Unlocking the archive

Using scale and otolith chronologies to resolve climate impacts

The Archive project (2016-2022) is a collaboration with the Marine Institute, funded under the Marine Research Programme by the Irish Government. An aim of the project is to consolidate national collections of scales, otoliths, associated images and data into a single biochronology repository, thus maximising the use of the archive by researchers. Time series of scale/otolith growth and chemical composition are being analysed within the project to investigate how migratory fish respond to environmental change.

Further details

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This project (Grant-Aid Agreement No. PBA/FS/16/03) is carried out with the support of the Marine Institute and is funded under the Marine Research Programme by the Irish Government.


Standardising long-term eel (Anguilla anguilla) fyke net survey data reveals covariate effects and improves estimates of declining relative abundance. Poole et al 2024. Fisheries Research 272: 106938

Effects of temperature and feeding regime on cortisol concentrations in scales of Atlantic salmon post-smolts. O’Toole et al 2023. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 569: 151955

Recent marine growth declines in wild and ranched Atlantic salmon Salmo salar from a western European catchment discovered using a 62-year time series. Long et al 2023, ICES Journal of Marine Science 80 (6), 1697-1709

Investigating post-depositional alteration of trace elements in fish scales using tagged and recaptured wild salmon. Tray et al 2022. Fisheries Research 248, 106207.

An open-source database model and collections management system for fish scale and otolith archives. Tray et al 2020. Ecological Informatics, 101115.

Acid treatment of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) scales prior to analysis has negligible effects on δ13C and δ15N isotope ratios. O’Toole et al 2020. Journal of Fish Biology 97: 1285-1290

Growth rates in a European eel Anguilla anguilla (L., 1758) population show a complex relationship with temperature over a seven-decade otolith biochronology, Vaughan et al 2021. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 78: 994-1009


Christie O’Toole outlines her PhD research at the Mayo Changemakers event hosted by The Mary Robinson Centre and Mayo County Council’s Climate Action Office, May 30th 2022

Christie O’Toole delivers a public seminar on her PhD research for Sea Synergy Marine Awareness and Activity Centre, funded by the EPA


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Project Team

MFRC Leader, Lecturer and Researcher in Marine Ecology and Fisheries
Lecturer and Researcher in Freshwater and Marine Ecology
Postdoctoral researcher
Senior Research Fellow
Postdoctoral Researcher

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