List of experts for journalists at Arctic Frontiers 2015

For the media: UiT the Arctic University of Norway and the Fram Centre offer a long list of experts at Arctic Frontiers 2015 Climate and Energy.
Solhaug, Randi Merete
Publisert: 16.01.15 00:00 Oppdatert: 21.01.15 10:28

Arctic Frontiers 2015

Find an expert:


Contact persons at UiT The Arctic University of Norway regarding climate change:


Professor Kristoffer Rypdal, Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Phone: +47 477 12 863 (mobile) / +47 77 64 51 49


Research: Climate impact on biology/ecosystems, geology, and technicalities on petroleum exploration


Professor Are Kristoffer Sydnes, Department of Engineering and Safety

Phone: +47 975 32 974 (mobile) / +47 77 66 03 28


Research: Security/protection related to oil spill in the Barents Sea


Professor Torbjørn Eltoft, Department of Physics and Technology

Phone: +47 950 07 345 (mobile)/ +47 77 64 51 84


Research: Remote sensing of sea ice, chairs the new SFI: CIRFA – Centre for Integrated Remote Sensing and Forecasting for Arctic Operations


Professor Tobias Boström, Department of Physics and Technology

Phone: +47 412 48 485 (mobile) / +47 77 64 51 53


Research: Renewable Energy; his work focuses mainly on hybrid renewable energy systems. The objective is to create self-sufficient and robust sustainable energy systems by combing and coordinating intermittent renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, with energy storage solutions.


Associate professor Ha Hoai Phuong, Department of Computer Science

Phone: +47 77 64 40 32


Research: Green computing and energy-efficient computing, Cloud computing and future Internet. More info regarding Arctic Green Computing:


Researcher/post doc Berit Kristoffersen, Department of Tourism & Northern Studies

Phone: +47 957 02 600 (mobile)/ +47 77 64 69 67


Research: Petroleum policy, environmental politics and sustainable tourism 



Primary- and secondary production, spatial and inter-annual variability and future development are key words of research that focuses upon the large-scale dynamics of carbon flux.  In a region as remote, vast, and inaccessible as the Arctic Ocean, the only practical method for addressing climate change and primary production over the entire region is to apply mathematical models developed from and validated by existing measurements of the physical, chemical, and biological oceanography from areas that have been investigated.  Because of this “Arctic productivity and climate effects” relies totally upon close cooperation with the remaining partners in the research group. The main question is how climate change will alter marine arctic productivity of the Barents Sea and adjacent regions.  Our work adds to an improved understanding of how carbon is cycled in the entire Arctic Ocean by analysis of how productivity various now and until the end of this century.

Contact: Professor Paul Wassmann, Department of Arctic and Marine Biology

Phone: +47 776 44459 Mobile Job / Mobile private: +47 977 73 451 
E-mail :


How do climate and climate changes affect health in the Arctic?


Inhabitants of the north are especially prone to pollutants as the ocean currents brings these pollutants north, especially mercury, PCB, DDE and brominated flame retardants.

Professor Jon Øyvind Odland, Department of Community Medicine

Office: +47 776 46407


Research: Pollutants in breast milk. Professor Odland has researched pollutants in the Arctic for several years. He refers to several studies that show that the population in arctic areas may have hazardous levels of pollutants in their body, and that these are associated with disrupted brain development, a compromised immune system, effects on fertility and increased risk of cancer.


Associate professor Torkjel Sandanger, Department of Community Medicine

Office: + 47 776 45404


Research: Parabens from cosmetics. Associate professor Sandanger has among other things looked at the parabens we consume through skin care lotions. Among the 300 women included in the study, those with the highest usage of lotion were also the ones with the highest level of parabens in their blood. Parabens are an endocrine disrupter that can be especially disruptive for infants, children and pregnant women. Even if the substance is quickly excreted, continuous use will lead to high levels.


