishermen. I will also be looking at life-history data from cutlassfish (mostly Trichiurus spp.) and from other fishes.

At a more personal level, my goal is to improve my spoken Chinese. Luckily the people here are quite patient, and I do manage simple tasks (after more than 10 years of self learning...). It is also nice to observe a full cycle of traditional Chinese festivals. The next in line the Mid-Autumn Festival, an occasion to eat mooncakes (the timing of the festival is anchored to the lunar calender and coincides with full moon).