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Angela Wulff, Professor





RESEARCH INTEREST: Ecology and ecophysiology of microbenthic and planktonic communities, UV-radiation, climate change

Ongoing projects:

Current environmental issues in the Baltic environment are the increasing occurrence of toxic algal blooms, eutrophication and the increasing level of UV-B radiation (UV-B: 280-(315) 320 nm). Light and nutrients are key factors for photosynthetic primary producers but light can act as a promoting as well as a restricting factor to both the individual cell and the phytoplankton community. The ultraviolet part of the solar spectrum is believed to act as a restricting factor. The overall aims of the project are to assess the influence of bottom-up factors and study the effects of I) high light intensities (PAR: 400-700 nm) and UVR (280-400 nm)) on the biodiversity of phytoplankton communities focusing on bloom-forming Baltic cyanobacteria, and II) the interaction effects of UVR and nutrients (N, P). A central question to be answered is "Will UV-B radiation function as a selective pressure thereby altering the microalgal biodiversity?" The project aims at increasing the knowledge about factors controlling the occurrence and distribution of toxic microalgae, a knowledge crucial for predicting toxic phytoplankton blooms.

In addition, we are studying the ecological role of UV-absorbing compounds and the cyanotoxin nodularin. See also the MARICE — Marine Chemical Ecology web site.


I have a special interest in polar research (Arctic and Antarctic environments) focusing on effects of UVR on both microalgal and macroalgal communities. Marine macroalgae are very important primary producers in coastal ecosystems, serving as food for herbivores and as habitat for many organisms. Both, UVR and consumers significantly shape macroalgal succession in the Antarctic intertidal. Consumers, particularly gastropods can mediate negative effects of ambient UVR on richness and diversity till a certain level. UV-B radiation in general and an increase of this short wavelength due to stratospheric ozone depletion in particular may have the potential to affect the zonation, composition and diversity of Antarctic intertidal seaweeds altering trophic interactions in this system. Furthermore, in the study area (Potter Cove, King George Island) the phytoplankton biomass is not sufficient to explain the benthic consumer abundance and the benthic microalgae dominated by benthic diatoms account for the nutrition of the local fauna. Here benthic diatoms seem unaffected by UVR but the mechanisms behind this tolerance are still to be elucidated.

During autumn-winter 2003 and 2004 I worked on King George Island, Antarctica. To follow my adventures click here (you have to search a bit among different reports and photos).

During the International Polar Year I participate in the Norwegian IPY project CLEOPATRA (Climate effects on planktonic food quality and trophic transfer in Arctic Marginal Ice Zones). We are studying

  • The timing, quantity and quality of ice algal and phytoplankton spring bloom
  • How variations in light and UV radiation affect algal food quality
  • The importance of timing and available food for reproduction and growth of the dominant herbivorous zooplankton species Arctic shelf seas

For more information see CLEOPATRA.The major part of this project will be presented at OSC, IPY Oslo Science Conference, June 2010.


This is an interdisciplinary project funded by The Swedish Research council. In short: The changing climate in polar regions is predicted to be faster than for the rest of our planet due to the influence of feedbacks related to the changing surface of Polar Oceans. The exchange between ocean –atmosphere - snow – sea ice of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, carbonBig glacier monoxide, methane, naturally produced ozone depleting substances, oxides of nitrogen) is driven by physical, chemical and biological processes occurring in the snowpack and sea ice, and this exchange has a significant impact on the concentrations of ozone and mercury. During spring at polar sunrise, both these chemical species are depleted in the troposphere, and this process is mediated by air-surface exchange of gases, specifically halogen species. The objective is to determine the importance of greenhouse gases, as well as mercury, for chemical and biological exchange processes in the marine environment with focus on Polar regions and their feedback mechanisms in the context of a changing climate. The project aims to investigate the mechanisms controlling the temporal and spatial variability in the processes driving the fluxes of greenhouse gases and mercury in the sensitive polar ocean. The exchange of species between sea – atmosphere- sea ice – snow, as well as the control mechanisms, will be studied in laboratory experiments as well as in field studies, with emphasis on the impact of changes in sea ice cover, precipitation, temperature, changes in UV radiation, and a high carbon dioxide scenario.

