NIVA Denmark

Home » About


NIVA Denmark Water Research is an independent non-profit unit focusing on research and consulting supporting evidence-based implementation and reporting of the Water Framework Directive and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive as well as other EU Directives.

At NIVA Denmark Water Research we are a mix of experienced scientists and experts passionate about the application of the best available knowledge when implementing evidence-based management strategies. We work in streams, rivers, lakes, estuaries, coastal waters and offshore marine waters. Our key research areas are: nutrient enrichment and eutrophication, climate change, hazardous substances, physical modification, biodiversity, ecosystem health as well as the multiple human activities potentially impairing aquatic ecosystems. Hence, we develop and test indicators, monitoring methods and assessment tools with an ultimate aim of carrying out ecological analyses and synthesises related to the current environmental challenges in aquatic ecosystems.

NIVA Denmark Water Research is formally a regional office of Norwegian Institute for Water Research. Hence, we are backed by more than 200 dedicated experts and aquatic research scientists.

Our team

jorgen_bendtsenJørgen Bendtsen, Office manager and senior scientist (PhD), has a background in research and consultancy on ocean and climate. His research interests include ocean circulation, biogeochemical cycling, including nutrient cycling and the ocean carbon uptake, and the role of the ocean in the climate systems.
NIVA profile >>

NFRNikolai Friberg, Research and Office Manager (PhD) and has more than 20 years research experience within the field of freshwater ecology from working both in Denmark and abroad. NFs main research focus has been on applied issues and how anthropogenic disturbances impact freshwater communities, climate change and river restoration. NF is an Appointed Expert for the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) under UNESCO and also a Visiting Research Fellow at University of Leeds, UK.
LinkedIn profile >>, NIVA profile >> or Google Scholar profile >>

_jesper-andersen_8736 Jesper H. Andersen, Chief Scientist (PhD). JHAs research interests include eutrophication, hazardous substances, biodiversity, development and application of indicator-based assessment tools, and ecosystem-based management of coastal and marine waters (e.g. WFD, MSFD, HELCOM BSAP, etc.). JHA has been Project Manager of large national and international projects (e.g. M-FDC, BALANCE, EUTRO-PRO, HOLAS, MSFD-DIA, HARMONY, etc.). JHA also holds a position as Visiting Professor at the Marine Research Centre at the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE).
LinkedIn profile >>, NIVA profile >> or Google Scholar profile >>

cjmCiarán Murray, Research Scientist (PhD). Research interests include light in marine ecosystems, development of indicator-based assessment tools (e.g. HEAT, BEAT, CHASE and NEAT) and status assessments in relation to eutrophication, biodiversity and “chemical status”. CM has participated in major international projects including HELCOM HOLAS, HARMONY, WATERS and DEVOTES. CM has previously held positions at Aarhus University and DHI.
LinkedIn profile >>, NIVA profile >> or Google Scholar profile >>


Emilie Kallenbach, PhD student (M.Sc.) at NIVA Denmark. EK is educated as limnologist from University of Copenhagen, section of freshwater biology. Her master was about nature restoration and aquatic ecosystem metabolism. EK works with microplastics in freshwater.

LinkedIn profile >> or NIVA profile >>

therese hjemmeside.jpg

Therese Harvey, Research Scientist (PhD). has more than 10 years experience in environmental monitoring, water resource management and mapping marine ecosystems. Her research interests include eutrophication, environmental monitoring and management in relation to human influences within the EU’s water and marine directives (WFD and MSFD). Therese has great experience in applying satellite data in environmental monitoring and development of optical water quality indicators. Therese has previously worked at the University of Stockholm, Sweden and at WaterInsight, Holland.
LinkedIn profile >>, NIVA profile >> or Google Scholar profile >>


Steen W. Knudsen, Post Doc (PhD), has a background in molecular biology, ichthyology, taxonomy, marine biology, population genetics, evolutionary relationship of fishes and environmental DNA. Works with development of molecular diagnostic tools to identify presence of species in aquatic environments via non-invasive sampling techniques.

NIVA profile >> or Google Scholar profile >>

JesJes Jessen Rasmussen Researcher Scientist (PhD). JR’s academic career integrates approximately ten years of research entirely dedicated to the field of stream ecology. During PhD and early postgraduate years his main scientific focus was quantifying contaminant effects on stream macrofauna and associated ecosystem processes and was based on mesocosm experiments and field surveys. During the past five years, he has increasingly broadened his scientific interests and competences towards other organism groups and human pressures relevant for stream management (e.g. hydromorphology and habitat quality). He has worked on multiple governmental advisory projects ranging from technical guidance documents to constructing new ecological indicators and producing various decision support systems addressing Water Framework Directive management needs. As such, all his research and governmental advisory projects are centered around applied aspects of freshwater ecology and ecotoxicology.

NIVA profile >> or Google Scholar profile >>

Mathias Brink Kjeldgaard workmathias123s as student assistant at NIVA Denmark and studies biology at University of Copenhagen. Mathis help us with many things such as organisation of as well as quality assurance of large amounts of data. Further, Mathias is a keen guitar player.


gert-123pxGert Hansen, Research Consultant (PhD). Research interests are taxonomy and biodiversity of microalgae including harmful algae. GH has comprehensive skills with algal isolation and culturing and is consultant on phytoplankton identification and quantification under the Danish NOVANA programme. GH has until recently worked as curator for Scandinavian Culture Collection of Algae & Protozoa, University of Copenhagen. Tasks at NIVA are presently implementing the SCCAP collection into the public algal collection at NIVA in Oslo. The merged collection will be the largest in Scandinavia.

jorn123Jørn Kirkegaard works as an Associate Senior Advisor at NIVA Denmark. Jørn is a limnologist and has a long track record, including positions as Programme Manager for the Danish Pesticide Research Programme (2001-2016) and the Danish Marine Research Programme (1992-1996). Further, Jørn has been deeply involved in the management of the national Danish Aquatic Monitoring and Assessment Programmes, including the NOVA-2003 programme, which preceded the existing NOVANA programme. In addition, Jørn is considered one of the fathers of the DVFI stream index.

DitteDitte Hendrichsen works as a Research Scientist (PhD) at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), and is associated with NIVA Denmark as a visiting scientist. DKH is particularly interested in multiple stressors and anthropogenic impacts on ecosystems functioning, such as alien invasive species, parasites, climate change and exposure to chemicals.