Christina O’Toole

My love of the ocean began at a young age, growing up off the west coast of County Mayo. I spent many hours rock-pooling, swimming and fishing. Later, while studying for a BSc in Marine Science at NUI Galway, I developed a keen interest in fish biology. This led me to pursue a Masters in Marine Biology at University College Cork.  My MSc thesis focused on mackerel spawning. I have gained experience in a variety of positions from surveys at sea, to fisheries port sampling, to salmon husbandry. I have also worked as a marine educator and public outreach scientist. I began my PhD research in the MFRC in 2017. The focus of my PhD research is on Atlantic salmon. Using vast collections of salmon scales, I aim to examine long-term trends in stable isotopes and stress hormone levels. I am also studying potential connections between Atlantic salmon mortality and climate change.

Project Title
Unlocking the Archive: investigating long-term trends in growth patterns and chemical composition of Atlantic salmon scales
This collaboration with the Marine Institute is unlocking the value of fish scale and otolith collections to marine ecosystem and climate change research.