Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences
Stockholm University
Frescati Backe
SE-106 91 Stockholm

Office: 316

Phone: +46(0)8-16 40 16


Fax: +46(0)8-15 84 17


Personal presentation

I studied Zoology, Chemistry, Philosophy and Scandinavian Archaeology at Stockholm University. My 1976 Ph.D. thesis in Animal Ecology was entitled “Baltic Benthos Communities and the Role of the Meiofauna”.

In 1977-78, I studied the ecological effects of oil pollution at the Marine Ecosystems Research Laboratory, Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island. After returning to Stockholm University, I have investigated Baltic ecosystems, with an emphasis on bottom fauna, eutrophication effects, cyanobacterial blooms and methods for coastal management. I became Professor of Brackish Water Ecology in 1990 and have taken part in the EU projects BASYS, SIGNAL and SPICOSA and in the Mistra programmes SUCOZOMA and MARE.

I have supervised 20 Ph.D. students in Marine Ecology.

My current research deals with ecosystem-based management of the Baltic Sea and its coastal zones, the ecosystem effects of Baltic cyanobacterial blooms and organic matter processing by Baltic benthos. I coordinate Stockholm University's strategic marine environmental program Baltic Ecosystem Adaptive Management, BEAM (

I was among 1360 contributors to the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment honoured by the 2nd Zayed Internation Prize for the Environment in 2005. In 2006, I received the Demel Medal of the Polish Sea Fisheries Institute and in 2011 the Grand Prize of the Baltic Sea Foundation ( and the Askö 50 Year Award of Stockholm University's Marine Research Centre.

I retired from my professorship in September, 2011, but have been re-hired half-time to coordinate the BEAM program and participate in several research projects.


Publications registered in DiVA

Hopkins TS., Bailly D., Elmgren R., Glegg G., Sandberg A., Støttrup JG. (2012) A Systems Approach Framework for the Transition to Sustainable Development: Potential Value Based on Coastal Experiments. Ecology and Society 17(3): # 39.

Elmgren R., Kumblad L., Rydin E., Wulff F. (2012) Political backing to save the Baltic Sea. Nature 487: 432.

Nascimento, FJA., Näslund, J., Elmgren R. (2012) Meiofauna enhances organic matter mineralization in soft sediment ecosystems. Limnology and Oceanography 57: 338-346.

Karlson AML., Nascimento FJA., Suikkanen S., Elmgren R. (2012) Benthic fauna affects recruitment from sediments of the harmful cyanobacterium Nodularia spumigena. Harmful Algae 20: 126-131.

Franzén F., Kinell, G., Walve J., Elmgren R., Söderqvist. T. (2011) Participatory Social-Ecological Modeling in Eutrophication Management: the Case of Himmerfjärden, Sweden. Ecology and Society 16(4): 27[online]

Karlson AML., Näslund J., Blomgren Rydén S., Elmgren R. (2011) Polychaete invader enhances resource utilization in a species-poor system. Oecologia 166: 1055-1065.

Nascimento FJA., Karlson AML., Näslund J., Elmgren R. (2011) Diversity of larger consumers enhances interference competition effects on smaller competitors. Oecologia 166: 337-347.

Zhang J, Gilbert D, Gooday AJ, Levin L, Naqvi SWA, Middelburg JJ, Scranton M, Ekau W, Pena A, Dewitte B, Oguz T, Monteiro PMS, Urban E, Rabalais NN, Ittekkot V, Kemp WM, Ulloa O, Elmgren R, a.o. (2010) Natural and human-induced hypoxia and consequences for coastal areas: synthesis and future development. Biogeosciences 7: 1443-1467.

Savage C., Leavitt PR., Elmgren R. (2010) Effects of land use, urbanization, and climate variability on coastal eutrophication in the Baltic Sea. Limnology & Oceanography 55: 1033-1046.

Karlson AML., Nascimento FJA., Näslund J., Elmgren R. (2010) Higher diversity of deposit-feeding macrofauna enhances phytodetritus processing. Ecology 91: 1414-1423.

