The International Research School in Applied Ecology

About us

by | Jan 22, 2024


The mission of IRSAE is to advance the quality of PhD education within various research fields coupled to Applied Ecology thereby producing responsible future scientists & managers that can progress the present-day front in applied ecology further. There are over 100 PhD students and around 50 researchers from 13 partners and 5 different countries attached to IRSAE. PhD students and the participating research groups are the main players of the network! IRSAE attempts to achieve its mission through various objectives:

  • To establish an interactive network of contacts and collaboration among PhD students, researchers and managers
  • To supply PhD-students with ecological theory and enable them to employ this theory in tackling management issues
  • To exchange and facilitate information between parties involved regarding the availability of existing PhD courses, seminars, research funding, career opportunities etc, and to create new PhD courses, conferences, and PhD meetings;


“Apply ecological theory and methodology to develop comprehensive mitigation measures for the sustainable use and management of natural resources. To validate the desired effect of the previous we need effective and long term monitoring of the natural environment. Hence, the bulk of our research and education is focused towards mitigation, use, management and environmental monitoring (MUMM)”.


IRSAE has a Steering board which follows a consensus based decision-making process and is responsible for the strategic development of IRSAE, the budget and applications from new member institutions. The Steering board consists of six representatives from different partner institutions, and two PhD student representatives. The Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences (INN) is the coordinating partner. Professor John Linnell (INN, NINA) is the chair of the Steering board, Associate professor Olivier Devineau (INN) is the program director, and Eliana Bontti (INN) is the scientific coordinator.



Professor Harry P. Andreassen (INN) is the founder and initiator of IRSAE. With his passion for research and teaching, Harry initiated, organized and hosted several IRSAE activities, including two summer schools, before IRSAE received any official external funding. As the only international “National research school”, Harry both applied and received funding from the Norwegian Research Council to launch IRSAE as an official international research school with 15 European partners. Harry wanted to create an including network for young scientists, to give them support and motivation to produce excellent science, and provide a network that would persist beyond their PhD education. Harry passed away in May 2019, and the 2019-IRSAE-summer school in Iceland was dedicated to Harry’s commitment to research, and his joy of teaching and mentoring. Harry always made everyone feel special and important, and we will do our utmost to carry on Harry’s philosophy and legacy. Harry’s devotion to mentoring and inspiring young researchers is the true spirit of IRSAE.


Chairman: Prof. John Linnell

Assoc. Prof. Olivier Devineau


Scientific coordinator: Eliana Bontti

Main contacts

Board members

PartnerRoleTitle NameContact
INNProgram DirectorAssoc. Prof.Olivier
USNMemberAssoc. Prof.Helga Veronica
AarhusMemberProf.Toke Thomas Høye
AarhusMemberAssoc. Prof.Bodil
Hòlar, IcelandMemberProf.Anna Gudrun
Hòlar, IcelandMemberProf.Bjarni K. Kristjá