Stari (Sturnus vulgaris) á hestbaki við Hafravatn. © Erling Ólafsson

The Icelandic Institute of Natural History

Icelandic Institute of Natural HistoryThe Icelandic Institute of Natural History (IINH) is a public institution under the aegis of the Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources. Jón Gunnar Ottósson is the Director General. 

The history of the IINH goes all the way back to 1889, when the Icelandic Natural History Society was founded. Today, more than 50 people work at the Icelandic Institute of Natural History in Garðabær and Akureyri, carrying out a broad range of research and monitoring tasks. The Institute conducts basic and applied research on the nature of Iceland, with a focus on botany, ecology, taxonomy, geology and zoology. It maintains scientific specimen collections and databases, assembles literature on the natural history of Iceland and operates the Icelandic Bird-Ringing Scheme.

The IINH participates in environmental consultant work on sustainable use of natural resources and land development in Iceland and assesses the conservation status of species, habitats and ecosystems.

The IINH also provides a range of services for the general public – from scientific outreach programmes to pest identification services.