Rolff C., Elmgren R., Voss M. (2008) Deposition of nitrogen and phosphorus on the Baltic Sea: Seasonal patterns and nitrogen isotope composition. Biogeosciences 5: 1657-1667.

Karlson AML., Nascimento FJA., Elmgren R. (2008) Incorporation and burial of carbon from settling cyanobacterial blooms by deposit-feeding macrofauna. Limnology and Oceanography 53: 2754-2758.

Nascimento FJA., Karlson AML., Elmgren R. (2008) Settling blooms of filamentous cyanobacteria as food for meiofauna assemblages. Limnology and Oceanography 53: 2636-2643

Kahru M., Savchuk OP., Elmgren R. (2007) Satellite measurements of cyanobacterial bloom frequency in the Baltic Sea: interannual and spatial variability. Marine Ecology Progress Series 343: 15-23

Rolff C., Almesjö, L., Elmgren R. (2007) Nitrogen fixation and the abundance of the diazotrophic cyanobacterium Aphanizomenon sp. in the Baltic Proper. Marine Ecology Progress Series 332: 107-118.

Österblom H., Hansson S., Larsson U., Hjerne O., Wulff F., Elmgren, R. Folke C. (2007) Human-induced Trophic Cascades and Ecological Regime Shifts in the Baltic Sea. Ecosystems 10(6): 877-889

Voss M., Deutsch B., Elmgren R., Humborg C., Kuuppo P., Pastuszak M., Rolff C., Schulte U. (2006) Source identification of nitrate by means of isotopic tracers in the Baltic Sea catchments. Biogeosciences 3: 663-676.

Byrén L., Ejdung G., Elmgren R. (2006) Uptake of sedimentary organic matter by the deposit-feeding Baltic amphipods Monoporeia affinis (Lindström) and Pontoporeia femorata Kröyer. Marine Ecology Progress Series 313: 135-143

Ehrenberg SZ., Hansson S., Elmgren R. (2005) Sublittoral abundance and food consumption of Baltic gobies. Journal of Fish Biology 67: 1083-1093.

Gipperth L., Elmgren R. (2005) Adaptive coastal planning and the European Union?s Water Framework Directive: A Swedish perspective. Ambio 34: 157-162

Howarth RW., Ramakrishna K., Choi E., Elmgren R., Martinelli L., Mendoza A., Moomaw W., Palm C., Roy R., Scholes M., Zhao-Liang Z. (2005) Chapter 9. Nutrient management. pp. 295-311 in Chopra K., Leemans R., Kumar p., Simons H. (eds), Ecosystems and Human Well-Being, Policy Responses. 3 Island Press Washington

Savage C., Leavitt PR. and Elmgren R. (2004) Distribution and retention of effluent nitrogen in surface sediments of a coastal bay. Limnology and Oceanography 49: 1503-1511.

Savage C., Elmgren R. (2004) Macroalgal (Fucus vesiculosus) d15N values trace decrease in sewage influence. Ecological Applications 14(2): 517-526.

Blomqvist S., Gunnars A., Elmgren R. (2004) Why the limiting nutrient differs between temperate coastal seas and freshwater lakes: A matter of salt. Limnology & Oceanography 49: 2236-2241.

Voss M., Liskow I., Elmgren R., Rolff C., Heiskanen A-S., Kuoppo P., Pastuszak M., Schulte U., Stegemann C. (2003) Significance of anthropogenic nitrogen for the central Baltic Sea N-cycling (SIGNAL) (A study by means of stable isotopes, d15N, d13C, and d18O). pp. 101-115 in Caumette P., Eccles C., Garrigues P., Krom M., Lebaron P. (eds), The impact of human activities on the marine environment quality and health: The EC impacts cluster (Proceedings of the first workshop, February 2002, Pau, France). Université de Pau, Pau, France

Bianchi TS., Rolff C., Widbom B. & Elmgren R. (2002) Phytoplankton pigments in Baltic seston and sediments: Seasonal variability, fluxes and transformations. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 55: 369-383.

