About us

“Science and everyday life cannot and should not be separated.” – Rosalind Franklin

The origin and the future

The "Effects of antifouling copper coating in aquaculture - implications for fish health, performance and sustainability of production" (CAPS) project is a collaborative effort between the University of Bergen (UiB), the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) campus Trondheim, NTNU campus Ålesund, the Arctic University of Norway (UiT) and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS). 

While the initiative for the project came from Ingvill Tolås as a progression of work conducted in the Rønnestad-lab at the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Bergen, the plans, aims and scope has since been sculpted and formed by all collaborators. The result is an ambitious undertaking made possible by the complementary competences of the people involved. In short, from the University of Bergen, Ivar Rønnestad and Ingvill Tolås will contribute their expertise in the fields of Atlantic salmon digestion and appetite control, while Odd André Karlsen and Fekadu Yadetie will lend their experience and skills in the field of environmental toxicology. The research into the direct aquaculture-environment interactions will be conducted by Snorre Bakke and PhD student Alisia Ilinskaya at the Institute of Biological Sciences at NTNU Ålesund, while  Rolf Erik Olsen, Einar Ringø and Zhigang Zhou from NTNU Trondheim, UiT and CAAS, respectively,  will lend their collective competences within the fields of lipid metabolism and microbial interactions. PhD student Qiang Hao is also part of this effort. A more detailed description of each consortium member can be found here.

CAPS is the first collaborative effort by this consortium, but it also represents a continuation and expansion of an already established collaboration between CAAS, NTNU Trondheim and UiT. This cooperation started as a research collaboration in 2000 (Rolf Erik Olsen, Einar Ringø and Zhigang Zhou), and was formalized through the institutional Joint Lab agreement "The Sino-Norway Joint Lab on Fish Gut Microbiota" in 2014 currently directed by Rolf Erik Olsen in Norway and Zhigang Zhou in China. The collaboration was further expanded in 2015 with the establishment of the International Research Consortium on Gastrointestinal Microbiota in Aquatic Animals, currently co-chaired by Rolf Erik Olsen and Zhigang Zho. The CAAS-NTNU relationship is also establishing PhD exchanges. At present 3 PhD students from NTNU are conducting research for their dissertation at CAAS, China, and one of these students is affiliated with the CAPS project. 

During its active years we aims to take on the important issue of copper contamination in aquaculture while maintaining focus on its core values; novelty, ambition, sustainability and collaboration. 


The CAPS project is funded by the Norwegian Research Council via the "Researcher Project for Scientific Renewal" call à 2021, and its project number is 325849. In addition, the institutions involved contribute by funding the professors involved in the project.

As of the start of the project, the CAPS project employs two PhD students. They will participate in the CAPS project and write their dissertations based on the findings

The CAPS project started in 2021 and will continue into 2025.

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