Most of the heat associated with climate change has been buffered in our oceans, and in combination with multiple other human pressures, including eutrophication, pollution and fishing, this has resulted in habitat destruction and accelerating biodiversity loss. The rapid ongoing change emphasizes the importance of understanding, and quantifying, how changes in the environment affect biodiversity, global biogeochemical cycling, and marine food webs to facilitate better management and conservation. Accelerating climate change is predicted to fundamentally transform coastal ecosystems in the future and affect their carbon sequestration and nutrient retention capacity, eventually affecting the biodiversity of coastal environments. Addressing the context-dependence of these issues is imperative in the already heavily impacted Baltic Sea, where the warming is now faster than the global average.
The Marine Biodiversity and Global Change Collegium based at Tvärminne Zoological Station (University of Helsinki) is a group of senior researchers with expertise on all major coastal habitat types to facilitate new broad-scale research efforts and provide synergy across disciplines to resolve interactions between marine biodiversity and global change. National and international collaborative networks are extensive. Combined with new research infrastructure platforms, including state-of the art field laboratories, instrumentation and research vessels, the collegium is well positioned to address climate change and biodiversity issues. The establishment of the collegium has been possible thanks to generous funding from a private donation from Heidi Andersson, various foundations and the corporate world.
Prof. Alf Norkko (PI/coordinator); benthic ecology, ecosystem ecology
Doc. Joanna Norkko, research coordinator, benthic ecology, ecophysiology
Ass. Prof. Aleksandra Lewandowska, pelagic ecology, BEF - research
Doc. Camilla Gustafsson, seagrass ecology, aquatic plant biodiversity
Dr. Anna Villnäs, soft sediment ecology, stoichiometry
Dr. Ivan F. Rodil, across-habitat ecology, ecosystem metabolism
Dr. Mats Westerbom, research coordinator, rocky shore ecosystems, bivalve reefs
Private donations (Heidi Andersson)