Elmgren R. (2002) Eutrophication processes in coastal systems (Robert J. Livingston) - Book review. Limnology and Oceanography 47: 612

Byrén L., Ejdung G., Elmgren R. (2002) Comparing rate and depth of feeding in benthic deposit-feeders: a test on two amphipods, Monoporeia affinis (Lindström) and Pontoporeia femorata Kröyer Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 281(1-2): 109-121

Savage C., Elmgren R., Larsson U. (2002) Effects of sewage-derived nutrients on an estuarine macrobenthic community. Marine Ecology Progress Series 243: 67-82.

Bianchi TS., Engelhaupt E., McKee BA., Miles S., Elmgren R., Hajdu S., Savage C., Baskaran M. (2002) Do sediments from coastal sites accurately reflect time trends in water column phytoplankton? A test from Himmerfjärden Bay (Baltic Sea proper). Limnology and Oceanography 47: 1537-1544.

van de Bund WJ., Ólafsson E., Modig H., Elmgren R. (2001) Effects of a simulated spring diatom bloom on the coexisting benthic amphipods Monoporeia affinis and Pontoporeia femorata. Marine Ecology Progress Series 212: 107-115.

Elmgren R., Ejdung G., Ankar S. (2001) Intraspecific food competition in the deposit-feeding benthic amphipod Monoporeia affinis ? a laboratory study. Marine Ecology Progress Series 210: 185-193.

Larsson U., Hajdu S., Walve J., Elmgren R. (2001) Estimating Baltic nitrogen fixation from the summer increase in upper mixed layer total nitrogen. Limnology and Oceanography 46: 811-820.

Elmgren R., Larsson U. (2001) Eutrophication in the Baltic Sea Area: Integrated Coastal Management Issues. Pp. 15-35 in von Bodungen B., Turner RK. (eds), Science and Integrated Coastal Management. Dahlem University Press Berlin

Jickels TD., Boesch DF., Colijn F., Elmgren R., Frykblom P., Mee LD., Pacyna JM, Voss M., Wulff F. (2001) Group Report: Transboundary Issues. Pp. 93-112 in von Bodungen B., Turner RK. (eds), Science and Integrated Coastal Management. Dahlem University Press Berlin

Ejdung G., Elmgren R. (2001) Predation by the benthic isopod Saduria entomon on two deposit-feeders, the amphipod Monoporeia affinis and the bivalve Macoma balthica. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 266: 165-179.

Elmgren R., Larsson U. (2001) Nitrogen and the Baltic Sea: Managing nitrogen in relation to phosphorus. TheScientificWorld 1 (S2): 371-377.

Elmgren R. (2001) Understanding human impact on the Baltic ecosystem: Changing views in recent decades. Ambio 30: 222-231.

Bianchi TS., Westman P., Rolff C., Engelhaupt E., Andrén T. Elmgren R. (2000) Cyanobacterial blooms in the Baltic Sea: Natural or human-induced? Limnology and Oceanography 45: 716-726.

Rolff C., Elmgren R. (2000) Use of riverine organic matter in plankton food webs of the Baltic Sea. Marine Ecology Progress Series 197: 81-101.

Sandberg J., Elmgren R., Wulff F. (2000) Carbon flows in Baltic Sea food webs. A re-evaluation using a mass balance approach. Journal of Marine Systems 25: 249-260.

Ejdung, G., Byrén L., Elmgren R. (2000) Benthic adult-larval interactions: evidence that Monoporeia affinis (Amphipoda) eats postlarval Macoma balthica (Bivalvia). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 253: 243-251

Bianchi T S., Johansson B., Elmgren R. (2000) Breakdown of phytoplankton pigments in Baltic sediments: effects of anoxia and loss of deposit-feeding macrofauna. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 251: 161-183.

Ejdung G., Elmgren R. (1998) Predation on newly settled bivalves by deposit-feeding amphipods: a Baltic Sea case study. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 168: 87-94.

Elmgren R., Larsson U. (1998) Nitrogen limitation in the Seas around Sweden: The case for reducing nitrogen loads. Pp. 1-10 in Hellström T. (ed). Swedish Royal Academy of Science, Report 1998: 1

Ólafsson E., Elmgren R. (1997) Seasonal dynamics of sublittoral meiobenthos in relation to phytoplankton sedimentation in the Baltic Sea. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 45: 149-164.

