B2-AR expression FF


The COPEWELL project ended 31 December 2015 and has now delivered its final reports.

The project that has run for 54 months involving 17 partners from 10 countries has achieved it’s main objective: To construct a knowledge base for a new integrative framework for the study of fish welfare based on the concepts of allostasis, appraisal, and coping styles.  The knowledge generated can already be found in 26 published papers so far, and we expect at least 20 more to come in 2016.  The COPEWELL web page will be continuously updated.

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New thesis

Sebastien Ferarri successfully defended his thesis at University of La Rochelle.

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Final meeting

The project is approaching the end and it is time to sum up our findings. The Copewell partners met in Bergen 12-14 November to discuss how our original hypothesis  compared to the results from all the experiments and data analysis, and to make plans for the final reporting.

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New paper: Effect of predictability on the stress response to chasing in Atlantic salmon Parr

Our excellent PhD-student Angelico Madaro (IMR) has recently, together with Anders Fernö (UiB), Tore S Kristiansen (IMR), Rolf Erik Olsen (IMR), Marnix Gorissen (RUN), Gert Flik (RUN) and Jonatan Nilsson (IMR), published a study in Physiology & Behavior.

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New review paper: Coping styles in farmed fish: consequences for aquaculture

Congratulations to our excellent PhD-student Maria Filipa Castanheira (CCMAR) who has now, together with Luís E.C. Conceição (CCMAR, Sparos), Sandie Millot (IFREMER), Sonia Rey (UAB, USTIR), Marie-Laure Bégout (IFREMER), Børge Damsgård (UiT),Tore Kristiansen (IMR), Erik Höglund (DTU, UoA), Øyvind Øverli (NMBU) and Catarina I.M. Martins (CCMAR), published a review paper about coping styles in farmed fish in the journal Reviews in Aquaculture.

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New paper: Stress in Atlantic salmon: response to unpredictable chronic stress

Our excellent PhD-student Angelico Madaro (IMR) has recently, together with Rolf Erik Olsen (IMR), Tore S Kristiansen(IMR), Lars OE Ebbesson (UNI), Tom O Nilsen(UNI), Gert Flik (RUN) and  Marnic Gorrissen (RUN), published a study in The Journal of Experimental Biology.

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COPEwell Workshop April 10-11, 2015


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4th Annual Meeting

Representatives from all participants joined the 4th annual Copewell meeting in San Sebastian 17-18 October.

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COPEwell Session Aquaculture Europe 2014

Welcome to the COPEwell Session at the EAS Aquaculture  Europe 2014 conference in Donostia/San Sebastian, Spain, Thursday  16th October.

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New paper: Linking risk taking and the behavioral and metabolic responses to confinement stress in gilthead seabream Sparus aurata

Risk taking and avoidance responses during confinement have been identified in a variety of species, including fish. In addition, differences in metabolic rate have also been attributed to divergent personalities, coping styles or behavioral types. In this study we disclose for the first time a link between risk taking and the behavioral responses and oxygen consumption under confinement stress in the gilthead seabream Sparus aurata.

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Course in Lab Animal Welfare

In May 2014 Dr. Michalis Pavlidis organizes a course in Lab Animal Welfare at the University of Crete.

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New presentation about genetic selection

Presentation on genetic selection to reduce stress responsiveness in salmonid fishes available for download.

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Two new Posters

There are now two new Posters available for download.

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New poster and article on animal personalities

Combining animal personalities with transcriptomics resolves individual variation within a wild-type zebrafish population and identifies underpinning molecular differences in brain function

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Third Annual COPEwell meeting completed

Hosted by COPEwell partner IFREMER  28 project participants from all but one partner  met in LaRochelle, France  the first days of October to discuss status, results and challenges of  the project. The second day we also arranged a work shop focusing on the concept of Allostasis, presented by invited speaker Prof. Mechiel Korte from University of Utrecht. 

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Four new posters available in Dissemination

There are now four new Posters available for download.

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Third Annual COPEwell meeting

Hosted by COPEwell partner IFREMER all partners will meet in LaRochelle  the first days of October to discuss status, results and challenges of  the project. The second day will be a work shop focusing on the concept of Allostasis, presented by invited speaker Prof. Mechiel Korte from University of Utrecht,   and general on methodological challenges reaching the COPEwell aims.

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Task 2.2.3 completed in Matre

The experiment on appraisal mechanisms in salmon was carried out during February and March and is now finished.

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New paper: Can We Predict Personality in Fish? Searching for Consistency over Time and across Contexts

New COPEwell paper in PLOS ONE from Maria Filipa Castanheira, Louis Conceicao, Catarina Martins and colleagues from Portugal: Can We Predict Personality in Fish? Searching for Consistency over Time and across Contexts.

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Summary of activities and results from the first 18 months

We have now delivered the first periodic report from the project and the project is running at full speed. A lot of experiments, analysis, and writing and other dissemination is ongoing and the first scientific papers have already been published. 

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Sampling task 3.1.1 successfully finished in Matre

In the last week of February, several COPEWELL partners met at the IMR facilities in Matre (Norway) to sample salmon plasma and brains.

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How do Atlantic salmon parr and smolts adapt to long time chronic stress?

The first big experiment with Atlantic salmon in WP3 has started at IMR, Matre research station. The goal of the study is to compare how the fish are able to adapt to long time exposure to a predictable stressor and several unpredictable stressors.

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New paper: Environmental effects on fish neural plasticity and cognition

Lars Ebbesson (Uni Research A/S) and Victoria Braithwaithe  (The Pennsylvania State University) have recently published a review in Jounal of Fish Biology that give a nice overview over new knowledge about neural plasticity and cognition in fishes and how this affects their ability to cope with  environmental challenges. These are also central research areas in the COPEwell project, where we expect new discoveries from Lars and Victoria and the other project partners.

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Blood sampling in Tromsø

For almost a year nearly 500 salmon have been monitored to understand the development of the individual behaviour from hatching to the smolt stage. In January 2013 samples from these fish went to several labs around Europe in order to understand their physiological coping styles.

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Sampling of salmon skin patterns

Can the spot pattern of salmon be related to their coping style?  This is one of many questions we seek to answer in the COPEwell-project.

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Second annual meeting in COPEwell

The second annual meeting in  COPEwell was conducted October 3-5 2012 at  Hotel Imperial Belverdere in Hersonissos Crete, and  was hosted by prof. Michalis Pavlidis, University of Crete.

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Brain sampling in Faro

During the first 3 days of November several COPEwell partners met in Faro (Portugal - CCMAR) to sample seabream brains.

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COPEwell kicks off in Estoril, Portugal

36 participants representing all 17 partners, and the project officer from EU, met 25-27 September at Hotel Inglaterra in Estoril, Portugal for the Kick off meeting, hosted by Rui Oliveira  and colleagues at ISPA.

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The COPEwell logo selected

 To select the official COPEwell logo we arranged a competion between all particiants.

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Whats New?

The COPEwell-website was published 1'ste of September 2011. The goal of the website is to present project aims, the background of the project, outcome from experiments and the general progress of the project. Project results will be made accessible to the public provided that IP rights are respected. Website activities will comprise the disclosure of information to third parties such as the scientific community and the general public. 

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The COPEwell Project:

COPEWELL – A new integrative framework for the study of fish welfare based on the concepts of allostasis, appraisal and coping styles

Project period: 2011-2015

COPEwell leaflet (PDF)


Tore S. Kristiansen 
Project coordinator
Animal welfare