Erin Kunisch » Members

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Erin Kunisch

PhD candidate UiT The Arctic University of NorwayDepartment of Arctic and Marine Biology
Work address Department of Arctic and Marine Biology Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics UiT The Arctic University of Norway Tromsø 9034 Work Phone: +47 77 64 60 54 Website: Arctic ABC project
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PhD project title:

Biological responses in Arctic marine fauna: life cycles, resource use, and trophic links during a period of sea ice decline.

PhD project description:

The overarching goal of my thesis is to investigate how organisms respond to changing environmental conditions. How important are ice-derived food sources in Arctic food webs? And how relevant are these food sources during the polar night, a time of biological activity?
To answer these questions, I use a fatty acid and compound specific stable isotope analysis approach to estimate how primary producers (ice algae and phytoplankton) support various members within Arctic food webs.

In the face of wide-scale ecosystem changes in the Arctic Ocean, it is imperative to better understand how ice-associated species may potentially adapt to variable and changing ice conditions. Investigating how Arctic sea ice matters biologically during this time of ecosystem change will further support what is already known about this complex polar ecosystem.

Start date: May 2016
Planned submission date: Spring 2021


Bodil Bluhm (UiT, Tromsø, Norway)

Øystein Varpe (UiB, Bergen, Norway)

Rolf Gradinger (UiT, Tromsø, Norway)

Relevant scientific publications:

  1. EH Kunisch, BA Bluhm, M Daase, R Gradinger, H Hop, IA Melnikov, Ø Varpe, J Berge (2020) Pelagic occurrences of the ice amphipod Apherusa glacialis throughout the Arctic. Journal of plankton research 42 (1), 73-86
  2. Wilson, K., Fritz, L., Kunisch, E., Chumbley, K. and Johnson, D. (2012), Effects of research disturbance on the behavior and abundance of Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) at two rookeries in Alaska. Marine Mammal Science, 28: E58–E74.

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