Information for students, faculty and staff regarding COVID-19. (Updated: 17 September 2020)
One part of my research investigates how the environment and human activities influence the species composition of ecological communities. In other words, why do we find some species in some environments and how will species compositions change as a consequence of natural environmental change or due to human activities? These questions are investigated in both aquatic and terrestrial (forest) environments and at the border between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. When species compositions change, independent of reason, there will be effects on important ecosystem processes, the function of ecosystems and their ability to deliver ecosystem services. Hence, in my research, I try to understand the consequences of a changed species composition, or species loss, for ecosystems' ability to function for other organisms (biodiversity) and human needs (ecosystem services). Here, it is important to understand how human needs may support or hurt general biodiversity, with the aim to obtain high ecological sustainability in use of natural resources.
I am also interested in resource flows between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, in both directions. Even if ecosystems often are defined as closed systems, there are continuous movements of nutrients and organisms between different ecosystems. These movements are affected by both changed environmental conditions and by human activities, with consequences for, especially, consumers in receiving ecosystems. A relatively new, exciting area within this field is how the quality of resource flows is modified in response to environmental change and how this alters the importance of resource flows in recipient systems. Finally, aquatic insects, which live a majority of their lives in water to later emerge and fly up onto land, can potentially transfer environmental pollution to consumers on land. This is investigated with focus on lead, zinc, and per- and poly- fluoroalkyl substances.