Evolutionary ecology

Search for the molecular “trick” to survive in sea with little oxygen in Benguela

An open master project in the Evolutionary ecology & ecosystems group of EvoFish.

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Supervisors: Anne Gro Vea Salvanes and Ander Goksoyr (Environmental Toxicology group)

Population genetic studies indicate that there are sub-populations of gobies in the Benguela, but it is not known whether this is linked to differences in molecular sensors that affect how the organism adjust physiologically the coping with little oxygen.

This project deals with searching for molecular sensors that are linked to the so-called hypoxia inducible factors (HIFs); do gobies have specific genes making them able to tackle low oxygen levels? Do gobies from sites with extremely low oxygen differ genetically from those having better access to oxygen?

The Project will involve reading and review literature on functioning of upwelling ecosystems and naturally eutrophic ecosystems, molecular work in BIO’s environmental toxicology lab, and perhaps some field work in Africa to supplement materials, if necessary.

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