Freshwater Ecology


The sections for freshwater ecology constitute the freshwater ecological center of gravity at NIVA, with a research profile in the interface between ecology, genetics and taxonomy. It makes the sections a strong professional community that unites depth with breadth, as reflected in what is our main field of work.

  • Algae and cyanobacteria
  • NIVA Culture Collection of Algae
  • Biodiversity and ecosystem structure
  • Molecular biological methods
  • Anadromous fish and freshwater fish
  • Restoration, rehabilitation, measures
  • The Water Framework Directive and biological evaluation systems

EU Water Directive
Since its inception, the sections have been the national resource center for method development, research and indicator building linked to the EU Water Directive, and this competence has also attracted us in several foreign missions, most recently in Myanmar. For a number of years, management-oriented mission research in this sector has also provided us with great local knowledge and experience with state classification, targeted surveillance and basic monitoring for the Norwegian Environment Agency, County Governor and Water Areas. Our versatile expertise in the Water Regulations also means that the section is regularly involved in mapping environmental impacts related to industry.

Photo: NIVA


The sections collect national expertise on most of the organisms found in freshwater: blue-green algae, phytoplankton, zooplankton, aquatic plants, algae, heterotrophic fertility, puffins and fish, and we also conduct a lot of research on population genetics and biology. The sections have developed new indicators adapted to Norwegian watercourses for the Water Regulations and are regularly co-actors for national management assignments such as the National Red List, the Norwegian Nature Index, the Norwegian Nature Typing Chart and other. For decades, we have built up significant databases of instances of different species and species and have a large commercial algeaculture collection: NORCCA. This also means that we have a broad network including NTNU, UiB, NMBU and UiO, as well as resource centers in other European countries.

Photo: NIVA


Research in the contact zones between management and biodiversity generates ongoing small and large research projects, associated with effects of introduced species, eutrophication and climate change. The sections collaborate with expert groups in various fields at home and abroad, and publish 10-20 scientific articles and reports annually.

Photo: NIVA

Last updated 29.04.2022