Hansson S., Hobbie JE., Elmgren R., Larsson U., Fry B., Johansson S. (1997) The stable nitrogen isotope ratio as a marker of food-web interactions and fish migration. Ecology 78: 2249-2257.

Elmgren R., Hill C. (1997) Ecosystem Function at Low Biodiversity - The Baltic Example. Pp. 319-336 in Ormond RFG., Gage J., Angel M. (eds), Marine Biodiversity: Patterns and Processes. Cambridge University Press Cambridge

Howarth RW., Billen G., Swaney D., Townsend AT., Jaworski N., Lajtha K., Downing JA., Elmgren R., Caraco N., Jordan T., Berendse F., Freney J., Kudeyarov V., Murdoch P., Zhao-liang Z. (1996) Regional nitrogen budgets and riverine N & P fluxes for the drainages to the North Atlantic Ocean: Natural and Human influences. Biogeochemistry 35: 75-139.

Nixon SW., Ammerman JW., Atkinson LP., Berounsky VM., Billen G., Boicourt WC., Boynton WR., Church T., DiToro DM., Elmgren R., Garber JH., Giblin AE., Jahnke RA., Owens NJP., Pilson MEQ., Seitzinger S (1996) The fate of nitrogen and phosphorus at the land-sea margin of the north Atlantic Ocean. Biogeochemistry 35: 141-180.

de Jonge VN., Boynton W., D'Elia CF., Elmgren R., Welsh BL. (1994) Responses to developments in eutrophication in four different North Atlantic estuarine systems. Pp. 179-196 in Dyer KR., Orth RJ. (eds), Changes in fluxes in estuaries. ECSA/ERF Symposium Plymouth, September 1992. Olsen & Olsen Fredensborg

Ólafsson E., Elmgren R., Papakosta O. (1993) Effects of the deposit-feeding benthic bivalve Macoma balthica on meiobenthos. Oecologia 93: 457-462

Hill C., Elmgren R. (1992) Predation by the isopod Saduria entomon (L.) on the amphipods Monoporeia affinis (Lindström) and Pontoporeia femorata Kröyer: experiments on prey vulnerability. Oecologia 91: 153-156.

Sundelin B., Elmgren R. (1991) The meiofauna of an experimental soft bottom ecosystem - Effects of macrofauna and of cadmium exposure. Marine Ecology Progress Series 70: 245-255.

Ólafsson E., Elmgren R. (1991) The effects of biological disturbance by the benthic amphipod Monoporeia affinis (Lindström) on meiobenthic community structure: A laboratory approach. Marine Ecology Progress Series 74: 99-107.

Elmgren R., Ankar S., Ejdung G. (1990) Amphipods of the genus Pontoporeia as key elements in the Balthic benthos. Ann Zool Fennici 27: 303-304.

Elmgren R., Aneer G., Hansson S. (1990) Food web analysis of the Baltic ecosystem. pp. 167-185 in Wulff, F., (ed), Large-scale environmental effects and ecological processes in the Baltic Sea. Research programme for the period 1990-1995 and background documents. Report 3849. Swedish Environmental Protection Agency Stockholm

Hill C., Elmgren R., Abrams P. (1990) Predation by the polychaete Harmothoe sarsi on different size classes of the amphipod Pontoporeia affinis. Pp. 468-477 in Barnes M., Gibson RN. (eds), Trophic relationships in the marine environment. Proceedings of the 24th European Marine Biology Sym Aberdeen University Press Aberdeen

Rosenberg R., Elmgren R., Fleischer S., Jonsson P., Persson G., Dahlin H. (1990) Marine eutrophication case studies in Sweden. Ambio 19: 102-108.

Cederwall H., Elmgren R. (1990) Biological effects of eutrophication of the Baltic Sea, particularly the coastal zone. Ambio 19 : 109-112.

Granéli E., Wallström K., Larsson U., Granéli W., Elmgren R. (1990) Nutrient limitation of primary production in the Baltic Sea area. Ambio 19: 142-151.

Abrams P A., Hill C., Elmgren R. (1990) The functional response of the predatory polychaete, Harmothoe sarsi to the amphipod, Pontoporeia affinis. Oikos 59: 261-269.

