Freshwater ecology (limnology) describes our freshwater ecosystems (lakes, streams and rivers) in a river basin context. Emphasis is on how aquatic organisms interact with each other and with their habitats, and the distribution, variation and role of the organisms.
This course combines theory with practical training of standardized methods for sampling and analysis of water quality and biotic factors in the shoreline, bottom and free water masses. This includes exercises in identification of important groups of organisms.
Freshwaters are under many kinds of threat such as eutrophication, contamination and water extraction. All over the world, clean water and flourishing lakes are environmental objectives of high priority. The course addresses such objectives and actions against major environmental problems in freshwaters.
The course is given at an advanced level and consists of lectures, seminars, field (approximately 1 week) and lab work, assignments, report writing and an individual project. Skills such as critical thinking and analysis of results in relation to the scientific literature are emphasized. There will also be opportunities for individual feedback on oral and written presentations. These aspects are especially accentuated during report writing and in the individual project.
It is recommended to read the course in conjunction with Marine Ecology (15 ECTS).
The city of Kalmar is situated on the southeast coast of Sweden. Kalmar is a beautiful city with 65,000 inhabitants and a long history dating back to the Middle Ages, with many cosy neighbourhoods and great charm. The lush green areas surrounding Kalmar Castle and the city park are many students' favourite.
The proximity to the ocean and the island of Öland has left its mark on the city and there are many long pedestrian paths along the coast. It is never far to anything in Kalmar and most places can be reached in just 5-10 minutes' walk – the university, the ocean, the gym, or the city centre, Kvarnholmen.
In Kalmar the university buildings and student accommodations are spread throughout the town and are well integrated with the historical surroundings – making students feel part of the town.