Project Team

Principal investigator

MaritReigstadMarit Reigstad, The Arctic University of Norway

Reigstad is a marine ecologist and has been working with Arctic marine ecosystems and couplings to the environment since 2001. The research expertise of Reigstad is built around pelagic-benthic coupling and vertical flux regulation by lower trophic levels and/ or physical forcing. Her research includes the use of fieldwork, experimental approaches and long-time cooperation with modellers to study ecosystem function and energy transfer, role of zooplankton, phytoplankton and biogeochemistry, primary-, new- and export production. Key regions of research have been the Barents Sea, the Arctic Ocean and the Fram Strait.



Tor Eldevik, University of Bergen

Eldevik’s research focus is on the northern seas’ role in past, present, and future climate variability and change, including predictability and the underlying mechanisms. Eldevik does research using a combination of theory, observations, and numerical models. The combination is also Eldevik’s approach to teaching and supervising students, and in communicating his research and other aspects of climate change to the public.

SebastianGerlandSebastian Gerland, Norwegian Polar Institute

Gerland is currently working with research and monitoring of sea ice geophysics in the context of Arctic climate research. He is leading and participating in national and international research projects funded by the  Norwegian Polar Institute (e.g. N-ICE2015, longterm sea ice monitoring Fram Strait, Svalbard), the Research Council of Norway (e.g. CORESAT, STASIS, CIRFA-SFI), the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (ID Arctic), the EU (ICE-ARC), and the European Space Agency (SMOSIce, CryoSat-2 CVRT). Gerland is also active in climate assessments (currently Arctic Council/AMAP SWIPA follow up, NOAA Arctic report card).

Leaders and Co-Leaders of the Research Foci (RF) and Research Activities (RA)

RF1 Physical drivers

ArildSundfjordLead: Arild Sundfjord, Norwegian Polar Institute

Sundfjord’s scientific main interest lies in understanding of the interactions between sea ice and the upper ocean, vertical mixing processes, physical-biological coupling, and how Atlantic Water inflow influences sea ice and ecosystems in the Arctic Ocean. This is pursued by collection and analyses of field measurements and numerical ocean modelling. He is presently leading the Fram Centre flagship program ‘Sea ice in the Arctic Ocean’, the NPI ICE Centre flagship project ‘ICE-Fluxes’, and NPI’s oceanography work in the ‘N-ICE’ project.

billede.jpgCo-lead: Camille Li, University of Bergen

Li’s research is concerned with the large scale dynamics of the atmosphere and how its interactions with other components of the climate system (ocean, sea ice, land ice) drive climate variability over a wide range of time scales. Current topics of interest include internal variability of atmospheric jets and storm tracks, teleconnections to the mid-latitudes from the Arctic and the tropics, Arctic Ocean stratification, and abrupt climate events during past glacial periods.

RF2 Human impacts

leif.jpgLead: Leif Christian Stige, University of Oslo

University of Oslo is using statistical approaches to deduce the underlying processes in population dynamics. His recent work has mainly focused on the fluctuations of zooplankton and fish in the Barents Sea, to understand how climate affects the populations and assess the likely effects of possible anthropogenic disturbances such as oil spills.

MelissaChiericiCo-lead: Melissa Chierici, Institute of Marine Research

Chierici’s present research activity focuses on ocean acidification (OA) and the major drivers of OA in the Arctic. She is a keen field scientist and has also experience with experimental effect studies due to OA. She is leading two major observational research programs aiming to establish time series for the marine carbon cycle in the Arctic to assess causes and trends of OA. More than 20 years expertise within the polar carbon cycle, ocean acidification, sea-ice biogeochemistry, air-sea CO2 exchange, and biogeochemical processes, ocean acidification, and technological and development of marine analytical tools for marine carbon studies, including remote sensing. This has resulted in about 40 peer-review articles, mainly from field studies in polar oceans.

RF3 The living Barents Sea

RandiIngvaldsenLead:Randi Ingvaldsen, Institute of Marine Research

Ingvaldsen’s main research activity is on climate and environmental impacts on the marine ecosystem in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean. Published work includes papers on oceanography and climate variability, as well as on climate impact on zooplankton, fish, shrimp, benthos, and the overall Barents Sea ecosystem.

BodilBluhm2Co-lead: Bodil Bluhm, The Arctic University of Norway

Bluhm’s research deals with the structure and function of Arctic marine benthic and sea ice ecosystems in relation to environmental forcing. She is particularly interested in biodiversity, food webs, cryo-benthic-pelagic coupling, invertebrate population dynamics and pan-Arctic integration. Bluhm is a field-going marine ecologist and biological oceanographer with field experience on Pacific Arctic and Atlantic Arctic shelves and in the central basins.

RF4 The future Barents Sea

TorEldevikLead: Tor Eldevik, University of Bergen

Eldevik’s research focus is on the northern seas’ role in past, present, and future climate variability and change, including predictability and the underlying mechanisms. Eldevik does research using a combination of theory, observations, and numerical models. The combination is also Eldevik’s approach to teaching and supervising students, and in communicating his research and other aspects of climate change to the public.

