Aquatic Research

The Department’s aquatic research supports related UEF’s strategic emerging research area. Aquatic research of the Department has a notably productive publication activity, and includes fields of aquatic ecology, large lakes research, aquatic ecotoxicology, aquatic physiology, aquatic chemistry, as well as environmental informatics and modeling on aquatic field. Understanding and solving, for example, human-activity-associated problems in aquatic environments constitutes a key challenge, as many environmental problems culminate in aquatic systems and organisms. Globally and locally, the ecological state of many aquatic environments and the sufficiency of clean water resources are at risk due to, for example, mining and industrial activities, and municipal waste loads. Sustainable and comprehensive management of water ecosystems calls for a fundamental understanding of aquatic biology, and high-level application and integrated development of related aquatic fields.

The Department’s aquatic research focuses on the basic biology of the aquatic environment and aquatic organisms, water chemistry, as well as water-related safety aspects. Many of the projects aim to understand environmental problems in aquatic ecosystems, and to provide information for the development of technologies to solve these problems.

The key research topics in 2016-2020 include

1. Endangered salmonids & invasive crayfish plague

2. Lake Saimaa ringed seal,

3. Behavioral consistency of aquatic animals,

4. Lake food webs

5. Thermal adaptation of arctic fishes, suitability of zebrafish as a model for human cardiac physiology,

6. Ecological risk assessment and remediation of contaminated sediments.

For aquatic chemistry, the research focus will be the understanding of trace metal speciation and fate in process waters at the mines and downstream receiving waters, especially when new ore processing technologies are adopted. This will be done by using both experimental and modeling approaches. The focus in developing modeling approaches will be on systems models and systems biology.