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Swapping waders for business attire

Anne Hege Straume’s day-to-day work consists of editing the genome of salmon eggs. She and the other postdocs at the Institute of Marine Research are now getting ready to act as eyes and ears during the upcoming ocean conference in Bergen this autumn.

“In my research, I work on tiny little molecules. The conference will be addressing the huge questions concerning our oceans. That will be an exciting contrast”, says Anne Hege Straume enthusiastically.

Precision work in the lab

At the molecular laboratory in Bergen, Anne Hege sits in deep concentration. She is preparing test tubes with proteins, RNA and DNA that will soon be injected into salmon eggs.

Using the method known as CRISPR/Cas9, scientists can edit the genome of animals. For example, they can switch off the gene that controls sexual development in farmed salmon.

Anne Hege is working on perfecting and developing the method for salmon. The injections she prepares contain a protein that can cut the egg’s DNA, and a “guide” that says exactly where and in which gene the protein should cut. (Video: Erlend A. Lorentzen/IMR)

All hands on deck

Each autumn, Anne Hege’s team travels to the research station at Matre to fertilise salmon eggs and edit their genomes.

“After the eggs have been fertilised, we have to work quickly with the injections. At that point we need all hands on deck”, says Anne Hege.

This autumn Anne Hege will take a break from her work at the lab and the research station. The postdocs at the IMR have been given an important role at the government’s conference “Science for Ocean Actions” in Bergen.

The postdocs will act as observers, or eyes and ears, during the conference on the oceans.

From field work to science conference

The postdocs at the IMR will write brief summaries of the discussions taking place around the tables where marine scientists from all over the world will be giving their input to Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s high level panel on sustainable oceans.

Normally, the postdocs spend a lot of time doing field work, carrying out research on everything from cold-water coral reefs through the welfare of fish in cages to the impacts of oil spills on fish larvae. Now they will need to dust off their Sunday best.

The young scientists’ contribution during the conference will provide the basis for a report to Erna Solberg’s expert panel.



Blått HI  Eirik Hagesæter

About the conference

“Science for Ocean Actions” is being held at Hotel Norge by Scandic in Bergen on 20–21 November 2018.

Managing Director at IMR Sissel Rogne will open the conference, and Prime Minister Erna Solberg will also give a speech on the opening day of the conference.

135 marine scientists from 49 countries will attend.

The scientists will make recommendations to Erna Solberg’s High-level Panel on Building a Sustainable Ocean Economy.


(Photo: Eirik Hagesæter)