Lucinda Kraufvelin

I am a Masters’ student at Åbo Akademi University currently working on my thesis in Marine- and Environmental Biology with Christian Pansch as my supervisor. Growing up on the Baltic Sea coast, I have always been exposed to and curious about the marine environment, which led me to pursue an education in Biology. Over the course of my studies, I have become intrigued with climate change and stress ecology and the working title of my thesis is “Prolonged non-tidal desiccation events as potential drivers of shallow-water benthic communities”. Meteorological forcing primarily controls the water levels in the Baltic Sea. Depending on the persistence of weather regimes, water level changes can be extensive in places, while these events and their duration cannot be foreseen by species, which contrasts habitat conditions found in areas with strong tidal regimes. Thus, these particularly mostly random events can cause sporadic and at times long-term stress for organisms in forms of desiccation. Climate change models are projecting a shift in mean values of various abiotic variables. In addition, as a worldwide phenomenon, an increase in the frequency and duration of extreme events is expected. Much of the past climate change research focused on the effects of changing mean values, while increased variation, such as an increase in the magnitude and frequency of extremes, may be a greater threat to species or communities, or may amplify the effect of a changing mean. Predicted extremes in the Baltic Sea region are, among others, more pronounced heatwaves during the summer months, hypoxic autumn upwelling, increased precipitation during the winter and extremes in low- and highwater levels.