New member of staff: Zoran Sargac

Hello everyone! My name is Zoran Sargac and I am a new Postdoc research fellow at the Department of Biological Sciences as a part of SEAS programme.

I am originally from Croatia, where I finished my bachelor’s in Environmental Sciences and master’s in Experimental Biology (Zoology). I whave always been interested in aquatic ecosystems and interactions between animals and environmental drivers, especially in the climate change era. My focus are invertebrates, particularly crustaceans. Around 6 years ago, during my master, I did ERASMUS + traineeship and came here at the UiB in the Department of Biological Sciences where I shortly worked with Prof. Henrik Glenner and his group on parasitic crustaceans and eventually fell in love with those weird unexplored creatures. After my master’s, I did my PhD in Germany (University of Greifswald, Alfred Wegener Institute) where I specialised in crustacean larval ecology. I performed multipopulation common garden experiments with decapod crab (Carcinus maenas) larvae studying their performance in different salinity and temperature treatments.

For the next three years I will be working on my project as a part of SEAS programme at the Department of Biological Sciences as a part of Fjord and Coastal Ecology group. I am planning to combine my expertise in larval ecology with my passion for parasitic crustaceans. I will be studying larval development and settlement patterns in two parasitic barnacles: Sacculina carcini and Anelasma squalicola. I am curious about effects of environmental drivers and inter- and intra-population differences that drive host specificity. I am planning to perform multidisciplinary research combining population genetics analysis over the European coast, multipopulation common garden experiment with different environmental drivers and settlement assays to test the preference of the parasites for different host species (local and invasive species), together with different molecular and genetic approaches. Understanding ecology of the species, environmental processes, host-parasite interactions, and spatial-temporal patterns in infection prevalence is essential for future management of marine ecosystems and aquaculture. Findings from this project will help in future assessments of marine habitats and resources and provide input for safer manipulation of invasive marine species by parasite-based biological control.

I am looking forward to meeting everyone and I am happy to talk and exchange ideas. I am also open for collaborations and cooperations if someone is interested.

Oh, and I love rain and darkness, so I consider weather here amazing! 😊

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