1 Jan 2017–31 Dec 2021
University of Turku
Craig Primmer is interested in studying the relationship of phenotype to genotype at the molecular level as well as the genetic architecture of age at maturity, a life-history trait with important implications for adaptation in natural populations.
This is a globally unique research project that is largely based on a study published in Nature magazine in 2015, in which Primmer and his team reported that a single gene (VGLL3) explained 40 per cent of the variation in sea-age at maturity in the Atlantic salmon. This was a surprising result, since it was previously thought that life-history traits are regulated by several genes.
Primmer’s Academy Professor project will involve a pioneering combination of modelling and experimental work in an attempt to predict the impact of environmental change on the life-history traits of salmon. This research will provide important insights and information for fisheries management,and yield fundamental information about how the reduction in age at maturity in response to fishing can be prevented. Reduced age at maturity leads to declining fish sizes, smaller catches and lower catch values. The results are also important for puberty research in that the VGLL3 gene also affects age at maturity in humans.
Craig Primmer also served as Academy Professor in 2011–2015.