Pelagic Division

At the Pelagic Division the focus is on research on pelagic fish species, zooplankton and marine mammals. Our projects includes research on biology and ecology of different species, long-term monitoring of the ecosystem and stock assessment in relation to advice on sustainable use of marine resources.

Zooplankton plays a critical role in the marine environment and is a prey for all fish stocks at least at the early stages of their life. Pelagic fish stocks and baleen whales prey almost entirely on zooplankton, though some species feed on other prey for part of the year. Studies on zooplankton aim to improve the biological understanding of different species as well as to determine the spatial and temporal variability in density and species composition. In addition, we work on developing methods to improve use of echosounders to quantify the larger krill species (euphausiids).

Studies on pelagic fish species are extensive in the division. The main emphasis is on estimating stock size and fishing opportunities of capelin, summer-spawning herring, Norwegian spring-spawning herring, blue whiting, mackerel, and lumpfish. The goal of sustainable use of marine resources demands also various research on biology, distribution, migrations, and ecological connectivity among these fish stocks, including the connectivity with the environment, zooplankton and marine mammals. Furthermore, there is an increasing focus on studies on mesopelagic fish (e.g., lanternfish and Mueller’s pearlside) due to possible exploitation of those species.

The focus of the marine mammal’s research is, as with fish stocks, the estimation of stock size of the various mammals found in Icelandic waters, including all whale species and the two seal species that bear their young in Iceland. Various studies on biology, ecology, migrations, and behaviour of marine mammals take also place.

The overarching objective of all research in the Pelagic Division is to give advice to government on sustainable use of marine resources, to study ecological connections of the diverse species and the effects of environmental variability there on.

Name Job Title Email
Anna Heiða Ólafsdóttir Fisheries Biologist
Anna Heiða Ólafsdóttir
Fisheries Biologist

Specialisation: pelagic ecosystem - mackerel - blue whiting - somatic growth - fisheries acoustics


Arnþór Bragi Kristjánsson Technician
Arnþór Bragi Kristjánsson

Specialisation: underwater cameras

Birkir Bárðarson Fisheries Biologist
Birkir Bárðarson
Fisheries Biologist

Specialisation: capelin

Björn Sigurðarson Electronics Engineer
Björn Sigurðarson
Electronics Engineer

Starfssvið: Rafeindavirkjun

Eric dos Santos Biologist
Eric dos Santos

Specialisation: Seal research and general sampling and data collection about Icelandic marine mammals

Education: MSc in biology from the Universtiy of Iceland

Research Gate

Guðjón Már Sigurðsson Fisheries Biologist
Guðjón Már Sigurðsson
Fisheries Biologist

Specialisation: flatfish - bycatch - discard estimation - stock assessment

Research Gate Profile

Guðmundur Óskarsson Head of Division
Guðmundur Óskarsson
Head of Division

Specialisation: herring - pelagic biota

Hildur Pétursdóttir Marine Ecologist
Hildur Pétursdóttir
Marine Ecologist

Specialisation: zooplankton

Höskuldur Björnsson Engineer

Specialisation: stock assessment (saithe, catfish)

James Kennedy Fisheries Biologist
James Kennedy
Fisheries Biologist

Specialisation:: lumpfish - lumpsucker 


Google Scholar profile

Orcid profile

Jón Ásgeir Jónsson Tæknimaður
Jón Ásgeir Jónsson

Stafssvið: Rafeindavirknun

Kristinn Guðnason Engineer

Starfssvið: Líkanagerð

Lísa Anne Libungan Marine Ecologist
Lísa Anne Libungan
Marine Ecologist

Specialisation: zooplankton - herring - ecology



Sandra Magdalena Granquist Animal Behaviour Scientist and Ecologist
Sandra Magdalena Granquist
Animal Behaviour Scientist and Ecologist

Specialisation: seals


Research Gate

Sigurður Þór Jónsson Fisheries Biologist
Sigurður Þór Jónsson
Fisheries Biologist

Specialisation:: capelin

Sigurvin Bjarnason Biologist

Specialisation: Capelin- Biology and acoustics

Education: MSc in Marine biology from the University of Iceland 2016


Research Gate

Sólrún Sigurgeirsdóttir Biologist
Sólrún Sigurgeirsdóttir

Specialisation: zooplankton

Stefanía Ásta Karlsdóttir Sumarstarfsmaður
Stefanía Ásta Karlsdóttir


Sverrir Daníel Halldórsson Biologist
Sverrir Daníel Halldórsson

Specialisation: whales


Teresa Sofia Giesta da Silva Researcher
Teresa Sofia Giesta da Silva

Specialisation: zooplankton

Thassya Christina dos Santos Schmidt Fiskifræðingur
Thassya Christina dos Santos Schmidt

Starfssvið: Sjávarvistfræði, æxlunarlíffræði, nýliðun, lífssaga uppsjávarfiska, stofnstærðabreytingar

PhD in Marine Science from University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway, 2017.
MSc. in Biological Oceanography from University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil, 2011.
BSc. In Biology from University of Taubaté, São Paulo, Brazil, 2004.


Valerie Chosson Biologist

Specialisation:: genetics - whales - whale photo ID


Warsha Singh Ecologist

Starfssvið: Vistfræði


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