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Department of Ecoscience

Four new professors to focus on Arctic ecosystems, environment and climate

The Department of Bioscience has further consolidated its strong research profile with four new professorships within Arctic ecosystems, environment and climate from 1 August 2021.

[Translate to English:] Professor Eva Friis Møller (Privatfoto)
[Translate to English:] Professor Niels Martin Schmidt (Privatfoto)
[Translate to English:] Professor Mikael Kristian Sejr (Privatfoto)
[Translate to English:] Professor Toke Thomas Høye (Privatfoto)

The rise in temperature in the Arctic between 1971 and 2019 was three-times greater than the rise in the rest of the planet, and this is significantly more than previously expected (AMAP, 2021). The increase will not only lead to further changes in the ecosystems, it will also impact the Arctic communities.

The Department of Bioscience already has an internationally leading role in Arctic research, monitoring and consultancy on nature and the environment in the Arctic region in general, and in Greenland in particular. The new professorships will further strengthen the department's commitment in this area.

The four researchers who can now call themselves professors are:

Eva Friis Møller "I’m looking forward to continuing my research into the mechanisms guiding the spatial and temporal variation in ecosystems in Arctic seas. This is important knowledge, both to find out how much CO2 the sea can absorb during climate change, and to assess the potential for local fisheries ," says Eva Friis Møller, who is now a professor of Arctic marine ecology.

Niels Martin Schmidt "Because the high north only has relatively few species of animals and plants, the Arctic is often perceived as very simple. However, this is far from true, and the interplay between species plays a key role in how Arctic ecosystems react to change. I'm very much looking forward to being able to delve even deeper into how the interplay between species and the climate affects the population dynamics of individual species. These processes are crucial for developments in the vulnerable Arctic biodiversity," says Niels Martin Schmidt, who is now a professor of Arctic terrestrial ecology.

Mikael Kristian Sejr "The marine ecosystem along the Arctic coasts is changing – especially in Greenland, where increasing melting of both the ice cap and the sea ice has major consequences for the structure and function of the ecosystems in Greenland's fjords. I’m very much looking forward to continuing my work on documenting these changes, and to increasing our understanding of how the many changes related to the warmer climate affect marine biodiversity in the Arctic," explains Mikael Kristian Sejr, who from 1 August will be a professor of Arctic marine ecology.

Toke Thomas Høye "It will be a pleasure to contribute further to the Department's work on understanding the extent of, and mechanisms behind, the responses of Arctic organisms to climate change. I want to make breakthroughs through developing and implementing innovative methods for nature monitoring and I also want to scale-up existing knowledge from individual locations to cover Greenland, the Arctic and the rest of the globe," says Toke T. Høye, who is now a professor of Arctic terrestrial ecology.

In future, all four professors will be working together closely at the university as well as nationally and internationally through, among others, Greenland Ecosystem Monitoring (GEM), the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) and Conservation of Flora and Fauna (CAFF) under the Arctic Council. This will ensure that decisions about climate, nature and the environment are always based on the latest knowledge.

Contact:

Mikkel Tarmstorf, deputy head of department Department of Bioscience
Tel. no.: +45 53575044
Email: mpt@bios.au.dk