Bo Elberling

Bo Elberling


Bo Elberling
Professor, Dr. Scient, PhD.
Director of Center for Permafrost (CENPERM)
Department of Geoscience and Resource Management, University of Copenhagen
Øster Voldgade 10, DK-1350 Copenhagen K., Denmark

+45 3532 2520       

May 30, 1968 in Viborg (Denmark)                                                        

Scientific education 

Dr. Scient., environmental biogeochemistry (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)

1996 Ph.D., biogeochemistry (Earth Sciences, University of Waterloo, Canada & Institute of Geology, University of Aarhus, Denmark)

M.Sc., hydrogeology (Institute of Geology, University of Aarhus, Denmark)

2005- Full professorship in Environmental Geochemistry at Department of Geography, University of Copenhagen
2007-2013Professor II (20%), The University Centre in Svalbard, UNIS, Norway
2002-2007Guest lecturer, UNIS, The University Courses on Svalbard, Norway
2002-2005 Associated professor, Department of Geography, University of Copenhagen
2001-2005 External associated professor, Institute of Geology, AarhusUniversity
2000-2002Associated research professor, Department of Geography, University of Copenhagen
1997-2000 Assistant research professor, Department of Geography, University of Copenhagen
1997    Research scientist (University of Waterloo, Canada, 3 months)
1996-1997 Groundwater and Resources, AarhusCounty (groundwater quality in relation to the Action Plan against Nutrient Pollution)

Hydrogeological Division, Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (reporting on the Danish groundwater quality in relation to the Action Plan against Nutrient Pollution)

Scholarships and research visits
2011/12Research visit to University of Florida, USA (3 months)
2010   Research visit to Lincoln University, New Zealand (3 months)
2008  Research visit to University of California, Santa Barbara & University of Arizona, Tucson (3 months)
2005/06  Research visit to Plant and Microbial Sciences, University of Canterbury, New Zealand and field work in Antarctica (3 months)
2002    Research visit to Plant and Microbial Sciences, University of Canterbury, New Zealand and field work in Antarctica (3 months)
2001          Research visit to Institute of Ecology and Resource Management, University of Edinburgh, Scotland (2 weeks)
2000- Steno scholarship, Danish Natural Science Research Council Steno grant (3 years)
1999      Research scientist at Environmental Sciences and Engineering, University of Washington, USA (3 months)

 Nordic Research Scholarship, University of Waterloo, Canada (15 months)

Training and qualifications
2009   Research group management and organization (Implement)
2005  Project management – personal resources (DIEU)
2000       International project management (DanishBusinessSchool)
1998    Project organization and management (DanishBusinessSchool)
1998    Teaching and learning in higher education (University of Copenhagen)
1989      Course in teaching of adults
1988-1989Officer of Reserve

Extensive experience in undertaking field work:

  • More than 17 expeditions to Canada, Greenland, Svalbard and Antarctica (in total more than 20 months in cold regions)
  • Recent field work in Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania and PacificIslands (Galathea 3)

At present, supervising four MSc-students and eight PhD-students: Stefanie Härtel, Philipp Semenchuk, Sarka Vaclavkova, Samuel Faucherre, Nynne Larsen, Cecilie Skov Nielsen, Thor Markussen and Mette Bendixen.

Completed > 35 MSc-students and 7 PhD-students since 2000 including Jens V. Søndergaard, Louise Askær Jensen, Asger Nielsen, Jørgen Hollesen, Christian Juncher Jørgensen, Thilde Bech Bruun

Postdocs: Eva Walderndorff (2009-2011), Lars Liengaard (2011-2012), Christian Juncher Jørgensen (2011-); Dann Blok (2012-); Marie Arndal (2012-)

Teaching activities

  • Field course in physical geography/soil science
  • Advanced course in soil sciences soil chemistry and pollution
  • Methodology and theory on collecting and evaluating measures of the hydrogeochemical cycling
  • Environmental biogeochemical cycles in a human context
  • Regular PhD-courses:
  • o   Organic matter in soil; pools and processes [Organized jointly by IGUC]
  • o   COGCI course in Ecosystem processes
  • o   Theory of science, multi-disciplinarity, methodology and research design in spatial sciences and geography [Organized jointly by IGUC]
  • Arctic pollution and heavy metals (lectures at UNIS, The University Courses on Svalbard, Norway).

Memberships & Special duties
Council member of The Royal Danish Geographical Society, member of The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters as well as Norges Videnskabsakademi for Polarforskning.

Reviewer for European Journal of Soil Sciences, Water Resources Research, Water, Air and Soil Pollution, Nature, Cold Regions Science and Technology, Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Advances in Ecological Research, Global Change Biology, Applied Geochemistry, Danish Journal of Geography, Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research, Journal of Hydrology.

Organization: Third European Permafrost Conference (international organizing committee) in Svalbard June 13-17, 2010. Fourth European Permafrost Conference (international organizing committee) in Purtugal, June, 2014.

2008- 2011Member of National Research Foundation evaluation board (Norway).
2006-2013Head of Research group at Institute of Geography and Geology: Terrestrial Ecosystem Analysis
2005 -     Member of the board on the research station Arctic Station, in West Greenland, University of Copenhagen (
2004 -  Member of Zackenberg Basic Working Group for the Zackenberg Research Station in NE-Greenland (
2003 - 2011 Scientific head of the Physical-chemical laboratory at Institute of Geography and Geology, University of Copenhagen.

