Hjort Summer School 2015 - ‘Fishing and physics as drivers of marine ecosystem dynamics’

Time: 31.08.2015 - 04.09.2015
Location: Espegrend field station (Bergen, Norway)

The first Johan Hjort Summer School will target the great question in marine ecosystem dynamics: How do marine ecosystems work? When do ocean physics and biogeochemistry dominate the game and when are fisheries the main driver and structuring force?

This will be discussed with contributions from both oceanographers and ecologists. The course is an excellent chance to learn how ocean ecosystems are structured and forced, to meet some of the scientific leaders of the field, and to meet other young scientists with similar research interests.

Leading researchers from North America and Europe working on both oceanographic and ecological perspectives will do the teaching in a mix of lectures, discussion groups, workshops, and student presentations.  The Hjort Summer School will target PhD students, and are also open to advanced Masters students and young researchers.

The summer school is an activity within the newly established Hjort Centre for Marine Ecosystem Dynamics – a collaboration among marine institutions in Bergen with the aim of increasing the sustainable harvest of marine living resources. Summer schools in marine science have long traditions here in Bergen - more than 100 years back to the time when Johan Hjort developed his theories of fluctuations in the great fisheries of Northern Europe. The summer school (including accommodation) will be held at the marine field station Espegrend of the University of Bergen located near Bergen.

Presentation of lecturers:

Ken Frank - Research Scientist, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Queen's University; Dalhousie University, Canada. Frank works in marine ecology, fisheries science and conservation biology and has published extensively on the dynamics of fish stocks and the causes of their fluctuations. Can fisheries activity affect marine ecosystems all the way to nutrient concentrations?

Hjalmar Hátún - Researcher, Oceanographer, Environmental Department, Faroe Marine Research Institute. Hjalmar has been working extensively with the sub-polar gyre and how variations in it can affect marine ecosystems all the way up to commercial fish stocks. Can these large scale oceanographic events have an effect all the way through the ecosystem and influence the abundance and distribution of fish?

Anna Gårdmark - Lecturer at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden. Her research interests are ecological and evolutionary food-web dynamics – the role of species interactions, size-structured animal community dynamics, ecology and management of exploited food-webs in changing environments and ecological advice forms for ecosystem-based fisheries management in the Baltic Sea. What has governed the shift in cod abundance in the Baltic Sea, physics of fisheries?

Tron Frede Thingstad - Professor at University of Bergen - an ERC Advanced Grant winner working in the field of marine microbiology. Thingstad is renowned for his contributions to an understanding of microbial community ecology, in particular the regulation of microbes by viruses. The 'Killing-the-winner'  model has relevance also to large marine ecosystems, as is clear in the work with Prof. Dag L Aksnes (Univ. of Bergen) on competition between jellies and forage fish in the Baltic. What determines the competition among microbes or between fish and jellies?

Katja Enberg - Head of the Research and Advice Programme Norwegian Sea, Institute of Marine Research, Bergen. Her research is often inspired by fisheries management related problems, but also revolves around more basic questions in life-history evolution and population dynamics. She chairs the ICES Working group on widely distributed stocks (WGWIDE), where Norwegian spring spawning herring, Atlantic mackerel, blue whiting, horse mackerel and boarfish are assessed. Can ecosystem processes be included in management or harvesting strategies?

Mikko Heino - Professor at University of Bergen, and an expert in fisheries-induced adaptive changes in commercially important fish stocks, life history theory in the context of fisheries science and density dependence in fish population dynamics. Is contemporary human-induced evolution, particularly fishing-induced evolution important to include in fisheries management?

Edda Johannesen – Researcher at the Institute of Marine Research Bergen. The research is on predator- prey interactions and fish communities.  She chairs the ICES working group on Integrated Ecosystem Assessment of the Barents Sea (WGIBAR).  WGIBAR assesses the impact of human activities (fishery) on the ecosystem and the impact of ecosystem processes (climate, interactions) on productivity of the main commercial fish stocks. What is the effect of  the recent ongoing warming and loss of sea ice on  ecosystem processes and the main stocks in the Barents Sea?

Arild Folkvord – Professor at University of Bergen, and associated chief research scientist at Institute of Marine Research. The research is mainly focused on experimental studies on early life stages of fish. He is also involved in fish ageing studies and marine juvenile fish production.  What are the underlying reasons for the variable growth and survival in the early life history of fishes in nature and in culture?  

Practical Information.

Accommodation and meals for all participants at the marine field station Espegrend is free of charge to all participants, but travel costs will not be covered. A diploma with an overview of activities in the school will be provided, with a recommended 3 ECTS for students attending with presentation.