Aquatic environments are of enormous importance as natural resources of drinking water, fish production, and recreation. However, surface waters worldwide are threatened by toxic cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms. The ruling paradigm (blooms like it hot) is that there will be more frequent and intense cyanobacterial blooms in the due to higher temperatures and higher nutrient input. However, during the 2018 extreme hot summer in Sweden, we observed inconsistencies in this prediction. The event 2018 led to a complete shift in the algal community of a drinking water supply. Instead a non-cyanobacterium, a potentially toxic dinoflagellate bloomed. This leads to new issues and challenges for management and drinking water plants.

The overall goal of the project is to investigate and include the effect of extreme weather events in conceptual models for future algal blooms, thereby filling an important knowledge gap. The specific aims include determining how widespread community shifts were in 2018, to which extent spring temperatures determine bloom composition, and if the drought reduced nutrient inputs thereby allowing cyanobacteria to be outcompeted. In addition, algal toxins will be investigated in the various stages of drinking water treatment.

The PhD student will thus organize and perform field studies and laboratory experiments, as well as analyze data from the national phytoplankton monitoring program. The PhD student will also be involved in a citizen science program to enhance public engagement and provide high-intensity sampling.

For eligibility and required qualifications see:

For more information contact Karin Rengefors at:
[email protected]

Closing date: 15 February 2020
Apply here: