FAABulous - the team

Here we present the people involved in the FAABulous project and a short summary of their tasks within the project.


Project leader: Eva Leu

Eva Leu works as a researcher at Akvaplan-niva, in the field of Marine Biology. Her main interest is in microalgae ecophysiology, and the physical-chemical-biological coupling at the bottom of the Arctic marine food web. She obtained her PhD from the University of Oslo, and has worked at the Norwegian Polar Institute (CLEOPATRA project), and Alfred-Wegener-Institute. She is also involved in Marine Night, where she studies overwintering strategies of Arctic microalgae, and in Arctic ABC.

Clara Hoppe

Clara Hoppe is a postdoctoral researcher at the Alfred Wegener Institute – Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (Germany) as well as the University of British Columbia (Canada).  Her current main interests are how ecosystem structure (i.e. composition) and functioning (e.g. primary productivity, strength of the biological carbon pump) are linked in the present-day and future Arctic ocean, as well as to which extent this relationship is driven by differences between functional groups (i.e. causing species shifts) as well as by intraspecific plasticity (i.e. causing sorting between strains of one species). She is the PI of the AWI-funded project “ProEco - Arctic phytoplankton under multiple stressors: From process-understanding to ecosystem functioning“, which focuses on the effects of multiple stressors on the diversity, productivity and physiology of phytoplankton assemblages in Arctic coastal systems.


Björn Rost

Björn Rost is a researcher at the Alfred Wegener Institute – Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (Germany). Hisexpertise are in the fields of phytoplankton physiology, biological oceanography and biogeochemistry. He is particularly interested in Polar systems and those cellular processes driving the biological carbon pumps. His group aims to describe and understand how different groups of phytoplankton will respond to ocean acidification and other anthropogenic perturbation, both at the cellular and the ecosystem level. To develop a process-based understanding of the cellular responses, he applies a number of mass-spectrometric, fluorimetric and tracer techniques.His research has demonstrated that certain physiological processes (e.g. CO2 concentrating mechanisms) are causal the observed sensitivities of phytoplankton toward ocean acidification and identified the role of energy availability in modulating these effects. www.awi.de/en/phytochange

Tove Gabrielsen http://www.unis.no/35_STAFF/staff_webpages/biology/tove_gabrielsen/default.htm

Finlo Cottier

All the warm Atlantic Water that flows into the Arctic passes next to the west coast of Scotland, making for a natural link between Scotland, Norway and the Arctic.  Finlo Cottier is a Senior Lecturer in Polar Oceanography at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) which is based in Oban on the Scottish West Coast and has been working on multi-disciplinary arctic research projects for 15 years.  Finlo is also an Adjunct Professor at UiT, The Arctic University of Norway in the Department of Arctic and Marine Biology.  Finlo leads a new project funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council - Arctic PRIZE - that has further developed the links between SAMS and Norwegian Arctic research institutes.  SAMS has a history extending back 130 years to the Challenger Expedition and researchers at SAMS now explorer the oceans making use in the latest marine robotics.

Jozef Wiktor

Jozef is biologist in Marine Ecology Department at the Institue of Oceanology of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IO PAN) in Sopot. His research interests are: Structure and function of marine protists and seaice algae. His projects are carried  out (since 80’) in waters and seaice around Svalbard, Fram Strait and the Arctic Ocean. He was also involved in research projects in Greenland waters, Smith Sound and Canadian Archipelago. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jozef_Wiktor.

Marit Reigstad

Marit Reigstad is a professor in marine ecology at The University of Tromsø the Arctic University of Norway (UiT).  She is part of the research group Arctic Marine Systems Ecology, with a core scientific interest in vertical flux of organic matter from the productive layer, and the physical and biological regulation mechanisms impacting the fate of primary production. She has 16 years experience from work in the Seasonal Ice Zone, combining use of sediment traps, plankton studies, experiments and collaborating with physical oceanographers and modellers. At present she leads the CarbonBridge project on productivity and fate of production in the Atlantic Water inflow to the Arctic Ocean. In FAABulous Marit is co-supervising the PhD student Ane Cecilie Kvernvik. https://en.uit.no/om/enhet/ansatte/person?p_document_id=41356&p_dimension_id=88165

Ole-Anders Nøst http://www.akvaplan.niva.no/en/about_us/employees/detail/ole_anders_nost/

Dirk Notz

Dirk Notz is head of the research group "Sea ice in the Earth System" at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany. With his research group, he studies the interaction of sea-ice with the climate system of our planet. The group uses research tools ranging from large-scale modeling and field experiments to small-scale laboratory experiments and dedicated one-dimensional modelling.


