Student projects

Bachelor student project: Ecology and Evolution of Icelandic Arctic charr morphs

The Arctic Charr Research Group investigates the mechanisms at the origin of the rapid evolution of the Arctic charr, a freshwater fish renowned for adapting to highly diverse aquatic environments across the Arctic. We are mostly interested in the ecology, the genetics and developmental biology of this species, which we study with various approaches like scientific diving, fishing surveys, experiments on morphology and behaviour, and bioinformatics.

This project focuses on Lake Thingvallavatn, which is famous for harbouring four different varieties (morphs) of Arctic charr differing in body shape and behaviour, each occupying different feeding habitats (e.g. plankton in the water column, snails in the immerged lava fields). How these morphs keep diverging to ultimately form different species without being separated geographically, remains poorly understood.

Marina de la Cámara, Lieke Ponsioen

The student will investigate these aspects by exploring the ability of potential hybrids between these morphs to survive in the wild. This project will involve collecting and analysing data on morphology from wild specimens and from fish reared in the laboratory. Through this project, the student will become familiar with research on aquatic systems, learn how to design and conduct and studies in ecology and evolution, and gain skills in data analyses and scientific writing.

Ready to embark? Contact Quentin Horta, qjb1[at]hi.is

Open positions