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Highlighted PhD Projects

Headshot Alexandre GEFFROY.jpg

Alexandre Geffroy - University of Strasbourg

Towards the identification of anti-atrophy compounds in bear serum

In humans, sedentary lifestyle and fasting are associated with muscle atrophy and the development of pathologies, such as metabolic syndrome. Conversely, muscle loss is very limited in brown bears during the 5 to 7 months of hibernation. Previous studies have demonstrated the existence of as yet unknown compounds (anti-atrophy) in the serum of hibernating brown bears, which are likely involved in muscle preservation. Using a combination of cell and molecular biology and proteomics approaches, this thesis project aims to better understand how bear serum modulates protein balance and to identify circulating anti-atrophy compounds in hibernating bear blood.


Rick Heeres - University of South-Eastern Norway

“Affairs in the forest”: The seasonal sociality within brown bears

Based on prior research, brown bears (Ursus arctos) are classified as an ‘nonsocial’ species. By quantifying the sociality of brown bears during a year, we want to investigate the variation/gradient of sociality within the population (based on e.g., sex, age, body condition, season). The objective of the PhD project is to contribute towards a fundamental understanding of how sociality affects fitness (reproduction, survival) and space use of solitary-living animals, and also how anthropogenic effects, especially hunting, affect the evolutionary trajectory of such species.


Lucy Lemiere - Inland Norway Univeristy of Applied Sciences

​Reproductive ecophysiology and phenology of moose and brown bear in a changing climate

Lucie is a veterinarian with a Masters in Ecology, Ecophysiology and Ethology from the University of Strasbourg (France). Lucie collaborated with the One Health & Ecophysiology group as part of her veterinary and master’s thesis in 2021 before starting a PhD in applied ecology at INN in January 2022. Her research focuses on the reproductive ecophysiology and phenology of large mammals. As a wildlife veterinarian, she also attends captures of various mammal species in Scandinavia.


Alexandra Thiel - Inland Norway Univeristy of Applied Sciences

​Effects of capture and environmental conditions on Scandinavian brown bears

For her masters degree, Alex already collaborated with the One Health & Ecophysiology research group at Evenstad and wrote a thesis on body temperature and activity patterns in wolverines. In 2020, Alex started her PhD studying the effects of capture and environmental conditions on brown bears. 

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