Arctic Seasonal Timekeeping Initiative - a UiT Aurora Centre


ASTI is a capacity-building project to establish UiT as a centre of excellence for research into seasonal timekeeping mechanisms. This fills a strategic gap in chronobiology research worldwide, and is an excellent fit to UiT as the world’s northernmost research university.

ASTI will combine excellence in genome-enabled approaches to define the genetic basis of seasonal timer mechanisms (transcriptomics, comparative genomics, epigenomics, gene targeting), with state of the art approaches to in-vivo analysis of seasonal changes in physiology and behaviour (microdialysis, metabolomics, endocrinology, telemetry), and integration of complementary approaches through data processing capacity (mathematical network modelling, database management and data sharing).

ASTI will cover three overlapping themes spanning both basic and applied / societally important aspects: ‘Core seasonal timer mechanisms’, ‘Comparative seasonal chronobiology’ and ‘One seasonal health’.

ASTI will enhance awareness and understanding of the importance of seasonal timekeeping mechanisms for the health and wellbeing of humans and animals living in the Arctic region.

The centre project period is 1st April 2021 to 31st March 2025. The centre director is Professor David Hazlerigg and deputy director is Dr. Shona Wood. The centre is based within the research group Arctic chronobiology and physiology at the Department of Arctic and Marine biology.

Research themes

Specific research projects



Scientific advisory board


List of key publications from 2020 onwards:

Gundappa MK, To TH, Grønvold L, Martin SAM, Lien S, Geist J, Hazlerigg D, Sandve SR, Macqueen DJ. Genome-wide reconstruction of rediploidization following autopolyploidization across one hundred million years of salmonid evolution. Mol Biol Evol. 2021 Oct 28:msab310. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msab310.

Francis J. P. Ebling, John Fletcher, David G. Hazlerigg, Andrew S. I. Loudon, Gerald Lincoln: A man for all seasons Journal of Neuroendocrinology, e12968

Daniel Appenroth, Gabriela C.Wagner, David G.Hazlerigg, Alexander C. West,  Evidence for circadian-based photoperiodic timekeeping in Svalbard ptarmigan, the northernmost resident bird Current Biology,

Laura van Rosmalen, Jayme van Dalum, Daniel Appenroth, Renzo T. M. Roodenrijs, Lauren de Wit, David G. Hazlerigg, Roelof A. Hut, Mechanisms of temperature modulation in mammalian seasonal timing The FASEB JournalVolume 35, Issue 5 e21605

West, Mizoro, Wood, Ince, Iversen, Jørgensen, Nome, Sandve, Martin, Loudon and Hazlerigg, Immunologic profiling of the Atlantic salmon gill by single nuclei transcriptomics, Front. Immunol. 2021

Marianne Iversen, Teshome Mulugeta, Alexander C West, Even H Jørgensen, Samuel A M Martin, Simen Rød Sandve, David Hazlerigg, Photoperiod-dependent developmental reprogramming of the transcriptional response to seawater entry in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), G3 Genes|Genomes|Genetics, Volume 11, Issue 4, April 2021, jkab072, 

Appenroth, D. Nord, A., Hazlerigg, DG. Wagner, GC. Body Temperature and Activity Rhythms Under Different Photoperiods in High Arctic Svalbard ptarmigan ( Lagopus muta hyperborea) Front. Physiol. 2021, 12:633866

Neuroendocrine Clocks and Calendars, Editors: Ebling, Francis J. P., Piggins, Hugh D. (Eds.)

- An up-to-date and authoritative textbook explaining the mechanisms by which biological rhythms affect physiology and behaviour major contributions from key members of ASTI: Shona Wood, David Hazlerigg and Alex West

Markussen, F.A., Melum, V.J., Bothorel, B. et al. A refined method to monitor arousal from hibernation in the European hamster. BMC Vet Res 17, 14 (2021).

Striberny, A., (...) Hazlerigg, D.G., Jørgensen, E.H., Author links open overlay panelStriberny, A., … Hazlerigg, D.G, Jørgensen, E.H.Striberny, A., … Hazlerigg, D.G, Jørgensen, E.More than one way to smoltify a salmon? Effects of dietary and light treatment on smolt development and seawater growth performance in Atlantic salmon. Aquaculture 532, 15 (2021), 736044 (2021). 

Laura van RosmalenJayme van DalumDavid G. HazleriggRoelof A. Hut Gonads or body? Differences in gonadal and somatic photoperiodic growth response in two vole species 

West AC, Iversen M, Jørgensen EH, Sandve SR, Hazlerigg DG, Wood SH (2020) Diversified regulation of circadian clock gene expression following whole genome duplication. PLoS Genet 16(10): e1009097.

Wood, S.H., Hindle, M.M., Mizoro, Y. et al. Circadian clock mechanism driving mammalian photoperiodism. Nat Commun 11, 4291 (2020).