In March – April, 2010, we will spend ca 3 weeks in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard.
We will study the fluxes of e.g. greenhouse gases between the atmosphere, sea ice and sea water, and the impact of microalgae and bacteria on these processes.


I believe outreaching activities are important and I try to participate as much as possible particularly in activities involving kids and young students. For example, see ”Samlar på havets juveler”  and ”Solbrända mikroalger”.


I enjoy teaching and I am continuously interested in improving my teaching skills though various pedagogical and didactical courses. I am engaged in several basic courses and supplementary courses in marine ecology and ecophysiology. For example, I am responsible for the 15 hp master course “Primary producers of the sea” (BIO458).

In addition, I teach in various teachers' training courses including the 15 hp course ”Bring the ocean to the classroom” (Havet i klassrummet).


PhD students
Maria Karlberg
Anders Torstensson

Bachelor and Master students including practical work (15 - 60 hp)
Interested students are always welcome to discuss their ideas for a bachelor or master thesis! So far I have supervised 19 bachelor and master students (including practical work) and during 2010 I am currently involved in 3 projects:

  • A. Torstensson (60 hp) Effects of climate change on Artic marine diatoms and the role of phytoplankton in fluctuations of greenhouse gases
  • M. Söderberg (60 hp) The response of Baltic pelagic microbes to climate change – a multi-factorial approach
  • K. Vikström (15 hp) The effects of increased temperature and decreased salinity on two Baltic filamentous cyanobacteria


Email: angela.wulff@bioenv.gu.se
Tel: 031-7862628
Visiting address: Institute of Marine Ecology, Carl Skottsbergs gata 22B, Gothenburg



  • Prof. in Marine Ecology, Marine Botany, Univ. of Gothenburg, 2010
  • Assoc. professor Marine Botany, Göteborg University, Sweden 2003
  • Dr. philos., Marine Botany, Göteborg University, Sweden, 1999
  • M.S., Biology, Göteborg University, Sweden, 1994
  • Master of Arts in Physical Education Teaching and Biology Education, Örebro University, Sweden, 1988



46. Karlberg M, Wulff A (in press) Climate change effects on filamentous cyanobacteria - two multifactorial case studies on ocean acidification, temperature and salinity. Mar Biol
45. Roleda MY, Nyberg CD, Wulff A. UVR defense mechanisms in eurytopic and invasive Gracilaria vermiculophylla (Gracilariales, Rhodophyta). Physiol Plant 146:205-216 DOI 10.1111/j.1399-3054.2012.01615.x
44. Torstensson A, Chierici M, Wulff A. The influence of increased temperature and carbon dioxide levels on the benthic/sea ice diatom Navicula directa. Polar Biology 35:205-214
43. Mohlin M, Roleda MY, Pattanaik B, Tenne S-J, Wulff A. (2012) Interspecific resource competition – combined effects of radiation and nutrient limitation on filamentous cyanobacteria. Microbial Ecology 63:736-750 DOI 10.1007/s00248-011-9964-y


42. Steinhoff F, Graeve M, Wiencke C, Wulff A, Bischof K. Lipid content and fatty acid consumption in zoospores/developing gametophytes of Saccharina latissima (Laminariales, Phaeophyceae) as potential precursors for secondary metabolites as phlorotannins. Polar Biology 34:1011-1018


41. Pattanaik B, Wulff A, Roleda MY, Garde K, Mohlin M (2010) Production of the cyanotoxin nodularin - A multifactorial approach. Harmful Algae 10:30-38 doi10.1016/j.hal.2010.06.001
40. Al-Handal AY, Riaux-Gobin C, Wulff A. Cocconeis pottercovei sp. nov. and Cocconeis pinnata var. matsii var. nov., two new marine diatom taxa from King George Island, Antarctica. Diatom Research 25: 1-11


