Ulf Molau, Professor
Tel: +46 (0)31 786 2665
Mobile phone: +46 (0)708 790533
Fax: +46 (0)31 786 2677
Teaching in general and terrestrial ecology, plant ecology, statistics, global change. Research related to arctic and alpine ecology, climate impacts on tundra ecosystems, indicator ecosystems, International Tundra Experiment (ITEX), landscape ecology, cliff ecology, tropical botany. In October 2010 I was a part of the Swedish delegation in the UN conference on biological diversity in Nagoya, Japan. In the last years he has had a several missions for the Swedish government in international negotiations on biological diversity and climate change.
Fernando Jaramillo, Post-doc
Fernando Jaramillo is a Researcher at Stockholm Resilience Center and Department of Physical Geography, Stockholm University. He is a civil Engineer that has worked in the coal-mining sector and environmental consultancy in his home country Colombia. After a 180-degree turn in life, he decided to start a venturing quest into hydrologic and water resources research. He holds a M.Sc. in Civil Engineering (McGill University) and a PhD in Physical Geography (Stockholm University), the latter obtained in 2015 and focused in hydrology and water resources. He has attributed and quantified historical human impacts on water resources and hydroclimate at the global scales from activities such as rain-fed and irrigated agriculture, forestry and flow regulation by dams. After finishing his PhD degree, he became a temporary postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg to study the interaction between forest development and hydroclimate in Northern regions.
Tage Vowles, PhD student
The overall objective of my research is to try to gain an increased understanding of plant-herbivore interactions in mountain ecosystems under a changing climate. In the recent past, substantial evidence has accumulated that arctic and alpine landscapes are undergoing distinct changes in plant community structure, presumably brought about by increasing temperatures and a prolonged snow-free season. However, research suggests that reindeer can inhibit climate-driven shrub expansion and plant community change in the Arctic. Consequently, model simulations not considering herbivore impact may be severely biased, thus impairing projections of vegetation composition and associated ecosystem changes. To improve our knowledge of how future climate warming may affect the Swedish mountains it is therefore crucial that we gain a better understanding of the underlying processes of large herbivore grazing on ecosystem functions and services.
Supervisor: Robert G. Björk.
Brigitte Nyirambangutse, PhD student
Carbon dynamics in tropical montane forest in Rwanda
Tropical rainforest plays an important role in the global terrestrial carbon cycle. This zone is undergoing rapid deforestation and degradation due to clearance for croplands, cattle pasture, logging and shifting cultivation. Few tropical forest sites have been the object of forest C cycle studies in detail. The lack of field data on the status of carbon stock and fluxes in central Africa is evident, which together with the high diversity of tree species contributes to the uncertainties in understanding the source/sink relationship of tropical African forests.
A study has therefore been initiated to address questions on biodiversity (plant species), carbon fluxes and stocks and scaling of results to whole forests. The study aims at answering the following research questions: Is high diversity connected to high carbon stocks? Is variation in vegetation structure linked to the variation in carbon storage? Are nutrients, climate, disturbances (fire, logging) or topography important determinant factors for carbon storage and biodiversity?
The study will be conducted in Nyungwe montane rain forest gazetted as a National Park to protect its extensive floral and faunal diversity covering an area of 970 km2. Nyungwe is located in Southwest Rwanda (2o17´-2o50´S, 29o07´-29o26A´E). The forest is ranging between 1600-2950 m.a.s.l. and is one of the most biologically important rainforest in Albertine Rift region in terms of Biodiversity. Nyungwe consists of a mixture of primary and secondary forest. It supports a richness of plant and animal life. More than 260 species of trees and shrubs have been found at Nyungwe, including species endemic to the Albertine Rift. Nyungwe is also one of the most important sites for bird. 260 bird species have been found, some are endemic to the Albertine Rift. Thirteen species of primates populate the forest, including chimpanzees. The forest has a climate with a mean annual temperature of 15.5oC and rainfall averages 1744 mm/yr, with July and August being the only months when rainfall drops. Many forms of human disturbance occur in the forest, including fires, tree cutting, gold mining, honey collection, trapping, and poaching.
In this study an east-westerly transect of experimental plots is to be set up where different types of forest occur on approximately the same altitude 2400-2500 m.a.s.l. primary forests stands, secondary forests stands and plantations in the buffer zones. We are sampling within the two plant communities with the highest relative density of Syzygium guineense (18.2 %) representing primary forest and Macaranga kilimandscharica (17.5 %) representing secondary forest and in the two most frequently occurring genus in the buffer zone: Eucalyptus and Pinus.
We will describe forest C dynamics in different live biomass components (aboveground and belowground live biomass) and soil organic matter divided into two components: litter and humus. Finally we will investigate fluxes between Carbon pools on live over-story and under-story of trees, shrubs, herbs, and its fine roots.
Karin Johansson, Post-doc
My main research interest is combining ecological questions and molecular methods. I am currently working in the project Molecular basis of natural variation in stomatal CO2 responsiveness, which aims at finding genomic regions or genes that control the stomatal response to elevated carbon dioxide concentrations. The first part of the project involves studies of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, which shows a large variation in stomatal responsiveness to carbon dioxide between different ecotypes. Next, we will study the evolution of stomatal responsiveness in different lineages of seed plants. Knowledge about the genetic regulation of how plants respond to higher carbon dioxide concentrations will be useful for the breeding of crop plants that will grow well under future climatic conditions and for evaluating the acclimation potential of different plant species and cultivars.
Previously, I have studied e.g. trophic interactions in lakes using fatty acid biomarkers and the historical occurrence of a bloom-forming alga using quantitative PCR on lake sediments.