Photo of Teresia Svensson

Teresia Svensson

Deputy Head of Department, Associate Professor, Docent

Halogenated compounds are of interest for the society for a number of reasons. My research interests revolve around the occurrence of these compounds in our nature. I am also interested in how to create quality in higher education.

Changing views on chlorine in nature

Halogenated compounds in nature have in the past considered to be exclusively industrial products. The knowledge of halogens has changed over the years highlighting the importance of natural processes. Our research has contributed to the current knowledge that there is a ubiquitous and extensive natural halogenation occurring in soils and the levels of chlorinated soil organic matter typically are as large as or exceed the levels of chloride.

Chlorine is one of the most abundant elements on the surface of the earth. A common view is that all chlorinated organic compounds are xenobiotic, that chlorine does not participate in biological processes and that it is present in the environment only as chloride (mostly known as ’salt‘, NaCl). Our research group has revealed that chlorine plays an active role in a complex biogeochemical cycle. There is extensive natural chlorination of organic material in different ecosystems and not least in our soils. This can have great importance for turnover of organic material in soil, risk assessment and handling of radioactive waste, but also how we view organochlorine compounds. We have seen both in lab and field studies that chlorination of organic material contributes to extending the time chlorine is in the soil (i.e. retention of chloride) and thus affects the view of chloride as conservative and its use as a tracer. It also turns out that the vegetation seems to have a substantial importance for how much chlorine accumulates in the ecosystems and turnover rate of chlorine in ecosystems.

For several years, I have worked with education with program development with student-centred and student-active pedagogy, and especially with education in environmental science. I am interested in how to work with progression in education, integrating theory and practice in courses and programs, problem-based learning (PBL), information literacy, skills and career competence, portfolio, interdisciplinary education and, but also quality assurance of higher education.



Teresia Svensson, Anders Löfgren, Peter Saetre, Ulrik Kautsky, David Bastviken (2023) Chlorine Distribution in Soil and Vegetation in Boreal Habitats along a Moisture Gradient from Upland Forest to Lake Margin Wetlands Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 57, p. 11067-11074 Continue to DOI


Teresia Svensson, Yves Thiry, Bueno Maïté, Yvonne Oelmann (2022) Halogens in soil Elsevier Reference Collection in Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences Continue to DOI
Teresia Svensson, Julie Wilk, Kajsa Gustafsson Åman (2022) Information literacy skills and learning gaps: Students' experiences and teachers' perceptions in interdisciplinary environmental science The journal of academic librarianship, Vol. 48, Article 102465 Continue to DOI
Teresia Svensson, Paul-Olivier Redon, Yves Thiry, Malin Montelius, David Bastviken (2022) Chlorination of soil organic matter: The role of humus type and land use Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 806p2, Article 150478 Continue to DOI


Teresia Svensson, David Bastviken, Anders Löfgren (2021) Cl distribution in different terrestrial habitats along hill slope gradients in Forsmark





  • 2017
  • 2010-2011
    Post doc University of British Columbia, Water Air and Soil Laboratory at Faculty of Land and Food Systems and Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES), Vancouver, Canada
  • 2006
    Guest researcher at Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies (Former Institute of Ecosystem Studies (IES), USA 
  • 2006
    Department of Thematic studies/Environmental Change, Linköping University
  • 2006 
    Ph.D Biogeochemistry
    Department of Thematic studies - Water and Environmental Studies, Linköping University, Thesis title: Chlorine transport in a small catchment



  • 2019-
    Programme director of the bachelor’s programme in Environmental Science, Linköping University

  • 2011-2018
    Programme director of the MSc program Science for Sustainable development, Linköping University, (2011-). This MSc program was in 2013 top-ranked by the Swedish Higher Education Authority (UKÄ) and got the highest grade.




  • Course responsibility for 20 courses in environmental science the last 8 years on both BSc and MSc level (ranging from 7.5-30 ECTS credits with 20-70 students per course).

Environmental Change