Two PhD positions (1: vegetation ecology, 2: ecosystem function/host-parasite interactions) are now open for applicants at Karlstad University. Both positions are full time for five years within the River Ecology and Management (NRRV) research group and include 80 % research and 20 % department duties (mainly teaching).

The applications for both positions close on 31 January 2019.

 

PhD position in vegetation ecology

River Klarälven, Värmland

The project will study which factors control diaspore dispersal and plant community composition along boreal streams, which in turn may have cascading effects on functional plant diversity and ecosystem functioning. The specific research questions to be addressed will be decided in consultation with the candidate. Areas of particular interest are (1) the effects of local and landscape-scale factors for plant species composition and diversity and cascading effects on ecosystem functioning and (2) studies of factors promoting or constraining plant dispersal along streams.

Read more and apply for the position here!

 

Ecosystem function/host-parasite interactions

The position will focus on either the role of mussels for ecosystem function or host-parasite interactions. Areas of interest are (1) the role of mussels for stream ecosystem function and (2) host-parasite interactions between mussels and their host fish. The specific research questions to be addressed will be decided in consultation with the candidate.

Read more and apply for the position here!

Amy Newsom on lake Alstern.

In August and September 2018, Amy Newsom from Germany visited Karlstad University and did an internship with NRRV. Here she writes about her months at Karlstad University.

“Having spent a year at Karlstad University as an exchange student in 2017 in the framework of my bachelor program “Environmental and Sustainability Studies” at the Leuphana University in Lüneburg, Germany, I had already been able to gain a first impression of the university’s biology department, which sparked my interest in freshwater ecology. Consequently, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to join the Naturresurs rinnande vatten Team for a six-week internship in August and September of 2018.

During the weeks I spent at Karlstad University, I was able to work with different researchers, getting to know a variety of projects and greatly extending my previous knowledge on freshwater and riparian ecology, in particular river connectivity. My main aim in this internship was to gain more practical research experience, so I was glad to be able to spend a lot of time both in the lab and in the field. For example, my work included processing raw data on the ventilation rates of young trout to assess differences in metabolism efficiency, counting the eggs of spiders gathered in the field and preparing samples for stable isotope analysis to assess the impact of hydro dams on food web interactions of fish. This was a particularly interesting experience as stable isotope analysis was a new scientific procedure to me, and I was keen to learn more about it. I was also excited to join in some of the field work conducted during my time at NRRV, collecting fish, invertebrates and plankton samples from the lake Alstern and electrofishing in the rivers Mörrumsån and Emån to assess the overall community composition at different sites. I was furthermore able to gain valuable insights into the design of research experiments while accompanying the setting up of an experimental flume in Älvkarleby and the preparation of eel traps in the river Alsterälven. In the time I spent in the office, I was also able to gather more experience in data analysis and scientific writing, both helpful preparations for my upcoming bachelor thesis.

Amy Newsom dissecting a crayfish.

Returning to Karlstad also gave me the opportunity to improve my Swedish, reconnect with old friends and make new contacts, as well as further explore the forests, rivers and lakes in the area that I have come to love so much. My thanks go out to John Piccolo, on whose invitation I was able join NRRV as an intern, the International Offices both in Karlstad and at my home university for helping me with the administrative process, and the German foundation Meifort Stiftung, whose generous support made this internship possible for me. I am also incredibly grateful to all the researchers at the KAU biology department who warmly welcomed me into their team, took the time to introduce me to their work and helped me gain new knowledge and experience, in particular Olle Calles, Rachel Bowes, Larry Greenberg, Denis Lafage, Karl Filipsson, Andrew Harbicht, Lovisa Lind and Niclas Carlsson.”

Amy Newsom and Andrew Harbicht (NRRV-postdoc) electrofishing in river Mörrumsån.

Karlstad University, Hudiksvall municipality, the county board in Gävleborg and Dam Removal Europe are arranging an international seminar on dam removal in Hudiksvall, Sweden, 24-26 September 2018. The aim of Dam Removal Europe is to restore European rivers by removing dams, and in that way ensure the preservation of free-flowing rivers full of fish.

Several different aspects of dam removal will be discussed during the three-day seminar, such as effects of dams on migratory fish and whole ecosystems, social issues, hydro-industry perspectives and existing policies. The seminar will also include presentations of case studies and a visit to dam removal sites.

Read more and register for the seminar here!

Rachel Bowes and Denis Lefage collect samples for stable isotope analysis. Stable isotope analysis in stream ecology will be one topic of the course.

On 10-13 October, the PhD-course “Aquatic ecology and land-water interactions” will be given at Karlstad University. Invited lecturers and Karlstad University researchers will give talks on a range of freshwater ecology topics, including:

  • Fish behavior
  • Fish migration
  • Stable isotopes
  • Winter ecology
  • Conservation management
  • Stream-riparian interactions
  • Longitudinal connectivity and fish passage
  • Freshwater mussel-fish interactions
  • Geographical information systems in fisheries science.

Participants will also be given the opportunity to present their ongoing research, and to visit the aquaria facilities at the university. Lecturers include, Kurt Fausch, Stephanie Januchowski-Hartley (over distance), Jörgen Johnsson, Johan Höjesjö, Nicolas LarrangaRachel Bowes, Larry Greenberg, John Piccolo, and Olle Calles. Presenting students will be rewarded with 1.5 ETCS. The course is free to attend but requires registration. Participants from IRSAE-institutions may be partially reimbursed for travel and accommodation. For questions and registration, email John Piccolo at john.piccolo@kau.se.

removalThere are currently two openings for full-time post-doctoral research fellows with the River Ecology and Management (NRRV) group at the Department of Environmental and Life Sciences, Karlstad University  One position is in the field of stream-riparian ecology with focus on the reciprocal interactions and linkages between aquatic and terrestrial habitats. The other position is on river connectivity with focus on rehabilitation, management and development strategies. Read full position announcements here:

Post-doctoral Research Fellow in Aquatic-Terrestrial Linkages

Post-doctoral Research Fellow in Ecology of River Connectivity

Last application date is February 10.

 

John Piccolo writes about the ongoing Masters course Ecological Resource Management at Karlstad University:

“Our Masters course on Ecological Resource Management is now underway for fall 2015.  Students can read the course on campus or by distance, and we have a field and lab study week in the beginning of November. This year we discussed watershed management and invasive species in the historic Alsterdalen, home of reknowned poet Gustaf Fröding. Professor Lutz Eckstein led the discussion on invasive plants (such as late-blooming Lupine, see group foto). Then we drove over the divide to Klarälvsdalen and downriver to the Almar Forest (Almar skogen). There we discussed forest management with Ove Nystrand, forester for Svenska Kyrkan. 

On the second day we traveled down the River Gullspångsäven, home of the world-reknowned landlocked salmon, Gullspångslaxen. We met Robert Skogh, Mariestads kommun, and got a great overview of his efforts over the past 20 years to protect Gullspångslaxen. Then it was back up to the River Klarälven, where Johnny Norrgård and Olle Calles led the discussion on migration and conservation of Klarälvslaxen (Klarälven salmon).  In the course we use Lake Vänern salmon and trout as a case study for resource management. The students follow up with their own case studies, which will include diverse topics such as Lynx, Lupine, woodpeckers and windpower/bat interactions. It is an exciting course and educational for the teachers and well as the students. “

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John Piccolo (far left) and students at the Masters course “Ecological Resource Management”.

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Invasive Canadian goldenrod (Solidago canadensis) by the River Klarälven.

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Small stream in the Almar forest.