39.Wulff A, Iken K, Quartino ML, Al-Handal A, Wiencke C, Clayton MN. Biodiversity, Biogeography and Zonation of benthic micro- and macroalgae in the Arctic and Antarctic. Botanica Marina 52: 491-507
38. Mohlin M and Wulff A. Interaction effects of ambient UV-radiation and nutrient limitation on the toxic cyanobacterium Nodularia spumigena Microbial Ecology 57: 675-686
37. Zacher K, Roleda MY, Wulff A, Hanelt D, Wiencke C. Responses of Antarctic Iridaea cordata (Rhodophyta) tetraspores exposed to ultraviolet radiation. Phycological Research 57: 186-193
36. Zacher K, Rautenberger R, Hanelt D, Wulff A, Wiencke C. The abiotic environment of polar marine benthic algae. Botanica Marina 52: 483-490 38
35. Gómez I, Wulff A, Roleda MY, Huovinen P, Karsten K, Quartino L, Dunton K, Wiencke C. Light and temperature demands of benthic algae in the polar regions. Botanica Marina 52: 593-608
34. Roleda MY, Campana G, Wiencke C, Hanelt D, Quartino LM, Wulff A. Sensitivity of Antarctic Urospora penicilliformis (Ulotrichales, Chlorophyta) to ultraviolet radiation is life stage dependent. Journal of Phycology 45: 600-609
33. Karsten U, Wulff A, Roleda MY, Müller R, Steinhoff FS, Fredersdorf J, Wiencke C. Physiological responses of polar benthic micro- and macroalgae to ultraviolet radiation. Botanica Marina 52: 639-654
32. Campana GL, Zacher K, Fricke A, Molis M, Wulff A, Quartino ML, Wiencke C. Drivers of colonization and succession in polar benthic macro- and microalgal communities. Botanica Marina 52: 655-667


31. Wulff A, Roleda MY, Zacher K, Wiencke C. Exposure to sudden light burst after prolonged darkness – A case study on benthic diatoms in Antarctica. Diatom Research 23: 519-532
30. Roleda MY, Mohlin M, Pattanaik B, Wulff A. Photosynthetic response of Nodularia spumigena to UV and photosynthetically active radiation depends on nutrient (N and P) availability. FEMS Microbial Ecology 66: 230-242
29. Wulff A, Roleda MY, Zacher K, Wiencke C (2008) UV radiation effects on pigments, photosynthetic efficiency and DNA of a semi-natural Antarctic marine benthic diatom community. Aquatic Biology, 3:167-177 doi: 10.3354/ab00076
28. Al-Handal AY and Wulff A (2008) Epiphytic diatoms on marine macroalgae from Potter Cove, King George Island, Antarctica. Botanica Marina, 51: 411-435
27. Al-Handal AY, Riaux-Gobin C, Romero OE, Wulff A (2008) Two new marine diatom species of the genus Cocconeis Ehrenberg; C. melchioroides and C. dallmannii, from King George Island, Antarctica. Diatom Research, 23: 269-281
26. Roleda M, Zacher K, Wulff A, Hanelt D, Wiencke C (2008) Susceptibility of spores of different ploidy levels from Antarctic Gigartina skottsbergii (Gigartinales, Rhodophyta) to ultraviolet radiation. Phycologia, 47: 361-370. DOI 10.2216/PH07-84.1
25. Wulff A, Zacher K, Hanelt D, Al-Handal A, Wiencke C (2008) UV radiation- a threat to Antarctic benthic marine diatoms? Antarctic Science, 20: 13-20. doi: 10.1017/S0954102007000739
24. Al-Handal A, Wulff A (2008) Marine benthic diatoms from Potter Cove, King George Island, Antarctica. Botanica Marina, 51: 51-68


23. Roleda MY, Zacher K, Wulff A, Hanelt D, Wiencke C (2007) Impacts of ultraviolet radiation on the photosynthetic performance, cyclobutane-pyrimidine dimer formation and repair in gametes of Antarctic Ascoseira mirabilis (Ascoseirales, Phaeophyceae). Austral Ecology 32: 917-926 doi:10.1111/j.1442-9993.2007.01796.x
22. Zacher K, Hanelt D, Wiencke C & Wulff A (2007) Grazing and UV radiation effects on an Antarctic intertidal microalgal assemblage: a long-term field study. Polar Biology, 30:1203-1212
21. Zacher K, Wulff A, Molis M, Hanelt D, Wiencke C (2007) UV radiation and consumer effects on a field-grown intertidal macroalgal assemblage in Antarctica. Global Change Biology 13:1201-1215
20. Wulff A, Mohlin M, Sundbäck K (2007) Intraspecific variation in the response of the cyanobacterium Nodularia spumigena to moderate UV-B radiation. Harmful Algae 6: 388-399


