Pauline Nordpol Small

Pauline Snoeijs Leijonmalm


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Works at Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences
Telephone 08-16 42 46
Visiting address Svante Arrhenius väg 20 A
Room N 432
Postal address Institutionen för ekologi miljö och botanik 106 91 Stockholm

About me

In January 2008 I was appointed professor in Marine Ecology at Stockholm University. Earlier I worked at Uppsala University as professor (2003-2007), senior lecturer (1993-2003), researcher (1989-1993) and PhD-student (1982-1989) in Plant Ecology. My undergraduate degrees (BSc 1978, MSc 1982) I obtained from the Radboud University in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, with majors in Aquatic Ecology, Experimental Botany and Geobotany. For more than 25 years I have taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Marine Ecology at the Universities of Uppsala and Stockholm and I have supervised >20 and examinated >70 PhD-students.

Mobile phone: +46 704 932839


My research interests are biodiversity and biochemical aspects of food-web interactions. Since 1982 I have worked on the coastal and pelagic systems of the brackish Baltic Sea and since 2002 also on sea-ice ecology in the Arctic Ocean.

The diversity and biogeochemical functions of ice-associated microbial communities in the central Arctic Ocean

The Arctic marine ecosystem is changing fast through climate warming. Most conspicuous is the retreat of the 2-3 m thick summer sea ice cover. This habitat is dominated by sympagic microbial communities of which the abundance, diversity and biogeochemical functions, and thus the ice-dependent nutrient fluxes in the ecosystem, are largely unknown. In this research project we analyse field samples with metagenomics and metatranscriptomics to assess the diversity and functional roles of prokaryotes and unicellular eukaryotes, in combination with incubation experiments using stable isotopes to assess nutrient uptake and nitrogen fixation rates in the field samples. The project started with an Arctic expedition with ice-breaker Oden in August-September 2012 during which we sampled sea ice brine and seawater at 22 helicopter stations along a transect from Svalbard to the North Pole and back. Support: Formas, the Carl Trygger Foundation, VR and the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat.

The production, transfer and functions of vitamins and antioxidants in the pelagic food webs of the Arctic Ocean and the Baltic Sea

Most of the organic compounds that are required by higher trophic levels, such as vitamins and antioxidants (e.g. carotenoids), originate from microbes (bacteria and unicellular eukaryotes) at the base of the marine pelagic food web. Environmental stress caused by contaminants and/or non-optimal physico-chemical conditions (e.g. temperature or nutrient stoichiometry) can change the oxidative balance in microbes and alter their biochemical composition with respect to vitamins and antioxidants, and thus their nutritional value for higher trophic levels. Furthermore, the production of vitamins and antioxidants, or their precursors, in microbes is species-specific. This raises the question if the ongoing large-scale human-induced food web changes and regime shifts still can support healthy populations of predators that depend on the quality (biochemical composition) of their food. We address different aspects of this question by combining field sampling and experiments. Support: Formas, the Knut & Alice Wallenberg Foundation, Norsk Hydro, VR and the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat.

International assignments

2016-2017 Assessment of the BONUS impact on scientific excellence and dissemination; 2016- EU representative in the FiSCAO scientific expert group on fish stocks in the Central Arctic Ocean, 2016-2017 Scientific advisor and co-organiser of an international workshop on Marine Protected Areas in the Arctic Ocean for the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management; 2014- Swedish country representative in the Marine WG of the International Arctic Science Committee IASC (VR); 2016- Vice-chair of WG1 in the COST Action CA15136 EUROCAROTEN (EU Horizon 2020); 2003-2013 Chair of the Advisory Board of the BONUS EU-ERAnet and the BONUS EEIG (EU); 1997-2013 General Secretary of the NGO the Baltic Marine Biologists (BMB).

Textbook: Biological Oceanography of the Baltic Sea

I am the chief editor of the first comprehensive science-based textbook on the biology and ecology of the Baltic Sea, published by Springer. Ninety-two authors, all experts in their respective research fields, have contributed with their knowledge. The aim of this book is to provide students and other readers with knowledge about the conditions for life in brackish water, the functioning of the Baltic Sea ecosystem and its environmental problems and management. The book highlights biological variation along the unique environmental gradients of the brackish Baltic Sea Area (the Baltic Sea, Belt Sea and Kattegat), especially those in salinity and climate. The book was published in april 2017 (

Some selected publications

Snoeijs-Leijonmalm P, Barnard S, Elliott M, Andrusaitis A, Kononen K, Sirola M (2017) Towards better integration of environmental science in society: Lessons from BONUS, the joint Baltic Sea environmental research and development programme. Environmental Science and Policy 78:193-209

Elliott M, Snoeijs-Leijonmalm P, Barnard S (2017) ‘The dissemination diamond’ and paradoxes of science-to-science and science-to-policy communication: Lessons from large marine research programmes. Marine Pollution Bulletin (published on-line September 2017)

