Pål Olsvik

Senior Scientist
Department: Trygt fôr

My research focus is on contaminants and effects on fish (ecotoxicology). The research covers a wide range of environmental toxicants, including heavy metals (Cu, Cd, Hg), organic contaminants and pesticides (dioxins, brominated flame retardants, chlorpyrifos). The main focus is on contaminants found in elevated levels in fish feeds and in fish that may represent a fish health problem or a challenge for seafood safety.

Subject area
Selected publications
Scientific publications

I study how environmental contaminants and stress affect gene transcription and thereby indirect protein synthesis in wild and farmed fish. This research aims to generate novel knowledge on exposure and mode of action (MoA) in the cells. Mechanistic studies can reveal to which degree various cellular systems are disturbed by the exposure, and pinpoint new biomarkers of effect that can be used in later surveillance and fish trials.


• Species: Atlantic salmon, brown trout, rainbow trout, Atlantic cod, saithe, haddock, tusk, burbot, Atlantic herring, Atlantic mackerel, European lobster, deepwater shrimp

• Heavy metals: Cd, Hg (methylmercury), Cu, Cr

• Organic contaminants and pesticides: dioxins, PCB, brominated flame retardants, PFOS, phthalates, endosulfan, chlorpyrifos

• Methods: toxicogenomics, (gene expression - RT-qPCR, microarray, RNA-seq), proteomics, metabolomics

• Mechanisms: detoxification, oxidative stress, epigenetics

• Ongoing activity: In vitro mechanistic studies, cocktail-effects, interactions between contaminants and nutrients, mining activity and marine recipients (heavy metals and processing chemicals), effects of salmon delousing agents on fish and crustaceans

• Olsvik, P.A., Fumière, O., Margry, R.J.C.F., Berben, G., Larsen, N., Alm, M., Berntssen, M.H.G., 2017. Multi-laboratory evaluation of a PCR method for detection of ruminant DNA in commercial processed animal proteins. Food Control, 73, 140-146.

• Olsvik, P.A., Berntssen, M.H., Søfteland, L., 2016. In vitro toxicity of pirimiphos-methyl in Atlantic salmon hepatocytes. Toxicology In Vitro, 10.1016/j.tiv.2016.11.008.

• Olsvik, P.A., Samuelsen, O.B., Agnalt, A.L., Lunestad, B.T., 2015. Transcriptional responses to teflubenzuron exposure in European lobster (Homarus gammarus). Aquatic Toxicology 167, 143-156.

• Olsvik, P.A., Berntssen, M.H., Søfteland, L., 2015. Modifying effects of vitamin E on chlorpyrifos toxicity in Atlantic salmon. PLoS ONE 10, e0119250.

• Olsvik, P.A., Williams, T.D., Tung, H.S., Mirbahai, L., Sanden, M., Skjærven, K.H., Ellingsen, S., 2014. Impacts of TCDD and MeHg on DNA methylation in zebrafish (Danio rerio) across two generations. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - C Toxicology and Pharmacology, 165, 17-27.

• Olsvik, P.A., Vikeså, V., Lie, K.K., Hevrøy, E.M., 2013. Transcriptional responses to temperature and low oxygen stress in Atlantic salmon studied with next-generation sequencing technology. BMC Genomics. 2013, 14(1):817.

• Olsvik, P.A., Lindgren, M., Maage, A., 2013. Mercury contamination in deep-water fish: Transcriptional responses in tusk (Brosme brosme) from a fjord gradient. Aquatic Toxicology, 144-145:172-85.

• Olsvik, P.A., Hemre, G.I., Waagbo, R., 2013. Exploring early micronutrient deficiencies in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) by next-generation sequencing Technology - From black box to functional genomics. PLoS One 8, e69461.

• Olsvik, P.A., Samuelsen, O.B., Erdal, A., Holmelid, B., Lunestad, B.T., 2013. Toxicological assessment of the anti-salmon lice drug diflubenzuron on Atlantic cod Gadus morhua. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 105, 27-43.

