Kim Birnie-Gauvin

Kim Birnie-Gauvin
Technical University of Denmark | DTU · National Institute of Aquatic Resources

PhD

About

55
Publications
26,746
Reads
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Introduction
I study migratory fishes (e.g., brown trout, Atlantic salmon, bluefin tuna) including their physiology and behaviour, especially as it pertains to coping with environmental change. I'm also hugely invested in their conservation - evaluating management strategies, with a focus on barriers in freshwater ecosystems.
Additional affiliations
January 2020 - present
Technical University of Denmark
Position
  • PostDoc Position
December 2016 - December 2019
Technical University of Denmark
Position
  • PhD Student
September 2015 - November 2016
Carleton University
Position
  • Master's Student

Publications

Publications (55)
Article
Full-text available
Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus; ABFT) is one of the most iconic fish species in the world. Recently, after being very rare for more than half a century, large bluefin tunas have returned to Nordic waters in late summer and autumn, marking the return of the largest predatory fish in Nordic waters. By tagging 18 bluefin tunas with electronic...
Article
Movement of fishes in the aquatic realm is fundamental to their ecology and survival. Movement can be driven by a variety of biological, physiological, and environmental factors occurring across all spatial and temporal scales. The intrinsic capacity of movement to impact fish individually (e.g., foraging) with potential knock‐on effects throughout...
Article
Natal homing is a prevalent life-history strategy among salmonids. However, not all individuals return to their natal river, a behaviour known as straying. In this study, we investigated the prevalence of straying and its connection to different life-history characteristics in an anadromous brown trout (Salmo trutta) population. In total, 21 538 ju...
Article
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Many government organizations use recovery planning to synthesize threats, propose management strategies, and determine recovery criteria for threatened wildlife. Little is known about the extent to which physiological knowledge has been used in recovery planning, despite its potential to offer key biological information that could aid in recovery...
Article
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There are many syntheses on the role of animal behavior in understanding and mitigating conservation threats for wildlife. That body of work has inspired the development of a new discipline called conservation behavior. Yet, the majority of those synthetic papers focus on non-fish taxa such as birds and mammals. Many fish populations are subject to...
Preprint
We estimate over 200,000 km or 10% of previously free-flowing river habitat length has been lost due to impoundments, an amount equivalent to the entire length of rivers in Italy. This loss strongly depends on the biogeographical location and a type of impounding barrier. European rivers are disconnected by more than one million man-made barriers t...
Article
Full-text available
Anguillid eel populations have declined dramatically over the last 50 years in many regions of the world, and numerous species are now under threat. A critical life-history phase is migration from freshwater to distant oceans, culminating in a single life-time spawning event. For many anguillids, especially those in the southern hemisphere, mystery...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Настоящий документ является техническим документом, способствующим достижению региональных результатов в рамках проекта программы технического сотрудничества ФАО (TCP/RER/3701) «Системы и методологии сбора данных о рыболовстве во внутренних водоемах Европы», финансируемого Региональным отделением ФАО для Европы и Центральной Азии. Данная работа осу...
Article
Full-text available
Barrier removal is increasingly being seen as the optimal solution to restore lotic habitat and fish communities, however, evidence of its efficacy is often limited to single sites or catchments. This study used a before–after methodology to examine the short-term (average, 541 days) effects of low-head (0.1–2.9 m) barrier removal at 22 sites distr...
Article
Repeatable individual variation in behaviour has been demonstrated in all taxa, though few studies have explored the broader ecological consequences of such consistent behaviour. We tagged and tracked 401 individual sea trout (Salmo trutta) with passive integrated transponder telemetry over two to four spawning seasons as they migrated between fres...
Article
Early-life experiences can shape life histories and population dynamics of wild animals. To examine whether stressful stimuli experienced in early life resulted in carryover effects in later life stages, we conducted several experimental manipulations and then monitored wild fish with passive integrated transponder tags during juvenile out-migratio...
Preprint
Full-text available
Anguillid eel populations have declined dramatically over the last 50 years in many regions of the world, and numerous species are now under threat. A critical life-history phase is migration from freshwater to distant oceans, culminating in a single life-time spawning event. For many anguillids, especially those in the southern hemisphere, mystery...
Article
Salmonids are some of the most widely studied species of fish worldwide. They span freshwater rivers and lakes to fjords and oceans; they include short‐ and long‐distance anadromous migrants, as well as partially migratory and non‐migratory populations; and exhibit both semelparous and iteroparous reproduction. Salmonid life‐history strategies repr...
Article
Full-text available
Partial migration is common in a variety of taxa and has important ecological and evolutionary implications, yet the underlying factors that lead to different migratory strategies are not clearly understood. Given the importance of temperature in serving as a cue for migration, along with its role in regulating metabolism, growth, reproduction, and...
Article
Full-text available
Natural flow regimes play important roles in maintaining the ecological integrity and diversity of aquatic ecosystems. Wildlife has adapted over time to the natural dynamics of their environment, including changes in flow regimes. Changes in flow, including changes in magnitude, frequency, duration, timing and rate of change, may affect the physica...
Article
Alternative migratory tactics, like partial migration, are common in many taxa. The proximate and ultimate drivers underpinning these strategies are unclear, though factors like condition and energetic status have been posited as important predictors. We sampled and PIT tagged 1882 wild brown trout prior to the first so-called decision window, and...
Article
