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Anna-Karin Dahlberg

My research in environmental chemistry is focused on understanding sources, fate and transport of halogenated organic compounds, primarily in the marine environment. My research includes development of analytical methods using gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS). I am also working on developing new remediation methods for contaminated sediment and contaminated soil.



FIB-GHG (ongoing project)

The project aims to investigate which factors affect the formation of greenhouse gases in fiberbanks and how the gas production differs in various aquatic environments in Sweden. (Formas, Project leader: Anna-Karin Dahlberg, SLU)

Project FIB-GHG

Myco-DDT (ongoing project)

The aim of this 4-year research project is to develop a new, resource-efficient in situ bioremediation method for DDT-contaminated soils using lignin degrading fungi. (SGU & Sveaskog, Project leaders: Anna-Karin Dahlberg/Karin Wiberg, SLU)

The Myco-DDT project

RemErgy (ongoing project)

The overall goal of this research project is to reduce the spread of pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions from polluted fiber sediments. In the project, we will investigate the potential of combining remediation of the fiberbank sediments with biogas production. (Formas, Project leader: Alizée Lehoux, Uppsala University)

Co-GAS (ongoing project)

The lack of measurements of gas-mediated pollution transport makes it difficult to assess the risk of contaminant dispersal from fiberbanks. This project aims to (i) develop a method that allow in-situ sampling of ebullition gas from fiberbanks (ii) to quantify and fingerprint the environmental drivers of semi-volatile contaminants (POPs and Hg) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission (iii) compare these results for both intact and remediated sites, and (iv) create a risk assessment procedure that takes into account the transport of pollutants from gas ebullition to support future assessments and remediation measures. (Sw-EPA, Project leader: Paul Frogner-Kockum, SGI)


Fiberbanks have recently been identified as potential sources for persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the Baltic Sea. These fiberbanks originate from paper and pulp industries, which in the past discharged large amounts of contaminated cellulose and wood fibers into the aquatic environment, which deposited on the seafloor. Capping has been proposed as a potential cost effective remediation technique for preventing release of POPs from contaminated fiberbanks. Extensive gas production in fiberbanks may, however, disrupt the cap’s structural integrity and reduce its effectiveness to prevent contaminant dispersal. GASFIB aims to quantify contaminant transport of POPs mediated via gas ebullition in fiberbanks and to study the effect of gas ebullition on the effectiveness of different capping materials. (Formas, Project leader: Anna-Karin Dahlberg, SLU)

The GASFIB project


This project aims to develop cost effective techniques to characterize fiberbank sediments in field and to evaluate capping as an in-situ remediation techniques for fiberbanks. The capping efficiency will be tested in laboratory by performing column experiments. (Vinnova, Project leader: Ian Snowball, Uppsala University)

The FIBREM project


In this research project I work with analysis of chlorinated organic contaminants in heavily polluted cellulose rich fiber sediments (so called fiberbanks) in Sweden. The chemical analysis is performed using gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS). The aim of the project is to survey the levels of contamination in fiberbanks and assess the risk of dispersal of contaminant laden to the surrounding aquatic environment. Furthermore does the project aim to provide recommendations to administrative authorities regarding potential actions for remediation. (Formas/TUFFO, Project leader: Ian Snowball, Uppsala University)

The TREASURE project

OXPHOS (PhD project)

During my PhD studies I worked with chemical analysis of naturally produced brominated environmental toxins in the Baltic Sea, with special focus on hydroxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (OH-PBDEs). The analyses were carried out using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The project aim was to assess mussels, fish and sea ducks exposure to naturally produced OH-PBDEs and to study these compounds potential to interfere with the organisms energy (ATP) production by disrupting the biochemical process called oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). (Formas, Project leader: Åke Bergman, Stockholm University)



  • 2015. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Environmental Chemistry (Stockholm University, Sweden and Vrije University, the Netherlands)
  • 2010. Master’s degree in Environmental Chemistry (Stockholm University, Sweden)
  • 2008. Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry (Stockholm University, Sweden)

Selected publications

Peer reviewed articles (2014 - present)

Spatial distribution of legacy pesticides in river sediment from the Republic of Moldova. Anastasia Ivanova, Karin Wiberg, Lutz Ahrens, Elena Zubcov, Anna-Karin Dahlberg. Chemosphere 2021 (279) 130923-130931.