Pollutants in the population over time

EPINOR is a National research school in population-based epidemiology. EPINORs scientific focus is on populations based studies and lifestyle related diseases, systems epidemiology and environmental factors in relation to health. Read more:

PhD Therese Nøst, EPINOR

Phone: +47 63 89 82 86


Research: Pollutants in North Norwegian men over time, assessing new and old contaminants in men in the Tromsø study with repeated measurements from 1979–2007. She has been able to describe time trends of the contaminants over these thirty years. Her first PhD article addresses time trends of PCBs and pesticides in these samples and can be accessed from Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/ehp.1206317.


Climate for spreading of viruses

A milder climate may make it easier for insects, species of ticks and unknown viruses to survive in Northern Europe. A fresh report developed by Professor Terje Traavik suggests that the combination of climate changes, other influences of the ecosystem, and new infections may activate latent infections and cause new spread.

Contact persons:

Professor Terje Traavik, Department of Pharmacy

Office: +47 77 64 43 79 Mobil: +47 45 50 74 71


Professor Ørjan Olsvik, Department of Medical Biology

Office: +47 776 46201

Mobile: +47 91674135 /



Health in the Arctic

Researcher Laila Hopstock, Department of Community Medicine

Office: +47 776 20718

Mobile: +47 90 01 08 11


Research: The effect of daily weather conditions on myocardial infarction incidence. Laila Hopstock is researching how climate and temperature affects the risk of heart disease for the population in arctic areas. Her PHD-thesis is based on the Tromsø Study.


Hypothermia - reviving people

Our local celebrity professor Mads Gilbert, is together with professor Torkjel Tveita among the world’s leading experts on hypothermia, and reviving people who have been cooled down to extreme temperatures. In 2000 Gilbert and his team saved the life of a woman who’s temperature was down to 13,7 ° C, the lowest survived body temperature recorded.

Professor Torkjel Tveita, Department of Clinical Medicine

Office: +47 776 26208


Professor II Mads Gilbert, Department of Clinical Medicine

Office: +47 77626197,

Mobile: +47 90878740



Sleep during the dark months / Polar night:

Professor Oddgeir Friborg, Department of Psychology

Office: +47 776 46772

Mobile: + 47 959 20 068



Vitamin D in trouble

Low levels of vitamin D are associated with almost all risk factors of diseases such as overweight, higher levels of fat in the blood, higher blood pressure and higher levels of blood sugar. Some diseases (such as cancer and multiple sclerosis) are most often found in northern areas and areas with low sun exposure, and many infectious diseases such as influenza occur more frequent in the winter when the level of vitamin D is at its lowest. Yet the researchers are not convinced that vitamin D is a miracle cure. Read more on (Norwegian only)

Professor Rolf Jorde, Department of Clinical Medicine

Office: +47 776 26827



Sami health research

Centre for Sami Health Research is responsible for a major health and lifestyle survey in northern Norway: SAMINOR. The research is in municipalities with Sami and Norwegian settlement. The main focus is on lifestyle diseases like cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Scientist Ann Ragnhild Broderstad, Centre for Sami Health Research
Office:  + 47 76985030 

Mobile: + 47 95970559


The Tromsø Study - A uniquepopulationsurvey

The Tromsø Study is Norway’s most extensive and most visited population study through 40 years. The research has yielded valuable health data that is in demand both nationally and internationally, and has led to a better basis for disease prevention and treatments. The seventh survey of the Tromsø Study will start in March 2015, and will last until the end of October 2016. A total of 33 000 people (the entire population of Tromsø between 40 and 79 years) will be invited to participate. There are currently some 100 different ongoing research projects based on the data from the consecutive six surveys.  Read more:

Scientist Sameline Grimsgaard, Department of Community Medicine

Office: +47 776 49285 Mobile: +47 91351858



Public health and alcohol consumption in Russia

Professor Odd Nilssen has been researching in Russia for 25 years, and has among other things looked at the alcohol consumption of people in the Archangel region. The results from questionnaires indicate that the Russians drink approximately 16 liters of pure spirits a year, but the consumption is likely to be much higher. This strongly affects the population’s health, and it is believed that alcohol is one of the main causes of premature death. Nilssen and his colleagues will now in collaboration with London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Northern State Medical University in Archangelsk, the University of Novosibirsk, as well as several other international participants, start one of the largest studies ever done on this area.

