Information for visiting researchers

The University Centre of the Westfjords offers services to those wishing to visit the Westfjords region for research purposes. General facilities at the University Centre are of a very high standard and staff members are committed to aiding connections between researchers and the Westfjords community; whether with companies and institutions, or individual scientists in the region.

For further information, contact University Centre staff or email


Current visiting researchers at UW

Maria Wilke (PhD student from the Agricultural University of Iceland & UW alumna)

Maria is at the University Centre as a visiting PhD student from the planning and design faculty of the Agricultural University of Iceland. In her project Sustainable Resilient Coasts (COAST, Maria looks at ways to support and empower remote coastal communities in environmental decision-making. Her research interests lie in environmental education and community engagement into marine management processes. The Westfjords are currently one of the chosen sites of coastal and marine planning by the National Planning Agency. She will engage with the municipalities and community members across the Westfjords to stimulate a wide-spread public participation and discussion of sustainable ocean use.

Laura Alice Watt (Fulbright-NSF Arctic Scholar)

Laura is a professor of environmental history and policy at Sonoma State University, in Northern California. She is visiting the University Centre with a Fulbright-NSF Arctic Scholar grant to conduct historical research in Iceland. Her project aims to document the environmental history of a remote corner of Iceland’s Westfjords, specifically the Árneshreppur municipality and surrounding region of the Strandir coast, where a hydropower plant proposal has generated recent controversy. At Sonoma State, she teaches a number of courses in the Department of Geography, Environment, and Planning and is a Graduate Coordinator for the Cultural Resource Management masters program. Outside of school she is an avid photographer and sailor, and here in Iceland she is learning to knit (

José Alves

José is a conservation ecologist with specific interests on the mechanisms by which organisms respond to environmental change, with particular attention to migratory systems. His research focuses on patterns of segregation, seasonal interactions & individuals trade-offs, and their consequences for population demography, distribution and species conservation. José is currently a senior researcher at the Department of Biology & CESAM – Centre for Marine and Environmental Studies at the University of Aveiro, and has been developing research in Iceland since 2006, mostly focusing on Icelandic waders as a study model. - That serious website is compensated with @_JoseAAlves_