Research interests
Biogeochemistry, soil sciences and environmental impact and modelling: My research has been focused on the controls and environmental impacts resulting from oxidation processes in soils, including sulphide oxidation and chemical fluxes in frozen soils, heavy metal release and mobilization and decomposition of organic matter in natural and managed ecosystems. Research is based on field measurements, laboratory experiments and modelling. Key topics:

  • Permafrost thawing
  • Flooding and nitrous oxide production
  • Pyritic oxidation and acid mine drainage
  • Heavy metal mobility and toxicity
  • Controls on soil CO2 dynamics and emissions
  • CO2 degassing and pH effects
  • Soil development rates
  • Tropical land use changes and changes in soil fertilization

Ongoing PI projects (externally financed)
2012-2018 Center of Permafrost (funded by Danish National Research Foundation), Center director.
2011-2015PAGE21: Changing Permafrost in the Arctic and its Global Effects in the 21st Century (funded by EU a large-scale integrating project, FP7, PI/KU)
2011-2014INTERACT: International Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic (PI on Arctic Station, Disko). Funded under 7th FWP (Seventh Framework Programme).
2010-2013 Nitrous oxide dynamics: The missing link between controls on subsurface N2O production/consumption and net atmospheric emission (funded by Danish Natural Science Research Council)
Previous PI-projects
2008-2012 Microbial oxidation of pyrite in anaerobic groundwater systems – MOPAG (funded by GeoCenter – Denmark).
2010-2012PERMAGAS: impact on permafrost, gashydrates and periglacial processes following climate changes in Greenland (funded by GeoCenter – Denmark).
2009-2012Climate changes and kitchen-midden: when permafrost thaw (funded by Augustinus Fonden).
2010-2011Environmental studies of Brazilian wetlands in relation to climate change (funded by Danish Agency for Science).
2009-2011“Project de faisabilité des resource de l’énergi renouvelables au Mali” (funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark)
2007-2010 Oxygen availability controlling the dynamics of buried organic carbon pools and greenhouse gas emissions (funded by Danish Natural Science Research Council)
2009-2010 Permafrost observatory in the Nordic Arctic: sensitivity and feedback mechanisms of permafrost changes (funded by Norden)
2008-2009International University Course on High Arctic Permafrost Landscape Dynamics in Svalbard and Greenland (funded by Nordic Council of Ministers, the TSP Norway IPY project & UNIS)
2007-2009Carbon cycling in tundra soils affected by goose grazing and increasing winter snow. manipulated snow (partly funded by UNIS, University of Copenhagen and Danish Natural Science Research Council)
2007-2009The Ikka fiord and carbonate coloums (funded by Villum Kann Rasmussen Fonden)
2005-2009 Soil mapping within High Arctic valley, Zackenberg (funded by Environmental Department, Ministry of Environment and Energy, Denmark)
2006-2007  The Origin and Genesis of Coastal Barrier Systems (funded by Danish Natural Science Research Council)
2006-2007  Nitrate reduction in pyritic sediments – biologically driven? (funded by GeoCenter Copenhagen)
2004-2006Snow and temperature control of biogeochemical oxidation processes in natural and managed High Arctic ecosystems (funded by Danish Natural Science Research Council)
2003-2006   Natural spatial subsidies in continental Antarctic soils (funded by the Antarctic Research Committee (ARC) and New Zealand Antarctic Institute)
2004-2005Carbon sequestration and water quality in forest ecosystems - interactions between tree species and soil types (funded by SJVF, Danish Agricultural and Veterinary Research Council)
2002-2005 University Support for Environmental Planning and Management in Vietnam (USEPAM). The project is funded by DANIDA (Danish International Development Agency)
2001-2004  Carbon pools and turnover in relation to land use in grassland in Africa: Northern Senegal and Tanzania (Danish International Development Agency)
2000-2003Quantification and modelling of gas behaviour and weathering processes in the unsaturated zone (Danish Natural Science Research Council)
1999-2002 Environmental controls on sulphide oxidation and heavy metal transport and accumulation in Arctic ecosystems (DANCEA, Environmental Department, Ministry of Environment and Energy, Denmark)
1996-1999  Chemical fluxes in frozen soil (MIKA, Environmental Department, Ministry of Environment and Energy, Denmark)
1996-1999Soil solution chemistry and soil weathering in Arctic soils at Zackenberg, NE-Greenland (co-operation project with University of Washington, USA)
1997-1999Soil acidification and pH-measurements of soil solution (Greenland)
1997-1999 Chemical fluxes in mine tailings deposited in Arctic Canada (co-operation project with University of Waterloo, Canada)
1996-1997 Natural oxidation of sulphide minerals within gossans located in High Arctic Greenland (Danish Natural Science Research Council)
1995    Field measurements of oxygen uptake in relation to water draw down and atmospheric pressure cycles (Danish Natural Science Research Council)
1995 Gas transport modelling of oxygen advection and consumption in the unsaturated zone
1994 Development of in-situ methods to evaluate oxygen uptake from the surface of tailings
1994    Stepwise cementation experiments and laboratory measurements of diffusion coefficients (Institute of Geology, AarhusUniversity)
1993 Laboratory experiments on oxidation of mine tailings in columns including oxygen diffusion and release of oxidation products         
1993 Programming a diffusion model and simulation of transport and reaction controls for pyrite oxidation in tailings (project at University of Waterloo, Canada)
1992 Redox and solubility processes in mine tailings in Sudbury, Canada (project at University of Waterloo, Canada)



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