Arctic Research Grant

The Seal Center’s Tourism Research Department was successful in obtaining the grant titled “Cooperation in the Field of Arctic Studies Between Iceland and Norway.” Monday, 29th November, was their first international meeting. This grant was awarded for preparatory support for the initiation of joint grant applications to fund future research projects. This is the first of many future efforts in working internationally with other tourism and marine biology experts. Jessica Faustini Aquino directs this research group. 

New Report

Sandra Granquist, head of the biology department at the Icelandic Seal Centre, recently published a new report alongside Erlingur Hauksson.



New Researchers

On the 1st of July, two new researchers started here at the Icelandic Seal Centre. They will be led by Sandra Granquist, the head of our biological research department.

The researchers are Dr Alastair Baylis and Jóhann Garðar Þorbjörnsson.

Dr Alastair Baylis

Al gained his PhD in 2008 from the University of Adelaide (Australia) studying the foraging ecology of New Zealand fur seals in South Australia. His recent posts include the Pribilof Islands, Alaska, where he worked with the UBC Marine Mammal Research Unit on Northern fur seals and the Falkland Islands, where he has developed research projects on the little studied populations of southern sea lions and South American fur seals. His main interests in pinniped ecology include historical ecology, population dynamics, population genetics and foraging behaviour. Over the past decade he has also developed a keen interest in pinniped anaesthesia.

Jóhann Garðar Þorbjörnsson

Jóhann graduated with a B.Sc. degree in biology from the University of Iceland in 2013. In 2015, he finished his M.Sc. studies in freshwater ecology from the Hólar University College, where he researched the impacts of scuba divers on the Silfra groundwater fissure ecosystem. During his masters, he became an exchange student in Svalbard, focusing on Arctic biology. Jóhann is especially interested in the impacts of humans on biological systems.

 We are excited by these new additions to the team, and wish them all the best in their new roles.


Researcher Wanted

PLEASE NOTE: Applications for this position are now closed.

We are looking for a biologist that is interested in taking part in seal research at the Icelandic Seal Centre in NW Iceland.

The Research team at the Icelandic Seal Centre has been operating since 2009 and manages most of the seal related research conducted in Iceland, such as: population estimates of the two breeding seal populations in Iceland (harbour seals and grey seals), dietary studies, and studies on the effects of anthropogenic disturbance on the seal populations.

The starting date for the successful candidate is July 1, 2016 and the end date is December 31, 2016, with a view to making the post permanent. Accommodation at the Seal Centre can be arranged.

The successful candidate will assist with several projects; such as aerial population counts, land based counts, and behavioural studies. Some lab work may also be required.

Candidate Profile:


  • Legal right to work in Iceland.
  • Proven leadership skills.
  • Master’s or PhD in biology/ecology, and strong interest in marine mammal ecology and behaviour.
  • Good written and spoken English.
  • Good work ethic, independence, and a responsible attitude; good performance individually and as a member of a team.
  • Excellence in stressful conditions.
  • Enjoyment of long hours outdoors in hostile weather conditions.
  • The ability to go on long hikes through rough terrain.
  • The ability to manage challenging physical tasks independently.
  • A driver’s licence.


  • Experience working within the field of marine mammal research.
  • Animal observation experience.
  • Experience working from boats and planes.

Please e-mail your application, including a CV and a cover letter detailing your education and relevant experience to: Sigurdur Lindal Thorisson, Managing Director of the Icelandic Seal Centre, at Early application is advised.


Second Master’s Thesis Presented

Wednesday the 27th of April Georgia Clack presented her Master’s Thesis at the University Centre of the Westfjords . Her thesis is entitled The impact of tourism on harbour seals and their distribution around Iceland.

Georgia’s supervisors are Sandra M. Granquist, head of the seal research department at the Icelandic Seal Center and seal specialist at the Institute of Freshwater Fisheries; and Erlingur Hauksson, marine biologist at Vör Marine Research Center at Breiðafjörður.

Masters Thesis Presented

Tomorrow, Tuesday the 19th of April, Elin Lilja Öqvist, is presenting her master’s thesis at Stockholm University. The name of her thesis is Whaling or watching, sealing or seeing? A study of interactions between marine mammal tourism and hunting in Iceland.

Elin’s supervisors are Sandra M. Granquist, head of the seal research department at the Icelandic Seal Center and seal specialist at the Institute of Freshwater Fisheries; and Anders Angerbjörn, professor at Stockholm University.




Quadruple March

Following a record-breaking February, where the amount of visitors tripled between 2015 and 2016, we have now had a March to surpass all expectations.

March saw a more than a quadruple year-on-year increase in visitors to the Seal Centre.

We are very excited to see what the summer will bring!

Summer Jobs at the Seal Centre

Applications for summer jobs at the Seal Centre need to be in by the 18th of March.

We seek cheerful, service orientated multi-lingual individuals with initiative to assist travelers, help customers in the souvenir shop, sell tickets to the museum, clean, and whatever else needs doing.

Those interested should send their letter of application and CV to Sigurður Líndal at by the 18th of March.