Stress hormone and swimming capacity and energy use in rainbow trout




North Jutland

Animals in captivity, including fish in aquaculture, may periodically or even chronically experience stress. The primary stress hormone in fish is cortisol. Cortisol is released from the head kidney in response to a variety of stressful factors, such as aggression from conspecifics or unfavourable environmental parameters. Cortisol is released, in part, to mobilize energy reserves to fuel the stress response and recover. However, during periods of chronic stress, increased cortisol levels negatively influence the energetics of fish, and are likely to impede their scope for activity. 
The aim of the project is to examine the effects of chronic cortisol levels in rainbow trout by implanting cortisol releasing stores in the fish, based on a previous determination of baseline levels and magnitude of the natural cortisol response. The student will investigate the effects on swimming performance, metabolic rates during rest and activity, and recovery from exhaustive exercise. Depending on time and chosen ECTS, aspects of blood biochemistry, feed intake and growth may also be included.


Meticulous and determined person with an interest and passion for experimental physiology with fish. Relevant coursework history on animal, exercise, and/or stress physiology

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Company / Organization

DTU Aqua


Peter Vilhelm Skov




Supervisor info

MSc in Aquatic Science and Technology


Peter Vilhelm Skov


Manuel Gesto

ECTS credits

25 - 35


MSc thesis

Technical University of Denmark

For almost two centuries DTU, Technical University of Denmark, has been dedicated to fulfilling the vision of H.C. Ørsted – the father of electromagnetism – who founded the university in 1829 to develop and create value using the natural sciences and the technical sciences to benefit society.

Today, DTU is ranked as one of the foremost technical universities in Europe, continues to set new records in the number of publications, and persistently increases and develops our partnerships with industry, and assignments accomplished by DTU’s public sector consultancy.

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