arctic charr

Kathleen O'Malley

Latin name: Salvelinus alpinus

Arctic climate impact assessment models project an increase in both temperature and precipitation, with the largest effect on areas above 60° North. As the only freshwater fish species on Svalbard (70°N), the Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) is ideal for studying how environmental factors will affect life history strategies in fishes.  Anadromy (summer migration to sea for feeding), for example, is one strategy that can vary both within and among Arctic charr populations and is generally more frequent in cold than in warm, temperate latitudes.  Using a combination of field and laboratory experiments, we are investigating the adaptation of Arctic charr to a changing polar climate through the study of behavior, physiology, and genomics.