Full-text available
Rivers support some of Earth’s richest biodiversity1 and provide essential ecosystem services to society2, but they are often fragmented by barriers to free flow3. In Europe, attempts to quantify river connectivity have been hampered by the absence of a harmonized barrier database. Here we show that there are at least 1.2 million instream barriers...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the preponderance of exorheic lakes in rivers home to anadromous salmonids, little research has focused on how salmon, trout, and charr use lakes as part of their anadromous life histories. The literature on this subject has so far revealed that some parr move into lakes to feed and grow before smoltification but that smolts moving through...
Book
Full-text available
Let It Flow | Magazine produced for the EU Horizon 2020 AMBER project. The origin of this magazine stems from a project involving scientists, representatives from the hydropower industry, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations who gathered to make an impact on Europe’s water management. This EU Horizon 2020 funded project, called...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This document is a technical paper contributing to the regional results under an FAO Technical Cooperation Programme project (TCP/RER/3701) on “Systems and methodologies of data collection in inland fisheries of Europe”, financed by the FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (REU). This work is facilitated by the European Inland Fisheries...
Article
Full-text available
The past several decades have ushered in a golden age in the study of migration biology, leading to a wealth of descriptive articles that characterize various aspects of migration and its implications for individuals, populations, and ecosystems. However, relatively few studies have adopted an experimental approach to the study of migration, and fe...
Article
Full-text available
The salmonid lifecycle has been studied for over a 100 years. Our literature search indicated that the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and brown trout (Salmo trutta) are among the most studied of fish species. By reviewing both their anadromous and non-anadromous lifecycles, we show that there is a growing body of evidence of considerable variation i...
Article
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The status of Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L., over the last decades has been of concern across its entire distribution area. Its anadromous nature exposes the species to human pressures in both freshwater and marine environments, and over long periods, thus exacerbating its decline. Given its value within the food industry, the recreational anglin...
Article
Full-text available
Migration is a widespread but highly diverse component of many animal life histories. Fish migrate throughout the world's oceans, within lakes and rivers, and between the two realms, transporting matter, energy, and other species (e.g., microbes) across boundaries. Migration is therefore a process responsible for myriad ecosystem services. Many hum...
Article
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The behaviour and survival of sea trout Salmo trutta L. in marine environments remains scarcely described despite the widespread ecological and cultural importance of the species. We tracked 160 wild, post-spawned sea trout in 2 Danish river systems using acoustic tags to examine their behaviour in a fjord system characterized by a scarcity of refu...
Article
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Kelts – individuals of anadromous fish species which have successfully spawned and may return to sea to repeat the cycle – are perhaps the least studied life stage of iteroparous fish species. To date, our understanding of what makes them successful in their return migration to sea is limited. We investigated the relationship between three physiolo...
Article
Full-text available
Pike (Esox lucius) occupy coastal streams and rivers of the Baltic Sea, where they attain large sizes (>5 kg). These large sizes are perhaps due to the fact that they can tolerate relatively high salinities and can thus forage in the nearby more productive brackish environments. In an attempt to quantify the extent to which pike utilise brackish en...
Article
Full-text available
Animals with complex life cycles often display plasticity in the timing of transitions across life stages. The brown trout, Salmo trutta, highlights such phenotypic plasticity with its alternative migratory tactics. Downstream migration of smolts exemplifies one of the many ways in which brown trout display plasticity. The timing of this migration...
Article
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We examined the survival and progression rates of 101 anadromous brown trout Salmo trutta L. post-smolts from two Danish river systems, Karup and Simested, with acoustic telemetry as they migrated through a large Danish fjord system (the Limfjord). No fish were documented to residualize permanently within the fjord, and the minimum survival in the...
Article
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Today's river systems have been extensively modified, requiring us to rethink how we approach the management of these important ecosystems. We evaluated the effects of removing 6 weirs in River Villestrup (Jutland, Denmark) on the smolt run of brown trout (Salmo trutta) over the course of 12 years. During 5 of these years, we evaluated the number,...
Article
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This study demonstrates that vegetable shortening and cocoa butter are two effective vehicles for intraperitoneal cortisol implants in juvenile teleosts, specifically brown trout Salmo trutta, residing in north temperate freshwater environments. Each vehicle showed a different pattern of cortisol elevation. Vegetable shortening was found to be a mo...
Article
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Conservation practitioners face complex challenges due to resource limitations, biological and socioeconomic trade-offs, involvement of diverse interest groups, and data deficiencies. To help address these challenges, there are a growing number of frameworks for systematic decision making. Three prominent frameworks are structured decision making,...
Article
The influence of three common stocking practices for two strains (Ätran and Burrishoole) of hatchery-reared Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar, on smolt size, migration probability and migration timing were investigated in situ. Using a common garden experiment, fish from these populations were released as fry, half-year olds and one-year olds. Our resul...
Article
