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Dr Christin Säwström

Dr Christin Säwström

Adjunct Academic

Contact Information Email:,
Staff Member Details


Christin is a Research Fellow within the Centre for Marine Ecosystems Research in the School of Natural Sciences.


  • 2010-2012: Postdoctoral position at the UWA Oceans Institute, Western Australia. Project specifically looked at the western rock lobster larvae (phyllosoma) and how plankton and oceanographic variables affect phyllosoma abundance and distribution.
  • 2008-2009: Postdoctoral position at the Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia. Project specifically looked at freshwater blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) and their viruses.
  • 2006-2008: Postdoctoral position in aquatic viral ecology at the Climate Impacts Research Centre (CIRC) Abisko, Umeå University, Sweden.

Awards and Recognition

National and International Research Positions

  • 2008 - 1-year post-doctoral scholarship from FORMAS (the Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning) for research at the Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University


  • 2007 - Research stipend from Lars Hiertas minne to fund research in subarctic Sweden
  • 2004 - 1-year Marie Curie Scholarship from the University of Nottingham to fund research in the Antarctic

Research Areas and Interests

  • Aquatic microbial ecology with a focus on energy and material cycling by microbes
  • Whole-ecosystem processes and energy flow in aquatic ecosystems, i.e. measurements of bacteria and phytoplankton productivity rates, zooplankton grazing rates, and analysis of microbial communities with the use of epifluorescence microscopy and transmission electron microscopy.
  • Quantification of carbon fluxes through the microbial loop in aquatic ecosystems
  • Viral aquatic ecology
  • Microbial influences on biogeochemical processes in coastal habitats
  • Carbon cycling and bacterial carbon sources in coastal habitats
  • Use of stable isotopes to determine important bacterial carbon sources in coastal habitats


  • PhD (Doctoral Degree), Sweden, 2006.
  • M (Master Degree), England, 2001.
  • B (Bachelor Degree), England, 2000.


Recent Research Grants

  • Benthic primary productivity and herbivory,  Western Australian Marine Science Institution,  Grant,  2013 - 2016,  $131,866.
  • Microbes: The Missing Link in Coastal Landscape Connectivity,  Department of Environment and Conservation WA,  Marine Science Program,  2013 - 2016,  $88,545.
  • Protection of coastal ecosystems and marine resource management,  The Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education ,  CRN - Grant,  2011 - 2016,  $890,684.
  • Coastal Carbon Biogeochemistry Cluster,  Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO),  Flagship Collaboration Research Fund,  2012 - 2015,  $772,000.
  • Bacterial carbon usage - loss, sink or link of carbon in coastal systems?,  Edith Cowan University,  ECU Early Career Researcher Grant - 2014,  2014 - 2015,  $15,000.
  • Characterising marine microbial diversity and function in key benthic habitats of Western Australia,  Edith Cowan University,  ECU Early Career Researcher Grant - 2013,  2013 - 2014,  $24,823.
  • Organic Carbon Preservation in Estuarine Seagrass Meadows of Western Australia,  Ernest Hodgkin Trust,  Scholarship,  2012 - 2014,  $5,031.

Recent Publications (within the last five years)

Journal Articles

  • Steenhauer, LM., Pollard, PC., Brussaard, CP., Sawstrom, C., (2014), Lysogenic infection in sub-tropical freshwater cyanobacteria cultures and natural blooms. Marine and Freshwater Research, 65(7), 624-632, Victoria, Australia, DOI: 10.1071/MF13094.
  • Sawstrom, C., Beckley, LE., Saunders, MI., Thompson, PA., Waite, AM., (2014), The zooplankton prey field for rock lobster phyllosoma larvae in relation to oceanographic features of the south-eastern Indian Ocean. Journal of Plankton Research, 36(4), 1003-1016, United Kingdom, DOI: 10.1093/plankt/fbu019.
  • Laybourn-Parry, J., Anesio, A., Madan, N., Sawstrom, C., (2013), Virus dynamics in a large epishelf lake (Beaver Lake, Antarctica). Freshwater Biology, 58(7), 1484-1493, Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom, DOI: doi:10.1111/fwb.12146.
  • Sawstrom, C., Pollard, P., (2012), Environmental influences on virus?host interactions in an Australian subtropical reservoir. Environmental Microbiology Reports, 4(1), 72-81, DOI: 10.1111/j.1758-2229.2011.00303.x.
  • Saunders, MI., Thompson, PA., Jeffs, AG., Sawstrom, C., Sachlikidis, N., Beckley, LE., Waite, AM., (2012), Fussy feeders: Phyllosoma larvae of the Western Rocklobster (Panulirus cygnus) demonstrate prey preference. PLoS ONE, 7(5), e36580, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0036580.
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