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Brian Huser

Brian Huser
Limnologist working with trace metals and nutrients in lakes and rivers


My research interests center around the interaction between phosphorus and metals in surface waters and lake sediments. Phosphorus supply in nutrient rich, eutrophic lakes is generally dominated by internal loading of phosphorus from the sediment (also called legacy phosphorus) that has accumulated in sediment over decades of excess inputs from the surrounding watershed. Even after these external nutrient sources have been controlled, internal loading of phosphorus can continue to fuel algal blooms and decrease water quality. Through my research I attempt to further our understanding of in-lake nutrient cycling and to use this information to develop tools to restore eutrophic lakes.


Models for Sustainable Water Management (7.5 credit Masters level course)


Some recent projects include:

  • Legacy phosphorus in sediment - the last hurdle to overcome for sustainable lake restoration (FORMAS): This project will address critical knowledge gaps for the sustainable management of legacy phosphorus (internal loading of sediment P). We will determine degradation rates of different organic phosphorus forms in lake sediment and link sediment chemistry and phosphorus fractions to internal loading.  This will allow us to develop tools for lake managers to better estimate internal loading of phosphorus in lakes and reduce the risk for restoration failures in the future when attempting to manage this legacy phosphorus source.
  • Restoration of nutrient rich lakes (Oscar Lili Lamm foundation): This is a PhD student project that will look at a number of factors that can affect nutrient availability and restoration measures in nutrient rich lakes. The effect of benthiverous fish on sediment mixing depth and availability of phosphorus in sediment will be studied along with how these changes can affect common lake restoration techniques like aluminum application to reduce internal phosphorus loading in lakes.
  • EU LIFE IP Rich Waters: We are currently working with the Swedish Water Authority and country boards and other stakeholders in the Northern Baltic Sea river basin district to develop tools to determine natural levels of internal phosphorus loading, risk models to better detect where help is needed, and guidelines to better manage this nutrient source in a cost-effective manner.
  • FORMAS (LIMIT): This project involves the analysis (both field and lab) of phosphorus binding elements in the sediment of acidified, limed, and neutral reference lakes to determine the effect of altered sediment metal content on phosphorus availability in these types of lakes. A sediment diagenetic model will be developed as one of the end products based on information gained from the study.
  • Background concentrations, long term trends and modeling of metals and phosphorus in rivers and lakes across Sweden.
  • The effects of fish farming on sediment P accumulation and cycling in lakes and reservoirs
  • Advancing methods for aluminum dose determination in lake restoration and management projects.


2016. Docent in Environmental Assessment. Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Dept. of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment.

2010. Researcher, Geochemistry. Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Dept. of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment.

2005-2015. Limnologist/Water Resources Engineer, Barr Engineering. Minneapolis, MN.

2005. Ph.D. Water Resources Science, University of Minnesota. Thesis title: Phosphorus sorption by sediments in acidic and eutrophic lakes.

1999. M.S. Civil and Environmetnal Engineering, University of Washington. Thesis title: Phosphorus sorption capacity of aluminum in alum treated lake sediments.

Selected publications

Some recent publications include:

Thongdam, S., Kuster, A. C., Huser, B. J., & Kuster, A. T. 2021. Low Dose Coagulant and Local Soil Ballast Effectively Remove Cyanobacteria (Microcystis) from Tropical Lake Water without Cell Damage. Water 2021, 13, 111.

Jilbert, T., Couture, R. M., Huser, B. J., & Salonen, K. 2020. Preface: Restoration of eutrophic lakes: current practices and future challenges. Hydrobiologia, 847(21), 4343-4357.

Agstam-Norlin, O., Lannergård, E. E., Futter, M. N., & Huser, B. J. 2020. Optimization of aluminum treatment efficiency to control internal phosphorus loading in eutrophic lakes. Water Research, 185, 116150.

Kuster, A. C., Kuster, A. T., & Huser, B. J. 2020. A comparison of aluminum dosing methods for reducing sediment phosphorus release in lakes. Journal of environmental management, 261, 110195.

Lannergård, E. E., Agstam‐Norlin, O., Huser, B. J., Sandström, S., Rakovic, J., & Futter, M. N. 2020. New insights into legacy phosphorus from fractionation of streambed sediment. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 125(9), e2020JG005763.

Huser, B. J., Futter, M. N., Bogan, D., Brittain, J. E., Culp, J. M., Goedkoop, W., ... & Lento, J. 2020. Spatial and temporal variation in Arctic freshwater chemistry—Reflecting climate‐induced landscape alterations and a changing template for biodiversity. Freshwater Biology.

Huser, B.J., Malmaeus, M., Witter, E., Wilander, A., Ryding, E. 2020. Accumulation of Legacy Sediment Phosphorus in Lake Hjälmaren, Sweden: Consequences for Lake Restoration. In: Internal Phosphorus Loading in Lakes: Causes, Case Studies, and Management. Eds, B. Spears and A. Steinman. J. Ross Publishing. 464 pp.

Huser, B.J., Futter, M.N., Wang, R. and Fölster, J. 2018. Persistent and widespread long-term phosphorus declines in boreal lakes in sweden. Sci Total Environ 613-614, 240-249.

