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Fisheries Ecology and Aquaculture

Oda Walle Almeland

Knowing what influences the phenotypic traits of Atlantic herring can help us understand herring population dynamics better

I am a 26 years old master student from Bergen. I am currently finishing my master degree in fish biology. I knew I always wanted to study marine biology because I love the ocean and fish has always facinated me. In my research I study phenotypic traits in Atlantic Herring. The environment can influence the phenotypic traits and this is assumed to be true for salinty on the final vertebra number in Atlantic herring. In addition to vertebra number I am comparing the shape of the otoliths (tiny “bone-like” structures in the fish ear). Atlantic herring have for a long time been important in the norwegian fisheries and there have been many studies of herring in the field. In my project I am going to look at lab reared herring, that have been kept under constant temperature and at two different salinities. This will make it easier to investigate the influence of salinity on the different phenotypic traits.I'm also going to compare the traits with genetics. Knowing what influences the phenotypic traits of Atlantic herring can help us understand herring population dynamics better. My supervisors are Arild Folkvord and Audrey Geffen at the University of Bergen and Aril Slotte at Institute of Marine Research, they have all done research on Atlantic herring, which is very reasurring for me as an master student. There is a lot of lab work in my project, and I have learned new skills and methods.