SLU news

Strengthened research and teaching about water

Published: 08 December 2022

During 2022, the Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment at SLU, Swedish University of Agriculture, got four new docents. Consequently, the research and teaching at SLU in the freshwater area are now strengthened.

Doing research on the aquatic world can mean a variety of things, something the department's four new docents are proof of. Although all researchers are interested in water, it is on different types of water and with different perspectives, their research is conducted. The four docents have their respective specialisations in the following areas:

  • How small, aquatic parasites interact with their hosts in the aquatic food web and what their interactions mean for how we can use water (Maliheh Mehrshad).
  • How cyanobacteria in the Bothnian Sea adapt to their surroundings and what impact this has on the ecological balance (Malin Olofsson).
  • The presence of mercury in soil and water and how the cycle of mercury is affected by natural and human-caused disturbances in nature (Karin Eklöf).
  • How aquatic insect species interact in time and space with each other and their environments, aiming to be of benefit to water conservation and management (Simon Belle).

The docent committee perspective

Brendan McKie is vice dean and chairman of the docent committee at the Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences (NJ Faculty) at SLU. He describes the docent title as proof of a developed academic and pedagogical skill after the doctorate.

- Examination and appointment of a docent is an important way for a university to work on its quality, says Brendan. For the individual, the docent title means an authorisation to be the main supervisor, examiner, author of expert reports, and similar assignments for SLU.

At the NJ faculty, the title docent is awarded to a university-employed researcher after evaluation and decision by the faculty committee, on the recommendation of the docent committee. The evaluation is done by the docent committee and an external party that examines the candidate’s pedagogical qualities and the development of their line of research. Among other things, the candidate must give a presentation of his/her research and research visions in a way that can be understood by any Ph.D. student in any of the faculty's departments.

Follow the researcher’s contribution for a thriving world

Receiving the title of docent means recognition of the research and the pedagogical work that the four researchers worked on. Feel free to follow these researchers and their contribution to a living world and a sustainable life.