Ph.D 2001 (Marine biology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
Growing up in a country where the distance to the sea never exceeds 50 km, marine and aquatic sciences are in my blood. As a graduate student at the Marine Biological Station of the University of Copenhagen, I worked with comparative ecology among heterotrophic protists in bioassays under the supervision of Professor Per Juel Hansen. This study has guided my scientific pursuit, shaped my early career, and inspired me to continue to study the ecological role and species interactions of heterotrophic protists. Shortly after my Master's degree, I studied as a PhD student with Professor Thomas Kiørboe and investigated how rheotactic protists (the ability to sense moving water) detect fluid mechanical signals generated by prey and predators. For my PhD, I had the fortune to intern for six months with Professor Ed Buskey of the University of TexasMarine Science Institute in Port Aransas, where I studied interactions between the nuisance brown tide algae and their grazers. My academic journey continued with a postdoctoral post with Dr Suzanne Strom of the Shannon Point Marine Center, Western Washington University. Together with Dr Strom, I studied the role of light in regulating the feeding activity of marine protists. After being away for almost three years, I returned to Denmark for a post at the Danish Fisheries Institute (now renamed DTU AQUA, Technical University of Denmark), where I worked on developing methods for in vivo and in situ quantification and characterization of protists. Since 2010, I have been a research scientist at the Aarhus University, Denmark, where my work uniquely blends basic research, applied environmental monitoring and advisory to government agencies such as the Danish EPA and FDA.
I have been a member of ASLO since 1998, and I attended my first ASLO conference in Santa Fee in 1999. Despite the added challenges for Europeans to travel to ASLO conferences, I have stayed engaged and attended a number of the conference since. In 2015 I had the privilege to co-chair a special session, and I have served as student poster evaluator at several of the meetings. Over my career, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with scientists from many places, including Scandinavia, Europe, Asia and the USA. These contacts have often been formed by networks mediated by ASLO events. Through this experience, I have come to appreciate the value of internationality and diversity in science, which I see as one of the main pillars of the ASLO family. The environment is facing increasing pressures from climate change and anthropogenic impacts. At the same time, there is an increasing demand for aquatic and marine natural resources and ecosystem services to support the growing and increasingly resource-demanding populations. As an advisor to the Danish EPA and the FDA, I am keenly aware of the delicate balance between the different interests and needs, and my position allows me the unique opportunity to make scientific recommendations to support management strategies and political decisions in the Baltic and seas around northwestern Europe. As a member of multiple international working groups, I have a clear vision of cross-border collaborations that are needed to sustain and preserve our planet for future generations. It is my goal to help ASLO to grow its international membership further. I will also work to promote international collaborations at all career stages and help ASLO to be a voice in the global governance of our natural marine and aquatic resources.