Photo of the Baltic Sea

Elias Broman and Hanna Farnelid awarded scholarship from the foundation Konung Carl XVI Gustafs 50-årsfond

On Friday, May 25, two researchers at Linnaeus University will receive one scholarship each from the hands of King Carl XVI Gustaf. Elias Broman, researcher in ecology, will get a scholarship of SEK 100,000 for his studies on the behaviour of ultra-small bacteria during global warming. Hanna Farnelid, researcher in marine ecology, will get a scholarship of SEK 85,000 for her studies on the significance of cyanobacteria in coastal environments.

The role of ultra-small bacteria in a world with continued global warming

"I'm very happy to receive this scholarship. It opens up the possibility to continue my research studies within this field. It also places Linnaeus University on the forefront when it comes to studying the scientific field of the role of ultra-small bacteria during global warming", says Broman.

In order to identify these ultra-small bacteria and study how they affect the environment and other organisms, advanced DNA and RNA sequencing technology is required. In his research, Elias will focus on how temperature changes affect the biological diversity of ultra-small and normal-sized bacteria, as well as how ultra-small bacteria's metabolism functions affect nutrients and emissions of greenhouse gases.

"This scholarship gives me the opportunity to carry out a unique study where samples from an environment that can be placed on level with global warming will be sequenced", Broman explains.

Mapping of cyanobacteria in coastal environments

As much as 50% of the photosynthesizing bacteria in the Baltic Sea can be made up of picocyanobacteria, and according to the prognosis they will continue to increase due to climate change. In her research, Farnelid has been a pioneer within genetic mapping of diversity, distribution and activity in nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria in oceans.

This knowledge has made it possible to identify ecological niches and mechanisms in previously unknown organisms.

"It feels great that the significance of my research attracts attention and that we get the opportunity to complete our sampling programme in Kalmarsund to investigate the importance of the very smallest algae in the sea. The algae I study are so small that it looks like a starry sky when viewing them in the microscope, which is why modern DNA technology is required to find out what they are and what significance they have for our coastal environment", says Farnelid.

"We take samples every week at Kallbadhuset in Kalmar, an incredibly beautiful place where we have the opportunity to track the rapid changes that take place in the algae population. We use advanced equipment to count cells and to check what pigments they have. This knowledge is important in order to understand their significance in coastal environments", Farnelid concludes.

Both Broman and Farnelid are part of Linnaeus University's cutting-edge research environment Linnaeus University Centre for Ecology and Evolution in Microbial model Systems – EEMiS.


Elias Broman, Doctoral Student, phone +46480446279, email
Hanna Farnelid, Associate Senior Lecturer, phone +46480446296, email
Liv Ravnböl, Communications Officer, phone +46767603666, mejl