Students who use this as the starting course in the master programme will follow an introduction to master studies. This module runs as afternoon seminars during the whole course.

Limnology is the ecology of inland waters. We all depend on fresh water, for drinking, fishing and recreation. Aquatic ecosystems further play an important role in the global carbon cycling, and thus potentially bear a great impact on our future climate. Due to the new European directives for water quality, water conservation and management issues are currently in focus and highly topical. Hence, the Limnology course provides a good base for anyone with an eager interest in water-related issues, independently if you aim for a career in management, consultancies or research. It also constitutes a good background for further studies in the applied fields of ecology (Applied ecosystems ecology), and for further in-depth studies of ecosystems (Biodiversity and Ecosystem functioning as well as Ecosystems in the Anthropocene).

The course deals aquatic ecosystems, with a special focus on lakes.

Besides providing knowledge about the ecological processes, the course gives knowledge about quantitatively important organisms as well as character species in different types of aquatic systems. All major organism groups, from bacteria to fish are discussed. The course also comprises abiotic factors such as water physics and chemistry with a connection to water quality assessment. Global cycles of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus, and their connection to environmental issues such as climate and eutrophication are discussed.

The course contains a number of practical exercises in field, lab and with computers and is finalized by a field course at the Lake Erken field station, 80 km east of Uppsala.

For about a week we train sampling and analytical methods, to work independently and in a group, and to present material both in written and oral form.

Course literature: Likens (Ed). 2009. Encyclopedia of Inland waters. Academic Press Inc.

The book is available in electronic format for registered students. 

For more information, please contact:
Eva Lindström (

Last modified: 2023-08-17