Image of rock and sea.
Two of the awarded research projects concerns nitrous oxide in marine waters.
Photo: Jonathan Havenhand

Stefano Bonaglia, Marlene Jahnke, and Laura Bristow awarded Swedish Research Council Grant 2022


Three researchers at the Department of Marine Sciences – Stefano Bonaglia, Marlene Jahnke, and Laura Bristow – have been awarded grants from the Swedish Research Council’s Natural and engineering sciences Grant 2022.

Stefano Bonaglia is awarded a Starting Grant, and Marlene Jahnke and Laura Bristow are awarded a Research Project Grant. The total amount for all three projects is SEK 10,960,000 distributed over four years, 2023 – 2026.

Predict future survival of eelgrass

Marlene Jahnke will in her project carry out a large-scale seascape genomic study and advance the field by translating individual genomic data into a prediction of fitness in a particular multivariate environment. These predictions on “genomic offset” or maladaptation will then be tested in common garden mesocosm experiments. The target species will be eelgrass, Zostera marina, and the Baltic Sea is the geographic extent.

“The ultimate goal of the project is to identify genomic signatures and environmental drivers that can be used to predict future survival of eelgrass in the Baltic Sea. More exploratory studies, like the ones we’ll be doing here, are necessary first, but I hope that this approach can be brought to a level so that it can be implemented in conservation management in the future,” says Marlene Jahnke.

Measure nitrous oxide and methane in fjords

Stefano Bonaglia is going to study fjords’ ecosystems, and to test whether these ecosystems are relevant greenhouse gas emission hotspots.

“I aim to test whether eutrophication enhances climate-forcing trace gas emissions by revealing fluxes of nitrous oxide and methane from fjords along nutrient pollution gradients. By crossing the boundaries between biogeochemistry, microbiology and oceanography, I expect this project to close significant gaps in our understanding of coastal greenhouse gas dynamics and resolve imbalances in current budgets,” says Stefano Bonaglia.

Nitrous oxide cycle in marine waters

Laura Bristow will undertake an experimental investigation of nitrous oxide dynamics in the oxygen-depleted waters of the eastern tropical North Pacific off the coast of Mexico and central Baltic as model systems, to elucidate pathways, quantify rates, and identify environmental controls of nitrous oxide production and consumption, and key microbes involved and their metabolic capabilities.
“I hope this will provide valuable input for mechanistic predictive modelling of oceanic nitrous oxide emissions in a changing world, and also guide marine management aimed at reducing nitrous oxide emissions. Moreover, an elucidation of nitrous oxide dynamics will improve our understanding of the marine nitrogen cycle in general, including its links to carbon cycling and the function of marine ecosystems,” says Laura Bristow.


These are the three projects that have been awarded grants by the Swedish Research Council:

Stefano Bonaglia

Project title: High-resolution spatio-temporal dynamics of nitrous oxide and methane in fjords under global change
Research subject area: Geochemistry; Oceanography, Hydrology and Water Resources; Climate research
Total amount SEK: 4 000 000

Marlene Jahnke

Project title: A seascape of adaptations - Testing models that predict performance in multivariate environments
Research subject area: Evolutionary biology
Co-applicants: Carl André, Department of Marine Sciences, University of Gothenburg, and Katie Lotterhos, Northeastern University, US
Total amount SEK: 3 360 000

Laura Bristow

Project title: The nitrous oxide cycle in marine waters: processes and regulatory factors
Research subject area: Geochemistry; Oceanography, hydrology and water resources
Total amount SEK: 3 600 000