Members of the Tvärminne Benthic Ecology Team:


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Prof. Alf Norkko: My role is to broadly promote Baltic Sea research and synthesis and marine ecological research at Tvärminne Zoological Station (TZS). In my own research I work with understanding marine ecosystem processes in general and the ecology of seafloor habitats in particular. I am broadly interested in community ecology, exploring the value of biodiversity and the mechanisms important for its maintenance.


More information in research database TUHAT and Google Scholar
Email: firstname.lastname@helsinki.fi
Phone: + 358 (0)50 5686766




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Dr. Joanna Norkko: I want to know how important benthic fauna is for the functioning of marine ecosystems. How does environmental change (hypoxia, climate change, etc.) affect the fauna? Will invasive species have a good or a bad influence on the ecosystem? In order to manage ecosystems wisely, we need to know these things. As research coordinator at TZS my role is also to facilitate other research projects at the station.


More information in research database TUHAT and Google Scholar
Email: firstname.lastname@helsinki.fi
Phone: + 358 (0)400 419021




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Dr. Camilla Gustafsson: I am interested in exploring how the functional diversity of seagrasses and other submerged vascular plants affect ecosystem functioning. This includes testing the relationship between functional plant diversity and ecosystem processes such as primary production in situ and investigating whether such relationships change along an environmental gradient (inner to outer archipelago). In addition, I am interested in looking at multitrophic effects, i.e. how traits of associated fauna may promote plant growth.


More information at in Google Scholar
Email: firstname.lastname@helsinki.fi




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Dr. Anna Villnäs: I explore how disturbances affect the structure and function of benthic communities. I am specifically interested of how changes in benthic biological traits affect sediment ecosystem functioning (e.g. sediment biogeochemistry) in situ. My interests also include the use of macrofaunal communities as a tool for assessing environmental status.


More information in Google Scholar
Email: firstname.lastname@helsinki.fi
Phone: +358 (0)40 1823335





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Dr. Guillaume Bernard: I am interested in studying bioturbation, or the way benthic organisms modify their surrounding sedimentary environment, from the scale of single particle to the whole benthic community. Through the quantification of bioturbation processes (in both mechanistic and in-situ experiments), which are of major importance in ecosystems such as the Baltic Sea, I am trying to unravel the complex interactions between benthic biodiversity, organisms’ behavior, and biogeochemical cycles.


Email: firstname.lastname@u-bordeaux.fr



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Dr. Iván Franco Rodil: I am an experimental ecologist with interest in the effects of environmental factors and biotic interactions on macrobenthos. My research focuses on the measurement of dynamic rates and processes in soft-sediment ecosystems and how they are related to elements of biodiversity, with special interest in exploring the role of natural and human-induced disturbances. I like conducting large, manipulative field experiments involving spatial and parameter gradients. My work at TZS follows a joint research initiative to strengthen the relationship between the University of Helsinki (TZS) and Stockholm University (Baltic Sea Centre).

Email: firstname.lastname@helsinki.fi
More information at: http://ivanrodil.weebly.com/


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Dr. Paloma Lucena-Moya: I like to consider myself as a multidisciplinary aquatic ecologist with special interest in the concept of “applied ecology”, in particular for management purposes. I have studied different aquatic ecosystems crossing frontiers through rivers, lakes, transitional waters and the sea, exploring the relationships between invertebrates (plankton and benthos) and ecosystem functioning. I am interested in the application of European Directives focused on water protection (WFD, MSFD), the application of ecological thresholds for management purposes, and most recently I have included spatial analysis (GIS) in my research topics.

More information at: http://palomalucenamoya.weebly.com/




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Dr. Karl Attard: My research focuses on primary production, mineralization, and the autotrophic-heterotrophic balance of seafloor habitats. I use the aquatic eddy-covariance (EC) technique to provide direct and noninvasive measures of ecosystem metabolism. My work at TZS combines EC measurements with biodiversity analyses and aims to make relevant comparisons across key benthic habitats of the Baltic Sea. This work is part of a new collaboration between Ronnie Glud’s lab at the University of Southern Denmark and the benthic ecology team at TZS.

Email: firstname.lastname@biology.sdu.dk
More information in Google Scholar




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Dr. Kim Jaatinen: My research focuses on trophic interactions surrounding two species that link the marine and the terrestrial environments in the Baltic Sea ecosystem: the blue mussel and the eider duck. To clarify the direct and trophically mediated impacts of environmental change on various trophic levels I use a multitude of approaches, including population level time series analyses, detailed individual based data and experiments. One of my main objectives is to shed light on the precipitous population decline of the eider duck.

Email: firstname.lastname@helsinki.fi
More information in research database TUHAT, Google Scholar and Research Gate




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Dr. Anna Jansson: I am interested in how ocean acidification (OA) impacts calcifying species, such as bivalves, that have a key role in our low-diversity system. Low pH levels predicted to occur elsewhere in ca. 100 years are already measured in our fluctuating system. This makes these species interesting; adapted but vulnerable to future acidification. My results show that these bivalves are even more sensitive to OA than expected.

