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The AquaSYNC partnership currently consists of NIVA Denmark (lead), the Department for Ecoscience (ECOS) at Aarhus University and The Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment at Gothenburg University:

  • NIVA Denmark, established in 2014, is focused on research, development and consulting supporting evidence-based management of aquatic ecosystems. At NIVA Denmark we are a mix of experienced scientists and experts passionate about the application of the best available knowledge when implementing evidence-based management strategies. We work in streams, rivers, lakes, estuaries, coastal waters and offshore marine waters. Our key research areas are: nutrient enrichment and eutrophication, climate change, hazardous substances, non-indigenous species, marine litter/microplastic, physical modifications, biodiversity, ecosystem health and nature-based solutions as well as the multiple human activities potentially impairing aquatic ecosystems. Hence, we develop and test indicators, monitoring methods and assessment tools to carry out ecological analyses related to the current environmental challenges in aquatic ecosystems. NIVA Denmark is a regional office of Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA). Hence, we are backed by more than 250 dedicated experts and aquatic research scientists. Read more here:

  • Department of Ecoscience (ECOS) was established in 2011 with the vision to develop a globally leading research unit within biological and ecological systems. ECOS prioritises a good teaching environment and carries out basic research, strategic research and research-based consultancy services which lead to a deeper understanding of ecological connections in aquatic and terrestrial environments. Hence, ECOS provide teaching, consultancy, and research in life sciences; from bacteria to whales, from genes to ecosystems, and from basic research to applied biology in nature management and biotechnology. Read more here:

  • The Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment at Gothenburg University was established in 2008 and supports both Swedish government, agencies and other interested actors in their effort to improve the marine environment by providing up-to-date status-descriptions and analyses of knowledge on the seas around Sweden. Since the founding, the Government has commissioned five universities with strong marine environmental research to cooperate within the Institute: University of Gothenburg, Linnaeus University, Stockholm University, Umeå University and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Each collaborating university contributes a certain number of personnel to the Institute. The University of Gothenburg has the task of coordinating the running activities of the Institute and to accommodate a secretariat for the Institute and there provide a joint analysis and synthesis function.


Mother institutions for NIVA Denmark, the Department of Ecoscience, and The Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment are, respectively, the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), Aarhus University (AU), and The University of Gothenburg:​

  • The Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) is Norway’s leading institute for fundamental and applied research on marine and freshwaters. Our research comprises a wide array of environmental, climatic and resource-related fields. NIVA’s world-class expertise is multidisciplinary with a broad scientific scope. We combine research, monitoring, evaluation, problem-solving and advisory services at international, national and local levels. More information can be found here:

  • Aarhus University (AU), established in 1928, has since developed into a major Danish university with a strong international reputation across the entire research spectrum. AU comprises five faculties in Arts, Natural Sciences, Technical Sciences, Health, and Business and Social Sciences and has a total of twenty-seven departments. It is home to over thirty internationally recognised research centers, including fifteen Centres of Excellence funded by the Danish National Research Foundation. AU has been ranked among the top 100 world's best universities.

  • The University of Gothenburg is a multidisciplinary university that dates back to 1891. We consist of eight faculties and 38 departments. We also have a large number of research and centres of expertise that span across several academic disciplines. These disciplines serve as a meeting point for students, researchers and representatives from the commercial, industrial, and public sectors. Around 49 000 students and 6 000 staff study and work here, making us one of the largest universities in Northern Europe.


AquaSYNC will actively seek for more partners and collaborators in 2022. Please check back later for more information.


Day-to-day operations including the support to a broad range of SWG-, IA- and MIBAT-related activities and projects are carried out by the AquaSYNC core team:

Jesper H. Andersen

Centre Manager of AquaSYNC

JHA is an experienced marine scientist working as Chief Scientist at NIVA Denmark. JHA’s holds a PhD from University of Copenhagen and his key research areas are eutrophication, biodiversity, human pressures and ecosystem-based management. JHA has previously worked at Aarhus University, DHI, National Environmental Research Institute (NERI/DMU) and the Danish EPA.


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Ciaran J. Murray

Senior Data Analyst

CJM is an experienced data analyst and holds a PhD from Aarhus University. CJM is a skilled ‘number cruncher’ and has been involved in the development, testing and application of a broad range of MIBATs (i.e. HEAT, BEAT, CHASE, NEAT, MESH and WATERS) and also worked with other tools (e.g. EcoImpactMapper and SeaSketch). CJM has previously worked at DHI and Aarhus University.


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Emilie Kallenbach


EKA is a freshwater biologist (PhD student at NIVA/University of Copenhagen) experienced in studying microplastic in aquatic systems. EKA has previously worked with mapping of potentially cumulative effects of multiple human stressors and development and testing of a range of MIBATs (CHASE and EcoImpactMapper).


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Jacob Carstensen

Full Professor

JAC is a statistician by training, works as a Full Professor at the Department of Ecoscience at Aarhus University and holds a PhD from Technical University of Denmark. His research interests focus on understanding long-term changes in marine ecosystems, the drivers of these changes and the complex interactions within marine ecosystems. JAC has previously worked at EC JRC (Italy), Horn Point Laboratory (USA), Technical University of Denmark (Denmark), Krüger (Denmark) and SAS Institute (USA).


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AquaSYNC will establish a Scientific Advisory Board in first half of 2022.

Chairperson of the Scientific Advisory Board is Dr. Nikolai Friberg, Research Director at the Norwegian Institute for Water Research, adjunct professor at Biological Institute at Copenhagen University and office manager of NIVA Denmark.

The co-chair is Professor Dorte Krause-Jensen (ECOS-AU), appointed by Department of Ecoscience at Aarhus University.

In addition, 5-6 persons will be invited to joint at Advisory Board. Please check back later for more information.

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