19. Leu E, Falk-Petersen S, Kwasniewski S, Wulff A, Edvardsen K, Hessen DO (2006) Fatty acid dynamics during spring bloom in a high Arctic fjord - importance of abiotic factors vs. community changes. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 63:2760-2779
18. Leu E, Wängberg SÅ, Wulff A, Örbaek JB, Falk-Petersen S, Hessen D (2006) Effects of changes in ambient PAR and UV radiation on the nutritional quality of an Arctic diatom (Thalassiosira antarctica var. borealis). J Experimental Marine Ecology and Biology 337: 65-81


17. Wulff A, Vilbaste S, Truu J (2005). Depth distribution of photosynthetic pigments and diatoms in the sediments of a microtidal fjord. Hydrobiologia 534:117-130


16. Wulff A, Wängberg SÅ (2004) Spatial and vertical distribution of phytoplankton pigments in the eastern Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean. Deep-Sea Research II 51:2701-2713
15. Wängberg SÅ, Wulff A (2004) Effects of UV-B radiation on the development of Antarctic plankton communities. Deep-Sea Research II 51:2731-2744
14. Chen D, Wängberg SÅ, Wulff A, Borne K (2004) Attenuation of biologically effective UV doses under overcast skies: A case study from the eastern Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean. Deep-Sea Research II 51:2673-2682
13. Abrahamsson K, Lorén A, Wulff A, Wängberg SÅ (2004) Air-Sea Exchange of Halocarbons: The Influence of Diurnal and Regional Variations and Distribution of Pigments. Deep-Sea Research II 51:2745-2756
12. Sundbäck K, Linares F, Larson F, Wulff A, Engelsen A (2004) Nutrient fluxes, denitrification and microphytobenthic nitrogen retention in sediments along a depth gradient in a microtidal fjord. Limnology and Oceanography 49: 1095-1107


11. Croot P, Karlson B, Wulff A, Linares F, Andersson K (2002) Trace metal and phytoplankton interactions in the Skagerrak. Journal of Marine Systems, 35: 39-60


10. Wängberg SÅ, Wulff A, Nilsson C, Stagell U (2001) Impact of UV-B radiation on microalgae and bacteria: a mesocosm study with computer modulated UV-B radiation addition. Aquatic Microbial Ecology 25:75-86


9. Wulff A, Wängberg SÅ, Sundbäck K, Nilsson C, Underwood GJC (2000) Effects of UVB radiation on a marine microphytobenthic community growing on a sand-substratum under different nutrient conditions. Limnology and Oceanography, 45: 1144-1152


8. Wulff A, Nilsson C, Sundbäck K, Wängberg SÅ, Odmark S (1999) UV radiation effects on microbenthos- a four month field experiment. Aquatic Microbial Ecology, 19:269-278
7. Underwood GJC, Nilsson C, Sundbäck K, Wulff A (1999) Short-term effects of UVB radiation on chlorophyll fluorescence, biomass, pigments and carbohydrate fractions in a benthic diatom mat. Journal of Phycology, 35:656-666


6. Froneman PW, Pahkomov EA, Turner D, Abrahamson K, Karlson B, Godhe A, Bertilsson S, Granéli W, Carlsson P, Wängberg SÅ, Wulff A, Croot P, Andersson K, Balarin M, Wedborg M, Persson T, Rasmus K, Ozturk M, David R (1998) Research cruise of the Scandinavian/South African Antarctic expedition, December 1997 to February 1998. South African Journal of Science, 94: 517-519
5. Odmark S, Wulff A, Wängberg SÅ, Nilsson C, Sundbäck K (1998) Effects of UV-B radiation in a microbenthic community of a marine shallow-water sandy sediment. Marine Biology, 132:335-345


4. Sundbäck K, Odmark S, Wulff A, Nilsson C, Wängberg SÅ (1997) Effects of enhanced UV-B radiation on a marine benthic diatom mat. Marine Biology, 128:171-179
3. Wulff A, Sundbäck K, Nilsson C, Jönsson B, Carlson L (1997) Effect of sediment load on the microbenthic community of a shallow-water sandy sediment. Estuaries, 20: 547-558


