Master project opportunity in ecotoxicology

Sensitivity of polar cod embryos to acute exposure to the water soluble fraction of crude oil and PAHs.

Supervisor: Jasmine Nahrgang


In the depths of the Arctic shelf seas and beneath the sea ice hides the abundant and endemic fish species Boreogadus saida, commonly called polar cod. A high abundance, wide distribution and large predator clade distinguishes polar cod a key species in the Arctic marine environment (Bradstreet et al., 1986).

Oil and gas exploration, shipping, and tourism are growing in the Arctic and these activities increase the risk of an accident, potentially affecting polar cod populations. Polar cod embryos have been found to be extremely sensitive to low levels of oil pollution, showing increased mortality and frequencies of deformities even at levels below chemical detection (Nahrgang et al., 2016).

We propose a master project to investigate the effects of acute exposure to the water-soluble oil compounds on the development of polar cod embryos, by performing a series of acute exposures at different developmental stages. Endpoints that will be measured are mortality, malformations and hatching success. The master student will be integrated into the ecotoxicology group at AMB and work together with a post doc, a PhD student, another Master student. This project is a collaborative work and part of a PhD thesis.


The experiment will take place at the Marine biology station of UiT in Kårvika. Analyses are mostly based on picture analysis. Other endpoints (e.g. cardiac activity) may be included depending on the overall work load and equipment availability.


  • Bachelor level studies in biology
  • Good collaborative skills
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English
  • Hard working and accepting long days in the lab, potentially also sleep-overs at the marine station.
  • The thesis must be written in a scientific article form.

Project start

The experiment start is depending on the maturation of gonads from adult fish and can be anytime from mid January 2018. It is thus an advantage to start on the project already in October/November 2017 in order to participate in the preparation of the experiment and in its design.


Please send a CV and an email to: Jasmine Nahrgang, UIT (