Meet Hugo Harlin, Master’s student in Engineering Physics, Uppsala University, Sweden.

Find out from him why he chose to do his Master’s thesis project at IceLab.

I would strongly recommend other students to do their thesis project at Icelab if they are interested in theoretical biology/ecosystems.”


My background is in engineering and computer science. I wanted to combine my knowledge in mathematics, programming, and numerical methods with my interest in biology and ecosystems I have always had. After some research, I found out about IceLab and got in contact with Sebastian Diehl, Professor at the Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Now, Sebastian is my supervisor at IceLab.

Thesis project at IceLab

I study a deterministic model that describes phytoplankton dynamics in freshwater lakes. The model assumes that plankton growth is limited by the availability of sunlight and a single limiting nutrient. The model has previously been studied in one dimension, and in my work, I have extended it to two dimensions with varying lake depth. Sebastian as my supervisor helps me tackle ecology related questions regarding the model. I also have a supervisor at Uppsala University – Gunilla Kreis, Professor at the Department of Information Technology – who is a specialist in numerical methods. She helps me with problems related to implementation and the numerical method I am using.

Impression about IceLab

I would strongly recommend other students to do their thesis project at Icelab if they are interested in theoretical biology/ecosystems. As an engineering student, I have learnt a lot about ecosystems in general and phytoplankton in particular. Researchers at IceLab present a range of specialities that are all relevant to the theoretical modelling of biological/ecological systems. Some scientists have a background in biology/ecology and have taken an interest in theoretical modelling; some started in mathematics/ physics/ computer science and then have been driven by an interest in applying their knowledge in theoretical biology. The ability to discuss thoughts and problems with senior researchers is one of the advantages of doing a master’s thesis project at IceLab.

Read about Sebastian Diehl

Excited about IceLab and wish you could join us as a team member? Our researchers often have opportunities for Master’s students, PhD scholarships and Postdoctoral Fellowships.  Browse our currently open positions or contact a researcher directly and see what options we have for you.

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