Christian Fohringer

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Umeå

Christian Fohringer is a PhD student at the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Environmental Studies at SLU in Umeå, Sweden.

Christian’s PhD project is embedded in Research Task 2 of REXSAC. At the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Environmental Studies (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå), my work deals with the identification of the main drivers associated with land-use and climate change and how they affect large animal movements in Swedish Sápmi.

He has a diverse background in aquatic and terrestrial ecology as well as behavioural ecology, and conservation medicine. His research interests are in the area of applied ecology, especially in relation to animal’s adaptive capacities to extreme environments, such as the Arctic, with a special interest in is how human livelihoods that depend on animals may be affected by these changes

Christian is collecting spatial, demographic and weather data from Northern Sweden in close collaboration with Laevas sameby. This reindeer herding community represents an extreme case of encroachment from infrastructure related to mining, which is why the holistic socio-ecological analysis of this system’s historical context, baselines, and future trends is pivotal. The results will highlight the main drivers of change reindeer husbandry is facing in this area and aim to illustrate the complexity and uncertainty future scenarios for indigenous Arctic communities are holding.

Another part of Christian’s work is to investigate the consequences of movement on large ungulate demography and fitness in an area that is facing dramatic environmental change. Here, he couples GPS-positions of animals with underlying physiological response variables (e.g. molecular biomarkers) to elucidate effects of metabolic expenditure due to their exposure to infrastructural developments and pollution.

By applying this array of  approaches with a potential to provide essential information on animal health and adaptability to environmental changes, Christian aims to provide a fundamental basis for future management and policy work related to climate change and sustainability of human livelihoods in northern Sweden. His objective is to provide a predictive tool that can be used in developing diverse future land use scenarios, developed with and for community users and geared toward adaptation strategies in a changing world.