Lena Norbäck Ivarsson
Since October 2014 I am enrolled as a PhD student in environmental science at the Baltic and East European Graduate School (BEEGS). My scientific interests lies within the field of ecological responses to environmental change and I am now working within the project UPPBASER (Understanding Past and Present Baltic Sea Ecosystem Response – Background for a sustainable future). I have both a Bachelor and a Master´s degree in biology and my main interest are diatoms.
Diatoms are single celled algae which can be found in nearly every aquatic habitat, often in high abundances and species richness. The cell walls of diatoms are impregnated with silica and thanks to this diatoms are well preserved and accumulate in sediment deposits. Their high abundances and often high species richness together with the fact that the species composition is very sensitive for factors in the environment such as pH, salinity, nutrient availability and temperature make the diatoms excellent paleoenvironmental indicators.
My focus in this project is the last 2000 years and my aim is to try to disentangle the two factors climate and human impact as predictors for environmental change. This is of extra importance now when we are facing anthropogenic climate change. As for the bigger picture, I also want to address the question of how knowledge of the past could be used to establish sustainable goals for the management of the Baltic Sea.