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Kerstin Holmgren

Kerstin Holmgren
I am an associate professor (docent) in biology with specialisation in limnology, employed as a researcher at the Department of aquatic resources, located at the Institute of freshwater research in Drottningholm.


After PhD studies on sex differentiation and growth patterns of the European eel, I did my post doc in a project on “Size-based tools for managing freshwater fish communities” during 1997-2001. Since 2001, I have been responsible for standard fish sampling in lakes, and to a lesser extent in streams, within national environmental monitoring programs.  

My research interest is on how lake fish communities and populations depend on and interact with their abiotic and biotic environment. I use field monitoring data to answer basic and applied questions about fish responses to natural and anthropogenic stressors and management actions, e.g. acidification and liming. Applications include to develop, inter-calibrate, and refine, fish-based methods for assessment of ecological status according to the European Water Framework Directive.

I often work on behalf of the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management, at the national level as well as in collaboration with researchers from other countries.


I am one among many teachers at the SLU Masters course "Ecology for Fish Management and Conservation, 15 credits", and I am an examiner of independent projects at Master's level.

Selected publications

Gren, I.-M., K. Holmgren & W. Goedkoop. 2023. Fishing motives and economic effects of climate change - An application on Arctic char in northern Sweden. Journal of Bioeconomics 25: 202-223,

Holmgren, K. & E. Petersson. 2023. Are perch (Perca fluviatilis L.) getting larger or smaller in Swedish lakes? Ecology of Freshwater Fish 32: 735-749, DOI: 10.1111/EFF.12719.

Näslund, J., M. Andersson, S. Bergek, E. Degerman, S. Donadi, J. Duberg, K. Holmgren, A. Kinnerbäck, B. Sers, T. Staveley, H. Strömberg & E. Myrstener. 2023. Considerations needed for analysing data from the Swedish Electrofishing RegiSter (SERS), with special reference to the RivFishTIME database of long-term riverine surveys. Fauna Norvegica 42: 47-51, DOI: 10.5324/fn.v42i0.5647.

Van Dorst, R.M., C. Argillier, S. Brucet, K. Holmgren, P. Volta, I. Winfield & T. Mehner. 2022. Can size distributions of European lake fish communities be predicted by trophic positions of their fish species? Ecology and Evolution 12: e9087,

Laske, S.M., P.-A. Amundsen, K. Kristoffersen, J. Erkinaro, G. Gudbergsson, B. Hayden, J. Heino, K. Holmgren, K.K. Kahilainen, J. Lento, P. Orell, J. Östergren, M. Power, R. Rafikov, A. Romakkaniemi, M. Svenning, H. Swanson, M. Whitman & C.E. Zimmerman. 2022. Circumpolar patterns of Arctic freshwater fish biodiversity: a baseline for monitoring. Freshwater Biology 67: 176-193, doi: 10.1111/fwb.13405.

Lau, D.C.P., K. Christoffersen, J. Erkinaro, B. Hayden, J. Heino, S. Hellsten, K. Holmgren, K.K. Kahilainen, M. Kahlert, S.M. Karjalainen, J. Karlsson, L. Forsström, J. Lento, M. Mjelde, J. Ruuhijärvi, S. Sandøy, A.K. Schartau, M.-A. Svenning, T. Vrede & W. Goedkoop. 2022. Multitrophic biodiversity patterns and environmental descriptors of Arctic and sub-Arctic lakes in northern Europe. Freshwater Biology 67: 30-48, doi: 10.1111/fwb.13477.

Donadi, S., E. Degerman, B.G. McKie, D. Jones, K. Holmgren & L. Sandin. 2021. Interactive effects of land use, river regulation and climate on a key recreational fishing species in temperate and boreal streams. Freshwater Biology 66: 1901-1914, DOI: 10.1111/fwb.13799.

Fölster, J., Ø.A. Garmo, P. Carlson, R. Johnson, G. Velle, K. Austnes, S. Hallstan, K. Holmgren, A.K. Schartau, F. Moldan & J. Aroviita. 2021. Acidified or not? A comparison of Nordic systems for classification of physicochemical acidification status and suggestions towards a harmonized system. SLU, Vatten och miljö: Rapport 2021:1, 100 p.

