BIO-info (en)

Category: Featured news

Featured news – Week 34

Small fish may play big role in Africa

Fast-breeding fish may be an important tool in the fight against malnourishment in the poorest parts of the world, a UN report concludes. Professor of Biology, Jeppe Kolding, is lead author of the study. Read more here.

This has been an issue on the Norwegian radio program NRK Ekko (P2) Tuesday this week. Listen to the program here (starts at 58m18s).

SMÅFISK MED STORT POTENSIALE: Betre utnytting av fiske i tørre regionar kan få mykje å seie i land sør for Sahara. Professor Jeppe Kolding er førsteforfattar på ein FN-rapport som konkluderer med at ein bør satse på fisk i tillegg til landbruk.

Small fish, big potential. Photo: Jeppe Kolding

Featured news – Week 21


On Monday May 16th, John Birks was inducted as a Corresponding Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He was introduced by his main proposer, Prof Des Thompson. He signed the book and was presented with his certificate by the President, Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell. He then gave a short speech of thanks. A Corresponding Fellow is equivalent to an Honorary Fellow but does not live in the UK.



Birks Harry_MG_6873

John Birks


On Thursday May 19th, Alistair Seddon delivered the Rick Battarbee lecture at University College London; the Ecological Time Machine. The Rick Battarbee lectures are a named series of distinguished lectures set up to honour Professor Emeritus Rick Battarbee of the Ecological Change Research Centre at UCL. The lecture was enjoyed by the large audience and was followed by a wine reception.


Alistair time machine RWB lecture 20160519_1

Alistair Seddon time machine RWB lecture

Featured news – Week 17: Salmon simulator and digital brain in new research center

Data meets genes in the Center for digital life.

Featured news – Week 15: Can put a stop to the new freight terminal

The municipality wants to build a new freight terminal at Haukaas, but this is also where river mussels that the government already spends millions of krone to save.

IDYLL: Her styrer kommunens miljøsjef Håvard Bjordal og professor Per Jakobsen på i Haukåselven. – Vi har en                                                           internasjonal forpliktelse til å ta vare på elvemuslingene, sier Jakobsen. FOTO: MAGNUS JOHAN STEINSVÅG

-When Julius Caesar’s army invaded England in order to get their hands on this mussel already 55 years BC, perhaps Bergen Municipality also should consider it valuable says Per Johan Jakobsen. He’s a professor at the University of Bergen and works with “aquaculture” of river mussels at a designated facility at Austevoll.

Read more in BAs article 

Featured news – Week 14: GBIF data – an important resource

Open and available localized species data from so-called collecting databases are a vital resource in management, research and education. A new master’s thesis from the University of Bergen is a good example of the importance of this type of data in education.

Bahar Mozfar is a master student at Ecological and Environmental Change Research Group (EECRG) at the Department of Biology, University of Bergen. She has done extensive fieldwork, and registered and species specific bumblebees in different habitats in most parts of southern Norway. During fieldwork their species specific Mozfar total 1089 bumblebees. It was found 26 species totaling 199 localities. After the fieldwork Mozfar compared her own findings with 33,484 datapoints on findings of bumblebees that are registered in the database of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). This was done to find out if data from GBIF matched own findings with regard to the distribution of the species.

Read more on Biodiversity Information sites

Featured news – Week 13: We need to do something about our teaching

Students want lectures and have them recorded and posted online. But what they really learn by that? 

“The best thing with lectures is that we get up in the morning and that we have to worry about having homework. Many lecturers are incredibly clever and entertaining.”
The statements could be taken from an interview with students or by a student evaluation, but is not it. The sums still something of what emerges through various surveys, which we see as problematic with this type of education.

Read more from Øyvind Fiksen, Arild Raaheim and Lukas Jeno in BT

Featured news – Week 10: John Birks included in RSE

Outstanding scientists, eminent academics and celebrated professionals join Scotland’s National Academy
Announced today are the names of 56 distinguished individuals, including BIO’s John Birks, elected to become Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE). Hailing from sectors that range from the arts, business, science and technology and academia they join the current Fellowship whose varied expertise supports the advancement of learning and useful knowledge in Scottish public life.
As Scotland’s National Academy, the RSE’s strength lies in the breadth of disciplines represented by its Fellowship. This range of expertise enables the RSE to take part in a host of activities such as providing independent and expert advice to Government and Parliament, supporting aspiring entrepreneurs through mentorship, facilitating education programmes for young people and engaging the general public through educational events.
John Birks has a long connection with Scotland. His PhD was on the Present Vegetation and the Vegetational History of the Isle of Skye and he has continued with many other projects in Scotland up to the present day.

Featured news – week 9: Online with the students

Online with the students

What the students want, is not necessarily what they learn the most from. New digital learning tools can be a breath of fresh air in passive lectures.

christian_jørgensen fra Forskerforbundet (ikke bruksrett)

– I don’t like to teach. I find the teaching situation uncomfortable says associate professor Chrstian Jørgensen at the Department of Biology at the University of Bergen (UiB). Yet, he has won several prices for his teaching practices. Last year he was awarded the teaching environment award (Læringsmiljøprisen) at UiB, and in January he was awarded for excellence in education from the Olav Thon Foundation, for among others developing student active, dialog based teaching practices.

Now in his office at the Department of Biology, Jørgensen has a full semester with no teaching ahead of him. – Even if I don’t like to teach, I don’t like to do a poor job either. One must respect the students’ time. If you have a lecture for 150 students for 2 hours, those are 300  valuable hours that can go down the drain.

Read rest of the article in the last edition of Forskerforum or on