All posts by Torkild

Evolutionary relationship of Sphaerodoridae

Small grown species with spherical protrusions, called macrotubercles, on their back are the most characteristic features of the polychaete family Sphaerodoridae. A small group of polychaetes with about 110 species in 10 genera. With an overall aim to study evolutionary relationships of the group, we first started to study relationships within the family, but also its position within the polychaete group Phyllodocida. Continue reading Evolutionary relationship of Sphaerodoridae

Kartlegging av marin bløtbunnsafauna

Det høres kanskje rart ut, men områder med bløtbunn i fjæresonen er en naturtype vi ikke har stor kunnskap om i Norge. Fjæra er lett tilgjengelig men områder med bløtbunn har altså ikke vært systematisk studert. Kartlegging med utvikling av en metodikk for en forenklet måte å studere fjæreområder med bløtbunn ble derfor tema for en masteroppgave. Oppgaven ble gjennomført av Grethe Sundet Haugen i tre ulike områder i Sør-Trøndelag. Continue reading Kartlegging av marin bløtbunnsafauna

Sphaerodorid polychaetes from Australia

SEM photo of Sphaerodoropsis exmouthensis . Source Capa & Bakken 2015.
SEM photo of Sphaerodoropsis exmouthensis. Source Capa & Bakken 2015.

Sphaerodoridae is a group of small polychaetes that rarely exceeds 5 mm long. They have often been overlooked in samples when samples are sieved, they simply go through the sieve mesh. In Australia this group has been poorly known. In order to shed more light on the group we examined available museum material representing samples from around the Australian coast. Four new species was described, and three species formally re-described. After our revision the diversity of Sphaerodoridae in Australian waters are 10 species. Continue reading Sphaerodorid polychaetes from Australia

Skates (Rajidae) in Norwegian waters

Skates are a vulnerable group of fish with low reproduction with few offspring, and are subject to overfishing and by-catch. In Norwegian waters skates are not well known and they have proved to be difficult to identify correctly. DNA barcoding should be of good help to identify specimens correctly. That was the aim to test and find out when our project was planned. Continue reading Skates (Rajidae) in Norwegian waters

Field course in marine biodiversity

October stars with pleasure, every year, teaching a field course in marine biodiversity. An enthusiastic crowd of teachers and students set out to sea, to teach and learn how to study the marine realm off the Trondheimsfjord. The students work on projects giving them practical training resulting in a good learning outcome. At least that is our experience. The course “Marine biodiversity” is held for students in their last year of the bachelor or first master year. Following a week with lectures we set out to sea onboard NTNU’s research vessel “Gunnerus” with a small group of 16-17 students. Continue reading Field course in marine biodiversity

A new polychaete from the Norwegian Sea

Pseudoscalibregma parvum. Photo: Katrine Kongshavn/University Museum of Bergen.
Pseudoscalibregma parvum. Photo: Katrine Kongshavn/University Museum of Bergen.

Knowledge of the biological diversity in the Norwegian Sea is limited. As a result new knowledge on distribution and abundance of benthic species are revealed as more studies are done. We have described a new species of polychaete, Scalibregma hanseni, based on newly available material. In addition a redescription of Pseudoscalibregma parvum is provided, as well as new knowledge on distribution of known scalibregmatids in the Nordic Seas. Continue reading A new polychaete from the Norwegian Sea

Benthic diversity in the deep Norwegian Sea

The diversity of benthic organisms in the Norwegian Sea is higher than previously known. Ongoing projects reveal species and new knowledge. The first expedition set to explore deep sea diversity in this area was the “Norwegian North Atlantic Expedition 1876-1878”. This expedition was one of the first exploring deep sea diversity in the world. Not until the 1980’s new expeditions aimed at studying the benthic diversity. This is continued with the ongoing MAREANO programme. Polychaete worms from these expeditions are now studied to examine deep sea diversity as such, but also differences in diversity from shelf, slope and deep sea areas. Continue reading Benthic diversity in the deep Norwegian Sea

Norwegian nudibranchs – about the project

Norwegian nudibranchs is the title of a research project Jussi Evertsen and I have been running on and off since 1997. The main aim has been to study the diversity of nudibranchs in Norwegian waters. Number of species, their distribution and abundance was the aims from the start. After several years with this scope the project was expanded to encompass DNA barcoding of the entire Norwegian nudibranch fauna, as well as taxonomy of selected species. In the years to come taxonomy of species, species groups, and phylogeny will be the main aims of the project. Continue reading Norwegian nudibranchs – about the project

Sampling sea slugs in the Sognefjord

Sampling nudibranchs in the outer part of the Sognefjorden at Gulen, has been a priority mid-March the last four years. This year it turned out to be very productive. More than 50 species were found providing specimens to or research on nudibranchs. This year we had the pleasure to meet Bernard Picton and work with him at Gulen. This will certainly extend our nudibranch project with collaboration with Bernard, firstly with species of the genus Flabellina. Continue reading Sampling sea slugs in the Sognefjord