Susanna Strömberg

Principal Research Engineer

Department of Marine Sciences
Visiting address
Carl skottsbergs gata 22 b
41319 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 461
40530 Göteborg

About Susanna Strömberg

I did my PhD on the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa, with a focus on the early life cycle stages, e.g. reproduction, embryo and larval development, including their behavior. These early stages in the life of scleractinian corals (or any sessile marine organisms) are important for their potential for dispersal. Knowledge about this increase our ability to make better informed decisions to protect the species and make sure that the populations are viable.

Cold-water corals can form complex three-dimensional habitats, stretching continuously over hundreds of square kilometers and harbor a rich diversity of associated fauna. They provide important ecosystem services that help sustain human life, through their role as habitat for other organisms. For instance they are important feeding grounds for some commercially important fish, such as cod, rockfish, and Pollock. When cold-water coral reefs have been destroyed in an area, there has been a subsequent decline in the fisheries. But cold-water corals are facing several anthropogenic threats that we impose upon them. Bottom trawling, offshore oil and gas exploitation, and ocean acidification and warming are the major threats. To be able to assess the resilience of these ecosystems to these threats we need to know more about the prerequisites for a successful reproduction and dispersal. This knowledge is also important so that we know when we need to take action and restore reefs. During my PhD project I initiated a restoration experiment – forty-five concrete blocks of different designs were deployed in the Koster Sea.

Now we have started an EU LIFE project to restore the cold-water coral habitats at a larger scale, LIFE LOPHELIA. This project is done in collaboration with the County Administrative Board of Västra Götaland and the management for the Kosterhavet National Park. At UGOT it is Ann Larsson and myself, and our project assistant Nina Luckas that work in the project.


During my PhD I have been working with a wide range of methods, from casting concrete to build artificial reefs, to laboratory methods such as histology, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), general microscopy, and photo documentation. I have also designed an experimental set-up for settling, with 18 rotating beakers, driven by a motor and conveyor belts.


Early Life History of the Cold-Water Coral Lophelia pertusa – with implications for dispersal.

Supplemental tables and images for Paper II in my thesis

Paper II supplemental tables and graphs

Paper II supplemental images