Many natural habitats have been modified to accommodate for the presence of humans and their needs. Infrastructures – such as hydroelectric dams, weirs, culverts and bridges – are now a common occurrence in streams and rivers across the world. As a result, freshwater ecosystems have been altered extensively, affecting both biological and geomorphol...
Article
Humans and freshwater ecosystems have a long history of cohabitation. Today, nearly all major rivers of the world have an in-stream structure which changes water flow, substrate composition, vegetation, and fish assemblage composition. The realization of these effects and their subsequent impacts on population sustainability and conservation has le...
Article
Levels of oxidative stress can be affected by a range of compounds including toxins and pharmaceuticals. Antioxidants are important protective compounds which counteract the damaging effects of oxidative stress. Glutathione (GSH) is one of the main antioxidants for many organisms, and can be synthesized from administered N-acetylcysteine (NAC). NAC...
Article
The causes and consequences of trait relationships within and among the categories of physiology, morphology, and life-history remain poorly studied. Few studies cross the boundaries of these categories, and recent reviews have pointed out not only the dearth of evidence for among-category correlations but that trait relationships may change depend...
Article
Full-text available
Policy development and management decisions should be based upon the best available evidence. In recent years, approaches to evidence synthesis, originating in the medical realm (such as systematic reviews), have been applied to conservation to promote evidence-based conservation and environmental management. Systematic reviews involve a critical a...
Article
Full-text available
Partial migration is a common phenomenon, yet the causes of individual differences in migratory propensity are not well understood. We examined factors that potentially influence timing of migration and migratory propensity in a wild population of juvenile brown trout (Salmo trutta) by combining experimental manipulations with passive integrated tr...
Article
Full-text available
During migration, animals are typically limited by their endogenous energetic resources that must be allocated to the physiological costs associated with locomotion, as well as avoiding and (or) compensating for oxidative stress. To date, there have been few attempts to understand the role of oxidative status in migration biology, particularly in f...
Article
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Over the last century, humans have modified landscapes, generated pollution, and provided opportunities for exotic species to invade areas where they did not evolve. In addition, humans now interact with animals in a growing number of ways (e.g., ecotourism). As a result, the quality (i.e., nutrient composition) and quantity (i.e., food availabilit...
Article
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1. The majority of rivers around Europe have been modified in one way or another, and no longer have an original, continuous flow from source to outlet. The presence of weirs and dams has altered habitats, thus affecting the wildlife that lives within them. This is especially true for migrating rheophilic fish species, which in addition to safe pas...
Article
Full-text available
Conservation physiology has emerged as a discipline with many success stories. Yet, it is unclear how conservation physiology is currently integrated into the activities of bodies such as the IUCN and other agencies/organizations/bodies which undertake international, national, or regional species threat assessments and work with partners to develop...
Article
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Light pollution is a prevalent, but often overlooked, ecological concern in a variety of ecosystems. Marine environments are subjected to artifcial lighting from coastal development, in addition to ofshore sources, such as fshing vessels, oil platforms and cruise ships. Fish species that rely on nearshore habitats are most signifcantly impacted by...
Article
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In the wild, animals are exposed to a growing number of stressors with increasing frequency and intensity, as a result of human activities and human-induced environmental change. To fully understand how wild organisms are affected by stressors, it is crucial to understand the physiology that underlies an organism’s response to a stressor. Prolonged...
Article
Full-text available
Oxidative stress results from an imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species and the antioxidants defenses, in favour of the former. In recent years, the association between oxidative processes, environmental change and life histories has received much attention. However, most studies have focused on avian and mammalian taxonomic gr...
Article
Full-text available
Urbanization is modifying previously pristine natural habitats and creating "new" ecosystems for wildlife. As a result, some animals now use habitat fragments or have colonized urban areas. Such animals are exposed to novel stimuli that they have not been exposed to in their evolutionary history. Some species have adapted to the challenges they fac...

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Project (1)
Project
AMBER is 6.2 million Euro multi-disciplinary research project that will deliver the first comprehensive Atlas of river barriers across Europe and will apply adaptive barrier management to reconnect Europe’s rivers. All major rivers in Europe are disconnected from the sea and this has had a catastrophic impact on many species, including some iconic migratory fish such as salmon or eels that have in some cases become locally extinct. In collaboration with 20 partners from 11 countries AMBER combines citizen science and cutting-edge advances in environmental DNA, use of drones, and valuation of ecosystem services, to map the distribution of barriers and assess their effects on freshwater organisms. Solutions for better barrier management are urgently required across Europe because many rivers are becoming increasingly fragmented due to water abstraction compounded by climate change. AMBER seeks to raise awareness of the problems posed by stream fragmentation, the pressures on freshwater ecosystems, and the need for innovative solutions to restore river connectivity. The project s working with hydroelectric companies, water providers, NGOs, anglers and local authorities to restore river connectivity in a way that maximizes the benefits of water abstraction but reduces environmental impacts AMBER encourages citizens to become involved in efforts to reconnect Europe’s rivers by mapping the location of barriers and assess their impacts with the help of the Barrier Tracker smartphone app (available from Google Play) For more information please visit https://amber.international