Dr. Tom Shatwell



Department Lake Research
Helmholtz-Centre for
Environmental Research - UFZ
Brückstr. 3a, 39114 Magdeburg,

Tel: +49 391 810 9440
Fax: +49 391 810 9150

Tom Shatwell

Academic positions

Since 2019

Research scientist at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Magdeburg, Germany.

2013 - 2018

Postdoc, Leibniz-Institut for Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), Berlin, Germany.

2014 - 2015

Guest scientist, Photobiology Lab, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, Maryland, USA

2007 - 2013

PhD at the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Berlin, and at the Humboldt University, Berlin.


2007 - 2013

PhD (Doctor rerum naturalium) in Biology (Ecology) at the Humboldt University, Berlin (grade: magna cum laude). Topic: Interactive effects of nutrients and physical factors on the growth of phytoplankton.

2003 - 2006

Master of Science, Ecological Engineering, Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences, Magdeburg, Germany.

1994 - 1998

Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering (First Class Honours) at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

Research interests

Topics: Ecology and physics of lakes and reservoirs, particularly the interactions between lake physics, phytoplankton ecology and biogeochemistry. Another core theme is how climate warming, eutrophication, and anthropogenic stressors affect lakes and reservoirs.

Methods: ecological and hydrodynamic modelling, minimal or conceptual models, statistical modelling, laboratory experiments (especially cultivation of phytoplankton), field campaigns and analysis of long-term data.

  • Stratification and mixing of lakes
  • Light and nutrient limitation of phytoplankton, including physiology and its mathematical description
  • Influence of vertical mixing on phytoplankton
  • Influence of phytoplankton and water transparency on mixing
  • Influence of light pollution on biological interactions
  • Oxygen and nutrient dynamics of lakes and reservoirs
  • Climate change


DYNAMO (UFZ funded PhD cohort)
Events as dynamic drivers of pollutant transport, turnover and export in catchments - from monitoring to models

The Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project - Lake Sector

DIABLO (DFG funded)
Winter diatom blooms and their effect on lake ecosystems

Research profiles


2024 (3)

2023 (8)

2022 (6)

2021 (9)

2020 (3)

2019 (1)

Other publications

  • Shatwell, T., Köhler, J. (2019):
    Decreased nitrogen loading controls summer cyanobacterial blooms without promoting nitrogen-fixing taxa: Long-term response of a shallow lake.
    Limnology and Oceanography. 64, S166-S178.

  • Köhler, J., Wang, L., Guislain, A., Shatwell, T., (2019):
    Influence of vertical mixing on light-dependency of phytoplankton growth.
    Limnology and Oceanography, 63, 1156-1167.

  • Bruce, L.C., Frassl, M.A., Arhonditsis, et al., (2018):
    A multi-lake comparative analysis of the General Lake Model (GLM): Stress-testing across a global observatory network.
    Environ. Model. Software 102, 274-291.

  • Kirillin, G., Wen, L., Shatwell, T., (2017):
    Seasonal thermal regime and climatic trends in lakes of the Tibetan Highlands.
    Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 21, 1895-1909.

  • Kasprzak, P., Shatwell, T., Gessner, M.O., Gonsiorczyk, T., Kirillin, G., Selmeczy, G., Padisák, J., Engelhardt, C., (2017):
    Extreme Weather Event Triggers Cascade Towards Extreme Turbidity in a Clear-water Lake.
    Ecosystems, 20, 1407-1420.

  • Kirillin, G., Shatwell, T., (2016):
    Generalized scaling of seasonal thermal stratification in lakes.
    Earth-Science Reviews 161, 179-190.

  • Shatwell, T., Adrian, R., Kirillin, G., (2016):
    Planktonic events may cause polymictic-dimictic regime shifts in temperate lakes.
    Scientific Reports 6, 24361.

  • Müller, F., Bergmann, M., Dannowski, R., Dippner, J.W., Gnauck, A., Haase, P., Jochimsen, M.C., Kasprzak, P., Kröncke, I., Kümmerlin, R., Küster, M., Lischeid, G., Meesenburg, H., Merz, C., Millat, G., Müller, J., Padisák, J., Schimming, C.G., Schubert, H., Schult, M., Selmeczy, G., Shatwell, T., Stoll, S., Schwabe, M., Soltwedel, T., Straile, D., Theuerkauf, M., (2016):
    Assessing resilience in long-term ecological data sets.
    Ecological Indicators 65, 10-43.

  • Zak, D., Reuter, H., Augustin, J., Shatwell, T., Barth, M., Gelbrecht, J., McInnes, R.J., (2015):
    Changes of the CO2 and CH4 production potential of rewetted fens in the perspective of temporal vegetation shifts.
    Biogeosciences 12, 2455-2468.

  • Shatwell, T., Köhler, J., Nicklisch, A., (2014):
    Temperature and photoperiod interactions with phosphorus-limited growth and competition of two diatoms.
    PLoS ONE 9, e102367

  • Zak, D., Gelbrecht, J., Zerbe, S., Shatwell, T., Barth, M., Cabezas, A., Steffenhagen, P., (2014):
    How helophytes influence the phosphorus cycle in degraded inundated peat soils - Implications for fen restoration.
    Ecological Engineering 66, 82-90

  • Shatwell, T., Köhler, J., Nicklisch, A. (2013):
    Temperature and photoperiod interactions with silicon-limited growth and competition of two diatoms.
    Journal of Plankton Research 35, 957-971.

  • Kirillin, G., Shatwell, T., Kasprzak, P., (2013):
    Consequences of thermal pollution from a nuclear plant on lake temperature and mixing regime.
    Journal of Hydrology 496, 47-56.

  • Shatwell, T., Nicklisch, A., Köhler, J., (2012):
    Temperature and photoperiod effects on phytoplankton growing under simulated mixed layer light fluctuations.
    Limnology and Oceanography 57, 541-553.

  • Shatwell, T., Köhler, J., Nicklisch, A., (2008):
    Warming promotes cold-adapted phytoplankton in temperate lakes and opens a loophole for Oscillatoriales in spring.
    Global Change Biology 14, 2194-2200.

  • Nicklisch, A., Shatwell, T., Köhler, J., (2008):
    Analysis and modelling of the interactive effects of temperature and light on phytoplankton growth and relevance for the spring bloom.
    Journal of Plankton Research 30, 75-91.