Mehner, T., C. Argillier, T. Hesthagen, K. Holmgren, E. Jeppesen, F. Kelly. T. Krause, M. Olin, P. Volta, I.J. Winfield & S. Brucet. 2021. Model-based decomposition of environmental, spatial and species-interaction effects on the structure of common fish species in 772 lakes. Global Ecology and Biogeography 30: 1558-1571, doi: 10.1111/geb/13314.

Bartrons, M., T. Mehner, C. Argillier, M. Beklioglu, P. Blabolil, T. Hesthagen, K. Holmgren, E. Jeppesen, T. Krause, S. Podgornik, P. Volta, I.J. Winfield & S. Brucet. 2020. Energy-based top-down and bottom-up relationships between fish and phytoplankton across lakes at a continental scale. Limnology and Oceanography 65: 892-902, doi: 10.1002/lno.11434.

Brucet, S., I. Arranz, T. Mehner, C. Argillier, M. Beklioglu, L. Benejam, T. Boll, K. Holmgren, T.L. Lauridsen, J.C. Svenning, I.J. Winfield & E. Jeppesen. 2018. Size diversity and species diversity relationships in lake fish assemblages of Western Palaearctic lakes. Ecography 41: 1064-1076, doi: 10.1111/ecog.03255.

Holmgren, K., A. Kinnerbäck, J. Svensson, O.T. Sandlund, T. Hesthagen, R. Saksgård, Steinar Sandøy & S. Poikane. 2018. Intercalibration of the national classifications of ecological status for Northern lakes. Biological Quality Element: Fish fauna. JRC112702, EUR 29335 EN, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg. ISBN 978-92-79-92966-3, 28 p, doi: 10.2760/79933.

Trochine, C., S. Brucet, C. Argillier, I. Arranz, M. Beklioglu, L. Benejam, T. Ferreira, T. Hesthagen, K. Holmgren, E. Jeppesen, F. Kelly, T. Krause, M. Rask, P. Volta, I.J. Winfield & T. Mehner. 2018. Non-native fish occurrence and biomass in 1943 Western Palearctic lakes and reservoirs and their abiotic and biotic correlates. Ecosystems 21: 395-409, doi: 10.1007/s10021-017-0156-6.

Holmgren, K., E. Degerman, E. Petersson & B. Bergquist. 2016. Long term trends of fish after liming of Swedish streams and lakes. Atmospheric Environment 146: 245-251, doi: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2016.08.033.

Sandström, A., P. Philipsson, A. Asp, T. Axenrot, A. Kinnerbäck, H. Ragnarsson-Stabo & K. Holmgren. 2016. Assessing the potential of remote sensing derived water quality data to explain variations in fish assemblages and to support status assessments in large lakes. Hydrobiologia 780: 71-84, doi: 10.1007/s10750-016-2784-9.

Holmgren, K. 2016. Monitoring and ecological status assessment of fish assemblages in inland waters. Deliverable 4.5-1. WATERS report no. 2016:6. Havsmiljöinstitutet, Sweden.

Mehner, T., C. Keeling, M. Emmrich, K. Holmgren, C. Argillier, P. Volta, I.J. Winfield & S. Brucet. 2016. Effects of fish predation on density and size spectra of prey fish communities in lakes. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 73: 506-518, doi: 10.1139/cjfas-2015-0034.

Arranz, I., T. Mehner, L. Benejam, C. Argillier, K. Holmgren, E. Jeppesen, T.L. Lauridsen, P. Volta, I.J. Winfield & S. Brucet. 2016. Density-dependent effects as key drivers of intraspecific size structure of six abundant fish species in lakes across Europe. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 73: 519-534, doi: 10.1139/cjfas-2014-0508.

Holmgren, K. 2014. Challenges in assessing biological recovery from acidification in Swedish lakes. Ambio 43: 19-29. DOI: 10.1007/s13280-014-0559-y.

Olin, M., K. Holmgren, M. Rask, M. Allen, L. Connor, A. Duguid, W. Duncan, A. Harrison, T. Hesthagen, F. Kelly, A. Kinnerbäck, R. Rosell & R. Saksgård. 2014. Water Framework Directive Technical Report: Northern Lake Fish fauna ecological assessment. EUR – Scientific and Technical Research series, Report EUR 26515 EN, 55 p. ISSN 1831-9424, ISBN 978-92-79-35474-8. Doi: 10.2788/76197.

