AAU Arctic


Arctic research projects at Aalborg University

Researchers across faculties and departments at Aalborg University are working on a variety of Arctic research projects. Our research covers themes ranging from climate change, green transition and technology to tourism, culture and sustainable development - plus the many cross-disciplinary themes in between. Based on the principles of problem-based learning and collaborating with local actors, we aim to conduct cutting-edge research that is grounded in local needs. This page offers more information regarding our research agenda.

As the image to the right indicates, as of 2022 Arctic research is connected to all four AAU faculties.


Find more details on our current research activities here

Culture and living

How do people and communities living in the Arctic make sense of and manage the consequences of current challenges, such as climate change, tourism, covid-19 recovery, postcolonial relations and increased geopolitical interest in the Arctic? And more importantly, how can these challenges be turned into opportunities for local development? By exploring these, and many other questions, AAU Arctic researchers aim to learn from the local knowledge systems of communities, fisheries, hunters, tourism workers and more to understand the local and current concerns and practices. Examples of locally grounded research projects are Imagine POCO, MinErAl and The sealskin industry in Greenland

Sustainable development

How can Arctic livelihoods and entrepreneurial environments be developed while protecting local cultures and natural resources and ecosystems? This is perhaps the most urgent question of our time, equally so in the Arctic. Based on growing human activity in the regions, such as agriculture, mining, fishing and tourism, several AAU Arctic research projects focus on developing support systems for local SMEs to strengthen sustainable entrepreneurship. Other projects explore the development of sustainable infrastructure, extractive and fishing industries and cruise tourism. Examples of such projects are JUSTNORTHSACC, REXSAC and Envisioning proximity tourism with new materialism.

Technology and innovation

What can technological solutions and innovation mean for local and sustainable development in the Arctic? The tech industry is progressing at a fast pace worldwide, but how these solutions, platforms and tools should be implemented locally, so they make sense in an Arctic context, is still necessary to be explored. As with many other themes, a one-size-fits-all implementation hardly works. AAU Arctic aims to conduct interdisciplinary research that connects global developments with local stakeholders and needs. Examples of such projects are "The Governance of Cybersecurity and Resilience in the Arctic" and LASSO, Locating Arctic Sustainability Online.

Climate change, sustainability and green transition

Consequences of climate change are particularly visible in the Arctic. It is therefore crucial to study the impact of global warming on the region's local ecosystems, biodiversity and natural resources and how these changes affect local communities, infrastructure and business development. The research projects that explore these environmental impacts are in most cases interdisciplinary projects that not only focus on ecological and biological perspectives, but also include social and economic approaches to provide a holistic understanding and offer solid solutions. Examples of cross-disciplinary research projects are FACE-IT, ECOTIPMuskox Pathways and "Assessing and mitigating the effects of climate change and biological Invasions on the spatial redistribution of biodiversity in Cold environments".

Health, wellbeing and food

Health, wellbeing and food safety in the Arctic are important matters of concern at AAU Arctic. Our research varies from developing new and localized treatments and diagnoses of diseases at the Faculty of Medicine to studying occupational, maritime and mental health and food security in the Arctic. Research projects and publications of the Arctic Health Research Centre can be found here. Other examples of research include The Polar Code and Maritime Safety and Agricultural production towards sustainable development in South Greenland

Infrastructure and planning

What does mobility in the Arctic mean? What are the strengths and constraints for the development of infrastructure and connectivity? Moreover, how do vast infrastructure projects impact local communities and the development of tourism and sustainable entrepreneurship? AAU Arctic explores these concerns through various research collaborations and projects, such as Arctic Connectivity and Mobilities on the margins.

Demography, gender and labour

Demography, gender and labour are important themes in Arctic societies. How to create more opportunities for young generations? How to develop a strong and healthy workforce in the Arctic with the rise of tourism activities and the transition to green energy? In order to support economic growth, sustainable development and thriving communities in the Arctic, there is a need to collaboratively work on equal chances in society. An example of such research is the PhD project "Salary is not the solution to everything: Job attribute preferences of employees in Greenland and implications for employer measures to attract and retain employees" and "Arbejdsskader indenfor fiskeri og fiskeindustri i Grønland"