Exploring climate-induced shifts in aquatic communities in Swedish lakes (master)

Last changed: 13 June 2024

This MSc-Project aims at unravelling the effects of climate warming on chironomid communities of Swedish lakes. Using data from the Swedish Monitoring Program, the project will (1) compare temporal patterns in taxonomic composition of chironomid communities in littoral and profundal zones of lakes, and (2) provide novel insights into how climate change impacts Swedish freshwaters.

Relevance and Background

Climate warming has been identified as one of the most important and immediate threats to freshwater ecosystems, potentially leading to large changes in aquatic communities. Chironomidae (Arthropoda; Diptera; Nematocera) are non-biting midges whose larvae constitute a predominant group in freshwater ecosystems, thus serving as important biodiversity surrogates in aquatic ecosystems.

Preliminary analyses of monitoring data from a few pristine lakes in Sweden have revealed a widespread shift in chironomid communities in the early 2000s, and further investigations are, therefore, needed to identify the underlying causes.

Project details

The project will analyse time series of monitoring data of chironomid communities in littoral and profundal zones, and other relevant environmental variables to provide insights into how climate fluctuations influence chironomid communities in lakes.

Expected results

You will be working in an aquatic ecology research group and learn to analyse multivariate time-series data using R. Results may be published in a high-ranked scientific journal (with you as a co-author).


  • Main subject area: Biology or Environmental Science
  • Level: Advanced (Master)
  • Length: 30hp/20 weeks or 60 hp/40 weeks
  • Language for written report: English
  • Location: Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, Ultuna
  • Start date: Dates are flexible.