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Helena Höglander

About me

I am a marine- and brackish water ecologist with Baltic Sea phytoplankton as my interest and passion.  I defended my PhD thesis at Stockholm University in 2005 with the title “Studies of Baltic Sea plankton – spatial and temporal patterns”. After working at the County Administrative Board of Stockholm 2005-2008 (with algal bloom information and non-indigenous species) I am now back at the Stockholm University since 2008 as a researcher.

DEEP Marine Pelagic Ecology Laboratory

Within the DEEP Marine Pelagic Ecology Laboratory facility I am responsible for the phytoplankton analysis of Baltic Sea samples as well as the quality assurance at the accredited laboratory. I am analyzing phytoplankton samples from national and regional monitoring programmes (in microscope). I am fascinated by the world of phytoplankton and their beauty if you take a closer look at them in a microscope.

The accredited Marine Pelagic Ecology Laboratory at the department has a crew of 11 technicians, researchers, chemists and biologists. We carry out intensive sampling programmes to monitor the Baltic Sea environment, integrated with LTER, long-term ecological research. Time series, some starting in the 1970´s, of pelagic chemical and biological variables are maintained in Himmerfjärden, the Stockholm archipelago and the off-shore northern Baltic Proper. The regular cruises are also a (physical and data) platform for various add-on field research.



I am interested in phytoplankton ecology and how processes as changed nutrient regimes can change the phytoplankton community.

Within the Himmerfjärden Eutrophication Study I follow how changes in nutrient effluents from a sewage treatment plant (SYVAB Himmerfjärdsverket) affects the cyanobacterial community and the rest of the phytoplankton community.

Within the research program Waterbody Assessment Tools for Ecological Reference conditions and status in Sweden, WATERS, (Naturvårdsverket/Havs- och vattenmyndigheten) we have studied the use of phytoplankton as indicators of eutrophication. (2011-2016).


I am an active member of HELCOM Phytoplankton Expert Group (HELCOM PEG), a network of phytoplankton experts working in the Baltic Sea area.

I am regularly providing algal bloom information to the Information center for the Baltic Proper (Informationscentralen för Egentliga Östersjön) at the County Administration Board of Stockholm (where I also worked between 2005-2008).


I have had some lectures at the Aquatic Ecology course (DEEP, Stockholm University).


Liénart C., Garbaras A., Qvarfordt S., Öberg Sysoev A., Höglander H., Walve J., Schagerström E., Eklöf J., Karlson A.M.L. (2021). Long-term changes in trophic ecology of blue mussels in a rapidly changing ecosystem. Limnology and Oceanography, 66: 694-710.

Beltrán-Abaunza J.M., Kratzer S., Höglander H. (2016). Using MERIS data to assess the spatial and temporal variability of phytoplankton in coastal areas. International Journal of Remote Sensing, DOI: 10.1080/01431161.2016.1249307.

Andersson, A., Höglander, H., Karlsson, C., Huseby, S., (2015). Key role of phosphorus and nitrogen in regulating cyanobacterial community composition in the northern Baltic Sea. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 164:161-171.

Zakrisson, A., Larsson, U., Höglander, H., (2014). Do Baltic Sea diazotrophic cyanobacteria take up combined nitrogen in situ? Journal of Plankton Research 36 (5): 1368-1380.

Hajdu, S., Höglander, H., Larsson U., (2007). Phytoplankton vertical distributions and composition in Baltic Sea cyanobacterial blooms. Harmful Algae 6: 189-2015.

Gorokhova, E., Hansson, S., Höglander, H., Andersen, C.M., (2005). Stable isotopes show food web changes after invasion by the predatory cladoceran Cercopagis pengoi in a Baltic Sea bay. Oecologia 143: 251-259.

Höglander, H., Larsson, U., Hajdu, S., (2004). Vertical distribution and settling of spring phytoplankton in the offshore NW Baltic Sea proper. Marine Ecology Progress Series, Vol. 283: 15-27.