Professor Odd Nilssen, Department of Community Medicine

Office: +47 776 44817

Mobile: +47951950041



Ocean treasure hunt in the Barents Sea

The university is the host for MabCent-SFI, a centre for marine bioactives and drug discovery. They do marine bioprospecting, and have analysed more than 150 organisms from the Barents Sea, looking for organisms with potential for further research, innovation and commercialization including new medicines against cancer, bacterias, infection, heart decease, diabetes and other things. They have some great photos of these organisms, which are often very beautiful. Their website is in English:

Professor Trond Ø. Jørgensen, the Norwegian College of Fishery Science




Contact persons at Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate*, Environment and Climate (CAGE). Norwegian centre of excellence. 

(*An ice like substance, containing huge amounts of, among others, greenhouse gas methane.)


Professor Jürgen Mienert, marine geology. Director, CAGE.

Tel. +47 776 44446/ +47 99794063

Research: Oceanic landslides and climate change. Methane emitting mud volcano Haakon Mosby. Permafrost. Stability of gas hydrates in climate sensitive Arctic areas.

Professor Tine Rassmusen, paleontology

Tel. +47 77 64 44 08


Research: Climate change was dramatic even during the last Ice Age. Cold periods were interrupted by rapid heating. During this time the ocean’s water level rose and fell several times by 10 to 20 metres. Paper in Nature Communications.


PhD Alexei Portnov, geology


Research: Permafrost is thawing offshore Siberia, releasing huge amounts of greenhouse gas methane from the ocean floor.


Researcher Jochen Knies, marine geology

Tel. +47 73 90 41 16


Research: Sea ice cover in the Arctic was established 2,6 million years ago, shows a recent study published by Knies in Nature Communications. However, due to global warming, we may see an ice free Arctic in our lifetime.


Researcher Benedicte Ferré, oceanographer

Tel. +47 77 64 66 07


Research: Methane has been leaking from the ocean floor offshore Svalbard for several thousand years, and therefore cannot solely result from new climate changes driven by mankind. Paper in Science.

Other: Ferré is developing state of the art sensor technology to measure if methane released from the ocean floor reaches the atmosphere.


Associate professor Giuliana Panieri, paleontology

Tel.+47 77 62 51 91


Research: Examins past emissions of methane in the fossils of some of the smallest creatures on planet.


PhD Mohammed Ezat, geology

Tel. +47 776 49246


Research: Contrary to popular belief, The Gulf Stream kept going during the coldest periods of the last Ice Age. Paper in Geology.



Contact persons at the Fram Centre regarding climate change:


Terrestrial ecosystems:

Professor Rolf Ims, UiT – the Arctic University of Norway, Department of Arctic and Marine Biology

e-mail/phone: / +47 776 46476 / +47 915 44 576


Hazardous substances in arctic animals and human inhabitants:

Senior researcher Jan. O. Bustnes – Norwegian institute for nature research

e-mail/phone: / +47 777 50407 / +47 934 66 790


Industrial development in the high North:

Senior researcher Per Fauchald - Norwegian institute for nature research

e-mail/phone: / +47 777 50409 / +47452 76 808


Ocean acidification:

Senior scientist Melissa Chierici – Institute of Marine Research

e-mail/phone: / +47 900 54 479


Sea ice in the arctic ocean:

Researcher Arild Sundfjord – Norwegian Polar Institute

e-mail/phone: / +47 777 50535 / +47 473 04 197


Fjord and coast ecosystems:

Researcher Martin Biuw – Akvaplan-niva

e-mail/phone: /  +47 777 50316/ +47 407 29 615



Solhaug, Randi Merete
Publisert: 16.01.15 00:00 Oppdatert: 21.01.15 10:28
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