Irina Zhulay » Members

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Irina Zhulay

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 9034 Norway Work Phone: +47 776 44492
Photo of Irina Zhulay

PhD Project title:

Arctic Deep-sea benthos: Biodiversity, food web, and biological and functional traits.

PhD Project description:

My PhD project focuses on the description of deep sea faunal characteristics in the Arctic. The Arctic deep sea is currently one of the least explored regions. It is also a region that is in a rapid state of transition, which is linked to the decline in ice coverage. This makes description of Arctic deep-sea ecosystem an urgent need. The overall aim of my thesis is to improve current knowledge of the deep-sea fauna distribution and characterize deep-sea communities in terms of food web structure and functional trait composition. The first thesis chapter will explain food web structure in the central Arctic, specifically the Canada Basin including a comparison of Amerasian and Eurasian Basin zooplankton. Stable isotope analysis will is used to examine deep-sea food webs. The second chapter will deal with a description of biological and functional traits of select Arctic deep-sea benthos. The main approach for this chapter will be the Biological Trait Analysis (BTA), which uses biological traits such as a series of life history, morphological and behavioral characteristics present in a community that are directly related to mechanisms structuring the ecosystems, and, thereby, can be used to describe ecological functioning of ecosystems. The third chapter will improve knowledge on epifauna community structure in the heterogeneous Chukchi Borderland based on ROV imagery and bottom trawls.

Start date: Nov 2015
End date: Autumn 2019


Bodil Bluhm (UiT, Tromsø, Norway)
Paul Renaud (Akvaplan-niva, Tromsø, Norway)

Relevant scientific publications:

  1. Zhulay I, Reiss K, Reiss H (2015) Effects of aquaculture fallowing on the recovery of macrofauna communities. Marine Pollution Bulletin 97 (1-2): 381 – 390 Link to article.