Elmgren R., Radziejewska T. (1989) Recommendations on methods for quantitative benthic meiofauna studies in the Baltic Sea. Baltic Marine Biologists, Publication 12: 1-20. Stockholm

Lopez GR., Elmgren R. (1989) Feeding depths and organic absorption for the deposit-feeding benthic amphipods Pontoporeia affinis and P. femorata. Limnology and Oceanography 34: 982-991.

Elmgren R. (1989) The eutrophication status of the Baltic Sea: Inputs of nitrogen and phosphorus, their availability for plant production, and some management implications. Baltic Sea Environment Proceedings 30: 12-31

Elmgren R. (1989) Man's impact on the ecosystem of the Baltic Sea: Energy flows today and at the turn of the century. Ambio 18: 326-332.

Widbom B., Elmgren R. (1988) The response of benthic meiofauna to nutrient enrichment of experimental marine ecosystems. Marine Ecology Progress Series 42:257-268.

Hill C., Elmgren R. (1987) Vertical distribution in the sediment in the co-occurring benthic amphipods Pontoporeia affinis and P. femorata. Oikos 49: 221-229.

Elmgren R., Ankar S., Marteleur B., Ejdung G. (1986) Adult interference with postlarvae in soft sediments: the Macoma-Pontoporeia example. Ecology 67: 827-836.

Rudnick DT., Elmgren R., Frithsen JB. (1985) Meiofaunal prominence and benthic seasonality in a coastal marine ecosystem. Oecologia (Berlin) 67: 157-168.

Frithsen JB., Elmgren R., Rudnick DT. (1985) Responses of benthic meiofauna to long-term low-level additions of No. 2 fuel oil. Marine Ecology Progress Series 23: 1-14.

Larsson U., Elmgren R., Wulff F. (1985) Eutrophication and the Baltic Sea - Causes and consequences. Ambio 14: 9-14.

Elmgren R., Rosenberg R., Andersin A-B., Evans S., Kangas P, Lassig J., Leppäkoski E., Varmo R. (1984) Benthic macro- and meiofauna in the Gulf of Bothnia (northern Baltic). Finnish Marine Research 250: 3-18.

Elmgren R. (1984 ) Trophic dynamics in the enclosed, brackish Baltic Sea. Rapports et Procès-verbaux des Reunions. Conseil International pour l?Exploration de la Mer 183: 152-169.

Frithsen JB., Rudnick DT., Elmgren R. (1983) A new flow-through corer for quantitative sampling of surface sediments. Hydrobiologia 99: 75-79.

Elmgren R., Hansson S., Larsson U., Sundelin B., Boehm P D. (1983) The Tsesis oil spill: acute and long-term impact on the benthos. Marine Biology 73: 51-65

Elmgren R., Frithsen JB. (1982) The use of experimental ecosystems for evaluating the environmental impact of pollutants: A comparison of an oil spill in the Baltic Sea and two long-term, low-level oil addition experiments in mesocosms. Pp. 153-165 in Grice GD., Reeve MR. (eds), Marine Mesocosms. Biological and Chemical Research in Experimental Ecosystems. Springer New York

Grassle JF., Elmgren R., Grassle JP. (1981) Response of benthic communities in MERL experimental ecosystem at low level, chronic additions of No. 2 fuel oil. Marine Environmental Research 4: 279-297.

Elmgren R., Westin L., Lindén O. (1980) Baltic perspective. Pp. 29-32 in Kineman JJ., Elmgren R., Hansson S. (eds), The Tsesis oil spill. Report of the first year scientific study (October 26, 1977 to December 1978). U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA, Outer Continental Shelf Assessment Program. Boulder, Colorado

Elmgren R., Hansson S., Larsson U., Sundelin B. (1980) Impact of oil on deep soft bottoms. pp. 97-126 in Kineman JJ., Elmgren R., Hansson, S. (eds.), The Tsesis Oil Spill. US Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Boulder, Colorado, USA

