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Eleonor RybergPhD student

About me


I am a PhD candidate at the Department of Geological Sciences, working with plant macrofossils in Swedish peatlands (as a part of the Bolin Centre for Climate Research). I have a BA.Sc in Geology (Federation University Australia) and a M.Sc in Environmental and Geological Hazards (University of Portsmouth), along with some independent Quaternary Geology and Paleoclimatology studies (Stockholm University).


Temporal Scale Changes in Species Distribution in Boreal Peatlands

Peatlands are almost entirely composed of plant macrofossils (some up to 99%) which makes them very suitable for plant macrofossil analyses, providing abundant material for reconstruction of past species distribution. Sphagnum is the dominant species in northern peatlands. It has the ability to tolerate acidic and nutrient-poor conditions and has decomposition resistant qualities. Due to these qualities, the Sphagnum genera is of importance in terms of its future distribution in a changing climate and its role in carbon storage in peatlands.

The project aims to assess the relationships between external and internal drivers and occurrences of different Sphagnum species over time in peat paleorecords, and to compare these relationships derived from analyses of spatial patterns and experiments, by:

 • Using three sites in southern Sweden: Store Mosse, Dala Mosse, and Draftinge Mosse
• Reconstructing temporal changes in species distribution
• Identifying main factors controlling species distribution (on multi-decadal to millennial scales)
• Testing whether current spatial distribution of Sphagnum species can be explained by models of temporal distribution of Sphagnum in peat cores

My supervisor is Malin Kylander (Dept. of Geological Sciences, Stockholm University), with co-supervisors Johan Ehrlén (Dept. of Ecology, Environment and Plant Science, Stockholm University) and Minna Väliranta (Dept. of Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki).