Fredrik gets to the bottom of oil spills

Fredrik Lindgren is the latest to become PhD at the Department of Shipping and Marine Technology at Chalmers. He has been working in the group Maritime Environment with learning how oil may effect life at the bottom of the sea. Get a fast conclusion of his research in this short interview.

What is the most surprising discovery in your research?
The most surprising new fact was that so very low concentrations of PAHs (oil) is needed to induce negative effects on the microbial and meiofaunal community.

What can we learn from your research?
A definite take-home message is that the small spills matter and that for example, HELCOM, IMO, and US EPA are taking steps in the right direction to limit these spills, as well as the large spills. By for example demanding more strict regulations on oils used to lubricate propeller shaft bearings, increased flight surveillance of the Baltic Sea, and demands a maximum of 15 ppm oil in allowed released bilge water.

Who should read your thesis?
The thesis can be read by people involved in the shipping industry, as it describes the sources of both large and small scale oil spills. But also researchers involved with ecotoxicology of oil and oil spills.

How can the thesis be put to use?
It could be put to use to inform policy makers of the concentrations of PAHs (oil) needed to induced negative effects on the marine environment. But also to inform for example policy makers and companies performing environmental assessments of the methods needed to properly evaluate areas that are affected by small but frequent oil spills.

What’s the next step for you?
I will move forward to postdoctoral studies, or to apply my knowledge elsewhere. It is not desided at the moment.

Read Fredrik Lindgren's thesis here.