Sandeel. Photo: Ole Henriksen.

PhD defence on population dynamics of sandeel

Wednesday 03 Jun 20


Mikael van Deurs
Associate Professor
DTU Aqua
+45 35 88 34 28


Ole Henriksen
DTU Aqua
+45 61 72 56 95

On 12 June 2020, Ole Henriksen, DTU Aqua will defend his PhD thesis. The defence can be watched online.

Sandeel (mainly Ammodytes marinus) is a very important forage fish in the North Sea, because it constitutes the major food source for many predator fish, seabirds and marine mammals. Furthermore, the sandeel fishery is one of the largest single species fisheries in the North Sea. 

The abundance of sandeel varies from year to year, and thus, ecosystems can be highly sensitive to changes in the population dynamics of sandeel. While the impact on the ecosystem is well documented, the underlying processes and mechanisms behind the population dynamics of sandeel are still vaguely understood.

In his PhD thesis Ole Henriksen, DTU Aqua, unravels some of the most important factors driving the abundances of sandeel. The assemblage of knowledge gathered—on growth, density dependence, habitat, food availability, predation, fisheries, temperature, oceanography and broad-scale climate—provides a baseline and annotated bibliography for scientists. 

Furthermore, findings from four studies are highlighted, where they serve to fill in knowledge gaps on the effect of oceanography, density dependence and temperature. The insights from the research findings, explorative analysis and analytical tools presented can motivate more thorough investigations into topics that have received little attention so far, Ole Henriksen points out in the thesis.

The knowledge presented in the thesis is also relevant to the future conservation and management of sandeel in the North Sea.

About the defence

Ole Henriksen, DTU Aqua, will defend his PhD thesis "The factors driving the spatiotemporal population dynamics of sandeel in the North Sea", Friday 12 June 2020 at 13.00 CEST. 

The defence takes place online via Zoom. Please contact Rikke Hansen, no later than 11 June at 15:00 CEST to get a link to join the defence.


  • Principal supervisor: Senior Researcher Mikael van Deurs, DTU Aqua
  • Co supervisor: Senior Researcher Asbjørn Christensen, DTU Aqua


  • Senior Researcher Ole Ritzau Eigaard, DTU Aqua
  • Associate Professor Valerio Bartolino, SLU, Sweden
  • Senior Researcher Thomas Régnier, Marine Scotland, UK

Chairperson at defence

  • Senior Researcher Jane W. Behrens, DTU Aqua

The thesis

A copy of the PhD thesis ”The factors driving the spatiotemporal population dynamics of sandeel in the North Sea” may be obtained via e-mail. Please send your request to Rikke Hansen,

Related videos  

video thumbnail image

video thumbnail image

video thumbnail image

video thumbnail image

Show more

News and filters

Get updated on news that match your filter.