Responses to thermal changes across species, populations and life cycle stages.

Master Thesis subject (30 ECTS)
Oceans and Lakes
AIMS: This thesis will apply an experimental framework to test reaction norms of populations and species over a range of thermal conditions in common garden experiments including both micro- and macroscopic life history stages. We will test hypotheses concerning functional trait variation and plasticity between populations from differing habitats and identify key genomic- environment-life stage variation in responses to stressors. The main aims of this task are to Tests of hypotheses concerning functional genetic trait variation and plasticity between populations from differing habitats to identify key genomic-environment-life stage variation in responses to stressors. METHODS: The thesis will use life cycle stages (sporophytes, gametophytes, reproductive stages) of brown algae of different geographical origin to study responses to gradients of temperature covering actual and expected future ranges in their natural habitats. During the exposure physiological parameters will be measured and samples will be taken for later RNA isolation. Physiological data will permit identifying critical thermal levels for different species and populations from different regional areas. These critical limits will be compared with distributional data to build a strong framework of understanding of how species might respond to climate change. EXPECTED RESULTS: Identifying responses of different stages and species of brown algae to temperature variations. This work will be part of project MARFOR, including partners in several EU countries. It can therefore be adapted to different species and locations in Europe.
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Other people involved: 
Gareth Pearson, Aschwin Engelen, Neusa Martins, Inka Bartsch, several other partners in project MARFOR
Reference Number: RP-49071