Snoeijs-Leijonmalm P, Andrén E (2017) Why is the Baltic Sea so special to live in? In: Snoeijs-Leijonmalm P, Shubert H, Radziejewska T (eds.), Biological Oceanography of the Baltic Sea, Springer, Dordrecht pp. 23-84

Snoeijs-Leijonmalm P (2017) Patterns of biodiversity. In: Snoeijs-Leijonmalm P, Shubert H, Radziejewska T (eds.), Biological Oceanography of the Baltic Sea, Springer, Dordrecht pp. 123-191

Kautsky H, Martin G, Snoeijs-Leijonmalm P (2017) The phytobenthic zone. In: Snoeijs-Leijonmalm P, Shubert H, Radziejewska T (eds.), Biological Oceanography of the Baltic Sea, Springer, Dordrecht pp. 387-455

Svensson F, Karlsson E, Gårdmark A, Olsson J, Adill A, Zie J, Snoeijs P, Eklöv JS (2017) In situ warming strengthens trophic cascades in a coastal food web. Oikos 126:1150-1161

Verdugo J, Damm E, Snoeijs P, Díez B, Farías L (2016) Climate relevant trace gases (N2O and CH4) in the Eurasian Basin (Arctic Ocean). Deep-Sea Research I 117:84-94

Hylander S, Kiørboe T, Snoeijs P, Sommaruga R, Nielsen TG (2015) Concentrations of sunscreens and antioxidant pigments in Arctic Calanus spp. in relation to ice cover, ultraviolet radiation, and the phytoplankton spring bloom. Limnology & Oceanography 60:2197-2206

Turja R, Lehtonen KK, Meierjohann A, Brozinski JM, Vahtera E, Soirinsuo A, Sokolov A, Snoeijs P, Budzinski H, Devier MH, Peluhet L, Pääkönen JP, Viitasalo M, Kronberg L (2015) The mussel caging approach in assessing biological effects of wastewater treatment plant discharges in the Gulf of Finland (Baltic Sea). Marine Pollution Bulletin 97:135-149

Turja R, Höher N, Snoeijs P, Barsiene J, Butrimaviciene L, Kuznetsova T, Kholodkevich SV, Devier MH, Budzinski H, Lehtonen KK (2014) A multibiomarker approach to the assessment of pollution impacts in two Baltic Sea coastal areas in Sweden using caged mussels (Mytilus trossulus). Science of the Total Environment 473-474:398-409

Snoeijs P, Häubner N (2014) Astaxanthin dynamics in Baltic Sea mesozooplankton communities. Journal of Sea Research 85:131-143

Häubner N, Sylvander P, Vuori K, Snoeijs P (2014) Abiotic stress modifies te synthesis of alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene in phytoplankton species. Journal of Phycology 50:753-759

Svensson F, Norberg J, Snoeijs P (2014) Diatom cell size, coloniality and motility: trade-offs between temperature, salinity and nutrient supply with climate change. PlosONE 9(10):e109993

Sylvander P, Häubner N, Snoeijs P (2013) The thiamine content of phytoplankton cells is affected by abiotic stress and growth rate. Microbial Ecology 65:566-577

Díez B, Van Nieuwerburgh L, Snoeijs P (2013) Water nutrient stoichiometry modifies the nutritional quality of phytoplankton and somatic growth of crustacean mesozooplankton. Marine Ecology Progress Series 489:93-105

Díez B, Bergman B, Pedrós-Alió C, Antó M, Snoeijs P (2012) High cyanobacterial nifH gene diversity in Arctic seawater and sea ice brine. Environmental Microbiology Reports 4:360-366

Snoeijs P, Sylvander P, Häubner N (2012) Oxidative stress in aquatic primary producers as a driving force for ecosystem responses to large-scale environmental changes. In: Abele D, Vázquez-Medina JP, Zenteno-Savín (Eds) Oxidative stress in aquatic ecosystems. Blackwell Publishing. pp. 72-88

Snoeijs P, Häubner N, Sylvander P, Nie XP (2012) Measurement of antioxidant pigments and vitamins in phytoplankton, zooplankton and fish. In: Abele D, Vázquez-Medina JP, Zenteno-Savín (Eds) Oxidative stress in aquatic ecosystems. Blackwell Publishing. pp. 389-401

Nie XP, Zie J, Häubner N, Tallmark B, Snoeijs P (2011) Why herring and sprat are weak conduits for astaxanthin from zooplankton to piscivorous fish. Limnology & Oceanography 56:1155-1167

Liu BY, Nie XP, Liu WQ, Snoeijs P, Guan C, Trui MTK (2011) Toxic effects of erythromycin, ciprofloxacin and sulfamethoxazole on the photosynthetic apparatus in Selenastrum capricornutum. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 74:1027-1035

Hillebrand H, Soininen J, Snoeijs P (2010) Warming leads to higher species turnover in a coastal ecosystem. Global Change Biology 16:1181-1193

Last updated: December 2, 2018

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