Extreme gas production in anthropogenic fibrous sediments: an overlooked biogenic source of greenhouse gas emissions. Alizée P. Lehoux, Anastasija Isidorova, Fredrik Collin, John Koestel, Ian Snowball, Anna-Karin Dahlberg. Science of the Total Environment 2021 (781) 146772-146779.

Dispersal of persistent organic pollutants from fiber-contaminated sediments: biotic and abiotic pathways. Anna-Karin Dahlberg, Anna Apler, Paul Frogner-Kockum, Gunnel Göransson, Ian Snowball, Karin Wiberg, Sarah Josefsson. Journal of Soils and Sediments 2021 (21) 1852-1865.

Persistent organic pollutants in wood fiber-contaminated sediments from the Baltic Sea. Anna-Karin Dahlberg, Anna Apler, Lisa Vogel, Karin Wiberg, Sarah Josefsson. Journal of Soils and Sediments 2020 (20) 2471-2483.

Assessing costs and benefits of improved soil quality management in remediation projects: A study of an urban site contaminated with PAH and metals. Yevheniya Volchko, Dan Berggren Kleja, Pär Erik Back, Charlotta Tiberg, Anja Enell, Maria Larsson, Christopher M. Jones, Astrid Taylor, Maria Viketoft, Annika Åberg, Anna-Karin Dahlberg, Jana Weiss, Karin Wiberg, Lars Rosén. Science of the Total Environment 2020 (707) 135582.

Fluorotelomer alcohols (FTOHs), brominated flame retardants (BFRs), organophosphorus flame retardants (OPFRs) and cyclic volatile methylsiloxanes (cVMSs) in indoor air from occupational and home environments. Bo Sha, Anna-Karin Dahlberg, Karin Wiberg, Lutz Ahrens. Environmental Pollution. 2018 (241) 319-330.

Effects of hydroxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers in developing zebrafish are indicative of disruption of oxidative phosphorylation. Jessica Legradi, Marinda van Pomeren, Anna-Karin Dahlberg, Juliette Legler. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2017 (18) 970-983.

Sampling designs for contaminant temporal trend analyses using sedentary species exemplified by the snails Bellamya aeruginosa and Viviparus viviparous. Yin Ge, Sara Danielsson, Anna-Karin Dahlberg, Yihui Zhou, Yanling Qiu, Elisabeth Nyberg, Anders Bignert. Chemosphere 2017 (185), 431-438.

Hydroxylated and methoxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers in Long-tailed duck (Clangula hyemalis) and their main food, Baltic blue mussels (Mytilus trossulus x Mytilus edulis). Anna-Karin Dahlberg, Vivian Lindberg Chen, Kjell Larsson, Åke Bergman, Lillemor Asplund. Chemosphere 2016 (144) 1475-1483.

Anthropogenic and naturally produced brominated substances in Baltic herring (Clupea harengus membras) from two sites in the Baltic Sea. Anna-Karin Dahlberg, Anders Bignert, Jessica Legradi, Juliette Legler, Lillemor Asplund. Chemosphere 2016 (144) 2408-2414.       

Disruption of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) by hydroxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (OH-PBDEs) present in the marine environment. Jessica Legradi, Anna-Karin Dahlberg, Peter Cenijn, Lillemor Asplund, Åke Bergman, Juliette Legler. Environmental Science and Technology 2014 (48) 14703-14711.

Recovery discrepancies of OH-PBDEs and polybromophenols in human plasma and cat serum versus herring and long-tailed duck plasma. Anna-Karin Dahlberg, Jessica Norrgran, Lotta Hovander, Åke Bergman, Lillemor Asplund. Chemosphere 2014 (94) 97-103.