Morgan Lizabeth Bender » Members

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Morgan Lizabeth Bender

PhD candidate UiT The Arctic University of NorwayArctic and Marine Biology
Work address Department of Arctic and Marine Biology Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics UiT The Arctic University of Norway Tromsø 9037 Norway
Photo of Morgan Lizabeth Bender


PhD Project title:

Reproduction in Polar Cod: a study of the potential effects of anthropogenic activity on the reproductive success of an Arctic keystone species.

PhD Project description:

The first part of my study will primarily investigate reproductive strategy of polar cod, a keystone species in the Arctic ecosystem, and characterize physiological changes and reproductive development of polar cod in relation to their environment.  The second part will be expanded to a circumpolar scale as polar cod are found in every shelf sea of the Arctic, clearly demonstrating a successful strategy for Arctic domination. The ability of polar cod to reproduce during the cold, dark and food limited Arctic winter is believed to be a major factor in their success. This begs the question of how polar cod and their reproductive success will fair as the Arctic ecosystem is under pressure from climate change, human activities, and poleward moving competitors. This study will be focused in the Arctic and Atlantic influenced waters around Svalbard and expand to the American and Canadian Arctic waters.

An ecotoxicological component will also be included to explore the sensitivity of early life stages chronic levels of waterborne petroleum on important developmental checkpoints. This work expands upon two studies on adult polar cod sensitivity to acute and chronic exposure to crude oil, dispersed oil and burned oil residues.

Start date: September 2016
Planned submission date. June 2020


Jasmine Nahrgang (UiT, Tromsø, Norway)
Marianne Frantzen (APN, Tromsø, Norway)
Maxime Geoffroy (UiT, Tromsø, Norway)
James Meador (NOAA, Seattle, USA)

Relevant scientific publications / posters / presentations:

  1. Bender, M.L., Frantzen, M., Vieweg, I., Falk-Petersen, Johnsen, H.K., Rudolfsen, G., Tollefsen, K.E., Dubourg, P., Nahrgang, J., 2016 “Effects of chronic dietary petroleum exposure on reproductive development in polar cod (Boreogadus saida)” Aquatic Toxicology. Submitted Sept 2016
  2. Vieweg, I., Bilbao, E., Meador, J., Cancio, I., Bender M.L., Cajaraville, M.P., Nahrgang, J., 2016 “Effects of crude oil exposure on molecular and physiological parameters related to lipid homeostasis in polar cod (Boreogadus saida)” Comparative Biochemistry & Physiology: Part C. In Prep.
  3. Bender M.L., Vieweg I. Frantzen M. Falk-Petersen I.B., Johnsen H. K., Rudolfsen G. Nahrgang J. 2015. Long term physiological effects of dietary petroleum exposure on reproduction in polar cod (Boreogadus saida) at PRIMO conference in Trondheim, Norway May 24-27 2015.
  4. Nahrgang, J; Bender, ML; Meier, S; Frantzen, M; Christiansen, JS; Karamushko, L; Wasbotten, IH; Berge, J. ”Physiological responses to dietary crude oil in the arctic key species polar cod (Boreogadus saida)”. Polarisation meeting 2014-04-10 – 2014.
  5. Eidesen P.B., Müller E., Lettner C., Alsos I.G., Bender M., Kristiansen M., Peeters B., Postma F. & Verweij K.F. 2013. Tetraploids do not form cushions: association of ploidy level, growth form and ecology in the High Arctic Saxifraga oppositifolia L. s. lat. (Saxifragaceae) in Svalbard. Polar Research 32, 20071,