Thursday 30. January 2014

Historical DNA reveals the demographic history of Atlantic cod

In this week´s Lunch Lecture, January 31, Dr. Guðbjörg Ásta Ólafsdóttir will talk about her recentresearch which reveals the demographic history of Atlandic cod (Gadus morhua) from medieval to modern Iceland and the continued reduction in the population.

Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua)vertebrae from arcaeological sites were used to study the history of the Icelandic Atlantic cod population in the time period of 1500–1900. The mean age of the historical fished stock is high in medieval times with a truncation in age in early modern times. The population size crash coincides with a period of known cooling in the North Atlantic, and we conclude that the collapse may be related to climate or climate-induced ecosystem change.

Dr. Guðbjörg Ásta Ólafsdóttir is a biologist with specialization in evolution ecology of fish.

An article on the research findings was recently published in the Royal Society's

Proceedings B . Abstract can be found here:

The Lunch Lecture is open for the public and starts at 12:10 in the University Centre cafeteria. The talk will be in Icelandic.