Theoretical Ecology Group

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PhD Student, MSc
Johanna Myrseth Aarflot

I am interested the ecology and dynamics of marine ecosystems, particularly in relation to fisheries resources. My current area of research is the Barents Sea, and the focus of my PhD is to study the production and energy flow in the pelagic part of this ecosystem with emphasis on mesozooplankton and pelagic fish.

Understanding the underlying processes driving ecosystem production is essential to ensure a sustainable exploitation of natural resources, and to be able to make predictions about future development. The Barents Sea ecosystem is a high-latitude ecosystem on the Arctic Continental Shelf, and hosts some of the largest marine fisheries in the world. Pelagic fish play a crucial role in transforming energy from secondary production directly or indirectly (as food source for higher trophic levels) to harvestable resources, and these species have shown large interannual fluctuations in stock size in the Barents Sea.

I will work with both data from scientific research surveys and theoretical models to investigate the following research questions:

  • How large is the secondary production by mesozooplankton in the Barents Sea, and how much of this can be attributed to the genus Calanus?
  • At what abundance, size structure and environmental conditions are mesozooplankton availability limiting for the production of pelagic fish in the Barents Sea?
  • What are the main fluxes of energy in the pelagic Barents Sea system, and how will the system respond to a change in production at different functional levels?

My PhD project is part of the TIBIA project (Trophical interactions in the Barents Sea steps towards an integrated assessment) at the Institute of Marine Research (IMR), and I am affiliated with the Ecosystem Processes research group at the IMR and the Theoretical Ecology group at the University of Bergen.


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Institute of Marine Research (co-supervised)

Institute of Marine Research, Bergen
Postal Address
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Bergen
P.O. Box 7803
N-5020 Bergen