Daniel AppenrothVebjørn J. Melumet. al Photoperiodic induction without light-mediated circadian entrainment in a High Arctic resident bird

Cristina Sáenz de Miera (...) David G. HazleriggValerie Simonneaux, Photoperiodic regulation in a wild-derived mouse strain 


Gonads or body? Differences in gonadal and somatic photoperiodic growth response in two vole species

Laura van Rosmalen, Jayme van Dalum, David G. Hazlerigg, Roelof A. Hut 

bioRxiv 2020.06.12.147777; doi:


A single nuclei transcriptomic analysis of the Atlantic salmon gill through smoltification and seawater transfer

Alexander C. West, Yasutaka Mizoro, Shona H. Wood, Louise M. Ince, Marianne Iversen, Even H. Jørgensen, Torfinn Nome, Simen Rød Sandve, Andrew S. I. Loudon, David G. Hazlerigg

bioRxiv 2020.09.03.281337; doi:


Adaptive value of circadian rhythms in High Arctic Svalbard ptarmigan

Daniel Appenroth, Gabriela C. Wagner, David G. Hazlerigg, Alexander C. West

bioRxiv 2020.08.17.254011; doi:


A refined method to monitor arousal from hibernation in the European hamster

Fredrik A. S. Markussen, Vebjørn J. Melum, Béatrice Bothorel, David G. Hazlerigg, Valérie Simonneaux, Shona H. Wood

bioRxiv 2020.04.20.009712; doi:


Diversified regulation of circadian clock gene expression following whole genome duplication

Alexander C. West, Marianne Iversen, Even H. Jørgensen, Simen R. Sandve, David G. Hazlerigg, Shona H. Wood

bioRxiv 2020.03.22.002162; doi:


Photoperiodic induction without light-mediated circadian entrainment in a high arctic resident bird

Daniel Appenroth, Vebjørn J. Melum, Alexander C. West, Hugues Dardente, David G. Hazlerigg, Gabriela C. Wagner

bioRxiv 2020.06.19.160721; doi:


Photoperiod-dependent developmental reprogramming of the transcriptional response to seawater entry in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)

Marianne Iversen, Teshome Mulugeta, Alexander West, Even Jørgensen, Samuel A. M. Martin, Simen Rød Sandve, David Hazlerigg

bioRxiv 2020.03.24.006510; doi:


Phylogenetic reclassification of vertebrate melatonin receptors to include Mel1d

Elsa Denker, Lars O. E. Ebbesson, David G. Hazlerigg, Daniel J. Macqueen

bioRxiv 574384; doi:


Circadian clock mechanism driving mammalian photoperiodism

S.H. Wood, M.M. Hindle, Y. Mizoro, Y. Cheng, B.R.C. Saer, K. Miedzinska, H.C. Christian, N. Begley, J. McNeilly, A.S. McNeilly, S.L. Meddle, D.W. Burt, A.S.I. Loudon

bioRxiv 2020.05.19.102194; doi:




Autumn/Winter 2021 seminar program

Request a zoom invite:


Gisela Helfer (Uni. Of Bradford, UK) It's about time: from tanycytes to naked mole rats and other clock news

Fernando Cazarez Marquez (Uni. Of Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Integrating Reproduction and Energy metabolism: a round way trip via RF-amides


Kathleen Munley (Indiana University, USA) Winter madness: melatonin as a key regulator of steroid hormones and territorial aggression in a seasonally breeding rodent

Nico Furhmann (MPI Evol. Biol., Germany)
The loss of circalunar rhythms in Northern European populations of the marine midge Clunio marinus


Laura Payton (Uni. Of Oldenburg) The circadian clock and transcriptomic rhythms in a key zooplankton species during the high Arctic summer solstice

Second Year Masters Project Presentations:
Matt Coyle – Nitrogen excretion and aspects of water balance in fasting hooded seal pups

Rikke Gunnufsen – Relationship between diving behaviour and respiratory rate/surfacing in humpback whale (Megaptera novaeanliae) and its implications for metabolic rate estimates

Anna Victoria Pyne Vinse - How to live-capture baleen whales for studies of their physiology 


Second Year Masters Project Presentations

Christine Jæger – Hibernation, consciousness and memory 

Bernhard Sørli – TBC

Therese Solberg – TBC

Second Year Masters Project Presentations

Linda Hendriksen – TBC

Marie Westvik – Nasal turbinates in Svalbard rock ptarmigan

Matthew Chiu - The potential and molecular basis for non-shivering thermogenesis mechanisms in the skeletal muscle of hooded seals (Cystophora cristata)

Jana Kalinova (UiT, Norway) Photoperiodic control of reproduction in birds


Gerrit Martens (Uni. Of Hamburg, Germany) Molecular mechanisms conveying the neuronal hypoxia tolerance in diving mammals

Winter/Spring 2021 seminar program

Join seminar by zoom

19/02/2021 13:15

Fredrik Markussen, Arctic chronobiology and physiology, UiT

New PhD project description: Torpor-arousal cycling during hibernation

26/02/2021 13:15

Shona Wood, Arctic chronobiology and physiology, UiT

New paper: The circadian and epigenetic basis of photoperiodic time measurement in mammals

05/03/2021 12:15

Laura van Rosmalen, Institute for evolutionary life science, University of Groningen

Guest speaker: Seasonal modifiers of reproduction and ultradian behaviour in voles

09/04/2021 12:15

Thesis defense prep


Thesis defense 12:15


Eva-Stina Edholm, Fish immunology and vaccinology, UiT,

Guest speaker: Antigen presentation and unconventional cell mediated responses in ectotherms


Vebjørn Melum, Arctic chronobiology and physiology, UiT

PhD project: What are the prerequistes for hibernation?


Jayme Van Dalum, Arctic chronobiology and physiology, UiT

PhD project: Photoperiodic resposnes in voles

ASTI LAUNCH 1st April 2021

ASTI – Arctic Seasonal Timekeeping Initiative - a UiT Aurora Centre

AAB building, Department of Arctic and Marine Biology
UiT – The Arctic University of Norway Tromsø, NO-9037, Norway

Flag Counter

Logg inn / Login