Heléne Österlund’s main scientific interests are related to stormwater quality and sources to the pollutions present in stormwater. The research involves field sampling of stormwater in urban catchments but also includes laboratory experiments e.g. to characterise surfaces commonly found in the urban environment and which may leach pollutions to the environment via stormwater runoff. This area has recently been broadened to also cover snow quality and handling of polluted snow in order to minimise negative environmental impact.
During her PhD studies in geochemistry, the focus of Heléne’s research was further development and applications of the DGT technique (diffusive gradients in thin films). DGT is developed for passive sampling of metals and anions (e.g. arsenic, antimony and vanadium) and can be applied in water, soil as well as sediment.