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The Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeå University, Sweden. The Department.

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the department
Department of Ecology and Environmental ScienceThe Department
  • The Department of Ecology and Environmental Science offers seven different study programmes and a wide range of independent courses for approx 500 full-time students. Also Master's programmes in Biology and Geoecology are offered for foreign students. The Department of Ecology and Environmental Science pursues a broad range of exciting research projects. These can coarsely be classified into the broad disciplines of ecology, environmental change, physical geography and taxonomy. The Department provides all education through master´s degree in biology,  physical geography and environmental health.
the staff
Department of Ecology and Environmental ScienceThe Staff
  • Professor Kristin Palmqvist, Head of Department
  • 14 Professors
  • 40 Senior researchers
  • 30 Teachers
  • 50 PhD students
  • 10 Post docs
  • 25 Technical and administrative personnel

Total 170

education
Department of Ecology and Environmental ScienceEducation
  • Undergraduate study programmes
    • Biology and Geoecology
    • Environmental Health
    • Geographical Information System, GIS
    • ”Naturguideprogrammet” Outdoor tourism in Kiruna
  • Master’s Degree
    • Ecology
    • Geoecology
    • European Master's in Ecological Management of Catchments
    • Environmental Health (from 2010)
examples of courses offered in english
Arctic geoecology 15 ECTS

Alpine Geoecology 15 ECTS

Alpine Ecosystems 15 ECTS

Analysis of Environmental Changes 15 ECTS

Analysis of Ecological Data 15 ECTS

Conservation Biology 15 ECTS

Biodiversity 15 ECTS

Brackish Water 7,5 ECTS

Evolutionary Biology 15 ECTS

Master´s Degree Thesis in Biology 15 ECTS

Master´s Degree Thesis in Biology 30 ECTS

Microbial Ecology 15 ECTS

Population and Community Dynamics 15 ECTS

Project in Ecology 15 ECTS

Freshwater Ecology 15 ECTS

Forest Ecology 15 ECTS

Field Methods in Geoecology 15 ECTS

Northern Aquatic Systems 15 ECTS

GIS 15 ECTS

Theoretical Geoecology 15 ECTS

Theoretical Geography 15 ECTS

Department of Ecology and Environmental Science

Examples of courses offered in English
student exchange
Department of Ecology and Environmental ScienceStudent exchange
  • Student exchange can be within a formal exchange agreement – (Bilateral Agreements, Erasmus, Nordplus, North2North, Linneaus-Palme)
  • or outside of formal exchange agreement (Free Movers) Undergraduate or Master Program student
examples of countries with a formal agreement with the department
Department of Ecology and Environmental ScienceExamples of countries with a formal agreement with the department
  • Germany
  • Great Britain
  • Turkey
  • Italy
  • The Netherlands
  • Spain
  • Belgium
  • France
  • Austria
  • Finland
  • Ireland
  • Portugal
international cooperation
Department of Ecology and Environmental ScienceInternational cooperation
  • The Department has been/is also involved in commissioned education in various countries such as
  • The Baltic States
  • Poland
  • Ukraine
  • Vietnam
  • Czech republic
  • Russia, etc
research areas
Department of Ecology and Environmental ScienceResearch areas
  • Biodiversity
  • Population Dynamics
  • Ecosystem Processes
  • Evolution and adaptions
  • Environmental Impact Climate Change
biodiversity
Department of Ecology and Environmental ScienceBiodiversity

The research focuses on finding and explaining patterns in species composition and biodiversity in a variety of habitats. We study natural patterns as well as changes caused by human activities, such as forestry, river regulation and climate impacts. Part of this research focuses on conservation biology, and part is directed towards systematics. Another studied perspective on biodiversity is the relationship between species richness and ecosystem functioning.

population dynamics
Department of Ecology and Environmental SciencePopulation Dynamics
  • The number of individuals, or the density, of a species is rarely constant over time. Fluctuations could be caused by biotic factors, such as nutrient/food availability, competition, parasitism, and predation, or by variations in abiotic factors, such as temperature and precipitation. Population dynamics research often involves theoretical modelling as well as experiments and field studies, and gives rise to knowledge that is necessary for predicting the effects of environmental change on natural ecosystems.
ecosystem processes
Department of Ecology and Environmental ScienceEcosystem Processes
  • A large part of the research concerns biogeochemical processes in soil and water, for instance, the role of bacteria in carbon cycling in unproductive lakes, the role of bacteria in marine food webs, the effect of climate on the water quality in boreal streams, and the effects of nutrient load on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. We also investigate the ways in which arctic vegetation is influenced by climate, nutrient availability and reindeer grazing, and how aquatic insects contribute to nutrient flow within and between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.
evolution and adaptations
Department of Ecology and Environmental ScienceEvolution and Adaptations
  • Evolution favors individuals that are well adapted to their environment. Since environments differs over both small and large geographic scales, species living in subdivided populations often evolve adaptations to local conditions. We are interested in the evolution of traits involved in local adaptation, such as phenology, resistance to parasites and pathogens and phenotypic plasticity. Other areas of interest are speciation, systematics, and environmental effects of the use of genetically modified organisms.
environmental impact and climate change
Department of Ecology and Environmental ScienceEnvironmental Impact and Climate Change
  • Many human activities leave their traces in air, soil, water, and on organisms and ecosystems. We investigate changes in acidity, nutrient richness, heavy metal concentrations and climate, over the entire post-glacial period. We also study the effects of pollution, climate change and different kinds of land use on the dispersal ability, distribution and abundance of species. Furthermore, scientists at the department conduct environmental monitoring of the Gulf of Bothnia, and monitoring of small mammal populations in Northern Sweden, within the Swedish National Environmental Monitoring Programme.
research groups
Department of Ecology and Environmental ScienceResearch Groups
  • Spatial Ecology
  • Aquatic Ecology
  • Landscape Ecology
  • Physical Geography
  • Evolutionary Ecology
  • Reindeer Grazing Ecology
  • Vole and Lemming Dynamics
  • Nutrient and Climate Change
  • Environmental Change Assessment