Andre Staalstrøm

Staalstrøm has a PhD in physical oceanography. He works mainly with recipient investigations, where observations are used in combination with modeling. Special interests are physics and chemistry where freshwater flows into the sea, exchange processes between the coastal zone and the open sea, vertical mixing conditions in fjords and how this affects both particle dispersion and eutrophication. He has extensive experience in fieldwork, with deployment and recovery of instrument rigs and sampling of water, and also experience with a range of different models, including 3-D circulation models like ROMS, FVCOM and GEMSS.http://www.niva.no/se-ansatt?navn=Andre%20Staalstr%C3%B8m

Marcel Nicolaus 

Marcel Nicolaus is sea ice physicist at the Alfred-Wegner-Institut in Bremerhaven, Germany. His focus are physical properties of sea ice and its snow cover from field observations and autonomous measurements. Recently, he worked mostly on the radiative transfer of solar energy (sun light) through Arctic and Antarctic sea ice. In FAABulous, he will study how the physical properties of snow and sea ice determine the habitat conditions for the algae.

Jørgen Berge https://en.uit.no/om/enhet/ansatte/person?p_document_id=239083&p_dimension_id=88165

Thomas Brown

Thomas Brown is currently a Leverhulme postdoc at Plymouth University (UK). He obtained his PhD in Environmental Science from Plymouth University in 2011. His research focuses on biogeochemical cycling of sea ice algal biomarkers to determine the importance of sea ice primary production across the ecosystem. The FAABulous project will provide the basis for using diatom highly branched isoprenoid biomarkers to make quantitative assessments of sea ice carbon uptake in the ecosystem.

Martin Graeve

Martin is chemist and a senior research scientist in marine chemistry at the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) in Bremerhaven. He is currently head of the Marine Chemistry group. His research interests are: Structure and function of marine lipids, food web and trophic relationships (FATM & Stable isotopes), nutrients dynamics and analytical chemistry (mass spectrometry, chromatography). His projects are carried out in around Svalbard fjords, Fram Strait and the Arctic Ocean. But he is also involved in research projects in Antarctic waters.  http://www.awi.de/ueber-uns/organisation/mitarbeiter/martin-graeve.html

Michael Greenacre

Michael Greenacre is a Professor of Statistics at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona.  He obtained his B.Sc and M.Sc in South Africa and subsequently his doctorate at the Université de Paris 6 in France.  He has published 9 books on various aspects of applied multivariate analysis, as well as over 80 research papers, many of these in the ecological literature.  He regularly teaches advanced statistics to marine biologists and has recently published (with Raul Primicerio), the book Multivariate Analysis of Ecological Data, which can be downloaded for free from www.multivariatestatistics.org.  He has been involved in several projects in arctic ecology and collaborates with Akvaplan-niva as well as researchers and students of the University of Tromsø.

Ane Cecilie Kvernvik

Ane Cecilie Kvernvik is a PhD candidate at the University centre in Svalbard, Longyearbyen. She did her Master thesis at NTNU, Trondheim, investigating how lamina age and seasonal fluctuations of light influenced photosynthetic response in Saccharina latissima. Her main interests are ecophysiology and how this is linked to different environmental factors. The main focus on her PhD project will be to investigate seasonal changes in physiological state and potential primary production in sea ice algae and phytoplankton and relate the changes to different environmental factors  (e.g. salinity, temperature, light, carbonate chemistry).She will then study the combined effects of ocean acidification and increased light on primary production and ecophysiology and characterize physiological adaptations in selected species. http://www.unis.no/staff/ane-cecilie-kvernvik/

Zofia Smoła

Niels-Jakob Fuchs

Niels Fuchs takes part in the project as Master student. He studies Meteorology at the University of Hamburg and writes his master thesis in the research group „Sea ice in the earth system“ of the Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology. Besides the fantastic impressions of sea ice areas, he's mostly interested into sea ice physics. His master thesis is about desalination processes in sea ice. The physical behavior of sea ice depends strongly on its salt content and the FAABulous project offers an unique platform for high resolution sea ice salinity measurements which cover a whole freezing and melting cycle. Niels is going to use data from the measuring site in van Mijenfjorden to better understand these processes that also drives global ocean circulations and strongly influence sea ice melting rates.