• Olsvik, P.A., Berg, V., Lyche, J.L., 2013. Transcriptional profiling in burbot (Lota lota) from Lake Mjøsa - A Norwegian Lake contaminated by several organic pollutants. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 92, 94-103.

• Olsvik, P.A., Lie, K.K., Nordtug, T., Hansen, B.H., 2012. Is chemically dispersed oil more toxic to Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) larvae than mechanically dispersed oil? BMC Genomics, 2012, 13:702, doi:10.1186/1471-2164-13-702.

• Olsvik, P.A., Amlund, H., Torstensen, B. 2011. Dietary lipids modulate methylmercury toxicity in Atlantic salmon. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 49(12), 3258-71.

• Olsvik, P.A., Brattås, M., Lie, K.K., Goksøyr, A. 2011. Transcriptional responses in juvenile Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) after exposure to mercury-contaminated sediments obtained near the wreck of the German WW2 submarine U-864, and from Bergen Harbor, Western Norway. Chemosphere, 83, 552-563.

• Olsvik, P.A., Kroglund, F., Finstad, B., Kristensen, T. 2010. Effects of the fungicide azoxystrobin on Altantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) smolt. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 73(8), 1852-61.

  • 2015

    Pål Asgeir Olsvik, Marc Berntssen, Rune Waagbø, Ernst Morten Hevrøy, Liv Ingeborg Rosvoll Søfteland

    The mining chemical Polydadmac is cytotoxic but does not interferewith Cu-induced toxicity in Atlantic salmon hepatocytes

    Toxicology in Vitro; Volum 30. S. 492-505
    • År: 2015

    Liv Ingeborg Rosvoll Søfteland, Marc Berntssen, Jennifer A. Kirwan, Trond Røvik Størseth, Mark.R. Viant, Bente Elisabeth Torstensen, Rune Waagbø, Pål Asgeir Olsvik

    Omega-3 and alpha-tocopherol provide more protection against contaminants in novel feeds for Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) than omega-6 and gamma tocopherol

    Toxicology reports;
    • År: 2015

    Samuel Penglase, Kristin Hamre, Pål Asgeir Olsvik, Espen Grøtan, Andreas Hoel Nordgreen

    Rotifers enriched with iodine, copper and manganese had no effect on larval cod (Gadus morhua) growth, mineral status or redox system gene mRNA levels

    Aquaculture Research; Volum 46.(8) S. 1793-1800
    • År: 2015

    Pål Asgeir Olsvik, Marc Berntssen, Liv Ingeborg Rosvoll Søfteland

    Modifying effects of vitamin E on chlorpyrifos toxicity in Atlantic salmon

    PLoS ONE; Volum 10.(3)
    • År: 2015

    Pål Asgeir Olsvik, Heidi Amlund, Øystein Sæle, Ståle Ellingsen, Kaja Helvik Skjærven

    Impact of dietary selenium on methylmercury toxicity in juvenile Atlantic cod: A transcriptional survey

    Chemosphere; Volum 120. S. 199-205
    • År: 2015

    Ernst Morten Hevrøy, Cristian K. Tipsmark, Sofie C. Remø, Tom Johnny Hansen, Miki Fukuda, Thomas Torgersen, Vibeke Vikeså, Pål Asgeir Olsvik, Rune Waagbø, Munetaka Shimizu

    Role of the GH-IGF-1 system in Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout postsmolts at elevated water temperature

    Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A; Volum 188. S. 127-138
    • År: 2015

    Pål Asgeir Olsvik, Henning Andre Urke, Tom Ole Nilsen, John Birger Ulvund, Torstein Kristensen

    Effects of mining chemicals on fish: exposure to tailings containing Lilaflot D817M induces CYP1A transcription in Atlantic salmon smolt

    BMC Research Notes; Volum 8.(1)
    • År: 2015

    Pål Asgeir Olsvik, Ole Bent Samuelsen, Ann-Lisbeth Agnalt, Bjørn Tore Lunestad

    Transcriptional responses to teflubenzuron exposure in European lobster (Homarus gammarus)

    Aquatic Toxicology; Volum 167. S. 143-156
    • År: 2015
  • 2014

    Pål Asgeir Olsvik, Robin Ørnsrud, Bjørn Tore Lunestad, Nils Steine, Børge Nilsen Fredriksen

