Agricultural University of Iceland
Asa L. Aradottir is a Professor at the Agricultural University of Iceland, where she teaches courses in Restoration Ecology and related subjects. She headed the research division of the Icelandic Soil Conservation Service 1998-2006 and was a senior research scientist at the Iceland Forest Research Station 1990-1998. Ása holds a Ph.D. in Range Science from Texas A&M University (1991), an M.Sc. in Biology from Montana State University (1984) and a B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Iceland (1981). Her research interests include restoration of severely degraded land, woodland restoration, restoration to mitigate the effects on infrastructural interventions, effects of restoration interventions on ecological succession and ecosystem services (including carbon sequestration), and evaluation of restoration. Ása has participated in a number of national and international research projects and networks and is currently on the Board of Directors for the European chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration.
Brita Berglund has worked as a specialist at the Agricultural University of Iceland (AUI) since 2005, mainly in connection with soil and environmental research but in later years also in the field of environmental communication. Her work involves both research activities and lecturing at the AUI and the UNU-LRT. She has also coordinated and taught a course in natural resource conflicts for the Scandinavian-Baltic university network NordNatur. Brita works closely with the UNU-LRT staff and has also been a temporary staff member on occasion when regular staff members have been on leave. Her research interests are presently in the field of environmental communication and she has published works on participatory approaches and conflict management in collaboration with scientists from Iceland and Sweden.
Bjarni D. Sigurdsson is a forest ecologist by training. Bjarni has worked with land-use related physical and ecological research since 1993. He was appointed as a Professor of Forest Science at AUI in 2005 and is a co-coordinator for the Forest Science, Restoration Ecology and Management B.Sc. and M.Sc. Program (FS-REM). In total Bjarni D. Sigurdsson (2014) has 55 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals books and book chapters – 13 other scientific publications in English/Swedish - 111 scientific publications in Icelandic, books, theses, proceedings and reports. ISI-Citations (2015): 947. Most cited paper (2015): 293. H-index: 13. Supervision history (graduated): 1 Ph.D. student and 14 M.Sc. students; Ongoing: 2 Ph.D. students and 3 M.Sc. students.
Carbon, water and nutrient cycles of both managed and natural ecosystems; especially forest ecosystems in the subarctic or North Boreal zone. Effects of climate change on ecosystem processes and ecosystem structure in northern regions. Environmental constraints on ecosystem processes and structure during primary succession.
Jarngerdur Gretarsdottir has worked at the Agricultural University of Iceland (AUI) as an assistant professor from 2005. She has a B.Sc. degree in Biology from the University of Iceland (1992) and a Cand. Scient. degree in Botany from the University of Bergen, Norway (2002) where the title of her thesis was: “Long-term effects of reclamation treatments on plant succession at two localities in Iceland.”
Her research interests are in the fields of restoration ecology and plant succession, especially the facilitation of establishment of native plants in degraded areas. She has also worked at projects on the effects of wildfires on plant communities and vegetation succession following fires. She has long experience working with data and data analysis in research projects. She has been teaching Basic Practical Statistics, Statistics II, Plant Ecology and Basic Ecology at AUI for some years and Practical Statistics for UNU-LRT since 2009.
Jon Gudmundsson is a biologist by training and Assistant Professor at the Department of Environmental Sciences at the Agricultural University. His main research focuses on the connection of land use and greenhouse gas emission.
Connection of land use and greenhouse gas emission
Olafur Arnalds has a Ph.D. in Soil Science from Texas A&M University. He has been a professor at the Agricultural University of Iceland since 2005 (Dean until 2012). He has participated in numerous international research and policy programmes related to soil and environmental sciences (e.g. EU COST, and Nordic networks). He served three years on the board of the Icelandic Research Fund. Olafur has emphasized outreach programmes and the development of educational materials in addition to scientific publications. See www.moldin.net for CV and publications.
His research focus has been on the soils of volcanic areas, genesis and properties of Icelandic soils, ecological restoration and carbon sequestration. He has written/co-written and edited/co-edited several international scientific books on soils, soil conservation, and rangeland sciences in addition to numerous peer-reviewed scientific papers. He is also the author of the Icelandic soil map and The Soils of Iceland. His program on “Soil Erosion in Iceland” earned the Nordic Nature and Environmental Award in 1998. He has devoted efforts on aeolian processes in Icelandic desert areas and has quantified/mapped dust production from Icelandic dust sources.
