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Environmental Change Research Unit - ECRU


Contact information:

Environmental Change Research Unit (ECRU)
Department of Environmental Sciences
P.O. Box 65 (Viikinkaari 1)
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki

Phone: +358-9-1911
(main switch board)
or see People


Jan Weckström


M.Sc. Raino-Lars Albert - PhD-student

Morning mist, Photo: Jan Weckström

I started my studies in biology in 1994 at the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Germany. Then I went to France for one year as an Erasmus-student. There, at the University of Nantes, which is situated near the Atlantic ocean at the Loire-estuary, I familiarized myself for the first time with the aquatic environment. Since 1997 I have been studying hydrobiology at the University of Helsinki. During the summer of 1999 I got enthusiastic about the Finnish Lapland nature while participating a field course in arctic hydrobiology at the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station. This is one reason why I decided to make my master's thesis in this environment. I graduated in 2003. PhD studies about diatoms, mountain brooks and climate change continue until 2006.

Currently I am working for the ARKTIS Graduate School in Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland, even if my actual working place is situated in Joensuu, Eastern Finland. The Arctic Graduate School (ARKTIS) is a new multidisciplinary graduate school at the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Finland (2003-). The theme of the school is "Social and Environmental Impacts of Modernization and Global Change in the Arctic".

The title of my thesis "Diatom ecology in three mountain brooks of the Kilpisjärvi area (NW Finnish Lapland)" (note the abstracts in German, English and French) , finished in 2003, reveals that in the field of ecological research about diatoms in lotic systems of subarctic regions are still a lot of open questions for instance as follows:

  • Which diatom species occur in these mountain streams?
  • Which factors determine the occurence of diatom species in different parts of a stream (e.g. stream velocity, water chemistry, habitat, etc.)?
  • Do the diatom communities of a brook show a seasonal succession during the ice free time?
  • Which diatom species do clearly prefer lotic environments?

During my work I expected to learn

  • to specify the different diatom species of lotic environments in the Kilpisjärvi area,
  • to understand and interpret physico-chemical variables and their impacts on diatoms,
  • to use statistical methods (e.g. multivariate analysis) and to utilise GIS techniques for sampling, presentation and analysis of results.

During the summer season 2000, from the beginning of July to early October, I took samples from three mountain brooks flowing into Lake Saanajärvi on the northwest slope of fjeld Saana. Each stream was represented by three sampling sites, one at the beginning, one in the middle and one at the inlet to Lake Saanajärvi. Sampling took place every two weeks to assure that possible succession of the diatom communities would be detected. Habitats were sampled by taking little amounts of water mosses and sand as well as by scratching epilithic biofilm containing diatoms from stones.
If you understand German, you are welcome to visit my more personal web pages with a diary of my field work in summer 2000 at Kilpisjärvi



Raino-Lars Albert
Department of Environmental Sciences
Division of Environmental Change and Policy / ECRU
P.O.Box 65 (Viikinkaari 1)
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki
Phone: +358-40-5663326


The Arctic Graduate School: ARKTIS

Master's thesis: Diatom ecology in three mountain brooks of the Kilpisjärvi area (NW Finnish Lapland) , in Finnish (German, English and French abstracts)

Master's thesis' diary: Mein Progradu-Tagebuch

Course in high alpine freshwater ecosystems, Obergurgl, Austria, 13.-19.7.2003. Teacher: Dr. Leopold Füreder. Course report (1847 kb).

Personal home page: Rainos Heimseite

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