SpitsEco project summary

The project is focused on the timing of energy transfer in arctic pelagic ecosystems, with special emphasis on the life history adaptations in the key high Arctic species. This joint Russian Norwegian project focuses on adaption to high latitude environmental cycles and energy transfer through pelagic food webs in Svalbard, utilizing existing infrastructure (observatories) and activities. We will utilize the strong knowledge on polar marine ecosystems by both the Norwegian and Russian partners. The Russian group has its strength in their analytical capacity in histology and lipid chemistry and biochemical adaptations of high latitude fish species.
Changes in timing of physical and biological processes will have cascading effects throughout the food web (Winder and Schindler 2004). The life history and annual routines of central actors in Arctic pelagic ecosystems are surprisingly poorly known, maybe with the exception of Calanus copepods (Falk-Petersen et al. 2009). CLEOPATRA II will study sea ice phenology and timing of blooms and zooplankton dynamics. In this project we will study how the timing of the seasonal migration of Calanus will affect growth and development (timing of reproduction) of daubed shinny.

Hypothesis: Reproductive success and recruitment of key carnivorous species is indirectly related to timing of blooms through recruitment of Calanus spp. and krill. Changes in sea ice and bloom phenology will alter the potential for a match between annual routines and timing of reproduction in an important predator such as Leptoclinus maculatus.


Download the full project description here (PDF).


The story about a fruitful cooperation and friendship 

The Institute of Biology of KarRC of RAS actively cooperates with international institutions within basic science, applied science and education.

The concrete impressive example of such complex, multilateral, effective and successful cooperation is international collaboration of the Institute of Biology of KarRC of RAS with the ARCTOS network and other scientific organizations of Arctic Norway. The Institute of Biology has long-term scientific and friendly connections with Akvaplan-niva, Norwegian Polar Institute, the University Centre in Svalbard, the University of Tromsø and institutions like the Institute of Marine Research and the Mab Cent SFI.

The Institute of Biology KarRC RAS participate in many international projects together with the institutes from the ARCTOS network. For example, from 2007 till 2011, Svetlana Murzina, had a PhD project to study the ecology and biochemistry of the Arctic fish species Leptoclinus maculatus. From Norwegian side the co-supervisor was Professor Stig Falk-Petersen, from Russian side the co-supervisor was Professor Nina N. Nemova. This project was a part of large international “Ice Edge Programme” funded by Statoil. This research  was a part of the International Polar Year and the results has been presented at international and all-Russian symposia and conferences. Since 2012 Svetlana A. Murzina and Nina N. Nemova are members of the scientific group in the international project on “Polarcod, lipid metabolism and distribution by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons” (POLARIZATION) partly funded by RCN, which is aimed to study the effect of pollution of the biology, lipid metabolism and distribution of polar cod in the Arctic. This research will be conducted for 3 years.     

The Institute of biology KarRC RAS scientists actively took part an in international expeditions organized by Norwegian Polar Institute, the University Centre in Svalbard, the University of Tromsø to study of sea ice ecosystems of northern regions.

In September 2011, in Norway (Spitsbergen, Longyearbyen) the symposium on “The issues of international cooperation and integration between Norway, Russia and Poland in the area of research on sea ecosystems of Svalbard archipelago (Spitsbergen island)” took place. This included visit to the Russian scientific research base in Barentsburg, Polish scientific center that is located in Hornsund and the Norwegian settlement in Ny-Ålesund. The final discussion took place on the base of the University Centre in Svalbard in Longyearbyen. The scientists of the Institute of Biology of KarRC of RAS presented the results of joint Norwegian-Russian projects devoted to study of marine species of the North and sea ecosystems of the Arctic and the sub-Arctic under the conditions of changing environmental factors, including climate and anthropogenic factors. 

Young scientists and PhD students of the Institute actively participate in scientific organizations connected with the areas of their research in connection with the ARCTOS network, the Young Scientist forum of Arctic Frontiers and "the international association that is engaged in research on the Polar Regions", APECS.

         The following can be outlined in the list of recent international scientific events that were organized on the territory of the Republic of Karelia: in 2010the Institute of Biology of KarRC of RAS held the XXVIII International scientific conference “Biological resources of the White Sea and internal water bodies of the European North” that gathered a large number of interested specialists of many leading scientific research institutes, applied organizations and institutions of higher education of the North-West of Russia as well as Norway and Finland. In 2010 in Petrozavodsk the Institute staff members organized and conducted the first Russian-Norwegian seminar “Biotechnological potential of sea organisms - prospects of joint research and technology development” in which the colleagues from MabCent SFI, the University of Tromsø, took part. The key decision of this seminar was the necessity of further discussion and development of the main areas of scientific activity when carrying out joint biological and biotechnological work. As a result in September 2010 the International scientific practical seminar “Biological resources of the Arctic and the Subarctic – potential for biotechnology: research and innovations” that presupposed the elements of school for young scientists was organized. The Norwegian colleagues, the Institute staff members as well as scientists and postgraduate students from Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Murmansk and other Russian cities participated in it. Besides that, the Norwegian colleagues took part in the conference “Modern problems of physiology and biochemistry of aquatic organisms” that has become to some extent a trademark of the Institute since it has been traditionally held on the territory of the Republic of Karelia (Petrozavodsk) for a long time. 

          In 2013 the Institute of Biology was the organizer and executor of the international SpitsEco symposium to the White Sea. Scientists of the leading scientific centers and institutes of Russia and Northern Norway, particularly University of Tromsø and the University Centre in Svalbard, took part in this unforgettable event to the White Sea and visited the Solovetsky Archipelago, and many other unique places.


White Sea cruise team

The White Sea cruise international team at Son Island (in the beginning)















White Sea cruise team 2


The White Sea cruise international team at Kizhi Island (n in the end of the campaign)



The Mare Incognitum projects are members of the ARCTOS research network

The Mare Incognitum web pages are maintained by Marine Night technician Daniel Vogedes, UiT.

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