SPITFIRE (completed)

SPatial variability and Implications of the Timing of FIsh Responses to the Environment

Conceptual figure of the spitfire project

Figure 1 - Conceptual figure of SPITFIRE. WP: work package; dark green: prey; light, lined green: predator; and squared, purple: overlap

About the project

SPITFIRE was an EU Horizon 2020 Marie Curie- funded project with grant agreement ID: 794301

Link to EU project website

Link to Sofia Ferreira's SPITFIRE webpage

The main goal of SPITFIRE was to quantify the ability of an improved MMH to globally explain fish dynamics, by acknowledging the roles of zooplankton, space and mismatch.


Prediction of fish production is hindered by the lack of high-resolved data, and the complexity of the bio-physical systems affecting fish survival. A key factor determining the survival of larval fish is the relationship between predator recruitment and prey-predator overlap (match-mismatch hypothesis, MMH). MMH thus offers a mechanistic explanation for the fluctuations in fish recruitment, i.e. the number of fish entering the fishery. However, little is known about how MMH mechanistically explains population and ecosystem dynamics across species and regions. 

The data needed to achieve SPITFIRE objectives included long-term phytoplankton, zooplankton, fish distributions and their annual mean timings from a specific location (work package 1), and the Atlantic and the Pacific basins (work packages 1 and 2). All components necessary for project success are in-hand both through the collaborative network of experts already established and data resources via participants providing insight into MMH dynamics, fish life-history dynamics, oceanography, and both the Atlantic and the Pacific ecosystems. By comparing predator-prey relationships, SPITFIRE will help answer the major question in fish ecology and management – what determines fish recruitment? – and thus lead to better management of marine resources.



<Participating departments/centres, time frame, theoretical basis, scientific method, etc.>


This is an Individual Fellowship funded by a MARIE SKŁODOWSKA-CURIE ACTION Call: H2020-MSCA-IF-2017, project number 794301.


The project is lead by Sofia Ferreira, at the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis  (CEES), University of Oslo, Norway, and is a collaboration with Joël M Durant (CEES), and Anna B Neuheimer originally from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa (USA), but currently on leave at a COFUND (Marie-Curie) Fellowship at the Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (Denmark)..


01.11.2018 - 31.10.2020

Published Dec. 22, 2020 11:09 AM - Last modified Dec. 22, 2020 11:09 AM