About us / Staff

Elinor Andren

Contact information

Elinor Andren
Senior Lecturer
Alfred Nobels allé 7
Södertörns Högskola
Phone: +46 8 608 4744
Fax: +46 8 608 4510
MD 470 Moas Båge

Elinor Andrén, Associate Professor in Physical Geography

I received a PhD in General and Historical Geology from Stockholm University in 1999. My thesis was conducted within the EU projects ODER and BASYS and studied how the natural environment of the Baltic Sea had changed over the last 10,000 years, and how and when human impact was recorded. Between 2000 and 2004 I had a post doc position at the Department of Earth Sciences at Uppsala University, where I primarily worked within the EU project MOLTEN to quantify and reconstruct background nutrient conditions in the Baltic Sea coastal zone to be used for the implementation of EU s Water Framework Directive.

Since 2004, I am lecturer in Physical Geography at the School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies at Södertörn University. I mainly teach Environmental Science at the courses Organisms and Processes in Nature, Applied Physical Geography, and The Baltic Seas Ecosystem and Natural Resources.

My research focus is paleoecology and paleoclimatology which includes the study of environmental change and landscape development, past climate change and the extent of human impact. I use fossil diatoms preserved in lake or sea sediments in combination with geochemical, sediment analyses and various dating methods to identify and explain changes in the environment such as salinity, water depth, climate, pH, nutrients and primary production.

Ongoing research projects

Baltic coastal environment the last 2000 years

One of the most serious problems of the Baltic Sea today is the spread of hypoxic bottoms that reduces the already low biodiversity. There are gaps in knowledge about the historical extent of oxygen-free bottoms in the Baltic Sea coastal zone and how marine ecosystems recover after long periods of hypoxia. In the research project UPPBASER (Understanding Past and Present Baltic Sea Ecosystem Response - background for a sustainable future) long sediment cores from the Baltic coast will be analyzed for diatoms and geochemistry within the time interval the past 2000 years. The purpose is to study how land use changes are reflected in the sediments from the coastal zone and if there is synchronicity in recorded changes between coastal areas and the open Baltic Sea. A major advantage of using coastal sediment cores is the possible availability of terrestrial macro fossils to date and establish reliable age models that enable regional comparisons with other environmental archives.

The paleoenvironment of the Baltic Sea

Baltic Sea contains sediment archives that enables studies of past climate and environmental change. During autumn 2013 the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 347 drilled several sites in the Baltic Sea in order to collect long sediment cores. I participate as diatom specialist in the Science Party together with 30 researchers from 12 different countries.

My research focuses on the role of climate-driven processes affecting the Baltic ecosystem (changes in temperature, precipitation, salinity, primary production and oxygenation) and how these are recorded in the sediment archives. Detailed diatom analyses will be performed on unique sediment records from the deepest part of the Baltic Basin, the Landsort trench, and the Bornholm Basin, within the research project Late Pleistocene and Holocene forcing on the Baltic Sea.

Holocene development of Kamchatka

I participated in the Swedish polar expedition Beringia 2005 to the peninsula of Kamchatka in eastern Russia organized by the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat. The peninsula was prohibited military territory until the collapse of the Soviet Union in early 1990s and has a sparse population of about 400,000 contributing to the preservation of a relatively unexplored and pristine terrain. The project aims to use lake sediments and peat sequences to interpret climate and environmental development of Kamchatka in the last 10,000 years. The sampled material is analyzed for diatoms, pollen, chironomids, stable isotopes, volcanic tephras and testate amoebaes, in close collaboration with researchers from Lund University, Queens University of Belfast, University College London, Natural History Museum in London and Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany.