Laura Vossen

PhD student at Department of Neuroscience, Winberg: Behavioral Neuroendocrinology

+4618-471 4611
Visiting address:
Room BMC D1:2 BMC
Husargatan 3
751 23 UPPSALA
Postal address:
Box 593
751 24 UPPSALA

Short presentation

My PhD studies center around the behavioral and physiological changes that occur in fish exposed to elevated concentrations of dissolved carbon dioxide. I am also interested in the effect that low doses of psychiatriatric pharmaceuticals may have on fish behavior, since these substances are emerging as environmental pollutants. Both CO2 and psychiatric pharmaceuticals may act on the GABA system, the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the vertebrate central nervous system.

Keywords: ocean acidification fish neuroendocrinology

Also available at

My courses



  • Master of Education, Univerity of Groningen, The Netherlands (2011)
  • MSc in Evolutionary Biology, University of Groningen, The Netherlands (2010)
  • BSc in Ecology and Evolution, University of Groningen, The Netherlands (2007)

Previous research projects:

  • MSc project at the Theoretical Biology Group, University of Groningen:
    “An individual-based model of the co-evolution of mate choice, extra-pair mating and parental care”. This project was supervised by Dr Tim Fawcett and Prof. Franz Weissing.
  • MSc project at the Behavioural Ecology Group, Oxford University:
    “Contrast learning in red junglefowl”. My supervisors for this project were Prof Alex Kacelnik and Prof Tom Pizzari.
  • After my MSc I worked as a research assistant in the lab of Prof Jochen Wolf at Uppsala University, using molecular genetic techniques to study crow speciation.


Anthropogenic CO2 emissions are lowering the ocean’s pH, a process known as ocean acidification. Both tropical and temperate region fish have shown impaired behavioral responses under CO2 levels to be expected around the year 2100, including the reversal of olfactory preferences and impairment of visual risk assessment. These behavioural abnormalities are thought to result from a CO2-induced misfunctioning of the GABA-A receptor, the major vertebrate inhibitory receptor. The aim of my PhD project is to investigate the behavioral changes caused by CO2 exposure as well as the neurobiological mechanisms behind them.

My PhD advisors are Prof. Svante Winberg, Prof. Bryndis Birnir, Prof. Fredrik Jutfelt and Dr Per-Ove Thörnqvist.


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