Emmrich, M., S. Pedron, S. Brucet, I.J. Winfield, E. Jeppesen, P. Volta, C. Argillier, T.L. Lauridsen, K. Holmgren, T. Hesthagen & T. Mehner. 2014. Geographical patterns in the body-size structure of European lake fish communities along abiotic and biotic gradients. Journal of Biogeography 41: 2221-2233, doi:10.1111/jbi.12366.

Brucet, S., S. Pédron, T. L. Lauridsen, T. Mehner, C. Argillier, I. J. Winfield, P. Volta, M. Emmrich, T. Hesthagen, K. Holmgren, L. Benejam, F. Kelly, T. Krause, A. Palm, M. Rask & E. Jeppesen. 2013. Fish diversity in European lakes: geographic predictors dominate over anthropogenic pressures. Freshwater Biology 58:1779-1793. Doi:10.1111/fwb.12167.

Argillier, C., S. Caussé, M. Gevrey, S. Pédron, J. De Bortoli, S. Brucet, M. Emmrich, E. Jeppesen, T. Lauridsen, T. Mehner, M. Olin, M. Rask, P. Volta, I.J. Winfield, F. Kelly, T. Krause, A. Palm & K. Holmgren. 2013. Development of a fish-based index to assess the eutrophication status of European lakes. Hydrobiologia 174: 193-211. DOI 10.1007/s10750-012-1282-y.

Emmrich, M., I.J. Winfield, J. Guillard, A. Rustadbakken, C. Verges, P. Volta, E. Jeppesen, T.L. Lauridsen, S. Brucet, K. Holmgren, C. Argillier & T. Mehner. 2012. Strong correspondence between gillnet catch per unit effort and hydroacoustically derived fish biomass in stratified lakes. Freshwater Biology 57: 2436-2448. doi:10.1111/fwb.12022.

Jeppesen, E., T. Mehner, I.J. Winfield, K. Kangur, J. Sarvala, D. Gerdeaux, M. Rask, H.J. Malmquist, K. Holmgren, P. Volta, S. Romo, R. Eckmann, A. Sandström, S. Blanco, A. Kangur, H. Ragnarsson-Stabo, M. Tarvainen, A.-M. Ventelä, M. Søndergaard, T.L. Lauridsen & M. Meerhoff. 2012. Impacts of climate warming on the long-term dynamics of key fish species in 24 European lakes. Hydrobiologia 694: 1-39. DOI 10.1007/s10750-012-1182-1.

Tolonen, K.T., K.P. Brodersen, T.A. Kleisborg, K. Holmgren, M. Dahlberg, L. Hamerlik & H. Hämäläinen. 2012. Phantom midge-based models for inferring past fish abundance. Journal of Paleolimnology 47: 531-547. DOI 10.1007/s10933-012-9579-4.

Jeppesen, E., M. Meerhoff, K. Holmgren, I. Gonzalez-Bergonzoni, F. Teixeira-de Mello, S. Declerk, L. DeMeester, M. Søndergaard, T.L. Lauridsen, R. Bjerring, J.M. Conde-Porcuna, N. Mazzeo, C. Iglesias, M. Reizenstein, H. Malmquist, Z. Liu, D. Balayla & X. Lazzaro. 2010. Impacts of global warming on fish community structure and dynamics, and potential ecosystem effects. Hydrobiologia 646: 73-90. DOI 10.1007/s10750-010-0171-5.

Holmgren, K., A. Kinnerbäck, M. Olin, T. Hesthagen, F. Kelly, M. Rask & R. Saksgård. 2010. Intercalibration of fish assessments of ecological status in Northern lakes – results from a pilot study. Fiskeriverket Informerar (Finfo) 2010: 1, 37 p.

Svanbäck, R., P. Eklöv, R. Fransson & K. Holmgren. 2008. Intraspecific competition drives multiple species trophic polymorphism in fish communities. Oikos 117: 114-124. doi: 10.1111/j.2007.0030-1299.16267.x.


Researcher at the Department of Aquatic Resources; Enheten för miljöanalys
Telephone: +46104784229
Postal address:
Stångholmsvägen 2
17893 Drottningholm
Visiting address: Stångholmsvägen 2, Drottningholm

Publications list: