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Population genomics of freshwater sardines in Central African lakes, and its translation into fisheries policy (R-9964)

Small sardine-like freshwater fishes hold the potential to feed millions of people in the Global South. Yet, the biological mechanisms underlying the adaptation and resilience of these fishes to climate change and fishing pressure are poorly understood. Genetic approaches can provide valuable insights into stock structure, demography and adaptability of fish populations, which can be used to prevent overfishing. Despite the importance of this information, it is often still lacking in fisheries management, especially in developing countries. The challenge of my doctoral research is to obtain this knowledge for the Central-African freshwater sardines Stolothrissa tanganicae and Limnothrissa miodon. First, I will develop essential genomic resources for both fishes through the assembly and characterisation of their genomes. Second, I will perform population genomic analyses in order to understand the genetic structure and adaptation of both fishes within and between Lake Tanganyika, Lake Kivu, Lake Kariba and the Cahora Bassa reservoir. Finally, I will investigate how we can practically translate our findings at a management level in the socio-economic context of Sub-Saharan Africa. The project will provide unique insights into the ways species adapt and diversify within the pelagic freshwater realm, and into their ecological resilience in response to anthropogenic introductions and global change.
Date:1 Jun 2021  →  Today
Disciplines:Aquatic biology, Conservation and biodiversity, Ecosystem services, Sustainable fishery management
Project type:Collaboration project