Sigridur Kristjansdottir holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences from the University of Birmingham, UK, specialising in urban morphology. She is a Director of the master’s programme in planning at the Agricultural University of Iceland where she has been an Assistant Professor since 2004. During her studies she received a Fulbright grant and Valle Scholarship as an outstanding master´s student. Sigridur is an active contributor to international research projects, particularly collaboration between the Nordic countries.
Her research has focused on the formation and development of urban areas as a part of a wider territory, including the urban fringe, and the interaction between the business cycle, planning, housing, regulations and the urban landscape. She has written several articles on topics relating to planning. She was Supervisor at the UNU-LRT for Sdogerel Purevee (Sustainability Assessment of Urban Land-Use Systems: Evaluating impact indicators of Darkhan) and Gerlee Puntsag (Land suitability analysis for urban and agricultural land using GIS: Case study in Hvita to Hvita, Iceland).
Currently she is editing a book on sustainable planning policy and practice in the Nordic countries which will be published by Ashgate in 2016.
Ulfur Oskarsson has a M.S. in Forest Science from the University of New Brunswick in Canada and a B.S. in Biology from the University of Iceland. He has worked on various research and development projects in afforestation, ecosystem rehabilitation and horticulture, and for a number of years he also directed an organic tree nursery. He has been a lector at AUI since 2005 with main emphasis on Ecology, Forestry, Soils and Ecosystem Rehabilitation and has headed the Department of Forestry for vocational studies. He is currently a NordGen Forest Regeneration council member. Ulfur is also working as an auditor in organic production and sustainable fisheries certification.
Ulfur is specialized in plant-soil biota interactions, with particular emphasis on mycorrhizae and plant establishment for afforestation and ecosystem rehabilitation. His research projects involve the utilization of ectomycorrhizal fungi for the establishment of birch seedlings, the role of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi for the establishment of lyme grass seedlings and a survey of the natural distribution of mycorrhizae in eroded areas in Iceland. Other recent projects include ways to establish berry production in northern regions for local markets.
Soil Conservation Service of Iceland
Andres Arnalds is Assistant Director of the Icelandic Soil Conservation Service. He has had a leading role in the development of strategies for conservation of soil and vegetation in Iceland, with a special emphasis on work at the grass roots level and sustainable land use. He initiated the successful land-care program Farmers Heal the Land. Andres has a professional interest in fostering community engagement, linking knowledge, policy and action, land literacy and planning ability at the farm level. Andres is also involved in devlopment of strategies for minimizing the impact of tourism on the Icelandic nature.
Elin Fjola holds a B.Sc. in Geography from the University of Iceland (1993) and an M.S. in Environmental Sciences from the Agricultural University of Iceland (2010). She has worked as a geographer with the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland since 1993. Elin Fjola has been involved in soil erosion mapping and wind erosion research.
Gudrun Schmidt has worked at the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland since 1999, first as a specialist in sustainable land use and since 2002 as a regional representative at the district office in east Iceland. There she supervises and implements revegetation projects, as well as strengthens affiliations with land users, community and the the local pupulation through cooperation, education and consultation. Gudrun Schmidt holds a B.Sc. in agricultural sciences from the Hvanneyri Agricultural College of Iceland, 1999.
Since October 2013 Gudrun Schmidt has been studying for a Master’s in “Education for sustainable development” at the University of Rostock in Germany. She is now working on her thesis which entails developing a project on soil conservation and sustainability for primary schools in Iceland which will fit with the ideology of education for sustainable development.
The professional interests of Gudrun Schmidt lie especially in the field of motivation and communication with the locals and finding educational ways to make people feel responsible for nature and gaining action competence.
Gustav Magnus Asbjörnsson is trained in land management and agricultural science. He joined the UNU-LRT programme in 2014 where he has been teaching different methods of measuring vegetation cover, restoration success and estimating land condition. He also has introduced how SCSI collects, keeps and uses data on different restoration projects.
Gustav is District Officer in South Iceland. This involves working on programmes such as Farmers Heal the Land and the Land Improvement Fund. These programmes are based on a participatory approach and assist farmers and other landowners to restore degraded land and halt erosion. Gústav manages many restoration projects that are carried out by the SCSI in the South of Iceland. He also manages the land use part of a project called Quality Control in Sheep Farming.
