autumn 2015

BIO-2504 Fish Physiology - 10 stp

Last changed: 27.01.2016

The course is administrated by

Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics


Tromsø |

Application deadline

Applicants from Nordic countries: 1 June for the autumn semester and 1 December for the spring semester. Concerns only admission to singular courses. Exchange students and Fulbright students: 1 October for the spring semester and 15 April for the autumn semester.

Type of course

The course is available for students at the study programs: Fiskeri- og havbruksvitenskap, Akvamedisin, Biologi, klima og miljø and Miljøledelse og forurensningsbiologi. The course is also available to exchange students at a biology study program. The course is available as a singular course.

Admission requirements

Applicants from Nordic countries must have:

Generell studiekompetanse, samt følgende spesielle opptakskrav:

Matematikk R1 eller matematikk S1+S2 og i tillegg ett av følgende programfag:

  • Matematikk (R1+R2)
  • Fysikk (1+2)
  • Kjemi (1+2)
  • Biologi (1+2)
  • Informasjonsteknologi (1+2)
  • Geofag (1+2)
  • Teknologi og forskningslære (1+2)

Application code: 9336 (Nordic applicants). It is a requirement that students have  some prior knowledge of biology and ecology, chemistry and mathematics. (Participants must have taken introductory level university courses, and achieved pass grades, in these subjects).

International applicants: Higher Education Entrance Qualification and certified language requirements in English. It is a requirement that students have  some prior knowledge of biology and ecology, chemistry and mathematics. A list of the requirements for the Higher Education Entrance Qualification in Norway can be found on the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education website -

Obligatory prerequisites

BIO-2002 Physiology II (Animal Physiology)

Course contents

The course describes physiological mechanisms in fish. Topics covered include nerves and sense organs, endocrinology, circulation, respiration, iono- and osmoregulation, digestive system, reproduction, parr-smolt transformation and stress in fish.

Objective of the course

After completing the course, the students should know:

  • The structure, function and physiology of major organs in fish; the nervous system and sense organs, the respiratory and circulatory systems, the digestive system, the kidneys and the osmoregulatory system, the endocrine organs and the reproductive system.
  • How environmental factors such as temperature, photoperiod and water quality affect the physiology of fish, with particular emphasis on coldwater species.
  • Common causes of stress in fish kept in captivity, with special emphasis on cultured species (e.g. Atlantic salmon).
  • How to read, discuss and present scientific data.

The students should be able to:

  • Describe the structure and function of major organs in fish, and explain their physiology.
  • Describe how environmental factors such as temperature, photoperiod and water quality affect the homeostasis of fish, with particular emphasis on physiological adaptations in coldwater species.
  • Describe the General Adaptation Syndrome and how abiotic (environmental) and biotic (e.g. food, behavior) stressors may affect the homeostasis and physiology of fish.
  • Write a scientific report based on laboratory work.

The course will give the students:

  • A general background in fish physiology.
  • An understanding of how important biotic and abiotic factors affect the physiology and welfare of cultured fish.
  • Insights into how experimental studies on fish are performed.
  • Skills in reading, discussing and presenting scientific data.


Language of instruction


Teaching methods

The course has multiple teaching approaches


4 hours written exam. A graded scale of five marks from A to E for pass and F for fail.

Coursework requirements: Laboratory report. In order to sit an examination, the student must complete and gain approval for any coursework requirements.

There will be a re-sit examination for students that did not pass the previous ordinary examination.

Date for examination

One written exam 10.12.2015

The date for the exam can be changed. The final date will be announced in the StudentWeb early in May and early in November.


Recommended reading/syllabus

Fish Physiology. From an ecophysiological perspective. Compendium (CD) by Malcolm Jobling.
Lectures Autumn 2015
First attendance: see schedule


Helge K. Johnsen

Phone: +4777644489


Andreassen, Siv

Student advisor
Phone: +4777646381