Aquatic ecosystems are critical to Earth’s cycles of carbon and nitrogen and to Earth’s biodiversity, and consequently, they are essential to human health and welfare. Currently, aquatic ecosystems are facing a range of profound challenges that are substantially affecting their structure and function. These include climate change, habitat loss, pollution, overexploitation and invasive species. Understanding the functioning of aquatic ecosystems and their ecological role is central in order to secure a sustainable future for the systems themselves as well as for humans.
At the Department of Biology, we study the responses of aquatic organisms to environmental factors, species interactions in communities, biodiversity patterns, and nutrient and energy flow through aquatic ecosystems. Our work includes ecosystems from tropical to polar with a particular focus on Arctic ecosystems. In our research, we combine field studies, laboratory experiments and mathematical modelling, and the research is often multidisciplinary, combining biology with physics, chemistry, engineering and geoscience. Through our research we generate fundamental knowledge and apply this knowledge to preserve and restore marine and freshwater ecosystems, and to advice stakeholders and politicians in their decision-making.