2. Sundbäck K, Carlson L, Nilsson C, Jönsson B, Wulff A, Odmark S (1996). Response of benthic microbial mats to drifting green algal mats. Aquatic Microbial Ecology, 10: 195-208
1. Sundbäck K, Nilsson C, Odmark S, Wulff A (1996) Does ambient UV-B radiation influence marine diatom-dominated microbial mats? A case study. Aquatic Microbial Ecology, 11:151-159

Conference Proceedings

Lindberg V, Mohlin M, Wulff A (2008) UV responses in three strains of the cyanobacterium N. spumigena. Proceedings for the XIth HAB meeting, pp 44-47

Papers in peer-reviewed international reports

Wulff A, Zacher K (2008) Short-term UV effects on the photosynthesis of Antarctic benthic diatoms. In The Potter Cove coastal ecosystem, Antarctica; Synopsis of research performed 1999-2006 at the Dallmann-Laboratory and Jubany Station, King-George Island. Berichte Polarforschung und Meeresforschung, Bremerhaven, 571: 295-301

Campana G, Quartino ML, Yousif A, Wulff A (2008) Impacts of UV radiation and grazing on the structure of a subtidal benthic diatom assemblage in Antarctica. Berichte Polarforschung und Meeresforschung, Bremerhaven, 571: 302-310

Roleda MY, Zacher K, Campana GL, Wulff A, Hanelt D, Wiencke C (2008) Photosynthetic performance and impact of ultraviolet radiation on the reproductive cells of Antarctic macroalgae. Berichte Polarforschung und Meeresforschung, Bremerhaven, 571: 254-362

Abstracts from scientific conferences (last 5 years)


67. Karlberg M, Chierici M, Mohlin M, Olofsson M, Riemann L, Steinhoff F, Sunesson N, Torstensson A, Wulff A. Climate change - good news for filamentous cyanobacteria? EPC5, Rhodes, Greece
66. Wulff A. "Global climate change - what will happen to microphytobenthic communities?” EPC5, Rhodes, Greece invited speaker
65. Fransson A, Chierici M, Torstensson A, Wulff A. Arctic Marine Climate Change: Causes and Impacts on the Marine System. ASSW 2011, Korea
64. Gastineau R, Jacquette B , Leignel V, Caruso A, Hardivillier Y, Gaudin P, Rincé Y, Tardy-Laporte C, Bounous L, Hansen G, Wulff A, Davidovich N, Cox E, Mouget JL. A first morphometric and molecular approach to the phylogeny of blue diatoms from the genus Haslea. British Phycol Society, Cardiff, UK


