SLU news

SLU researcher awarded for research on the ecological effects of chemical pollution

Published: 27 May 2024
Three winners with flowers and certificates.

Michael Bertram, Assistant Professor at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), is awarded the Royal Skyttean Society’s prize for outstanding young researchers in natural sciences and technology in 2024 for his successful research on the ecological impact of chemical pollution.

Humans impact the environment in many ways, one of which is through the pharmaceuticals we consume. Through wastewater, residues of these drugs end up in natural ecosystems and affect aquatic wildlife. Throughout his career, Michael Bertram has investigated how the behaviour of fish changes due to these pollutants and what consequences this might have for wildlife populations and communities. For this environmentally and socially important research, he is today receiving the Royal Skyttean Society’s prize.

"It is a great honour to receive this prize for outstanding young researchers in natural sciences and technology, which represents a significant milestone in my academic journey. I am very grateful to the Society for this honour, which motivates me to strive even harder to understand and reduce the impacts of chemical pollution on our environment," says Michael Bertram.


The award citation reads:

"In Michael Bertram's research, the impact of environmental toxins on ecological and evolutionary processes in nature is investigated. The questions are of great interest to protect the environment from various chemical emissions, such as pharmaceuticals or industrial contaminants, that are spread around the world. Since graduation, he has shown great success in publishing scientifically, presenting his findings at scientific conferences, and obtaining external grants. He has published 53 articles (48 in the last five years), all in highly ranked journals (e.g., Science, Nature Sustainability, Current Biology, Trends in Ecology and Evolution). His h-index is 24. His independence is demonstrated by his collaboration and publication with several different groups and his considerable external funding as the principal investigator, including from Formas and the Kempe Foundations. He is also a visiting researcher at Stockholm University, and an Adjunct Research Associate at Monash University, Australia.
His research has already proven to be significant both scientifically and socially, and he will most likely continue to strengthen the scientific environment at SLU in Umeå for a long time to come.
Michael Bertram is therefore proposed as a very worthy recipient of the prize for outstanding young researchers in natural sciences and technology 2024."

The prize amount this year is 20,000 Swedish kronor. The prize was awarded in conjunction with the Royal Skyttean Society’s annual celebration on 24 May in Umeå.


The Royal Skyttean Society was founded in 1957 and is one of the 18 royal academies in Sweden. Its mission is to support and highlight the cultural and scientific development of Norrland. The society annually awards a cultural prize as well as several prizes and scholarships to support and highlight primarily young researchers at universities and colleges in northern Sweden.