I am a marine ecologist from southern Norway with research interest in studies of anthropogenic influence on coastal marine populations, in particular how harvesting can interfere with species’ mating behaviour, sexual selection and other life history traits.

I study selectivity, population dynamics

and contemporary evolution in lobster and

wrasse fishes in a marine protected areas

(MPAs) – fisheries context. I work with data

from capture-mark-recapture programs of

coastal marine species and are involved in

development of new camera rigs. I also

assembles a lot of ground-truth data by

using underwater camera/RFID system for

machine learning projects.

Currently, I am based at the Centre for Coastal Research, at the University of Agder, as a Postdoctoral Researcher where I’m invested in co-leading ongoing projects on integrating machine learning in marine ecology with our NRC funded project COASTVISION (2021-2025) where we are developing automated re-identification of individual fish based on their unique skin patterns and a computer vision pipeline (fish detection, tracking classification and Re-ID). On the ecological side, the goal is to better understand spatial and temporal dynamics in natural populations, movement ecology and reproductive behaviour with high resolution because for many species, behavioural adjustments represent the first response to altered conditions.

Humans have brought about unprecedented changes to ecosystems worldwide and we still have a limited understanding of how populations respond to agents of selection. For instance, having a large body size comes with many advantages, but fishing tends to select on size and remove the oldest and biggest individuals and leave the smallest behind. Consequently, we now see changes in sex ratios, decrease in body size and in size of weaponry (e.g. claws); trait changes that can undermine the reliability of sexual signals used by animals to assess competitors and potential suitors. Phenotypic plasticity is likely to play a role in such contemporary changes, but if there is a heritable component to trait variation, then populations may also evolve in response to selection. How we include co-evolutionary impact into management practises is important for sustainable harvest and conservation.

In 2019, I completed my PhD on how protected areas and selective fishing affect mating behaviour, sexual selection, and body growth of European lobster, at the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis at the University of Oslo.

 

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Undergraduates interested in data analysis and marine evolutionary ecology research can contact me if they are looking for master's thesis.

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