Elmgren R., Vargo GA,, Grassle JF, Grassle JP, Heinle DR, Langlois G., Vargo SL. (1980) Trophic interactions in experimental marine ecosystems perturbed by oil. Pp. 779-800 in Giesy GP Jr. (ed), Microcosms in ecological research. DOE Symposium seri U.S. Technical Information Center, U.S. Department of Energy Symp.Springfield, VA

Kineman JJ., Elmgren R., Hansson S. (1980) The Tsesis oil spill. Report of the first year scientific study (October 26, 1977 to December 1978). U.S. Dept Commerce, NOAA, Outer Continental Shelf Environmental Assessment Program. : 1-296. Stockholm

Elmgren R. (1980) The P/B ratio of Bosmina longirostris. Oikos 34: 243-244.

Elmgren R., Kineman JJ. (1980) Alaskan perspective. Pp. 33-39 in Kineman JJ., Elmgren R., Hansson S. (eds), The Tsesis oil spill. Report of the first year scientific study (October 26, 1977 to December 1978). U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA, Outer Continental Shelf Assessment Program. Boulder, Colorado

Lindén O., Elmgren R., Westin L. (1980) Scientific summary and general discussion. Pp. 43-48 in Kineman JJ., Elmgren R., Hansson S. (eds), The Tsesis oil spill. Report of the first year scientific study (October 26, 1977 to December 1978). U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA, Outer Continental Shelf Assessment Program. Boulder, Colorado

Cederwall H., Elmgren R. (1980) Biomass increase of benthic macrofauna demonstrates eutrophication of the Baltic Sea. Ophelia Supplementum 1: 287-304.

Elmgren R., Cederwall H. (1979) Monitoring the Baltic ecosystem by means of benthic macrofauna sampling. The National Swedish Environment Protection Board, Report PM 1151: 159-163. Stockholm

Lindén O., Elmgren R., Boehm PD. (1979) The Tsesis oil spill ? its impact on the coastal ecosystem of the Baltic Sea. Ambio 8: 244-253.

Elmgren R (1978) Structure and dynamics of Baltic benthos communities, with particular reference to the relationship between macro- and meiofauna. Kieler Meeresforschungen Sonderheft 4: 1-22.

Ankar S., Elmgren R. (1977) The Ruppia subsystem. Pp. 64-71 in Jansson B-O., Wulff F. (principal investigators) Ecosystem analysis of a shallow sound in the Northern Baltic - A joint study by the Askö Group. Contributions from the Askö Laboratory, University of Stockholm 18 Stockholm

Ankar S., Elmgren R. (1977) The soft bottom subsystem. Pp.72-80 in Jansson B-O., Wulff F. (principal investigators) Ecosystem analysis of a shallow sound in the Northern Baltic - A joint study by the Askö Group. Contributions from the Askö Laboratory, University of Stockholm 18 Stockholm

Dybern BI., Ackefors H., Elmgren R. (Eds.) (1976) Recommendations on methods for marine biological studies in the Baltic Sea. The Baltic Marine Biologists Publication 1: 1-98. Stockholm

Ankar S., Elmgren R. (1976) The benthic macro- and meiofauna of the Askö-Landsort area (northern Baltic proper). A stratified random sampling survey. Contributions from the Askö Laboratory, University of Stockholm 11: 1-115. Stockholm

Elmgren R. (1976) Baltic benthos communities and the role of the meiofauna. Contributions from the Askö Laboratory, University of Stockholm 14: 1-31. Stockholm

Ankar S., Elmgren R. (1975) A survey of the benthic macro- and meiofauna of the Askö-Landsort area. Merentutkimuslaitoksen Julkaisu/Havsforskningsinstitutets Skrift. 239: 257-264.

Elmgren R. (1975) Benthic meiofauna as indicator of oxygen conditions in the northern Baltic proper. Merentutkimuslaitoksen Julkaisu/ Havsforskningsinstitutets Skrift 239: 265-271.

Elmgren R ., Ganning B. (1974) Ecological studies of two shallow, brackish water ecosystems. Contributions from the Askö Laboratory, University of Stockholm 6: 1-56. Stockholm

Elmgren R. (1973) Methods of sampling sublittoral soft bottom meiofauna. Oikos Supplementum 15: 112-120.