The seas cover more than 70% of the surface of our planet, and hosts a great variety of habitats – e.g. artic ice landscapes, Baltic Sea archipelagos, tidal flats, coral reefs and trenches deeper that Mount Everest is high. Off shore areas are sometimes referred to as marine deserts due to their low productivity, but with their vastness it is where most of the marine production takes place. The sea’s variable environment is the home of a fascinating biological diversity from microbes and plankton to fish and whales. Understanding the processes in the sea and its regulating factors is a prerequisite for a global understanding of ecology and environment. Research at our department addresses both basic and applied science, with a focus on the Baltic Sea, but also with research on the Swedish west coast, Africa, Central America and Southeast Asia.

Research areas with contact people

Nutrients and Eutrophication

Without nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) there would be no life in the sea. Nutrients are used by plants to produce the organic matter that constitute the basis of the food webs. To understand the “functioning” of the sea, we thus need knowledge on nutrient dynamics and regulation. In many areas, humans have increase nutrient concentrations in the sea (eutrophication) and this may have resulted in unwanted impacts like nuisance algal blooms and “dead bottoms” (areas with little or no oxygen)
Contact person: Sven Blomqvist

Food webs and fisheries

Plants and animals interact in various ways, and complex food webs result when some species feed on other. Humans interact in these food webs through different mechanisms. Eutrophication increases the plant production, which can favor some plants on the expense of other. Indirectly this influences also the fauna. Humans may impact these food webs also by massively killing certain species of animals (=fishing). 
Contact person: Sture Hansson

Long term ecological research (LTER) in the Baltic Sea

The very basis to understand marine ecosystems and their dynamics are quantitative data of high quality, on nutrient concentrations and plant and animal abundances. Data on temperature, salinity and other environmental conditions are also needed. In our LTER projects we collect this kind of information from both the water and the bottoms, and from coastal as well as off shore areas. Some types of samples are collected year around (20 times/year) and some sampling programs started 40 years ago.
Contact person: Jakob Walve

Ocean colour remote sensing and bio-optical observations

Remote Sensing provides us with synoptic data of the whole Baltic Sea basin which helps to improve our understanding of phytoplankton blooms. The advantage of remote sensing is its improved spatial and temporal resolution which makes it a good complement to conventional monitoring methods
Contact person: Susanne Kratzer

Open ocean nitrogen (N) cycling

Open ocean nitrogen (N) cycling with an emphasis on N2 fixing microorganisms: free-living and symbiotic cyanobacteria. We focus on the activity, distribution, diversity, and interactions between the N2 fixing cyanobacteria and their environment and/or their respective hosts
Contact person: Rachel Foster

Seagrass and marine ecosystems

Multidisciplinary approach to coastal seas, focus on intertidal zone, seagrass, fisheries, mapping, women and natural resource management.
Contact person: Lina Mtwana Nordlund

Ecosystem-based management of the Baltic Sea

Baltic cyanobacterial blooms and Baltic benthos.
Contact person: Ragnar Elmgren