Johann Thorsson is a senior research scientist and project manager at the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland, department of Research & Development. He worked at the Agricultural Research Institute in Iceland in 1990-1999, focusing on livestock grazing and feeding as well as land use issues. Johann holds a Ph.D. in Rangeland Ecology from Texas A&M University (2008) and B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Iceland (1990).
Johann Thorsson´s research interests include land degradation processes, land use issues, land management and land condition monitoring. Johann has participated in several national and international research projects ranging from transfer of radionuclides within ecosystems to participatory approaches in land reclamation.
Kristin Svavarsdottir is a plant ecologist holding a Ph.D. in plant ecology from Lincoln University in New Zealand, B.Sc. in biology from the University of Iceland, and BEd in teaching from the Teaching College of Iceland. She has been employed as a plant ecologist by the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland since 1999, and is based in Reykjavík. Kristin has taught in a compulsory school and universities, and supervised students in research projects at B.Sc., MS.c., and Ph.D. levels.
Kristin´s interests are in the field of plant and restoration ecology, and invasion biology. Her primary research expertise is on ecological processes, particularly in primary succession, and their links to ecological restoration.
Thorunn Petursdottir is a restoration ecologist, emphasising the use of transdisciplinary approaches in natural resource management. She is leading the development of the Centre for Ecosystem Restoration and Resilience-based Management, run by the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland. Her research focuses on analysing the social-ecological reasons for ecosystem degradation, the design of large-scale restoration projects/programmes, monitoring and evaluating their long-term impacts and how to embed ecosystem restoration into resilience-based management of natural resources. Ms. Petursdottir is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Society of Ecological Restoration Int and currently involved in a couple of national and European research and network programmes.
Arna Björk is a Geographer at the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland, since 1998. She is involved with GIS, remote sensing, image processing, mapping and cartography.
University of Iceland
Karl Benediktsson is a human geographer and professor in the Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Iceland. His research interests include rural and regional development, political ecology, and human-nonhuman relations. Besides Iceland, he has undertaken research in Papua New Guinea, Malawi and Ghana. Karl has published extensively on his topics of interest, including the book Harvesting Development (2002). He has supervised several final projects of UNU-LRT fellows.
Associate Professor in Geography, University of Iceland, from August 2001
Chair, Department of Geography and Tourism in 2007 and 2011
Ph.D. post, Lund University, Sweden. From 1996-2000. Title of Ph.D. project: Women heading households in Zimbabwe: Mobility, livelihood and contested spaces.
Ph.D. research and courses, teaching and administration at the Dept. of Human Geography.
Gender, ethnicity and mobility in a globalized world, with focus on southern Africa, Iceland and Northern Europe. North-South relations, geopolitics and development.
Gendered access to resources, including land in Africa and grants to regional development in Iceland. Regional development policy.
Júlíusdóttir, M., Skaptadóttir, U.D. & Karlsdóttir, A. (2013). Gendered migration in turbulent times in Iceland. Norwegian Journal of Geography, 67(5), 266-275.
Magnfríđur Júlíusdóttir (2011). Landréttindi og ţróun. Átakafletir í sunnanverđri Afríku [Land rights and development. Conflicts in southern Africa]. In: S.B. Ómarsdóttir (Ed.), Rannsóknir í Félagsvísindum XII, Stjórnmálafrćđideild, pp. 100-108 Reykjavík: Félagsvísindastofnun Háskóla Íslands. (In Icelandic)
Magnfríđur Júlíusdóttir (2010). People, place and culture in regional policy. In: S.B. Ómarsdóttir (Ed.), Rannsóknir í Félagsvísindum XI, Stjórnmálafrćđideild, pp. 67-77. Reykjavík: Félagsvísindastofnun Háskóla Íslands.
Magnfríđur Júlíusdóttir & Yvonne Gunnarsdottir (2009). Gendered places: Cultural economy and gender in processes of place reinvention. In: T. Nyseth & A. Viken (eds.), Place Reinvention: Northern Perspectives, pp. 73-91. Aldershot: Ashgate.
Magnfríđur Júlíusdóttir, Anna Karlsdóttir, Karl Benediktsson, Inga E. Vésteinsdóttir & Sigfús Steingrímsson (2009). Litróf búskapar og byggđar. Fjölţćttur landbúnađur á Íslandi [Diversity of agriculture and settlements: Multifunctional agriculture in Iceland]. Reykjavík: Land- og ferđamálafrćđistofa Háskóla Íslands.
