Marttiina Rantala

Contact: marttiina.rantala<at>

Research interests

My research focuses on the manifold effects of global change on arctic and perialpine lake environments. Exploration of shifts in ecological structures at the base of the aquatic food web and their connections to biogeochemical cycles, particularly the carbon cycle, is at the heart of my work. Interplay between the aquatic (mainly lacustrine), terrestrial, and atmospheric realms is another pervading theme in my research, pertaining to the relative importance of direct versus indirect climate forcing on lakes. I am further interested in the interactive effects of local and global human pressures on freshwater ecosystems and associated implications for water management. I employ primarily the paleolimnological approach in my work to elucidate patterns and processes operating at time scales from decades to millennia, while I am keen to combine the long term perspective with contemporary and experimental approaches. For these aims, I utilize an array of paleobiological, geochemical, and spectral tools, such as diatom analysis, carbon and nitrogen stable isotopic fingerprints, and carbon photochemistry.


I carried out my doctoral degree at the Department of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki, Finland, between January 2014 and June 2017, focusing on spatial and temporal aquatic carbon variability at the Fennoscandian subarctic. From January to August 2018, I worked as a post doc at the Ecosystems and Environment Research Programme, University of Helsinki, delving into aquatic carbon processing and underwater optical environment combining experimental and paleolimnological techniques. As of September 2018, I began a post doc project at the Institute of Earth Surface Dynamics, University of Lausanne, Switzerland, to expand my focus from small and shallow arctic freshwaters to large deep perialpine lake systems, with new perspectives on aquatic carbon cycling.

Recent Publications

Rantala, M. V., Bruel, R., Marchetto, A., Lami, A., Spangenberg, J. E., & Perga, M.-E. (2021). Heterogeneous responses of lake CO2 to nutrients and warming in perialpine lakes imprinted in subfossil cladoceran δ13C values. Science of the Total Environment, 782, 146923. doi: