Pål Asgeir Olsvik

Professor Faculty of Biosciences and Aquaculture
Bodø, Hovedbygning 2091

About me

Research interests

My research field is ecotoxicology. I am studying environmental contaminants and how they affect animals, focusing on molecular mechanisms. 

During my early years as a scientist, the research focused on heavy metals (Cd, Cu, and Zn), and how elevated levels and speciation of heavy metals affect brown trout in mining-contaminated rivers in Central Norway. As a researcher at NIFES from 2003 to 2018 (NIFES was merged with the Institute of Marine Research from 2018), the research focused on how contaminants associated with aquaculture affect fish and marine organisms. Chemicals associated with aquaculture include heavy metals (Cd, Hg, Cu), POPs such as PCBs, dioxins and brominated flame retardants, as well as pesticides (including drugs used against salmon lice). These chemicals may pose a health risk for farmed fish, wild fish and other animals living near fish farms, as well as human consumers. 

For the last decade or so, the main tool to study the impact of chemicals on fish and crustaceans has been toxicogenomics. Toxicogenomics is the study of the structure and function of the genome as it responds to cellular exposure to xenobiotics, and combines toxicology with genomics or other high-throughput molecular profiling technologies such as transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics. Today we routinely use transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics to assess the mode of action of chemicals. 

In 2017, I joined Nord University, in a position as a professor. At Nord University I focus on aquatic ecotoxicology, with special emphasis on environmental challenges related to aquaculture. Ongoing projects include studies of aquaculture and microplastics, and impact of deposition of mine tailings in fjords on pelagic species such as copepods (Calanus) and fish larvae (DiTail project).

For a detailed CV, please see here.

Mobile telephone: +47 90916403