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The Gill-Oxygen Limitation Theory (GOLT): current trends and challenges

September 15, 2023 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Join us as world-renowned fisheries scientist, Dr Daniel Pauly discusses Gill-Oxygen Limitation Theory (GOLT).

Location: AERL Theatre, 2202 Main Mall, UBC Vancouver or Online via Zoom.  RSVP required

GOLT provides mechanisms for key aspects of the biology (food conversion efficiency, growth and its response to temperature, the timing of maturation, and others) of water-breathing ectotherms (WBEs). The GOLT’s basic tenet is that the surface area of the gills or other respiratory surfaces of WBE cannot, as two-dimensional structures, supply them with sufficient oxygen to keep up with the growth of their three-dimensional bodies. Thus, a lower relative oxygen supply induces sexual maturation, and later a slowing and cessation of growth, along with an increase of physiological processes relying on glycolytic enzymes and a declining role of oxidative enzymes. Because the “dimensional tension” underlying this argument is widely misunderstood, emphasis is given to a detailed refutation of objections to the GOLT. This theory still needs to be put on a solid quantitative basis, which will occur after the misconceptions surrounding it are put to rest.

Source: Pauly D (2021) The gill-oxygen limitation theory (GOLT) and its critics. Science Advances 7(2): eabc6050 DOI:10.1126/sciadv.abc6050

Dr. Daniel Pauly is currently the Principal Investigator of the Sea Around Us initiative, a large research project devoted to identifying and quantifying global fisheries trends. He is also a Killam professor at the University of British Columbia’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries.

The concepts, methods and software which Daniel Pauly led and co-developed are documented in over 1000 scientific and general-interest publications, and are used throughout the world. This applies to the Ecopath modelling approach and software and FishBase, the online encyclopedia of more than 30,000 fish species, which was recently complemented by SeaLifeBase. He is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, the International Cosmos Prize, the Volvo Environment Prize, the Nierenberg Prize and the Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Ecology and Conservation Biology. He was named France’s Chevalier de la Legion D’Honneur in 2017.