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Caroline Ek

Caroline Ek
I have a broad interest in research questions related to environmental contaminants and overall health status in fish and other aquatic organisms. I started as a researcher at the Freshwater Institute at Drottningholm in March 2021.


My research is focused on the application of methods such as stable isotope analysis and fatty acid analysis but also other biomarkers to disentangle questions related to stress ecology and anthropogenic disturbances in the environment. Within my work with stable isotopes I also focus on food web ecology. My overall goal is to integrate research results in long-term environmental monitoring with focus on the health status of our aquatic organisms. 

In my current position I also work with salmon fisheries management, development of Swedish environmental monitoring and national restoration in freshwaters as well as application of stable isotope analysis in lakes. 


2020 (Jun-Dec): Guest researcher at University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden.

2020 (Mars-Jul): Environmental assessment specialist at the Department for Aquatic Resources, SLU, Stockholm, Sweden.

2020 (Feb): External resource at the Department for Aquatic Resources, SLU, Stockholm, Sweden

2020 (Jan): Guest researcher at the Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences (DEEP), Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.

2019: Curator/Researcher at the Unit for Environmental research and monitoring, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm, Sweden.

2017-2018 (Jan-Mar): Curator/Researcher at the Unit for Environmental research and monitoring, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm, Sweden.

2017: Doctoral degree in Applied environmental science at Stockholm University, Sweden, Department of environmental Science and analytical chemistry. Thesis tile: Towards understanding stable isotope signatures in stressed systems.

2010: Master of Science in marine biology specialised in ecotoxicology at Stockholm University, Department of apllied environmental research. Thesis title: Potential effects of the artificial sweetener sucralose on the crustaceans: Gammarus spp. and Nitocra spinipes.


Co-supervisor of MSc projects:

Emmy Nyberg (ongoing) - Utvärdera effekten av matfiskodling på den vilda fiskresursen genom analys av stabila isotoper samt fetter och proteiner, uppmätta i vild fisk i en sjö före och efter etablering av en kassodling.

Maya Ahlgren (2021) - Algal toxins in the Baltic blue mussel (Baltic Mytilus trossulus edulis) – spatiotemporal variations in the Baltic Sea (30 hp)

Selected publications

Ek. C.; Faxneld, S.; Nyberg, E.; Rolff, C.; Karlson, AML. The importance of adjusting contaminant concentrations using environmental data: a retrospective study of 25 years data in Baltic blue mussels. Science of the total environment. 2021, 762. 143913. 

Gerdes, Z.; Ogonowski, M.; Nybom, I.; Ek, C.; Adolfsson-Erici, M.; Barth, A.; Gorokhova, E. Microplastic-mediated transport of PCBs? A depuration study with Daphnia magna. PloS one. 2019, 14 (2).

Ek, C.; Garbaras, A.; Yu, Z.; Oskarsson, H.; Wiklund, A.-K. E.; Kumblad, L.; Gorokhova, E. Increase in stable isotope ratios driven by metabolic alterations in amphipods exposed to the beta-blocker propranolol. PloS one. 2019, 14 (5).

Nyberg, E.; Awad, R.; Bignert, A.; Ek, C.; Sallsten, G.; Benskin, J. P. Inter-individual, inter-city, and temporal trends of per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances in human milk from Swedish mothers between 1972 and 2016. Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts. 2018, 20 (8), 1136-1147.

Ek, C.; Holmstrand, H.; Mustajärvi, L.; Garbaras, A.; Barisevičiu̅te, R. t.; Šapolaitė, J.; Sobek, A.; Gorokhova, E.; Karlson, A. M. Using compound-specific and bulk stable isotope analysis for trophic positioning of bivalves in contaminated Baltic Sea sediments. Environmental science & technology. 2018, 52 (8), 4861-4868.

Ek, C.; Gerdes, Z.; Garbaras, A.; Adolfsson-Erici, M.; Gorokhova, E. Growth retardation and altered isotope composition as delayed effects of PCB exposure in Daphnia magna. Environmental science & technology. 2016, 50 (15), 8296-8304.

Ek, C.; Karlson, A. M.; Hansson, S.; Garbaras, A.; Gorokhova, E. Stable isotope composition in Daphnia is modulated by growth, temperature, and toxic exposure: implications for trophic magnification factor assessment. Environmental science & technology. 2015, 49 (11), 6934-6942.


Researcher at the Department of Aquatic Resources; Unit Diadromous Species
Telephone: +46104784218
Postal address:
Sötvattenslaboratoriet, Stångholmsvägen 2
Visiting address: Stångholmsvägen 2, Drottningholm