News from the Behrendt Lab


1’st of November 2021

New paper in Environmental Science and Technology

(Lars being co-author)

Brief summary: In this study we developed and applied a high-performance liquid-chromatography lipidomic method and used in to investigate the lipidome of two types of sinking particles─marine snow and fecal pellets. We further pressed the limit of this approach and examined the lipidomic heterogeneity among individual diatom cells from a single culture. These data confirmed that even cultures of phytoplankton cells should be viewed as mixtures of physiologically distinct populations.


23’rd of September 2021

New paper in Nature Geosciences

(Lars being co-author)

Brief summary: Here we show that the sinking speed of marine particles determines the rate at which bacteria degrade them. The molecular mechanism underlying this sinking-enhanced degradation is the flow-induced removal from the particles of the oligomeric breakdown products, which otherwise compete for enzymatic activity. This paper proposes that the coupling of sinking and degradation contributes to determine the magnitude of the vertical oceanic carbon flux.

Featured in ETH news (here) and World Economic Forum (here)


1’st of June 2021

Lars accepted as docent in Environmental Toxicology

After giving his lecture on ‘The effects of multiple stressors on phytoplankton cells‘ Lars got awarded Swedish docentship. For those who interested what a ‘docent’ is see here.


12’th of May 2021

Lab get-together

Fika at the Behrendt lab followed by a picture!


22’nd of March 2021

New paper in Lab on a Chip!

(Linhong being co-author, Lars being co-corresponding)

Brief summary: In this collaborative paper between members of the Tenje Lab and the Behrendt lab a microscale heating system was constructed and used to test the thermal tolerance of Symbiodinium cells.

The heating system is unique in that microfluidic devices of different geometries can be used and rapidly interchanged. More cool stuff to come out from this effort!

Bonus: we got featured on the back cover art! (left)


13’th of March 2021

Olle awarded a grant by the Swedish Phytogeographical Society!

Olle received this grant to cover travel costs associated with a collaborative project and that willl focus on the photophysiological effects of environmental stressors on algae. The amount awarded was 50 000 SEK.

Massive congrats to Olle!


11’th of February 2021

A wonderful (and freezing) lab excursion

The Behrendt Lab went on its first social outing after COVID. Fully immersed in the Swedish outdoors we enjoyed food, drink and each others company. Many more to come!

  • Bottom left: Emanuel, Yuan
  • Top left: Saskia, Lars, Olle, Chiara


25’th of January 2021

New paper in PNAS

(Lars being co-author)

Brief summary: This paper describes the behavioral and physiological effects of ocean turbulence on motile phytoplankton. As motile phytoplankton apparently sense the intensity of turbulence they can then use stress signaling to trigger switches in their migratory behavior. These effects might ultimately govern which species will be successful in a changing ocean


17’th of January 2021

Second newest member of the Behrendt Lab: Saskia Rughöft

Saskia is microbial ecologist, who will combine microfluidic technologies and quantitative phase imaging, to develop a novel high-throughput ‘Ecotoxicology-on-a-chip’ approach. She joined directy after finishing her PhD in Tübingen

Welcome to the lab, Saskia!


17’th of January 2021

Newest member of the Behrendt Lab: Olle Pontén

In his master thesis, Olle will develop software to automate photophysiological measurements via our in-house chlorophyll fluorometry system. Olle will apply this novel software tool to screen populations of single cell autotrophs for their metabolic heterogeneity. Once implemented, this will truly make our methods ‘high-throughput’.

Excited to have you here Olle!


11’th December 2020

Exciting new paper in Nature protocols

(Lars being co-author)

Brief summary: This paper describes the necessary steps to perform ‘RACS’: Raman activated cell sorting. By incubating microorganisms with stable isotopes RACS can sort cells based on their metabolic activity via a specialized microfluidic platform. For more in-depth information read the commentary here.


2’nd November 2020

Newest member of the Behrendt Lab: Chiara Buonfrate

In her master thesis, Chiara will assess the effects of chemicals on single cells of phytoplankton. To do this she will use advanced hydrogel microfluidic devices and combine this with high-throughput automated microscopy to assess the heterogeneity among cells. Excited to see first results come in soon!

Welcome Chiara!


6’th October 2020

PhD and Postdoctoral opportunities through the Centre for Digital Life, Norway

Are you working or studying at the Centre for Digital Life in Norway? If so, there is now a fantastic opportunity to apply for a 3-year project to join my (SciLifeLab-associated) group.

Work in my lab is centered around the data driven investigation of pollutant effects under recreated and natural scenarios and thus aligns well with SciLifeLab’s long-term strategy on data driven science. A good candidate should have interest in one, or more, of the following topics: microfluidics, image analysis, machine learning, microalgal phenotyping and/or multiple stress theory.

Interested? If so, read more about the application procedure and matchmaking process here:

Looking forward to hearing from you and to meet you at the matchmaking event on the 21’st of October!


2’nd September 2020

PhenoChip manuscript finally out!

Brief summary: PhenoChip enables the observation and selection of single microalgae cells based on their phenotype. A useful tool for ecosystem restoration (full story here) and ecotoxicology!


11’th June 2020

Two year postdoc position in ‘Ectoxicology-on-a-chip’

Excited to receiving your excellent application and welcoming you soon in Uppsala! Questions? Send an e-mail to


1’st May 2020

Newest member of the Behrendt Lab: Yuan Cui

Yuan joined the Behrendt lab in May 2020. In her project, Yuan will develop a microfluidic platform to measure the metabolism in single marine phytoplankton cells. The platform will form a core pillar of her PhD work in assessing the environmental impacts on cells with a focus on heterogeneity within populations.

Welcome Yuan!


1’st March 2020

Newest member of the Behrendt Lab: Linhong Xiao

Linhong joined the Behrendt lab in March 2020. In her project, Linhong will investigate combined temperature and pollutant effects on important phytoplankton species. 

Welcome Linhong!


10’th October 2019

VR-grant awarded

We are thankful for the generous support of the Swedish research council for establishing ‘Ecotoxicology-on-a-chip’ technologies