Primary fields of research
The overall focus of my research is to better understanding of the role of biological processes and biodiversity on the cycling of carbon in the upper ocean and how this impacts food webs and the global carbon cycle. Most of my research has been on marine plankton (primarily phytoplankton). However, I have also studied higher trophic levels such as fish (both larvae and adults) and harbour purpoises. I am a co-PI in The Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate (center leader Carsten Rahbek) supported by the Danish National Research Foundation, where I lead the theme on macroecology and oceanography. Recent research foci include:
- Climatic control of marine ecological processes, including predicting the influence of climate change on aquatic productivity, quantifying the role of biological processes in ocean uptake of atmospheric CO2 and how changes in ocean conditions influence the strenght of the biological pump
- The effect og physical/chemical conditions on a biodiversity and size distribution of phytoplankton
- The relationship between phytoplankton distributions and water column stability with special interest in pytoplankton blooms and hydrographic features.
In addition, I have recently been working with an international research team focusing on identifying "planetary boundaries", i.e. quantifying the global supply of some non-material global resources upon which humankind is dependent.
In 2006-2007, I led the largest project on a round-world cruise (www.galathea3.dk) with participation of researchers deom 4 Danish research institutes where our research aim was to develop a global picture of carbon flow in surface waters of the ocean as well as CO2 exchange between the ocean and the atmosphere. The project is endorsed by international project, IMBER (Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research, www.imber.info). Until the Galathea cruise, most of my research has been carried out in the North Sea, Skagerrak, Kattegat, North Atlantic and Greenland Seaa. In 2009, I was Chairman of the Scientific Steering Committee for a large international scientific conference, CLIMATE CHANGE: Global Risks, Challenges and Desicions (www.climatecongress.ku.dk)
1984-1998: Guest lecturer in phytoplankton ecology and biological oceanography, University of Copenhagen; external examiner for a number of PhD and Masters Degree examinations at the University of Copenhagen and other Scandinavian Universities; External supervisor for 4 PhD. students (Danish Technical University and the University of Wales, UK) and several Masters students (University of Copenhagen)
- 18 PhD candidates (1 still in progress) and
- > 30 Masters students.
I have had responsibility for the developement and execution of undergraduate courses (and examinations) on the following topics:
- Phytoplankton Physiology
- Dynamics of the open ocean (biological oceanogrphy)
In addition, I have been a contributing lecturer/examiner in courses on:
- Marine Biology
- Marine Ecology
- Microbial Ecology
- Environmental Studies
I have recieved no formal pedagogical training. However, student evaluation of my teaching has been uniformly positive. Copies of these evaluations are on file at the Dept. of Biology, University of Aarhus.