PhD trial lecture and public defence: Marc Jürgen Silberberger

28 July 2017 10:00 - 28 July 2017 15:30

Auditorium Petter Thomassen (A5), Nord University, Bodø

PhD-candidate Marc Jürgen Silberberger will hold a trial lecture and defend his thesis for the degree Philosophiae Doctor (PhD), at the Faulty of Biosciences and Aquaculture, Nord University.

PhD candidate: Marc Jürgen Silberberger

Title of thesis:
Spatial scales of benthic ecosystem in the sub-Arctic Lofoten-Vesterålen region

Title of trial lecture:
Biogeography of the Nordic Seas - how different is Arctic fauna from the boreal?

Time of trial lecture: 10:15 - 11:15
Time of defence: 12:15 - 15:30
Place: Auditorium Petter Thomassen (A5)

Members of the evaluation committee:
- Professor Dr. Jan Marcin Węsławski
Department of Marince Ecology, Institute of Oceanology PAN, Polen
- Researcher Dr. Anne Helene Solberg Tandberg, University Museum in Bergen 
- Professor Dr. Galice Hoarau, FBA, Nord University (leader).

Main supervisor: Associate Professor Henning Reiss, FBA
Co-supervisor: Dr. Paul Renaud, Akvaplan, Tromsø
Co-supervisor: Professor Ketil Eiane, FBA

The PhD trial lecture and defence are open to the public. The thesis is available on request. Please contact Jeanett Kreutzmann, email:, phone: 75 51 74 49

About the thesis:
The marine ecosystem of the sub-Arctic Lofoten-Vesterålen region is commercially and ecologically extremely valuable, due to its strong implications for the Norwegian and Barents Sea. As part of the marine ecosystem, seafloor (benthic) habitats play an important role for a variety of ecosystem services, including food production, carbon sequestration, or nutrient cycling.

By studying spatial scales of benthic community structure, larval dispersal, and food-web structure, this dissertation contributes knowledge that is important to secure a sustainable marine spatial management of the Lofoten-Vesterålen region. Collectively, epifauna and infauna reflect different environmental drivers of spatial variability.

Nevertheless, benthic ecosystem functioning in the Lofoten-Vesterålen region is largely tied to distinct warm- and cold-water benthic communities associated with Atlantic and Arctic water masses, respectively.

In addition, retention of larval stages on the continental shelf maintains the separation of these communities. A considerable habitat connectivity and a preserved food-web structure that supports different top predator fish species, characterize the local ecosystem on the continental shelf.

The presented work illustrates the multiscale nature of benthic ecosystems and identifies environmental variables that can be used to assess benthic habitats and their resilience in areas with similar environmental settings.