Spears, B.M., Futter, M.N., Jeppesen, E., Huser, B.J., Ives, S., Davidson, T.A., Adrian, R., Angeler, D.G., Burthe, S.J., Carvalho, L., Daunt, F., Gsell, A.S., Hessen, D.O., Janssen, A.B.G., Mackay, E.B., May, L., Moorhouse, H., Olsen, S., Søndergaard, M., Woods, H. and Thackeray, S.J. 2017. Ecological resilience in lakes and the conjunction fallacy. Nature Ecology & Evolution 1(11), 1616-1624.

Huser, B.J. 2017. Aluminum application to restore water quality in eutrophic lakes: Maximizing binding efficiency between aluminum and phosphorus. Lake Reserv Manage 33(2), 143-151.

Schütz, J., Rydin, E. and Huser, B.J. 2017. A newly developed injection method for aluminum treatment in eutrophic lakes: Effects on water quality and phosphorus binding efficiency. Lake Reserv Manage 33(2), 152-162.

Huser, B., Löfgren, S. and Markensten, H., 2016. Internbelastning av fosfor i svenska sjöar och kustområden. SLU rapport No. 2016: 6.

Huser B.J., Egemose S., Harper H., Hupfer M., Jensen H., Pilgrim K.M., Reitzel K., Rydin E., Futter M. 2016. Longevity and effectiveness of aluminum addition to reduce sediment phosphorus release and restore lake water quality. Water Res. 97:122-132.

Huser B.J., Futter M., Lee J.T., Perniel M. 2016. In-lake measures for phosphorus control: The most feasible and cost-effective solution for long-term management of water quality in urban lakes. Water Res. 97:142-152.

Spears, B. M., Carvalho, L., Futter, M. N., May, L., Thackeray, S. J., Adrian, R., Angeler, D. G., Burthe, S. J., Davidson, T. A., Daunt, F., Gsell, A. S., Hesseni, D. O., Moorhouse, H., Huser, B., Ives, S. C., Janssen, A. B. G., Mackay, E. B., Sondergaard, M. and Jeppesen, E. 2016. Ecological Instability in Lakes: A Predictable Condition? Environ Sci Technol. 50(7):3285.

Huser B.J., Bajer P.G., Chizinski C.J., Sorensen P.W. 2016. Effects of common carp (Cyprinus carpio) on sediment mixing depth and mobile phosphorus mass in the active sediment layer of a shallow lake. Hydrobiologia. 763(1):23-33.

Huser B, Bartels P. 2015. Feeding Ecology of Carp. In: Pietsch C, Hirsch PE, editors. Biology and Ecology of Carp. CRC Press. p. 217-243.

Qian, H. and Huser, B.J. 2014. Anthropogenic oligotrophication via liming: long-term phosphorus trends in acidified, limed and neutral reference lakes in Sweden. Ambio, 43(1): 104-112. DOI: 10.1007/s13280-014-0573-0.

Mackay, E.B., Maberly, C.S., Gang, P., Reitzel, K., Bruere, A., Corker, N., Douglas, G., Egemose, S., Hamilton, D., Hatton-Ellis, T., Huser, B., Li, W., Meis, S., Moss, B., Lürling, M., Phillips, G., Yasseri, S., Spears, B.M. 2014. Geoengineering in lakes: welcome attraction or fatal distraction? Inland Waters, 4(4): 349-356. DOI: 10.5268/IW-4.4.769.

Huser, B.J. and K.M. Pilgrim. 2014. A simple model for predicting aluminum bound phosphorus formation and internal loading reduction in lakes after aluminum addition to lake sediment. Water Research, 53: 378-385. DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2014.01.062.

Huser, B. and Köhler, S., 2014. Granskning av åtgärdsförslag för att minska internbelastningen av fosfor i Växjösjöarna. SLU rapport No. 2014: 7.

Huser, B.J. and J. Fölster. 2013. Prediction of Reference Phosphorus Concentrations in Swedish Lakes. Environ. Sci. Technol., 47(4): 1809-1815. DOI: 10.1021/es3040413.

Huser, B.J., Fölster, J. and Köhler, S.J. 2012. Lead, zinc, and chromium concentrations in acidic headwater streams in Sweden explained by chemical, climatic, and land-use variations. Biogeosciences, 9: 4323-4335. DOI:10.5194/bg-9-4323-2012.

Huser, B.J. 2012. Variability in phosphorus binding by aluminum in alum treated lakes explained by lake morphology and aluminum dose. Water Researcg, 46(15): 4697-4704. DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2012.06.005.

Huser, B.J., Köhler, S.J., Wilander, A., Johansson, K. and Fölster, J. 2011. Temporal and spatial trends for trace metals in streams and rivers across Sweden (1996-2009). Biogeosciences, 8: 1813-1823. DOI 10.5194/bg-8-1813-2011.

Huser, B.J., Brezonik, P.L. and Newman, R.M. 2011. Effects of alum treatment on water quality and sediment in the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes, Minnesota, USA. Lake Reserv. Manage., 27(3): 220-228. DOI:10.1080/07438141.2011.601400


Researcher at the Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment; Division of Geochemistry and Hydrology
Telephone: +4618673128
Postal address:
Institutionen för vatten och miljö, Box 7050
Visiting address: Lennart Hjelms väg 9, Uppsala