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Published: 2021-01-12

Prestigious royal environmental professorship to Umeå University

NEWS André M de Roos, professor of theoretical ecology at the Department of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics at the University of Amsterdam, has been appointed holder of H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf’s professorship in Environmental Science 2021–22. The professorship will be hosted by the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science at Umeå University.

Text: Ingrid Söderbergh

"This is fantastic news! The fact that we can establish affiliations with such a prominent international researcher shows that the ecological research conducted at Umeå University is of high quality and the interdisciplinary research environment at IceLab is attractive. The visiting professorship creates the necessary conditions for productive research collaborations, inspiring teaching and, in the longer term, deeper contacts between the universities,” says Hans Adolfsson, Vice-Chancellor at Umeå University.

Professor André M de Roos' research area is theoretical ecology where he studies the dynamics of size-structured populations. Since the mid-1990s, he has had close and successful collaboration with ecologists at Umeå University, mainly with Professor Lennart Persson, who has now retired.

Professor André M de Roos will be hosted by the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science. The location for de Roos’ planned work will be the Integrated Science Lab, IceLab, which is an interdisciplinary meeting place for researchers in mathematics, physics, ecology and computer science. He will also collaborate with researchers at SLU's Coastal Laboratory in Öregrund.

"André M De Roos is one of the most inspiring researchers I have met. He is genuinely interested in other people's research and is both sharp and constructive in his critical thinking. Having him here as a visiting professor will lead to many stimulating discussions and several exciting research projects," says Sebastian Diehl, professor of ecology at the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science at Umeå University.

The research that André M de Roos is planning to do as a visiting professor at Umeå University aims to understand how fish populations can be expected to respond to changing climate conditions and effects of fishing and how changes in fish populations in turn affect entire marine ecosystems.

Most fish species increase their body weight by a factor of 1,000 to 1,000,000 during their development from newly hatched larvae to sexually mature adult. This means they have to change their food strategy and ecological niche as they increase in size and are sensitive to environmental changes, which sometimes only affect one of their life stages.

Two projects will use mathematical models developed by de Roos to study the effects of increased temperature, the adding of humus-coloured water, and taxation on fish growth, size distribution and population dynamics. Since almost all cold-blooded animal species (e.g. crustaceans and insects) undergo size-dependent niche changes during their lifetime, a third project will study the effects of size-selective mortality on the dynamics of model food weaves where almost all species are size-structured.

André de Roos will also offer two modelling courses aimed at doctoral students, postdocs and advanced Master’s students.

Professor André M de Roos is the twenty-sixth holder of King Carl XVI Gustaf's professorship in environmental science.

King Carl XVI Gustaf's professorship in environmental science was created for Carl XVI Gustaf's 50th birthday in 1996. The visiting professorship is intended to attract prominent foreign researchers to Swedish universities where they will be able to contribute to the renewal of Swedish environmental science.

Swedish Royal Court

Read more about Professor André M de Roos' research 

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