Fredrik Jutfelt.
Associate professor Fredrik Jutfelt is head of the Fish Ecophysiology group. Photo: Per Harald Olsen/NTNU

NTNU researcher wins ERC Consolidator Grant

The EU has awarded two million euros for research on how animals are coping with climate changes.

The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant to Associate Professor Fredrik Jutfelt and his research project CLIMEVOLVE. Jutfelt is affiliated with NTNU’s Department of Biology.

ERC Consolidator Grants are awarded to world-class research groups that want to expand their research capacity. These grants are highly competitive and require the research in question to maintain an outstanding level. They are among one of the most prestigious and competitive basic research grants in the world.

CLIMEVOLVE  will use its EUR 2 million to study how fish cope with changes in temperature.

Are species adapting fast enough?

The climate is changing. If warming trends have an evolutionary impact, more species will need to adapt, and over several generations these changes could be significant.

The project focuses on the physiological mechanisms fish use to adapt to warming. The group is currently working on many different fish species to answer questions about impacts of warming, and the ability for thermal acclimation and adaptation in fishes. This project will focus on thermal adaptation in zebrafish and in sticklebacks living in geothermally heated lakes on Iceland.

Among the questions Jutfelt and his research group are trying to answer  is whether species have time to adapt quickly enough to keep up with climate change.


For four years, researchers have been investigating how a tropical fish species called zebrafish (Danio rerio) adapts to a warmer climate, especially with regard to extreme warm periods. Photo: Per Harald Olsen, NTNU

Jutfelt has created a well-established research group. This group breeds zebrafish based on their ability to cope with high temperatures. The researchers have come up with startling results.

A new article on the subject is expected within a few days in a prestigious journal.

The project is entitled “Evolution and mechanisms of thermal performance – answers through artificial selection in zebrafish.”

You can read more about the Fish Ecophysiology Lab here.