Environments around the world are changing rapidly because of human activities. We investigate how organisms respond to these changes, and the consequences their responses have for populations, communities and ecosystems.

We have two main lines of research: one that focusses on empirical research and impact of factors such as climate change, eutrophication and light pollution, and another that centres on synthesising the research field through reviews and the building of conceptual frameworks.

Our topics

Empirical research on responses to rapid environmental change

How do organisms respond to human-induced disturbances, such as climate change, eutrophication, and light pollution? Are the responses adaptive and promote population growth, or increase the risk of population decline and extinction? How do the responses influence other species and the composition of the community and the functioning of the ecosystem?

These are questions that we investigate using a range of organisms, from small aquatic invertebrates and terrestrial glowworms in Europe to large crocodiles in Indian rivers.

  • Effects of climate change, eutrophication and species invasions on Baltic Sea coastal communities
  • Effects of light pollution on glow-worm populations
  • Effects of light pollution on freshwater invertebrates and their ecological function
  • Effects of light pollution on threespine sticklebacks
  • Effects of light pollution on threatened species of the Ganga river system in India
Synthesising the research field

The amount of data on effects of human activities on organisms is rapidly growing, making it possible to search for trends, evaluate mechanisms behind the trends, and infer likely consequences for populations, communities and ecosystems. Thus, an important component of our research is to synthesise available information and use it to develop conceptual frameworks, identify gaps in our knowledge, and provide decision makers in policy and management with useful information.

  • How to perform behavioural research
  • How to use behavioural research to assess impacts of human activities on ecosystem:
    • to understand the mechanisms and pathways behind the impact
    • to predict the consequences
    • to indicate disturbed ecosystems
    • to develop mitigation strategies