BIFINE is funded by Nordforsk and consists of over 40 Researchers and PhD students representing nine research institutions across the Nordic countries. The network aims to encourage exchange of ideas and enable collaboration across a multitude of disciplines.

BIFINE will organize joint workshops with participation from all collaborating research groups, including their students, and sponsor individual research student exchange programs and also support travel to a participating laboratory in another Nordic country.

2010, Analyzing behaviour in fish: From individual to population variation. A three-day workshop is to be held in Hirtshals, Denmark (DTU Aqua). Accurate analysis of behaviour is a vital part of studies of fish neurobiology at all levels spanning from studies of the effect of genetic and phenotypic variation (natural or induced) at the level of individuals to large-scale analyses of population and species variation. There exist a vast variety of different types of behavioural assays and distinct types are often linked to specific fields and questions. This workshop will create a synthesis of the contemporary methods for assays of fish behaviour and also offer students a chance to try common types of assays to learn their strengths and weaknesses.

2011, Molecular techniques in fish neurobiology. A three-day workshop is to be held in Helsinki, Finland. Molecular techniques have developed rapidly and now allow for a more detailed understanding of neuronal and neuroendocrine mechanisms controlling behavioural patterns. This is essential for the use of fish as model in biomedical research. In addition, these techniques are still not applied to their full potential in comparative studies. The techniques are widely used by groups within the biomedical field and other areas within fish behavioural neurobiology would gain greatly from transfer of this knowledge. During the workshop the following areas will be covered: (1) Techniques for quantification of gene expression and proteins, such as qPCR, in situ hybridization, micro array, (2) Techniques for genetic modifications (morpholinos, knock-outs, transgenics), and (3) Techniques for detection of genetic variation (SNP, micro satellites).

2012, Environmental modifications of the fish brain. A three-day workshop is to be held in Bergen, Norway (Uni Research and UiB). Environmental conditions are central in both the short-term molding of the brain as well as the long-term natural selection of populations. As environments change both through anthropogenic disturbance and through climate change there is a growing need to understand the behaviour and functional neurobiology of different fish species and how they are affected by the environment. This workshop will consist of lectures and discussions that will highlight an interdisciplinary approach towards advancing our knowledge and competence for investigating: (1) Ecological consequences of environmental change and restoration, (2) Fish welfare in aquaculture, and (3) Basic principles of fish behaviour and neuroscience using unique models.


Worlshop 2012 12-14 November in Bergen "Environmental modifications of the fish brain".
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