NERI’s structure

The National Environmental Research Institute is an independent research institute under the Danish Ministry of Environment and Energy. Strategic management is the responsibility of NERI’s Board of Governors while day-to-day management is the responsibility of the Director General. The scientific activities are organized under ten research departments.

NERI’s management
Henrik Sandbech
Director General, MSc

Peter Koefoed Bjørnsen
Deputy Director General, PhD

Torben Moth Iversen
Deputy Director General, MSc


Personnel and Economy Secretariat
Director of Secretariat: Signe Nielsen, BL
Responsibilities: Economy; budgets; legal aspects of funding; legal assistance; personnel management; organizational development; real estate management; records; switchboard; internal service functions.

Department of Policy Analysis
Director of Research Department: Hanne Bach, MSc
Research activities: Analysis of complex environmental problems involving environmental, technological and economic aspects; development of models, methods and tools within the fields of nutrient and organic matter cycling, environmental economics and sector analysis. Part of the "Centre for Analysis of Environment, Economy and Society".

Department of Atmospheric Environment
Director of Research Department: Gerald L. Geernaert, PhD
Research activities: Development of meteorological dispersion models; pollutant transformation and deposition; vehicular emissions; charting of air pollution levels; National Focal Point for Air Emissions; impact of air pollution on plants; greenhouse effect; air pollution in the Arctic; exposure of the general public.

Department of Environmental Chemistry
Director of Research Department: Lars Carlsen, Professor, DSc
Research activities: Investigation and analysis of the occurrence, transport and fate in the environment of environmentally hazardous substances; analyses for the Danish Environmental Protection Agency; analyses in connection with the Danish Environmental Protection Agency’s oil pollution contingency task force; reference laboratory for xenobiotics; development of sampling and analysis methods.

Department of Marine Ecology and Microbiology
Director of Research Department: Bo Riemann, Professor, DSc
Research activities: Monitoring of the marine environment; National Focal Point for Marine Data; investigation of the significance of nutrients for physical, chemical and biological processes in the sea and estuarine fjords; growth, survival and effects of released microorganisms in the environment.


Department of Terrestrial Ecology
Director of Research Department: Hans Løkke, PhD
Research activities: Investigation of the risks associated with the release of genetically modified plants; arable land ecology; terrestrial ecotoxicology; determination of critical loads; charting of the effects of air pollution on vegetation and sensitive ecosystems.

Department of Streams and Riparian Areas
Director of Research Department: Torben Moth Iversen, MSc
Research activities: Investigation of biological, physical and chemical conditions in watercourses and riparian areas; stream restoration and management; development of watershed models; coordination of NERI’s activities in relation to the European Environment Agency; National Focal Points for Freshwater Data and Hydrometric Data; European Centre for River Restoration.

Department of Lake and Estuarine Ecology
Director of Research Department: Kurt Nielsen, MSc
Research activities: Investigation of the relationship between nutrient turnover and biological structure in freshwater lakes, brackish lakes and estuarine fjords; development of restoration methods; National Focal Points for Freshwater Data and Marine Data; coordination of NERI’s remote sensing and GIS activities, including development of an Area Information System (AIS).

Department of Landscape Ecology
Director of Research Department: Jesper Fredshavn, PhD
Research activities: Investigation of the effects of land use and production practices on wild animals and plants in the agricultural landscape; development of methods within population and landscape ecology, including remote sensing and telemetry; classification of habitat quality; development of integrated landscape models for describing the quality of the natural environment.

Department of Coastal Zone Ecology
Director of Research Department: Henning Noer, PhD
Research activities: Investigation of coastal water bird populations in relation to human activities; managing international databases for goose and seaduck monitoring data; species and habitat monitoring; development of population ecology models; development of strategies for the exploitation and preservation of coastal zone species and habitats.

Department of Arctic Environment
Director of Research Department: Hanne Petersen, MSc
Research activities: Environmental assessment and monitoring of mineral resource activities in Greenland; baseline studies and analysis of heavy metals; charting of areas of significance for marine and terrestrial mammals and birds; effects of disturbances on the flora and fauna; responsibility for the biological part of the climate monitoring programme at Zackenberg (northeast Greeenland).