    Transcriptional responses in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) exposed to deltamethrin, alone or in combination with azamethiphos

    Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part C: Toxicology & Pharmacology; Volum 162.(1) S. 23-33
    • År: 2014

    Elisabeth Holen, Pål Asgeir Olsvik

    Aryl hydrocarbon receptor protein and Cyp1A1 gene induction by LPS and phenanthrene in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) head kidney cells

    Fish and Shellfish Immunology; Volum 40.(2) S. 384-391
    • År: 2014

    Sofie C. Remø, Ernst Morten Hevrøy, Pål Asgeir Olsvik, Ramón Fontanillas, Olav Breck, Rune Waagbø

    Dietary histidine requirement to reduce the risk and severity of cataracts is higher than the requirement for growth in Atlantic salmon smolts, independently of the dietary lipid source

    British Journal of Nutrition; Volum 111.(10) S. 1759-1772
    • År: 2014

    Pål Asgeir Olsvik, Timothy Williams, Hai-Shan Tung, Leda Mirbahai, Monica Sanden, Kaja Helvik Skjærven, Ståle Ellingsen

    Impacts of TCDD and MeHg on DNA methylation in zebrafish (Danio rerio) across two generations

    Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part C: Toxicology & Pharmacology; Volum 165. S. 17-27
    • År: 2014

    Kristin Hamre, Samuel Penglase, Josef Daniel Rasinger, Kaja Helvik Skjærven, Pål Asgeir Olsvik

    Ontogeny of redox regulation in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) larvae

    Free Radical Biology & Medicine; Volum 73. S. 337-348
    • År: 2014

    Liv Ingeborg Rosvoll Søfteland, Jennifer A. Kirwan, Tiago S.F. Hori, Trond Røvik Størseth, Ulf Sommer, Marc Berntssen, Mark.R. Viant, Matthew L. Rise, Rune Waagbø, Bente Elisabeth Torstensen, Marije Booman, Pål Asgeir Olsvik

    Toxicological effect of single contaminants and contaminant mixtures associated with plant ingredients in novel salmon feeds

    Food and Chemical Toxicology; Volum 73. S. 157-174
    • År: 2014

    Kaja Helvik Skjærven, Kristin Hamre, Samuel Penglase, Roderick Nigel Finn, Pål Asgeir Olsvik

    Thermal stress alters expression of genes involved in one carbon and DNA methylation pathways in Atlantic cod embryos

    Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A; Volum 173. S. 17-27
    • År: 2014

    Marta Eide, Odd Andre Karlsen, Harald Kryvi, Pål Asgeir Olsvik, Anders Goksøyr

    Precision-cut liver slices of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua): An in vitro system for studying the effects of environmental contaminants

    Aquatic Toxicology; Volum 153. S. 110-115
    • År: 2014
  • 2013

    Kaja Helvik Skjærven, Samuel Penglase, Pål Asgeir Olsvik, Kristin Hamre

    Redox regulation in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) embryos developing under normal and heat-stressed conditions

    Free Radical Biology & Medicine; Volum 57. S. 29-38
    • År: 2013

    Ann-Cecilie Hansen, Pål Asgeir Olsvik, Gro Ingunn Hemre

    Effect of different dietary vitamin B12 levels on their retention in the body of zebrafish Danio rerio and on the gene expression of vitamin B12 binding proteins

    Aquaculture Nutrition; Volum 19.(3) S. 413-420
    • År: 2013

    Pål Asgeir Olsvik, Vidar Berg, Jan Ludvig Lyche

    Transcriptional profiling in burbot (Lota lota) from Lake Mjosa-A Norwegian Lake contaminated by several organic pollutants

    Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety; Volum 92. S. 94-103
    • År: 2013

    Pål Asgeir Olsvik, Gro Ingunn Hemre, Rune Waagbø

    Exploring Early Micronutrient Deficiencies in Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) by Next-Generation Sequencing Technology - From Black Box to Functional Genomics

    PLoS ONE; Volum 8.(7)
    • År: 2013
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