Morten Meldgaard

Morten Meldgaard


Morten Meldgaard, MSc, PhD, Dr. Phil.


Ilisimatusarfik/University of Greenland &The Natural History Museum

Greenlandic/Danish citizenship and born the 14th of November 1956




As director of a number of research and outreach institutions in Denmark Morten Meldgaard (MM) has 25 years of extensive experience with science administration, fundraising, international collaboration, grass root involvement, policy making, institution building, and general leadership. As a natural scientist MM has focused on arctic environmental history especially on resource dynamics, climate change, and human adaptation through time. MMs approach is interdisciplinary and archaeology, history, and ethno history are combined with population biology, macro ecology and ancient DNA-studies. And with more than 20 field seasons in all parts of Greenland, Canada, Alaska, Peru and Denmark MM has first hand knowledge of field work in remote areas.

MM is presently engaged in developing science and educational collaboration between Denmark,  Greenland, and the Arctic nations and peoples. MM has a dual affiliation as professor at the Natural History Museum (Univ. of Copenhagen) and Ilisimatusarfik (University of Greenland).



2013 -        Professor, arctic environmental history, University of Copenhagen

2014 -        Adjunct professor, Ilisimatusarfik/ University of Greenland

2005 -        Doctor of philosophy, Faculty of the Humanities, University of Copenhagen

2005-2010 Adjunct professor, environmental history, Syddansk Universitet

1990 -        PhD, biology, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen

1985 -        MA, biology, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen



2015 -        Professor, Natural History Museum of Denmark, Center for GeoGenetics.

2007-2014 Director, Danish Natural History Museum

2005-2007 Director, Dansk Ekspeditionsfond, Galathea 3

2000-2005 Director, North Atlantic House

1995-2000 Director, Danish Polar Center

1991-1995 Director, Lejre Experimental Center

1990-1991 Post doc, University of Copenhagen

1990-         Teacher, Allerød Gymnasium

1986-1990 PhD, University of Copenhagen

1985-1986 Researcher, Qasigiannguit Museum, Qasigiannguit Municipality.



  • 2007-2014. New Natural History Museum. Succeeded fundraising 950 million Dkr to build a new Natural History Museum in Denmark. Increased turnover from ca. 100 to ca. 200 mio. dkr./ year. Increased external income from 20 to 100 mio. Kr/year. Increased the average H-index for researchers from 5 to 15, increased number of peer reviewed publications from 140 to 250 /year.

  • 2005-7. Galathea 3. Succeeded in coordinating and funding the Galathea 3 expedition – a circumnavigation of the world on a specially outfitted navy vessel housing ca. 70 research projects, media, school children, and navy personnel at a total cost of ca. 200 mio. Dkr. 

  • 2000-5. North Atlantic House.  Shaped the idea, coordinated fundraising and participation of four countries in the North Atlantic House which opened in 2003.

  • 1995-2000. Polar Centers Zackenberg Field Station. Coordinated the set up and helped secure finances for the building and operation of the Zackenberg Field Station and its associated monitoring programs.

  • 1991-95. Shaped the idea and generated the project to build the largest reconstruction of a Viking house in the world, The Royal Hall. It has now been funded and will be built.

  • 1986-1988. Coordinated the natural sciences research of the permafrozen Qeqertassuk site, Disko Bay. Published a book on the site which was defended for the degree of Philosophy at the University of Copenhagen (2004).

  • 1978. Excavated the caribou hunting site Aasivissuit in West Greenland.

  • More than 20 field seasons on archaeological excavations and biological projects in all parts of Greenland, Canada, Alaska, Peru, Malaysia and Denmark.

  • Lecturer/univ. teacher at universities in USA, Spain, Denmark and Greenland.

  • Supervisor of BSc, MSc and PhD students as well as Post Docs

  • Member of scientific assessment committee for private foundation



Participated in numerous scientific and administrative meetings on arctic issues and research topics spanning from natural sciences over archaeology, anthropology and educational politics.



H-Index:14, citations:1370  (Google scholar).

MMs research is mainly published as monographs which could be kindled while having heavy administrative loads and more recently as co-authored papers in high profile journals such as Science and Nature.


MA, 1985, University of Copenhagen, phd. 1990, University of Copenhagen, dr. phil. 2004, University of Copenhagen

ID: 1057605