What did you do before you joint the Nansen Legacy?
I did my Bachelor and Master studies in Münster, Germany, where I gained a broad background in molecular techniques covering different topics and fields. During major parts of my PhD at the University of Bergen, I then used and expanded my molecular and bioinformatics knowledge with a focus on identifying and understanding changes in microbial community structures in various Arctic environments, including Arctic soils, coastal areas and the Arctic Ocean. One specific aim was to understand how these environments and associated processes are linked and influenced by permafrost thaw.
What will you be working on within the Nansen Legacy?
Mostly, my work will focus on the microbial life and interactions within the microbial food web structure, especially in regard of carbon fluxes and biogeochemical cycles. This means I will be measuring microbial biomass, abundance and activity and identifying bacterial and viral community composition and function.
What are you looking most forward to in your PhD/Post doc project?
Since “The Nansen Legacy” is both a large and ambitious project, there will probably be plenty of possibilities to interact and collaborate with other researchers, to put my own small research part in a bigger context and thereby hopefully gaining a better understanding of the processes in a changing Arctic. I am also looking very much forward to work on the new research vessel “Kronprins Haakon”.
What is the first thing you think off when hearing the name, Fridtjof Nansen?
Fridtjof Nansen must have been an extremely resourceful, inventive, creative and relentless personality to have planned and accomplished so many expeditions in the Arctic. When I was in Greenland some years ago I learned that Fridtjof Nansen was the first to cross the Greenland ice sheet in 1888, which was a huge achievement, but becomes even more impressive when being out there myself somewhere between Sisimiut and Kangerlussuaq, struggling with my own motivation to finish, in comparison, a rather short 160 km summer hike, despite all the modern technology
Which book/film/music has made the largest impression on you lately?
This was a Norwegian book (Markens grøde/ Growth of the Soil) from Knut Hamsun which is about a man (and later his family) who settles in a tough rural place in Norway where he lives in the nature, a life of hard work outside the modern world.