Bonnie Raffel

Bonnie Raffel is Master student in the research group “Sea ice in the Earth System” at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany. She studies Meteorology at the University of Hamburg and started her Master thesis in fall 2015. In her Master thesis, she investigates the optical properties of ice through in-situ measurements of light profiles within sea ice that are obtained from a newly developed instrument which will be deployed in Van Mijenfjorden in Svalbard. These measurements will allow her to better understand the interaction of light, microorganisms and sea ice, which are a key aspect for understanding the future evolution of the ecology related to a quickly retreating sea-ice cover.

Héléna Cuny

My name is Héléna Cuny, I am a master student in biotechnologies and the marine environment at the University of South Brittany in France. I am conducting my master thesis with the Arctic Biology department at the University Centre in Svalbard, and in association with the FAABulous (Future Arctic Algal Blooms - and their role in the context of climate change) project. The focus of my MSc thesis is zooplankton dynamics in an ice free fjord (Isfjorden/Adventfjorden) versus an ice covered fjord (Van Mijenfjorden), to determine the role of seasonal sea ice in structuring zooplankton communities in high-Arctic fjords.

Patrick Schimmel

My name is Patrick Schimmel and I'm a master student in Biology from Wageningen University. Being specialized in microbial ecology, I am fascinated by the ecology and interactions that surround marine microbial life. During my internship at the biology department of UNIS, Svalbard, my research will be associated with the FAABulous project. I will be zooming in on the phytoplankton transition from arctic winter towards  the spring blooms, focusing on the activity of Micromonas  pusilla during this period. The data from water samples from two fjords will help me understand the importance and the role of this key phytoplankton species in the seasonability of algae blooms.

Vanessa Pitusi

My name is Vanessa Pitusi and I am a Marine Ecology and Resource biology master student at the University in Tromsø. My master thesis is on the seasonal development and community composition of sympagic meiofauna in Van Mijenfjorden. I am conducting this thesis as a part of the FAABulous project and in collaboration with UNIS.

Studying sympagic meiofauna in seasonal land-fast ice will provide insight on what kind of pelagic and benthic organisms utilize sea ice as a feeding, breeding and nursery ground, which is of great interest in the light of changing sea ice conditions. Taxonomic and molecular identification of sympagic meiofauna will aid in building a broader sea ice ecology database, which is limited to this date. 

Sander Verbiest

My name is Sander Verbiest and I am studying Marine Sciences at the University of Utrecht. I am doing my master thesis as part of the FAABulous project. My thesis project investigates the seasonal changes in the stiochiometry of ice algae and phytoplankton. The goal is to relate changes in the ratios of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus to changes in nutrient and light availability.

Linn Svendheim Hunstad

My name is Linn Svendheim Hunstad, and I'm a master student in marine ecology at the University of Nordland. My master theses will be done at Svalbard at UNIS in association with the Faabolous project, and will focus on the seasonal progression of the zooplankton community in Van mijen fjorden, grazing impact and secondary production. 

Ingrid Wiedmann

Ingrid Wiedmann joins the FAABulous project as a cooperation partner. She is about to finish her PhD at UiT The Arctic University of Norway (autumn 2015) and has a particular interest in the vertical biomass export and physical/ biological drivers of different marine systems. In FAABulous, she will deploy short term sediment traps (partly modified with gel containing jars to study the particle size spectra of sinking material) and provide data on the vertical flux in van Mijenfjorden and Kongsfjorden. Ingrid will be financed as a PostDoc (2016-2018) by the ARCEx project.



Leader of the FAAbulous project and responsible for the content of the page: Eva Leu.

Mare upcoming events


27.07.2017 - 30.07.2017


09.10.2017 - 13.10.2017


08.11.2017 - 10.11.2017

The Mare Incognitum projects are members of the ARCTOS research network

The Mare Incognitum web pages are maintained by Marine Night technician Daniel Vogedes, UiT.

The content is provided by the projects, for comments please check the project pages and contact the project leader.