Science Seminar

11 AM–12 PM | Online | Public

Understanding the effects of climate warming on food webs via individual-level physiology

Science Seminar

For the GMRI’s May seminar Dr. Max Lindmark from the Institute of Marine Research, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Sweden, will give a talk titled: “Understanding the effects of climate warming on food webs via individual-level physiology”

The seminar will be on Wednesday, May 19, at 11:00 am EST.

The seminar will be 45 minutes followed by 15 minutes for general questions and discussion. Then for those that would like to join, there will be a 30 mins in-depth discussion afterwards.

The seminar will be recorded, and if you would like access, please contact Maria ([email protected]).


Climate warming impacts organisms directly through changes in their physiology. Empirical evidence suggests warming has already led to changes in growth, body size, population, and community size-structure of natural populations. However, it is difficult to understand the underlying mechanisms from observational data alone. Therefore, it is important to develop mechanistic population- and food web models grounded in a physiological description of individual life history. This requires knowledge on how physiological processes scale with body size and temperature within species and how those are mediated by ecological interactions. In this talk, I will present results from newly collated data sets on how body growth, metabolism, and consumption rate scale with body mass within species of fish, and discuss how these findings can reconcile theory and observations regarding faster growth but smaller adult sizes in warmer waters. These results are further used to parameterize a size-spectrum model of the Baltic Sea, which I use to investigate how climate warming affects the growth and size-structure of a simple food web. Lastly, I will present results from current work on Baltic Sea cod, which aims to identify important covariates for the dwindling individual-level performance (body condition) using spatiotemporal modelling approaches.


Max is a postdoc at the Institute of Marine Research, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). He has a broad interest in marine ecology, with expertise in fish and fisheries ecology. Max received his master’s in applied marine and fisheries ecology at the University of Aberdeen in 2015 and his PhD from the Institute of Coastal Research (SLU) in 2020. During his PhD, he worked to understand the effects of climate warming on individuals and size-structured populations and communities using dynamic models (stage-structured biomass models and size-spectrum models) and data meta-analysis.

Max’s current research aims to understand the recent changes in the physiological performance of Baltic Cod. He uses scientific survey data and spatio-temporal modelling approaches (spatial and spatiotemporal predictive-process GLMMs) to evaluate and contrast the role of environmental changes (de-oxygenation) and changes in the interactions between species (flounder, sprat, herring).