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Erik Selander


Institutionen för marina
Carl Skottsbergs gata 22B
41319 Göteborg
Box 461
40530 Göteborg

Om Erik Selander

Research Erik’s research is focused on chemical interactions in the pelagic ecosystem. Plankton organisms are too small to carry advanced eyes and depend on chemical and hydro-mechanical signals to percieve their surroundings. Chemical signals mediate most important transitions in a planktonic life. Signals or cues are used to find food, mates, hosts, or to trigger life history transitions and phenotypes for current conditions. Some recent examples from our lab covers grazer induced toxin production in harmful algal bloom forming dinoflagellates, dramatic size shifts in colony size of colony forming phytoplankton, as well as adaptive behavioral algorithms that reduce encounter rates with enemies. These microscopic interactions scale up to large scale processes in the sea and may have profound effects on the pelagic food web.

Projects Signals in the plankton We identify the chemical signals between plankton that triggers morphological, behavioral, and chemical responses in the receiving organisms. A handful of novel compounds have been isolated and structurally determined (Selander et al 2015). Their effect on population dynamics in the sea is explored.

Zooplankton-phytoplankton interactions - a multiomics approach Some toxic alga sense the presence of their enemies based on chemosensory information and produce extremely potent neurotoxins to protect themselves. In this project we use the signals that induce toxin production to gain mechanistic understanding on several levels. At the cellular level we try to understand what receptors are involved, which genes are regulated, and what metabolites. A combination of transcriptomics and metabolomics is used to achieve this

A semiochemical approach to pest control in fish farms The sea lice are small ectoparasitic copepods that cost the Norwegian fish farm industry more than 0.5 billion NOK per year. Infectious stages from the salmon farms are now infecting wild populations of trout and salmon at an alarming rate. This project aims to identify the chemical signals that the sea louse use to find host fish and partners. The scents will then be combined into a chemical bait that can be used in traps to provide an environmentally friendly complement to traditional treatments with drugs or cleaner fish wrasse.