Katja Enberg

Associate Professor in Fisheries Science Docent in Evolutionary Ecology

I have currently two vacant PhD-position on marine evolutionary ecology and sustainable harvesting in the Anthropocene!



1) Eco-evolutionary consequences of multiple anthropogenic stressors

How do marine exploited fish respond to concurrent anthropogenic stressors of fishing and climate change when evolutionary adaptations of physiological, behavioural and life-history traits are explicitly accounted for?



2) Fish stock assessment and advice in changing world

How does uncertainty and directional change in natural mortality and other key traits influence our ability to provide accurate advice? Can we develop tools to incorporate such uncertainty in fish stock assessment and advice?


Apply here by January 30th 2019. Want to know more? Contact me!


In my research I use modelling tools to understand patterns observed in nature. I am interested in trying to find the mechanisms that cause differences in for example life histories and population dynamics. I try to formulate hypotheses with the help of theoretical models, and when possible, test these hypotheses with data from the nature - to further refine the models to better reflect the nature. I think it is important to keep an open mind and be willing to correct one’s own assumptions and hypothesis - after all, all of us sometimes have mind bugs, ideas that with closer examination appear to be wrong. I believe collaboration and open sharing of research data and ideas is the best way to good science, and try to follow this in my research.


I am very interested in what happens with nature now that we have entered the Anthropocene. Multiple stressors such as harvesting and climate change may lead to unexpected consequences for the marine and terrestrial populations and ecosystems. I have been working with contemporary human-induced evolution, particularly fishing-induced evolution and often combine this with fisheries management problems. World’s fish stocks show drastic changes in key life-history traits such as size and age at maturation, growth and reproduction, and these changes are likely not only plastic but also have a genetic component. But what is the combined effect of human harvesting and changing climate for individual phenotypes, genotypes, life-history strategies, population-level processes, and ecosystem services? I am currently PI in two projects financed by the Research Council of Norway, and one of them is trying to answer the questions "Can contemporary evolution exxplain the many enigmas in recent dynamics of Norwegian spring-spawning herring?" The project aims to disentangle the roles of fishing-induced evolution and phenotypic plasticity in relation to effects of density dependence and climate in determining phenotypic changes and population dynamics in pelagic planktivores.


Marine ecosystem dynamics are constantly changing, both because of natural fluctuations but also as a results of anthropogenic influences such as climate change and fisheries. My other project financed by the Research Council of Norway looks into "Ecosystem dynamics in the Norwegian Sea - new methods for understanding recent changes". In this project we aim at improving our understanding about the species interactions and the dynamics of the Norwegian Sea ecosystem by developing and using modern methods for identifying and quantifying the diet of these ecologically and economically important pelagic fish populations.


In August 2018 I started as an Associate Professor in Fisheries Science at the Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Matchematics and Natural Sciences, University of Bergen, after eight years at the Institute of Marine Research, the last four as the head of the Research and Advice Programme Norwegian Sea coordinating all research and advice related to Norwegian Sea.


I am a founding member of the Young academy of Norway, an interdisciplinary organization for young researchers dedicated to research policy and dissemination. In 2017 I served as the vice chair. Young Academy of Norway was founded in October 2015 and currently has 20 members across discliplines and the country. Our aim is to be the voice of young researchers in the public arena.


I am an active member of the ICES community. I am a former chair the Working group on Widely distributed stocks (WGWIDE, 2014-2016), where Norwegian spring spawning herring, Northeast Atlantic mackerel, blue whiting, horse mackerel and boarfish are assessed. I have also chaired the group evaluating the long term management plan (WKBWNSSH, 2013) and biological reference points (WKNSSHREF, 2018) for the Norwegian spring spawning herring, the group evaluating the long term management plan of Atlantic mackerel (WKMACLTMP, 2014), and the Benchmark Workshop on pelagic stocks (WKPELA, 2018). I have also been active in the Herring Assessment Working Group for the Area South of 62° N (HAWG) where the herring and sprat stocks of the North Sea and surrounding areas are assessed, as well as the Working Group on Fisheries-Induced Evolution (WGEVO).




Evolutionary ecology and fisheries management

(+47) 4100 6368


University of Bergen

Department of Biological Sciences


Visiting address: Office 2H19, Marineholmen, Thormøhlensgt. 53 A/B, Bergen, Norway

Katja Enberg