Email: firstname.lastname@environment.fi






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MSc Henri Jokinen (PhD student): I am investigating the reasons behind a recent population decline in flounder, the most common flatfish species in the Baltic Sea and an important benthivore. I am interested in the general ecology and the mechanisms controlling population variability of this species in the northern Baltic Sea, on the edge of its distribution range.

Email: firstname.lastname@helsinki.fi







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MSc Laura Kauppi (PhD student): I am studying the invasive polychaete Marenzelleria spp. in the northern Baltic Sea. The Marenzelleria species complex has become one of the most dominant benthic species since its invasion to the area in the 1990's and has now spread to the entire Baltic Sea. It is dominant and therefore likely to provide some important functions, but its role in the system is virtually unknown.

Email: firstname.lastname@helsinki.fi






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MSc Johanna Gammal (PhD student): I am investigating the role of benthic communities for ecosystem functioning. I am especially interested in how the benthic fauna is affecting the nutrient retention and transformation in varying coastal habitats. The coastal zone is very important because it provides us with many ecosystem services and maintains many important ecosystem processes. But with the ongoing eutrophication and threat of increasing hypoxia these ecosystems may be changed or impaired. For example, what happens to the functions and, on a larger scale, to ecosystem services if we lose or get changed fauna communities?

Email: firstname.lastname@helsinki.fi




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MSc Mari Joensuu (PhD student): I am studying sediment resuspension and the subsequent release of nutrients from sediments in different habitats in the shallow areas of the Baltic Sea. I focus on physical and biological factors that affect the interactions between the sediment and the water column and how these factors change over habitat gradients. I am also a member of the “Nutrient cycles in aquatic ecosystems” group led by Susanna Hietanen at the Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki.

Email: firstname.lastname@helsinki.fi





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MSc Marie Järnström (PhD student, Åbo Akademi): My focus is on the benthic fauna in the coastal zone and its role in the functioning of the coastal ecosystem. I am particularly interested in the biological traits expressed by the fauna and the link between traits and ecosystem processes, such as nutrient cycling. Focusing on traits instead of on the commonly used species identity enables us to reveal patterns in ecological processes in relation to the functionality of the benthic community present.

Email: firstname.lastname@abo.fi







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MSc Eva Ehrnsten (PhD student, University of Helsinki & Stockholm University): My main interests are coastal ecology and management. In my thesis, I study ecosystem functions in the coastal zone, focusing on Baltic Sea benthic invertebrate animals and plants. I also look at how the joint effects of climate change and human-induced pressures such as nutrient loads might change the functioning of the benthic system and the ecosystem services it provides through model simulations. I work jointly at Tvärminne Zoological Station and the Baltic Sea Centre of Stockholm University.

Email: firstname.lastname@su.se
Phone: +46 (0)76 4257066




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MMBiol Charlotte Angove (PhD student): I look at aquatic plant communities and their role in ecosystem processes. The fundamental question is how morphological traits of different species can influence their ability to perform ecosystem processes, such as nutrient cycling and primary production. I am also interested in how interacting environmental conditions can influence the relationship between plant functional traits and the performance of ecosystem processes.

Email: firstname.lastname@helsinki.fi







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MSc Lukas Meysick (PhD student, Åbo Akademi): During my PhD I would like to explore the context-dependency of facilitation between benthic ecosystem engineers. I'm particularly interested in the interactions between eelgrass Zostera marina and different bivalve and polychaete species in the Baltic Sea and to what extent environmental conditions might influence these interactions in terms of habitat patch emergence and resilience to physical disturbances.

Email: firstname.lastname@abo.fi







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MSc Leena Virta (PhD student): I look at benthic diatom communities in the coastal zone. I want to define environmental factors and biotic interactions that drive the spatial and temporal change in diatom community and trait composition. My research includes Baltic Sea diatom communities at different geographical scales: from a local study in the Tvärminne region to a study comprising several countries.

Email: firstname.lastname@helsinki.fi






Former group members:

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Dr. Sebastian Valanko: I am interested in the spatial ecology of benthic communities and I am especially interested in how different types of disturbances and dispersal processes affect patterns of diversity – important in recovery and resilience of an ecosystem. For my PhD I applied ideas from metacommunity ecology and used manipulative field experiments, as well as measured dispersal in situ across different scales in both space and time.

Currently working as Advisory Programme Professional Officer at ICES, Copenhagen (www.ices.dk).






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Victoria Ollus (Master's student): In my MSc thesis I am investigating the biodiversity and abundance of epibenthic fauna in shallow bays. The coastal areas support a large range of different habitats and are known to be important feeding and nursery grounds to a wide variety of fish and invertebrate species. For the proposal of appropriate management priorities, there is a need for basic information about the quality of these shallow bays as a habitat.


Email: firstname.lastname@helsinki.fi






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Anna Ahlnäs (Master's student, Åbo Akademi): In my MSc thesis I am investigating the diurnal and seasonal variation in pH in a number of coastal habitats. Only recently have natural pH variations started to be taken into account in ocean acidification research. The naturally fluctuating pH values may, in fact, contribute to that some organisms already have some adaptations to pH fluctuations. Information on natural variability is important to allow for further consideration in research on the effects of future ocean acidification.