PhD course in Salmon lice biology

Arranged by Sea Lice Research Centre (SLRC) and Molecular and Computational Biology Research School (MCB).

Day to day plan for the PhD Course: Plan PhD Course 2015

Salmon lice are classified as copepods that are typically small crustaceans that include more than 20000 species where many of them survive as parasites. Salmon lice are a challenge for wild salmon and trout and represent a threat to aquaculture industry. Salmon lice has interest of pure scientific reasons as a representative of parasitic copepods, and as an aquaculture pest. The knowledge about this organism therefore should have interests for many biologists from molecular biologists to evolutionary developmental studies in addition to candidates in fish health studies and veterinary medicine.


The course will consist of a mixture of lectures and practicals. The students will have to be present at University of Bergen for one week (Monday-Friday). Literature covering the topics at the course equal to one week workload will be provided three weeks before the course. The course will have a one hour written exam. The course will give 3 credits.


The theoretical aims of the course are to provide:

  • The lifecycle of salmon louse
  • Specific focus on key biological events: The infection process, Host-parasite interaction (immunomodulation) and reproduction
  • Genomics and transcriptomics
  • Resistance and use of chemicals
  • Integrated pest management


The practical aims of the course:

  • PCR and preparation of double stranded RNA
  • Performance of RNA interference in nauplius larvae
  • Husbandry: rearing, picking, hatching, sorting, counting, infection
  • Bioinformatics; use of Licebase
  • Bioassays
  • Histological techniques
  • RNA isolation



MSc degree in biology/molecular biology, degree in veterinary medicine, or equivalent. Background in practical and theoretical molecular biology as well as basic experience with bioinformatics is recommended. If you are unsure whether your background is suitable, please contact the organizers.


Organizer and main tutors:

Rune Male, professor, University of Bergen/SLRC (

Sussie Dalvin, researcher, Institute of Marine Research/SLRC (

Tor Einar Horsberg, professor, NMBU, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Biosciences/SLRC (


  • 3 ECTS credits will be awarded for the course
  • Registration for Salmon Lice biology: The course is closed for registration
  • Registration deadline: September 30. 2015
  • Maximum number of students is 12 Selecion of candidates will be made by the organizers/main tutors
  • Course fee: There will be no course fee, but students must have funding for accommodation and subsistence. Up to four international students may get support for travel and accommodation from SLRC. Students from US/Canada/Chile may get a travel grant of up to 10.000 NOK and students from EU/ may receive support up to 7.500 NOK. Applications for grants must be accompanied by a supporting letter from the PhD supervisor and a letter of intent from the applicant. The application for financial support shall be uploaded through the registration form.
  • Course Dates: Week 44, October 26-30, 2015
  • Course lay-out: Three weeks ahead of the course the participants will receive literature for preparations to the course. Each day during the course 3 students will give a short presentation of selected papers for the rest of the participants. Each course day will start with a lecture session. The afternoon session includes the journalclub and practical lab work.
  • Course exam: Friday afternoon will include a one hour written exam.


Administered by: University of Bergen, Department of Biology, PO box: 7803, NO-5020 Bergen,
Phone: +47 55 58 44 00, E-mail: