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My research interests cover a variety of topics within phytoplankton ecology and evolution. Currently my research focus is on understanding the processes underlying phytoplankton biogeography and algal blooms. My approach is to study these processes at the population level by investigating genetic diversity, population genetic and genomic structure, dispersal, and local adaptation.

Together with my research group and collaborators we are currently focusing on the following main topics; understanding population genetic structure, dispersal, and differentiation in a dinoflagellate species complex that has recently diverged into multiple species/ecotypes, a freshwater invasive nuisance species Gonyostomum semen, and in the green alga Chlamydomonas present in lakes. We are also exploring the where, when, and why of toxic cyanobacterial blooms. Particularly in the cyanobacterium Microcystis botrys, as well as the effect of extreme weather on cyanobacterial blooms. Moreover, in a collaborative project using marine diatoms we are addressing phytoplankton resilience to environmental change. Our approach is to use a combination of population genomics, trait diversity, and experimental studies to address the specific research questions for each project.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


Dive into the research topics where Karin Rengefors is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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