Sjöfn Vilhelmsdottir is the Director of the Institute of Public Administration and Politics of the University of Iceland and a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science at the same university. She holds an M.A. degree in International Studies from the University of Denver and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Iceland. Sjöfn has over 10 years of professional experience in the field of international development, working both in Africa and in Iceland for a government agency and a non-governmental organisation (1996-2007). She was the Project Manager for the establishment of the International Gender Equality Studies and Training Programme at the University of Iceland in 2009 (the programme became part of the United Nations University in 2013). Sjöfn’s Ph.D. research is on political trust and she has also been involved in research projects on democracy, public administration and social capital.
Icelandic Meteorological Office
Gudrun Nina Petersen is an atmospheric research scientist at the Icelandic Meteorological Office. She also teaches meteorology at the University of Iceland and the Agricultural University of Iceland. She holds a Cand. Mag. in geophysics (1997), a Cand. Sci. (1999) and Ph.D. (2004) in meteorology from the University of Oslo, Norway. She then worked as a research fellow at the Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, UK (2004-2006) and as a post doc. at the School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, UK (2006-2008). She's been involved in national and international projects, e.g. the Greenland flow distortion experiment, Icewind and Ísindar. She represents Iceland in the Atmospheric Working Group of the International Arctic Science Committee and chairs the Icelandic Meteorological Society and the Award committee of the European Meteorological Committee.
Arctic meteorology, orographic flow, extreme weather, boundary meteorology, weather forecasting
Oddur Sigurdsson is geologist and chemist by training with special training in remote sensing and glaciology. He participated in geological and geotechnical research of sites for hydro power stations with the National Energy Authority (NEA) from 1966 to 1986. He was in charge of the monitoring program of glaciers with the NEA from 1987 and has continued as a part of the glaciological team of the Icelandic Met Office since 2009. Oddur has taught geology at junior colleges and courses in geology and glaciology for the Continuing Education Program of the University of Iceland. He is the
co-author of several books on glaciology, geology, entomology and history as well as being author and co-author of many articles in scientific and popular magazines and periodicals. Oddur has one of the largest photo collections in Iceland on nature. He is active in collaboration with scientists at the United States Geological Survey and World Glacier Monitoring Service in Switzerland.
Documenting changes of glaciers, both ongoing and historical. History of climate and volcanic eruptions contained in glaciers in Iceland.
Bjorn Helgi Barkarson is an Environmental Scientist. He holds a position as Head of Division at the Department of Land and Natural Heritage in the Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources. He is responsible for issues in the field of sustainable land management, including forestry, soil conservation and ecosystem restoration. He worked for the Soil Conservation Service in different positions in 1995-2007 and as a consultant for the firm VSO Consulting in 2007-2013, mainly in the field of Environmental Impact Assessment, Strategic Environmental Assessment and diverse environmental consultation. He is a member of a Working Group on Environment and Economics within the Nordic cooperation and serves as a National Focal Point for the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.
David is a lecturer, researcher and consultant on water resources issues. He likes to focus his research on mountain eco-hydrology, investigating ways to sustainably manage mountain systems while preserving the beauty of nature. Find more information about David and his work on his website:
Guđmundur Ingi Guđbrandsson is the CEO of Landvernd since 2011.
Guđmundur Ingi (Mummi) holds a B.Sc. degree in Biology from University of Iceland and M.Sc in Environmental Management from Yale University. He used to work for the University of Iceland carrying out research in Ecology and Environmental Sciences, and he also worked for the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland in the fields of global studies and research. Since 2006, Mummi has been a visiting lecturer at the University of Iceland, as well as the Agricultural University of Iceland (since 2009) and the University Centre of the Westfjords (since 2011). Mummi has also worked as a Park Ranger every summer since 2009.
Mummi was one of the founders of the Icelandic Society for Environmental Scientists. He was the association's first president, in 2007-2010.
Jon Geir Petursson is the Director General of the Department for Land and Natural Heritage at the Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources in Iceland. He has been on the UNU-LRT Studies Committee since the beginning of the program in addition to teaching and supervision. His professional interest is within the broad field of environmental governance at multiple levels; collective action and natural resource management; institutional and policy analyses; poverty, local livelihoods; and resources access. Jon Geir has extensive field experience from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, where he has been actively involved in research on many aspects of sustainable land management, conservation, governance and local livelihoods.