Ellen Schagerström


Department of Biological & Environmental Sciences
Visiting address
Kristineberg 566
45178 Fiskebäckskil
Postal address
Kristineberg 566
45178 Fiskebäckskil

About Ellen Schagerström

My main scientific interests are aquaculture, marine restoration and marine invasive species. My research at the University of Gothenburg focuses on the breeding of the Scandinavian species red sea cucumber, Parastichopus tremulus.

One aim of the project is to evaluate red signal sea cucumber as a component of integrated multitrophic aquaculture (IMTA). IMTA is a form of aquaculture that is based on how an ecosystem works, where species from different trophic levels of the food chain (primary producers, filter feeders, herbivores, predators and detritivores) are grown together, so that waste from one species (faeces and possible feed residues) works as food (nutrition) to another. For example, mussels and algae can be cultivated to take up the nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) that come from a fish farm and grow better themselves with the help of them. Sea cucumbers are detritivores, which means they can very well utilize the nutrients found in faeces and detritus from other species for growth. This gives them a key function within IMTA by closing the nutrient cycle. Through IMTA, several varieties of marine protein can be produced with minimal negative impact on the environment.

The second aim is to be able to restore ecological functions in marine environments where sea cucumbers have greatly decreased or disappeared completely for various reasons. The sea cucumbers can be described as the vacuum cleaners of the sea, which makes it clear how important they are for the ecosystem balance and function.

In addition to sea cucumbers, I have a solid interest and a PhD in macroalgae, mainly in the Baltic Sea. You can read more about my seaweed research at Tångbloggen, which I have run together with professor emeritus Lena Kautsky since 2012. If you are a die-hard algae geek, you can listen to Algpodden with me and professor Angela Wulff.

I regularly supervise bachelor's and master's projects. If you are interested in doing your bachelor's or master's project, or a postdoc with me, email me in good time and we can book an initial meeting!