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Presentations by (in order of appearance)

  1. Lene Friis Möller

  2. Anna Godhe

  3. Marina Axelson-Fisk

  4. Malin Celander

  5. Sam Dupont

  6. Gunilla Toth

  7. Geraldine Fauville

  8. Elisabet Brock



Presentation abstracts

The ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi
– an introduction to on-going research and how this is relevant to CeMEB

Lene Friis Mölle
Dept of Marine Ecology-Kristineberg, University of Gothenburg

Lately Swedish waters are facing a new problem with the invasion of the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi. Given the rapid growth and high reproductive output of the species, severe effects on its prey populations may be expected. Besides field work on-going research involves bioenergetics in Mnemiopsis by making energy budgets and studying effects varying environmental conditions on the different parameters in the budget.
Ecologically it is relevant to study Mnemiopsis since they tend to be here to stay and might be taking over niches from native jellies. In turn it will also be important to study which gelatinous species tolerate the changes in e.g. temperature, salinity and pH best. However Mnemiopsis is as a perfect model organism. They have high reproduction and within a few weeks they will start to reproduce again. Since they have very short generation time they are ideal as model organism for many different purposes e.g. if you want to study effects over several generation. And compared to other jellies they are quiet “easy” to handle in the laboratory and I have them in culture all year round

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Genetic structure of a bloom-forming diatom through space and time

Anna Godhe
Dept of Marine Ecology-Gothenburg, University of Gothenburg

Planktonic protists have previously been considered to be freely dispersed by currents and to be reproducing asexually only. Of late, extensive genetic diversity and patterns of genetic differentiation have been discovered, which has altered the view of this organism group. We are using Skeletonema marinoi, a common diatom, as a model organism. Skeletonema forms resting stages which provide refuge from unfavourable conditions in the water, and acts as short- or long-term survival mechanisms. The resting stages are well preserved in anoxic sediments, and after revival they can serve as a suitable system for microevolution studies. Genetic structure has been assessed through the use of microsatellite markers, which has enabled exploration of genetic changes. By investigating seasonal patterns of genetic diversity and differentiation in water column and the benthos we have found that sill fjords maintain endogenous populations. The examination of revived populations from Pb210-dated fjord sediment cores has further showed that similar genetic structure can be maintained for thousands of generation. Currently, we are investigating patterns of genetic connectivity on larger spatial scales, and we wish to explore the potential of using revived resting stages from sediment cores to investigate genetic changes through time in response to human impact.

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Computational cross-species gene finding

Marina Axelson-Fisk

Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology

A fundamental task in analyzing genomes is to annotate various
features of biological importance. While this is relatively straight
forward for organisms with compact genomes (such as bacteria or
yeast), it becomes much more challenging for large genomes (such as
mammals) because the coding "signal" is scattered in a vast sea of
non-coding "noise".

Computational gene finding exploits the intrinsic statistical patterns
that are found in the various components of a gene. In addition,
cross-species gene finding is based on the observation that conserved
regions between related organisms are more likely than divergent regions
to be coding. A key feature of the method is the ability to enhance gene
predictions by finding the best alignment between two syntenic sequences,
while at the same finding biologically meaningful alignments that preserve
the correspondence between coding exons.

In this talk we present the basic ideas behind computational gene
finding. We present a probabilistic framework for gene structure and
alignment that can be used to simultaneously find both the gene structure
and alignment of two syntenic genomic regions.

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Cocktail effects on Biomarker on Fish Biomarkers

Malin Celander
and Britt Wassmur, Johanna Gräns, Maria Fernández, Peter Kling, Linda Hasselberg, Department of Zoology, University of Gothenburg

One challenge in ecotoxicology is to understand effects of mixture toxicity, referred to as cocktail effects. Biomarker responses in fish are used to assess exposure of pollutants in the aquatic environment. We study pharmacokinetic interactions between different classes of pollutants on fish biomarkers: 1) Induction of cytochrome P450 1A (CYP1A) that is mediated by the arylhydrocarbon receptor (AhR), used to assess exposure to aromatic hydrocarbons; 2) Induction of vitellogenin (VTG) that is mediated by the estrogen receptor (ER), used to assess exposure to estrogenic chemicals. These responses can be either directly or indirectly affected in situations of mixed exposure as a result of cocktail effects. Thus, chemicals that inhibit enzymes that are involved in elimination of AhR- and ER agonists, can result in bioaccumulation of pollutants resulting in increased biomarker responses. This cocktail effect can lead to overestimation of the actual exposure pressure. On the contrary, induction of expression of key metabolic enzymes and transporter activities can result in increased elimination of AhR- and ER agonists that can lead to possible underestimation of the exposure. Another type of cocktail effect is inhibiting receptor cross-talk that may cause decreased biomarker responses that can also lead to underestimation of the actual exposure.

