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Evolutionary ecology
New Master project

Ingeborg has started her Master thesis

Master student Ingeborg Bjerkvik Alnes has just finished her first round of behavioural tests.

Large tank with small fish and plastic plants and tubing
The salmon fry’s first meeting with structurally enriched environment.

In her thesis, Ingeborg is examining the link between structural enrichment in periods of the salmon fry’s development and spatial learning. During the summer, salmon from the Vosso line has been housed in tanks either with or without structural enrichment. In the middle of august tests was conducted to examine if the different backgrounds generated unequal learning abilities. Each fry was let in to a maze once a day for 7 consecutive days. The maze consisted of six chambers, the openings between the chambers all had different geometrical shapes in order to give the fish a “landmark” to remember. In one of the chambers, she had created an “optimal territory”, water flow and access to food. The other chambers were barren with still water. The “goal” for the fry was to reach the optimal chamber as fast as possible. The same procedure will be repeated later this fall, but first there are numerous of videos to be analysed.

The thesis is supervised by Anne Gro Vea Salvanes, Knut Helge Jensen and Arne Skorping.