Bonus Projects

Baltic Diversity Notes - BONUS BIO-C3

Bringing you updates on Baltic Sea biodiversity from the BIO-C3 project and thoughts on life as a young researcher
06.11.2014 16:08

Exciting new firsts!

Anna Törnroos

Well, hello there!

I´m delighted that you found your way to one of the first blogs under the project website for the BONUS program (an EU research and developmental program focused on the Baltic Sea). And more importantly my first blog!

I´m Anna Törnroos and I just took my first steps as an academic researcher or “postdoc” (someone recently passing their doctoral degree) in marine ecology. Starting this episode of my life also meant I recently landed in a new place, Denmark and Copenhagen to be precise, and began working within a new project called BIO-C3 (or in its full length: Biodiversity changes – causes, consequences and management implications).


In this blog I’m going to share news and updates on how we study changes in the diversity of marine life in one of the world’s largest brackish (a mix of salt and fresh) water areas. The Baltic Sea is a perfect natural laboratory to investigate the causes and consequences of how we humans affect our marine ecosystems. Why? Because the Baltic Sea covers a large area with a whole range of aquatic environments, from almost fresh water, short summers and icy winters in the northern parts of Finland and Sweden, to ocean-like, ice free waters in its southern parts around the Danish Sounds. Within this area live over 85 million people that in various ways are affecting the sea on a daily basis.


As a researcher, I am particularly interested in what species do in the marine ecosystem, in other words the variety and diversity of functions that species perform. Finding out how this has changed and will change in the future, and how we can use this information to better understand how we humans affect the sea is my main research focus. To give you an idea: just like worms are important for facilitating the soil in our gardens to produce a lot of vegetables or flowers, this is also true in the sea. The animals and plants living in the sea are involved in many different and essential functions in the ecosystem, which in turn give us many valuable services, such as food, cycling of carbon or nutrients, or just the possibility to take a swim on a hot summer day.


In this blog, I also thought to give you some insight into my life as a researcher, which I hope might interest those of you who are simply curious to know what we (sometimes rather mysterious type of people) do. But having been a student myself only some months ago, with a mind full of thoughts on career and life choices (still is I´m afraid), I hope this blog also becomes something that you as student in biology, ecology or any other subject, or fellow (new) postdoc can relate to.


I’d really like this blog to be as interactive as possible, so I´m looking forward to getting your input and feedback! Feel free to leave a comment, send me an email ( or tweet (@annatornroos) on whether you agree, disagree, want to read something specific or simply liked what you read.


I´ll leave you with some autumn pics from the Danish waters and my new workplace.
Stay tuned for a new blog post next week!

Autumn in the Baltic Sea. Entangled jellyfish (Moon jelly, Aurelia aurita) in drifting algae and seagrass.
My new “home”, DTU Aqua and Centre for Ocean Life in Copenhagen, Charlottenlund.

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