The Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences is inviting applications for a researcher position in the systems biology of farmed salmon (3 years with possibility of extension). The successful candidate will work within the Centre for Integrative Genetics (CIGENE), which includes comprehensive molecular lab facilities and a strong environment dedicated to bioinformatics, and mathematical modeling. Salmon farming is Norway’s biggest export industry besides oil, and CIGENE researchers recently headed the sequencing of the salmon genome. This paves the way for large-scale application of systems biology in salmon farming.
The position is part of the project “Towards the Digital Salmon: From a reactive to a pre-emptive research strategy in aquaculture (DigiSal)”. Headed by NMBU and involving multiple partners in academia, industry and abroad, it is part of the large, prestigious national effort, Digital Life Norway,which is the Research Council of Norway’s first call dedicated to systems biology.
To enable sustainable growth of salmon farming, efforts are underway to develop novel feed ingredients from non-food biomasses. These novel feeds pose challenges both for salmon metabolism and for our understanding of it. DigiSal is a highly interdisciplinary project to understand the complex metabolic and regulatory processes following dietary changes in salmon, combining nutritional expertise, cutting-edge salmon genomics, high-throughput omics technologies and model-based analysis of omics data.
To support this endeavour, DigiSal will establish a “Digital Salmon” knowledge base of salmon genetics and physiology, interfacing closely with complementary databases, repositories, and research infrastructures such as ELIXIR. The Digital Salmon will encompass a coherent digital and mathematical representation of the salmon body, which can be adjusted to represent individuals with different genetic make-ups, populations, disease states, feeding regimes, and other scenarios of interest. Closely related to DigiSal is the ongoing project GenoSysFat, “Integrating genomics and system biology to improve the capacity for synthesis, transport, and filet deposition of EPA/DHA in salmon”.
The successful applicant will be part of a highly inter-disciplinary group and will focus on mathematical modelling and multivariate analysis for integration of knowledge and data (physiological data and -omics data) from all activities in the project. The main activities will be building and refining models to predict metabolic performance in relation to diet and genotype, and publishing biological insights from these models. The work will involve visits to collaborators in the Systems and Synthetic Biology unit in Wageningen, the Netherlands. The researcher will work closely with a dedicated systems biology informatics manager to ensure findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable data and models.