Recent research

 
 
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SPITFIRE

SPatial variability and Implications of the Timing of FIsh Responses to the Environment

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Seasonal movements of commercial fish populations explained by the environment

FishHab II is a project that will be using catch and effort data from the inner Danish waters. I will be involved in two deliverables from this project:

  • the species distribution model for the inner Danish waters;

  • the movement of flounder (and maybe other species) to and from the coast depending on environmental variables.


Figure 1  - Map of transect along the Northeast Pacific (black line) and distance code (coloured boxes) for each 200 km box (Ferreira and Banas, report).

Figure 1 - Map of transect along the Northeast Pacific (black line) and distance code (coloured boxes) for each 200 km box (Ferreira and Banas, report).

Plankton seasonality in the NorthEast Pacific - what happens where?

Primary production in the Northeast Pacific is responsible for setting the pace for life of a wide range of species. But how much primary production is actually needed to trigger the population growth of higher trophic levels?

In this project, we look at correlations and region-specific hypotheses linking climate to fish by exploring the primary production and zooplankton spatial timing and distribution in the NE Pacific - from California to the Bering Sea. The first step is to investigate the chlorophyll magnitude and timing from satellite ocean colour, and find a robust phenology metric that characterises most of the NE Pacific spring blooms along a coastal transect (Figure 1).


Figure 2  -  © NASA/GSFC .

Figure 2 - © NASA/GSFC.

Phytoplankton spring bloom influence on larval and juvenile fish survival

This PhD project focuses on bottom-up controls (prey availability). My main aim is to assess how variations in spring bloom affect larval and juvenile fish survival. while focusing on the North Atlantic (NA, Figure 2). I divided this project into three main steps:

  1. to investigate the effect of gaps and noise in the estimation of phytoplankton bloom initiation in the North Atlantic (Ferreira et al 2014);

  2. to assess the timing and inter-annual variability of North Atlantic spring bloom by looking at what triggers a bloom to start (Ferreira et al 2015);

  3. to link these results to fish survival (Ferreira et al, manuscript).

One of the main outputs of satellite imagery is ocean colour, which serves as the main source of data in my project. This project is also part of the Nordic Centre for Research on Marine Ecosystems and Resources under Climate Change (NorMER), which combines the expertise of Nordic institutions in order to improve research on biological, economic, and societal consequences of global climate change on fisheries resources. You can read my full PhD thesis here.


Trends in Nordic marine climate change research (Tasty Haystack)

Figure 3  - Proportion of natural and social scientists in the results of the survey ( Boonstra et al 2015 ).

Figure 3 - Proportion of natural and social scientists in the results of the survey (Boonstra et al 2015).

The project is a collaboration between all young researchers (Ph.D.s and post docs) affiliated with NorMER aiming to address the following question: What is the current state and the trends of climate change research within the Nordic region in relation to NorMER? Specifically: within the NorMER focus areas what has been studied so far? What are the gaps and what are the trends?

Figure 4 -  Trends in number of marine science publications per year in the Nordic region ( Pedersen et al 2015 ).

Figure 4 - Trends in number of marine science publications per year in the Nordic region (Pedersen et al 2015).

The approach is to create a database categorizing the literature relevant to NorMER (limited by certain criteria). The content of the database can then be visualized and synthesised in different ways to identify the focus of current and previous research. The database can be used to answer specific questions such as: which species are the most studied in the climate change research within the North Atlantic? Most people may have an opinion about this, but with the database the question can be answered using facts rather than speculation.The database will also contain information about the spatial and temporal structure of the relevant literature such that trends in climate change research can be quantified, but also trends in more complex interactions such as cod/temperature studies or trends in interdisciplinary work in the Nordic region and their spatial variability.

Figure 5  - Evaluation of how well NorMER experiences have enabled interdisciplinary learning ( Holt et al 2017 ).

Figure 5 - Evaluation of how well NorMER experiences have enabled interdisciplinary learning (Holt et al 2017).

All publications using the database will include all young researchers as authors. From this database, we have 2 published articles (Boonstra et al 2015, Pedersen et al 2015) and 1 about to be submitted (Ferreira et al, in preparation). We also have an additional publication focusing on the common pitfalls of interdisciplinary research in doctoral education (Holt et al 2017). Such publications would not only be of value at the individual level, but also identify NorMER as a coherent center, which is an important message to send to the funders of NorMER and the public in general.