Evolutionary ecology

Variation in male reproductive strategies in the bearded goby Sufflogobius bibarbatus

Maria Larsen has selected this project for her masters. Here she is tells about her work.

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"For my masters, I'm working on the reproductive variation of the male bearded goby (Sufflogobius bibarbatus), specifically depending on the level of oxygen which varies immensely within the Northern Benguela ecosystem. Some of my main questions at the moment are how the oxygen in an area affects the proportions of different maturity stages, and how it affects the two different types of males with different reproductive strategies. 

I've been fortunate enough to be able to do lab work side by side with a good friend of mine, Yusra, who is doing her masters on the female bearded goby. The practical work has been very interesting. Currently the lab work is coming to its end and analysis of the data is taking up the better part of my time. The lab work has consisted of dissection and measuring of around 1000 males and their gonads, as well as histological work on the gonads of a little over 100 extra fish. The slides produced from histology will be used to analyse the proportion of sperm of different maturation stages. The complete set of samples have been taken from different depths and latitudes through Northern Benguela (one of which was collected during a field trip we took to Swakopmund, Namibia in February 2012), and will hopefully be able to provide some answers to my questions."

Supervisors: Anne Gro Vea Salvanes and Anne Christine Utne-Palm

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