Research and funding

I am a marine biologist and behavioural ecologist. My research interests lie in the field of spatial and trophic ecology of animals. The main themes in my research are:

  1.  how we can develop new tools for more sustainable resource management;
  2.  how an interdisciplinary socio-ecological and ecosystem approach can help us understand natural processes and impacts of environmental changes and;
  3. how we can use top predators as indicators of changes the marine environment to better inform decisions on conservation of marine and coastal habitats and species.

My current research is focused on foraging ecology of marine animals and influences of marine resource limitations on arctic and subarctic ecosystems. In addition, among my recently funded research projects is an interdisciplinary project on fisheries sciences and fisheries management. All my projects are marine biology focused and aim to better understand drivers of changes and patterns in the marine environment.


Main ongoing research projects

Among smaller national projects these are the ongoing larger international co-operative research projects I am involved with:

  • United under one cod: complexities of cod fishing and their utility for fisheries management. Co-operative parties are Pamela J. Woods (PI for the project) and Bjarki Þór Elvarsson at the Marine and Freshwater Research Institute; and Daði Már Kristófersson (co-PI for the project) and Sveinn Agnarsson at University of Iceland; and Martin D. Smith at Duke University. I am a co-I on this project.
  • Unravelling the details of the Longest Migration on Earth that is funded by the University of Iceland Research Fund (2019-2021) and the National Geographic Fund (2018-2019). Co-operative parties are Dr Lucy Hawkes at University of Exeter (PI on Nat Geo grant) and Dr Sara Maxwell at University of Washington. The project hosts a PhD student, who started fall 2018 on a GW4 grant.
  • Seabird-fishery interactions in an area of discard ban that is run with in co-operation with a UK funded project. Co-operative parties are Dr Steven Voiter at University of Exeter, Dr Mark Jessopp at University College York, Thomas W. Bodey at University of Exeter and Dr Julian M. Burgos at the Icelandic Marine and Freshwater Institute. The project hosts a PhD student, Beth Clark, who defended her thesis in fall 2019.
  • Fear and stress in coastal animals: causes and consequences of disturbance. Funded by The Icelandic Research Fund (IRF) (2014-2017) and Palmi Jonsson‘s Nature Conservation Fund (2019-2020). Co-operative parties are Dr Stuart Bearhop, Dr Ian Cleasby, Dr Thomas W. Bodey and Dr Richard Inger at University of Exeter and associates. Project mentored two MS students, in 2015 and 2016.
  • Population genetics in marine top predators. Co-operative parties are Professor Vicki Friesen and her students at Queen’s University at Kingston, Canada.
  • Between ice and ocean: importance of transport of marine originated nutrients for habitat development and primary succession at retreating glacier. The project is funded by several smaller national funds such as Kvískerjasjóður, Pálmi Jónsson’s Conservation Memorial fund and RANNIS Student Innovation fund. Co-operative parties are Bryndís Marteinsdóttir at the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland and Olga Kolbrún Vilmundardóttir at the Icelandic Institute of Natural History. In addition, the Vatnajökull National Park and the SE-Iceland Nature Research Centre (Náttúrustofa Suðausturlands) are supporting partners. The project fosters a master’s student, Sigurlaug Sigurðardóttir.


Funding and Awards

During my research career I have acquired over 54 million ISK (>400,000$) as a PI from competitive funds in Iceland and abroad. I have been a co-I on number of successful grants, including from the National Geographic Fund and Rannis Icelandic Research Council. In addition I have submitted numerous project grants to Rannis that were graded A2-A3 but have not been funded yet. Below is a list of successful grants (*grants which I am a co-I on).

  • 2021     19.770.000 kr.      Rannis: The Icelandic Research Fund*
  • 2020     1.800.000 kr.        Rannis: Icelandic Innovation Fund (3 student projects)
  • 2020     17.426.000 kr.      Rannis: The Icelandic Research Fund*
  • 2019      300.000 kr.          Palmi Jonsson´s Nature Conservation Memorial Fund
  • 2019      1.200.000 kr.       University of Iceland Research Fund
  • 2018      17.869.000 kr.     National Geographic Fund*
  • 2018      600.000 kr.          Rannis: Icelandic Innovation Fund
  • 2017      550.000 kr.           Rannis: Icelandic Innovation Fund
  • 2017      700.000 kr.          Palmi Jonasson´s Wildlife Conservation Memorial Fund
  • 2017      700.000 kr.          Kvískerjasjóður: Conservation Memorial Fund
  • 2014      21.000.000 kr.     Icelandic Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 2014      14.000.000 kr.     University of Iceland Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 2011      600.000 kr.           Palmi Jonsson´s Nature Conservation Memorial Fund
  • 2011      83.000 kr.              The Company of Biologists
  • 2011      35.000 kr.              John and Pamela Salter Trust 
  • 2010      130.000 kr.           British Ornithologists’ Union Research Grant
  • 2010      143.000 kr.           1st World Seabird Conference Travel Award
  • 2010      Award                    Postgraduate Poster at World Seabird Conference, Victoria Canada
  • 2009      50.000 kr.             Richard Warn Memorial Fund
  • 2009      650.000 kr.          British Council Chevening Scholarship
  • 2009      400.000 kr.          Islandsbanki Post Graduate Scholarship
  • 2009      3.900.000 kr.      UEA School of Biological Sciences Scholarship for International students
  • 2009      7.000.000 kr.      Rannis: The Icelandic Research Council Fund for Graduate Students
  • 2001-2010 960.000 kr. in total from The Icelandic Innovation Fund
  • Total:   110 million ISK  (>865,000$) (54 million ISK as PI and 56 million ISK as co-I)