Seven departments and two external research units were represented in the audience, as Baltic Seminar was held on December 3. With the eye-catching seminar title Nematodes from Space?, Fernando Jaramillo (NatGeo) and Francisco Nascimento (DEEP) met in a discussion on possible research collaborations between departments.

In a brief introduction, Christoph Humborg, Scientific leader at the Baltic Sea Centre, welcomed the audience to the restart of the Baltic Seminar series, now with a new focus: 

- The aim of the seminar series is to highlight ongoing marine research, to gather the marine research community at Stockholm University and to inspire scientific collaboration and discussion.

The idea of the series is to let researchers from different departments meet, present their own research as well as giving a general overview on their departments. Following the presentations, a discussion on possible future collaborations is initiated.

Benthic communities as indicators

Francisco Nascimento from the Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences opened the presentations. His research focuses on benthic communities and how they respond to anthropogenic and environmental disturbances. The diverse group of nematodes can be found in the most various and extreme environments. Around 20 thousand species have been described, but there are estimated 0,5-1 million species of nematodes in the world.

In marine sediments, nematodes make up approximately 85% of the species diversity. As the species composition differs vastly with varying conditions, nematode communities can be used as indicators on environmental status.

Fernando Jaramillo (Department of Natural Geography) focuses his research in using remote sensing to understand hydroclimate and water changes. With satellite data, he presented a powerful tool for mapping temporal water level changes. Using InSAR, water movement in coastal zones, as well as disturbances, can be identified and better understood.

Several openings for collaborations

The seminar continued with a moderated discussion. Audience members were given the opportunity to ask questions and come with suggestions. When asked about possible future collaborations, Francisco emphasized that several factors affecting the species composition in coastal zones were controlled by the water movements. Both agreed that understanding water movements were of great importance for understanding the species composition in nematode communities.

There are already ongoing research collaborations between the departments, especially focusing in terrestrial ecosystems. The Baltic Sea Fellows and Baltic Seminar series will hopefully assist in finding further collaborations between marine research groups. Remote sensing methods in the Department of Natural Greography could possibly also be used as a complement to the hydrodynamic modeling done by researchers at the Baltic Sea Centre.

Further discussions in Baltic Bar

The Seminar was followed by Baltic Bar in the DEEP lunch room. Pizza, snacks and beverages were accompanied by mingle, networking and further discussions.

Baltic Seminar and Bar will be back in early 2020.