My main interest is lipid digestion in fish. Primarily, I work with fish larvae and how their ability to digest fats and transport this around the body, changes as it grows. Working with organisms, which are as small as 4 to 5 mm, offers methodological challenges, therefore, lot of my work comprise developing new methods.
I work with fish species that are candidates for aquaculture as well as zebrafish. The focus on aquaculture species in Norway are constantly shifting, with one notable exception, which is salmon. Therefore, we work with a variety of species such as halibut, cod, wrasse and now lumpfish. These species fill very different niches in nature with digestive systems adapted to these, which therefore are quite diverse. An important part of the research on these species is therefore to describe and understand how their gastrointestinal systems function. We analyze biochemically the efficiency of digestive enzymes, we look at how the different species regulate gene expression and protein levels of not only digestive enzymes, but also proteins that transport fatty substances into the intestine as well as from the intestine to the body. Recently, we developed a method that allows us to quantify how much fat a fish larvae can digest and take up in the gut epithelium.