A new project within the Arctos network

COOPENOR (NRC project number 225044) is a newly financed project within the Arctos research network that will start in January 2013 and with a project period of 3 years. The project “COmbined effects Of Petroleum and the Environment in bivalves from the NOrwegian-Russian Arctic” will be led on the Norwegian side by Dr Jasmine Nahrgang at the University of Tromsø and by Dr Igor Bakhmet from the Institute of Biology of the Karelian research Centre on the Russian side. 

Have look at the COOPENOR web site!

The project is funded both by the Norwegian Research Council and the Russian Federation for Basic Research and under the NORRUSS programme with main aim to “facilitate joint efforts to generate knowledge and provide a better basis for achieving optimal, efficient resource utilization and the design of solutions for reducing the risk of discharges from petroleum activities and for preventing pollution and damage to the environment” (see link below).


Picture showing blue mussel collected by Prof Jørgen Berge in Svalbard.

COOPENOR is a collaborative effort to study the effects of contaminants and environmental variability in the Norwegian and Russian Arctic, and will include one PhD student (Ekaterina Korshunova, employed at Akvaplan-niva) that will also work in close collaboration with a Russian PhD student (Julia Lukina, employed at the Northern Arctic Federal University (NArFU) in Arkhangelsk). The overall objective of the project is to provide new knowledge that will enhance the implementation of comparable tools and protocols for marine monitoring within the Norwegian and Russian sectors of the Arctic by using two well-known benthic indicator species (blue mussel and Icelandic scallop).

The project will (1) characterise the basic biology and ecology of these two key bivalve species across different regions of the Arctic, (2) determine their sensitivities to pollutant stress combined with environmental and climatic stress factors across the Barents Sea region, (3) create a “toolbox” of joint methodologies directly applicable for environmental management in the Norwegian and Russian Arctic, and finally (4) educate young scientists in fundamental and applied modern ecology and ecotoxicology within and for the High North.

 COOPENOR includes 4 Norwegian, 5 Russian, 1 French and 1 USA partner institution.

Related links:

For more information on their northernmost distribution see:

Berge and Johnsen (2011) in Svalbardposten nr 36 p 25

Current exhibition “Talking clams” at POLARIA in Tromsø (www.framsenteret.no/snakkende-skjell-avsloerer-miljoegifter.5133296-141503.html).

Berge, J., G. Johnsen, F. Nilsen, B. Gulliksen & D. Slagstad. 2005. Ocean temperature oscillations enforce the reappearance of blue mussels in Svalbard after 1,000 years of absence. Marine Ecology Progress Series 303:167-175

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