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Renee Van Dorst

Renee Van Dorst
I am a postdoc studying the effects of environmental change on Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) in Northern mountain lakes, as both an increase in water temperature and a decrease in nutrient concentrations are expected to negatively affect Arctic charr growth and abundance. In addition, I study if interactions with brown trout and minnow are influencing Arctic charr and its responses to these environmental changes.


I am a postdoctoral researcher at the department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies. In my current research, I study the effects of environmental change on Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) in Northern mountain lakes. 

During my PhD, I studied the effects of climate change on freshwater fish in lakes. More specifically, I assessed the impacts of water warming and browning on perch (Perca fluviatilis) and roach (Rutilus rutilus), focussing on effects on feeding behaviour, body growth and size, and population biomass and productivity. I found that effects of warming and browning on fish depend on their body size, sex and species identity. 


Much of my current and previous work focusses on how fish body size influences climate change impacts and its ecological interactions. To conduct my research I like to use a combination of experiments (e.g. mesocosm experiments) and large-scale test fishing data.


I graduated from the master program in Biology (Freshwater Ecology specialization) at UiT - The Arctic University of Norway in 2015. In 2016, I started a PhD at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences at the department of Aquatic Resources. I finished my PhD in September 2020 and started to work as a postdoc at the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) in Berlin. In September 2022 I started my postdoc at SLU Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies in Umeå.

Selected publications

van Dorst, R. M., Argillier, C., Brucet S., Holmgren, K., Volta, P., Winfield I. J., Mehner T. (2022) Can size distributions of European lake fish communities be predicted by trophic positions of their fish species? Ecology and evolution (12), e9087 doi:10.1002/ece3.9087

Mehner T., Attermeyer K., Brauns M., Brothers S., Hilt S., Scharnweber K., van Dorst R. M., Vanni, M. J., Gaedke U. (2022) Trophic transfer efficiency in lakes. Ecosystems . doi:10.1007/s10021-022-00776-3

van Dorst, R. M., Gårdmark, A., Svanbäck, R., & Huss, M.. (2022) Zooplanktivore fish body growth responses to browning-induced light limitation vary over ontogeny, but not with fish density. Ecology of freshwater fish, Vol. 31 Issue 1 Pages 17-28. doi:10.1111/eff.12605

Huss, M., van Dorst, R. M., & Gårdmark, A. (2021) Larval fish body growth responses to simultaneous browning and warming. Ecology and evolution (11) Pages 15132-15140. doi:10.1002/ece3.8194

van Dorst, R. M., Gårdmark, A., Svanbäck, R., & Huss, M.. (2020) Does browning-induced light limitation reduce fish body growth through shifts in prey composition or reduced foraging rates? Freshwater Biology, 65(5), 947-959. doi:10.1111/fwb.13481

van Dorst, R. M., Gårdmark, A., Svanbäck, R., Beier, U., Weyhenmeyer, G. A., & Huss, M. (2019). Warmer and browner waters decrease fish biomass production. Global Change Biology, 25(4), 1395-1408. doi:10.1111/gcb.14551

Huss, M., Lindmark, M., Jacobson, P., van Dorst, R. M., & Gardmark, A. (2019). Experimental evidence of gradual size-dependent shifts in body size and growth of fish in response to warming. Global Change Biology, 25(7), 2285-2295. doi:10.1111/gcb.14637