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Doctoral defence in Biology - Rosanne Beukeboom

Doctoral defence in Biology - Rosanne Beukeboom - Available at University of Iceland
Thu, 26/10/2023 - 13:00 to 15:00


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Doctoral candidate: Rosanne Beukeboom

Dissertation title: Can personality predict movement patterns and space use in fishes?
A study case on partial-migrating Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) and stream-dwelling Arctic Charr (Salvelinus alpinus)

Opponents:  Dr.Alison M. Bell, Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, USA
Dr. Filipa Isabel Pereira Samarra, Research Specialist at the University of Iceland Research Center, Vestman Islands

Advisor: Dr. David Benhaïm, Professor at Hólar University

Supervisor: Dr. Snæbjörn Pálsson, Professor at the Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Iceland

Other members of Doctoral Committee: 
Dr. Stefán Óli Steingrímsson, Professor at Hólar University, Iceland
Dr. Ingibjörg G. Jónsdóttir, Marine Ecologist at Marine and Freshwater Research Institute, Iceland

Chair of Ceremony: Dr. Arnar Pálsson, Professor at the Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Iceland


Individuals within a population often differ predictably in their behaviour compared to other members across time and/or context, often termed personality, which can have major implications for ecology and evolution. Personality includes variation in the levels of risk-taking behaviour (i.e. boldness), exploratory behaviour, activity in a familiar environment, aggressiveness and sociality and often the variables correlate, i.e. they form a behavioural syndrome. The role of consistent differences in movement behaviour within this framework has only been highlighted recently. Additionally, not many studies have examined the influence of seasonal change on behavioural stability or validated laboratory behaviour with natural behaviour. In this thesis, I studied personality, behavioural syndromes and their relation to movement (i.e. local foraging patterns, larger-scale space use and feeding migration) in two fish species, i.e. Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) that exhibit partial migration and a population of stream-dwelling Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus), which habitat is ideal to study space use. Additionally, I investigated the potential effect of seasonal changes and measurement environment (i.e. laboratory, semi-wild and wild) on personality and movement. The results indicate that personality is present between time intervals, especially for movement-related traits (i.e. activity and exploration, which were identified as two separate traits) and found that this may be related to a feeding migration-linked gene in Atlantic cod. However, no evidence was found for repeatable behaviours across context, i.e. season and environment, in Arctic charr. Additionally, not much evidence for behavioural syndromes was found in these two species. The findings encourage future personality studies to be clear in the definitions used and to take context into account when studying personality. Finally, I examine how personality may have implications for management.

About the doctoral candidate

Rosanne Beukeboom was born and raised in the Netherlands. After she finished a BSc in Music Therapy in 2005, she started traveling and decided while watching a sea turtle nesting on a beach in Costa Rica in 2008 that she needed to expand her career. She completed her BSc degree in Biology in 2013 and her MSc degree in Behavioural Ecology in 2015, both at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. She has worked on many projects since her Bachelor's degree, including several species, among several taxa in several parts of the world, which she is aiming to continue in the future. During her PhD, she explored the depths of consistent repeatable behaviour and has mastered programming and analyzing data in R, which she taught in two courses for the UNESCO Gró-FTP at Hólar University.

Rosanne Beukeboom

Doctoral defence in Biology - Rosanne Beukeboom