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For we are many – synergetic effects of ocean acidification with temperature increase, toxicants and oil spills exposure

Sam Dupont
Dept of Marine Ecology-Kristineberg, University of Gothenburg

For decades, humans have caused local damage in many ecosystems by a variety of means including contamination by pollutants, over-fishing, physical destruction of the habitat etc. In the future ocean, ocean acidification (OA) and global warming will operate in concert with these other anthropogenic stressors and at present, very little is known about the potential synergistic effects. 75% of all experimental work on the impact of OA on invertebrates only considers acidification as a single stressor and only 15% combine OA and temperature in their design. All other stressors are ignored or anecdotic. We will present results from different experiment aiming to address the impact of combined exposure to OA with temperature stress but also other relevant environmental anthropogenic stressors such as toxicants and oil spills.

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Eco-evolutionary dynamics in natural herbivore communities: the role of induced plant defenses

Gunilla Toth
Dept of Marine Ecology-Tjärnö, University of Gothenburg

Ecology affects evolution through the process of natural selection, and recent data show that evolutionary change can be rapid and occur at the same time scale as ecological processes. This opens for what have been termed "the Newest Synthesis" or "eco-evolutionary dynamics", i.e. that evolutionary change feed back to affect ecological processes in natural populations. Empirical examples of a feedback between evolution and ecology are still rare and there is need for manipulative experiments conducted in natural populations with different evolutionary history. In this talk I will present preliminary results and research plans using temperate intertidal seaweed communities to test hypotheses about the role of induced plant defenses in eco-evolutionary dynamics of plant-herbivore and herbivore-herbivore interactions.


Science education in a changing world, creation of digital resources for science education
Géraldine Fauville, Sam Dupont, David Epel, Jason Hodin, Annika Lantz-Andersson,Pam Miller, Emma Petersson , Roger Säljö, Michael Thorndyke

Geraldine Fauville
Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences, University of Gothenburg

Climate change and ocean acidification are main issues humankind is facing today. While most citizens see climate change as an important issue, few take meaningful action to tackle it. This gap between awareness and action can be related to lack of knowledge and the misconceptions that inhibit choices that all citizens can make to protect our environment. As such, education is a critical component to increase citizens’ awareness and commitment in order to help solve our environmental problems.
The Inquiry-to-Insight project (I2I) offers an educational program combining web 2.0 and pedagogy directed at learning about and envisioning solutions to global environmental issues including ocean acidification. I2I pairs classes from different countries within a social network, and provides digital education tools such as:
Carbon footprint calculator gives students the opportunity to take a critical view of their own energy consumption, and to find solutions to decrease their personal CO2 emissions. The questions are geared towards students' lifestyle choices. The calculator allows students to adjust their answers and get immediate feedback on the impact of their selections.
Acid Ocean virtual lab where students learn about the relationship between CO2 emission and ocean acidification. They also become virtual scientists studying the impact of ocean acidification on sea urchin larval growth. Students recreate a real, up-to-date climate change experiment.
Interactive and virtual lecture/seminar on ocean acidification giving students the opportunity to get a broader picture of the global impact their emissions have on the largest ecosystem on Earth: the oceans and follow a real scientific talk at their own pace, browse the presentation, and leave questions for scientists to answer.
Preliminary evaluation indicates that I2I tools might help students to use scientific conception and vocabulary in a better way.
All our tools are open access and are available on : http://i2i.loven.gu.se/

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Summer Science Camp

Elisabet Brock
Department of Marine Ecology, University of Gothenburg

Summer Science Camp is a new Research School at the Faculty of Science, University of Gothenburg, for High School Students.

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