63. Gastineau R, Jacquette B, Caruso A, Vincent Leignel, Hardivillier Y, Bardeau JF, Gaudin P, Rincé Y, Bounous L, Hansen G, Wulff A, Davidovich N, Mouget JL. Biodiversité des ”diatomées bleues” approches morphologiques, biochimiques et moléculaires. 29ème Colloque de l'Association des Diatomistes de Langue Française (ADLaF), Québec, Canada
62. Mohlin M, Pattanaik B, Roleda M, Garde K, Wulff A. Cyanobacteria production of the cyanotoxin nodularin – a multifactorial approach. The 8th Int. Conference on toxic cyanobacteria, Sep 2010, Istanbul, Turkey
61. Olofsson M, Chierici M, Mohlin M, Riemann L, Sunesson N, Torstensson A, Wulff A. The effect of climate change on the biomass and productivity of heterotrophic bacteria growing together with cyanobacteria in the Baltic Sea. HAB meeting, Crete, Greece
60. Wulff A, Mohlin M, Chierici M, Roleda M. Will Baltic cyanobacteria benefit from increased CO2 levels? Nordic Marine Science Meeting, NCMS, Strömstad, Sweden
59. Sunesson N, Olofsson M, Söderberg M, Torstensson A, Mohlin M, Wulff A, Riemann L, Chierici M. Changes in the carbon dioxide system during a climate change simulation experiment on cyanobacteria. NMSC Strömstad, Sweden
58. Steinhoff F, Graeve M, Wulff A, Wiencke C, Bischof K. Phlorotannins and lipids in zoospore development of marine brown algae. NMSC Strömstad, Sweden
57. Söderberg M, Wulff A. Future Impacts on cyanobacterial blooms in the Baltic Sea due to climatic change. NMSC Strömstad, Sweden
56. Torstensson A, Chierici M, Wulff A 2010 Interaction effects of temperature and carbon dioxide on a sea-ice diatom NMSC Strömstad, Sweden
55. Granfors A, Chierici M, Fransson A, Gårdfelt K, Andersson M, Anders Torstensson, Wulff A, Abrahamsson K. Halocarbons in Arctic Sea Ice NMSC Strömstad, Sweden
54. Torstensson A, Chierici M, Wulff A 2010 Interaction effects of temperature and carbon dioxide on a sea-ice diatom International Glaciological Society Symposium, Tromsö, Norway
53. Wulff A, Leu E. A (too) bright future? - How ambient radiation affects Arctic diatoms. IPY Oslo Sci Conf, Oslo, Norway
52. E. Leu, J.E. Søreide, A. Wulff, J. Berge, S. Falk-Petersen Climate effects on algal food quality under a shrinking Arctic ice cover. IPY Oslo Sci Conf, Oslo, Norway
51. Wiktor JM, A. Tatarek, K. Piwosz, E. Leu, A. Wulff Sea-ice assemblages of different environmental scenarios (Canadian Arctic vs. European). IPY Oslo Sci Conf, Oslo, Norway
50. Zacher K, Campana C, Quartino ML, Wulff A, Hanelt D, Wiencke C. 2010. Impact of UV radiation and grazers on the colonization of marine benthic primary producers in Antarctica. SCAR Open Science Conference, Buenos Aires, Brasil
49. Campana G, Zacher K, Wulff A, Ferrario, M, Ferreyra GA, Momo F, Wiencke C, Quartino ML. Impacts of UV Radiation and grazers on the colonization of marine benthic primary producers in Antarctica. SCAR Open Science Conference, Buenos Aires, Brasil


48. Leu E, Wulff A, Graeve M (2009) The effect of high irradiances and UV radiation on algal growth and food quality. Arctic science summit weeks, Bergen, Norway
47. Mohlin M, Pattanaik B, Roleda MY, Garde K, Wulff A (2009) Interaction effects of radiation and nutrient limitation, in the presence and absence of Aphanizomenon sp. on production and release of the cyanobacterial toxin nodularin. American Soc. of Limnol. and Oceanogr, Nice, France
46. Wulff A, Mohlin M, Roleda MY, Chierici M (2009) Will Baltic cyanobacteria benefit from increased CO2 levels? ASLO, Nice, France


45. Wulff A, Roleda MY, Zacher K, Al-Handal AY, Wiencke C (2008) Are Antarctic benthic marine diatoms UV tolerant? American Soc. of Limnol. and Oceanogr, Orlando, USA
44. Mohlin M, Pattanaik B, Roleda MY, Wulff A (2008) Diazotrophic cyanobacteria from the Baltic Sea are not affected by the interaction of UV radiation and nutrient limitation ASLO, Orlando, USA
43. Roleda MY, Mohlin M, Pattanaik B, Wulff A (2008) Interactive irradiance and nutrient effects on the photosynthesis of Nodularia spumigena, ASLO, Orlando, USA


42. Wulff A, Mohlin M, Lindberg V. Interaction effects of nutrient limitation and UV radiation on Nodularia spumigena- an outdoor experiment, SHF, Tjärnö, Sweden
41. Wulff A, Zacher K, Roleda M, AY Al-Handal, Hanelt D, Wiencke C (2007) Antarctic benthic marine diatoms in a changing light climate, European Marine Biology Symposium, Kiel, Germany
40. Mohlin M, Lindberg V, Pattanaik B, Wulff A. Interaction effects of high irradiances and nutrient concentrations on the cyanobacterium Nodularia spumigena from the Baltic Sea, European Marine Biology Symposium, Kiel, Germany

Contact Information

Angela Wulff Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences

Box 461, S-405 30 GÖTEBORG

Visiting Address:
Carl Skottsbergsgata 22B

+46-31-786 26 28

+46-31-786 27 27

Page Manager: Sven Toresson|Last update: 5/25/2015

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