Ragnhildur Sigurdardottir


Reykjavik Academy

raga [at] nett.is



Brief Biography

Raga received B.S. degrees in biology and geology from University of Iceland (1991 and 1992), a masters of forest science degree from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (1995), and masters of philosophy and masters of science and doctorate degrees in ecology from Yale University (2000 and 2001). Raga is an expert on nature conservation issues in Iceland. Since year 2000, she has been working on different research projects and within the interface between academia, NGO’s, management and policy. Since 2014 most of Raga´s research effort has been in historical ecology and sustainability studies of human and natural systems in Iceland over long time scales. Raga was a co-founder and manager of the Audlind Nature Heritage Fund in 2008, which has wetland protection and wetland reclamation as main objectives. She has been on steering and management committees for several international research projects funded by the European Commission. She was the chair of the Fulbright Alumni Association in Iceland from 2008-2015 and has been on the board of several different associations and NGOs. Apart from being an independent scholar, Raga has been a scientist at the Environmental Agency of Iceland, on the faculty of the Agricultural University in Iceland, project manager at the University Centre of South Iceland, and been a visiting scholar at University of Washington, Seattle. Raga was the chairman of the governmental scientific committee on genetically modified organisms, appointed by the environmental minister of Iceland from 2011-2013.
Raga has co-edited two books in English, Forest and Society: Sustainability and Life Cycles of Forests in Human Landscapes, published by CAB International in 2007, and River of Life: Sustainable Practices of Native Americans and Indigenous Peoples, published by deGruyter in 2013. Raga has furthermore participated in writing Forest Certification: Roots, Issues, Challenges, and Benefits, published by CRC Press in 2000 and Sustainability Unpacked: Food, Energy and Water for Resilient Environments and Societies, published by Earthscan in 2010.
Raga‘s current research projects are in conservation biology, policy, natural resource management ecosystem ecology and on the interaction of humans and nature and the sustainability of human land-uses on current and historical time scales.


Physical Science, Life Science, Social Science

Science Specialties

ecosystem ecology, terrestrial ecosystems, marine ecosystems, wetlands, historical ecology, sustainability, inter-, cross- and trans- disciplinary research, climatic change, carbon sequestration, environmental impacts, natural resource management and policy

Current Research

Investigations of the Long Term Sustainability of Human Ecodynamic Systems in Northern Iceland (National Science Foundation (USA).Award 1446308. 2014-16)
The Mývatn District of Iceland: Sustainability, Environment and Change ca. AD 1700 to 1950 (MYSEAC). RANNÍS, the Icelandic Research Foundation 2016-2018
Carbon turnover and nutrient cycling in Icelandic forest and highland ecosystems