Our main research area is in the field of freshwater biology. Research projects come in all sizes and are often in cooperation with other institutes such as The Icelandic Institute of Natural History, the University of Iceland, Holar Agricultural College and the Marine & Freshwater Research Institute.

In recent years, our research projects have involved small / local ecological assessments, environmental assessments in relation to hydroelectric power plants, a nationwide survey focusing on plant communities in lakes and rivers, and long term monitoring projects, focusing on lakes in the Reykjavik area, and Lake Þingvallavatn.

The ESIL project is one of the most ambitious Icelandic environmental research projects. The aim of project is to build up a database with standardized ecological information on biology, limnology and hydrogeology of Icelandic lakes. To this day, about 80 lakes nationwide have been sampled using standardized methods.

The full name of the project is ECOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ICELANDIC LAKES: A STANDARDIZED DATABASE. The main objects are:

  • To build up a database with standardized ecological information on main types of Icelandic lakes. The database will include information on biology, limnology and hydrogeology of lakes. 
  • A database with standardized ecological information on Icelandic lakes is a prerequisite for rational utilization and conservation of Icelandic lakes and freshwater resources. 
  • Applied use includes advice in environmental impact assessment, aquaculture (e.g. selection of stocks), advice in fisheries (e.g. selection of gear, level of exploitation), advice for conservation of freshwater lakes, animals and plants, and a source for teaching at various school levels. 
  • The database is a source and reference material for scientific research in the future. 
  • A nation-wide database with ecological information will enhance scientific studies in the field of ecological pattern-analysis and other work of comparative-approach, e.g. questions pertaining to effects of environmental factors on the evolution and adaptation of freshwater organisms.
  • The database may serve as a platform for ecological monitoring of 5-10 lakes, where key biotic and abiotic factors will be monitored, 1-3 times a year at an interval of 1-3 years.

Publications in international journals

Reports in Icelandic with English summary