UlfLindstrømCo-leadUlf Lindstrøm, Institute of Marine Research

Lindstrøm’s main research activities include predator-prey interactions, food web modelling, spatial ecology and marine mammal foraging behaviour. He has been working both with deterministic single and multispecies models, and more recently, he and colleagues’ have developed a non-deterministic food web model for the Barents Sea ecosystem.

RA-A Data collection and infrastructure

MatthiasForwickLead: Matthias Forwick, The Arctic University of Norway

Forwick’s main research activity is the study of sedimentary processes to reconstruct palaeo-environments on glaciated continental margins, using swath bathymetry, high-resolution seismic data, as well as multi-proxy analyses of sediment cores. Main objectives include the reconstruction of glacial activity (ice-sheet dynamics and ice rafting) and slope stability. Study areas are fjords and continental margins of Svalbard, northern Norway, East Greenland; the Nordic Seas; the Arctic Ocean; the Gulf of Alaska, as well as the Amundsen and Weddell Seas.

ysteinMikelborgCo-lead: Øystein Mikelborg, Norwegian Polar Institute

Mikelborg has been working for the Norwegian Polar Institute for 16 years, most of the time as Director of Operations & Logistics department, where he was responsible for the institute’s field operations, research stations and research vessel operating in both the Arctic and the Antarctic. He is currently the institute’s project manager for the building of the new research icebreaker “Kronprins Haakon”.

RA-B Data management and synthesis

member_Tove_Gabrielsen.jpgLead: Tove Gabrielsen, The University Centre in Svalbard

Gabrielsen is a marine ecologist aiming to increase our understanding of the evolutionary processes responsible for the ecological variability that we see in Arctic marine communities focusing on marine protists. She has a strong field component to all her research with 10 years of experience with sampling in Svalbard waters. The use of molecular tools to answer questions in marine ecology is essential to her research. Her current focus is on the temporal variability and function of marine protists in the highly seasonal Arctic environment. These interests have led her (along with UNIS colleagues) to establish a time-series station for regular sampling of the pelagic communities in Isfjorden (the IsA time series station), and furthermore to an improved management of the combined oceanographic and biological data collected.

ysteinGodøyCo-lead: Øystein Godøy, Norwegian Meteorological Institute

Godøy is a satellite remote sensing scientist working actively with distributed data management. His main area of interest is optical sensors and extraction of information on clouds and surface characteristics like snow and sea ice and surface radiative fluxes. He is actively involved in international data management activities like the Svalbard Integrated Arctic Earth Observing System, WMO Global Cryosphere Watch, and WMO Integrated Global Observing System.

RA-C Technology and methods development

MartinLudvigsenLead: Martin Ludvigsen, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Ludvigsen works with underwater robotics, photogrammetry, photogrammetry, computer vision techniques, system autonomy, navigation, arctic operations, marine archaeology, geology and biology, sonars, acoustics, hyperspectral imaging, dynamic positioning, cold water corals, marine mining. Special emphasis on applied under water robotic systems. Compiling experimental results providing enabling technologies for marine scientific and industrial applications.

download.jpgCo-lead: Frank Nilsen, The University Centre in Svalbard

Main field of interest is polar oceanography linked to air-ice-ocean interaction processes. Cooling of the Atlantic Water entering the Arctic Ocean through Fram Strait and north of Svalbard is one of my main research interests. Process studies of topographic vorticity waves and eddies along the West Spitsbergen slope gives knowledge and a better understanding of the exchange mechanisms between the deep ocean and shelf areas. Through our REOCIRC project we will develop a method for using satellite measurement to estimate the strength of the West Spitsbergen Currents. To validate the satellite data we have designed a new mooring system where the main task is to measure the ocean bottom pressure (OBP).

RA-D Impact and legacy

yvindSætraLead: Øyvind Sætra, Norwegian Meteorological Institute

Air-sea interaction and the role of surface waves in the transfer of energy, momentum, moist and heat between the atmosphere and the ocean. Turbulent processes in the atmospheric and oceaninc boundary layers. Ensemble forecasting and verification of probabilistic atmospheric forecasts. Polar lows and the impact of the ocean for the energetics of meso-scale disturbances during marine cold-air outbreaks.

member_Geir_Johnsen.jpgCo-lead: Geir Johnson, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Marine ecology and biodiversity, bio-optics, micro-macroalgal photosynthesis, pigment chemotaxonomy, underwater robotics and sensor development for in situ identification, mapping and monitoring of bio-geo-chemical objects of interest in the marine environment. Currently, special emphasis on polar night biology (photo-biology) on macroalgae, benthos and zooplankton (incl. larvae) in the Arctic. Using enabling technology (new underwater robots and sensors) in marine science is core activity to gain a better knowledge-based natural resource management and decision making.