Marine Mammal Research Groups in Denmark

Research related to marine mammal science and management is carried out by several research groups in Denmark. Here we provide an overview of these research groups with contact details of permanent heads of research groups. We hope this will help students, external researchers, media etc. identify relevant contact points, collaborators, supervisors etc.

University of Copenhagen (KU)

Globe Institute, Section for Evolutionary Genomics

Morten Tange Olsen, Assistant Professor

Main research areas: Pinniped evolution and ecology, Beaked whale evolution and ecology, Marine mammal health and human interactions, Environmental and ancient DNA

Examples of teaching at KU: “Marine Mammal Biology and Research

Aarhus University (AU)

Institute for Zoophysiology

Peter Teglberg Madsen, Professor

Main research areas: Run the university’s Marine Bioacoustics Lab which work with biosonar in cetaceans, kinematics and energetics related to feeding in wild cetaceans, ecophysiology of diving air-breathers, sound communication and behavioural ecology of cetaceans, effects of man made noise and passive acoustic monitoring. You can follow news from the lab interesting work across the globe on e.g. the Twitter and Facebook

Institute for Bioscience, Section for Marine Mammal Research

Jacob Nabe-Nielsen, Section head and Senior researcher

Main research areas: The section covers a significant diversity of topics and disciplines related to marine mammal science and management from contaminants in the Arctic, to acoustic disturbance and monitoring of national populations of both cetaceans and pinnipeds. The work is often advisory oriented. Check out their website to learn more about ongoing projects including e.g. former and present tracking studies. The section also live streams video and sound from a station in Little Belt where many harbour porpoises come by.

The section is responsible for monitoring Danish marine mammal populations as part of the contract between Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark and DCE (link: and provides advise to the Ministry regarding interactions between humans and marine mammals.
The permanent staff in the section include Rune Dietz, Anders Galatius, Line A. Kyhn, Jacob Nabe-Nielsen, Frank Rigét, Christian Sonne, Signe Sveegaard, Jonas Teilmann, and Jakob Tougaard.

University of Southern Denmark (SDU)

Department of Biology

Magnus Wahlberg, Associate Professor

Main research areas: Bioacoustics and in particular hearing and predator-prey interactions among marine mammals and other aquatic predators. Studies take place in the field as well as at the university’s experimental facilities at the Marine Biological Research center  and at Fjord og Bælt, both in Kerteminde.

Examples of teaching at SDU: “An Introduction to the Biology of Marine Mammals

Technical University of Denmark (DTU)

National Institute for Aquatic Resources

Finn Larsen, Senior Researcher

Lotte Kindt-Larsen, Researcher

Main research areas: Bycatch and other fisheries interactions with marine mammals. Activities include e.g. development of new low impact fishing gear and fisheries approaches (use of pingers) and advice related to this both nationally and globally.

David Lusseau, Professor

Main research areas: Population consequences of disturbances, sustainable tourism management, integrative assessment of multiple stressors, dolphin behaviour and ecology.

Greenland Institute of Natural Resources

Section for Mammals and Birds

Mads Peter Heide-Jørgensen, Professor

Main research areas: Monitoring and management of Arctic marine mammals. Studies performed by the sections researchers spans broadly from ecology to ethology including acoustics and physiology.

The permanent staff in the section include Senior Advisor Rikke Guldborg Hansen, Researcher PhD Outi Tervo and Researcher PhD Eva Garde

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