Jón Gunnar Ottósson

Director General

Jón Gunnar Ottósson

Ph.D. animal and plant ecology

  • Curriculum vitae

    Curriculum vitae


    Ph.D. Animal and plant ecology, University of Exeter, 1981 (Funded by the British Council).

    B.Sc. Biology, University of Iceland, 1974.

    Work experience

    1994– Director General, Icelandic Institute of Natural History.

    1994–1998 Chairman of Stokkseyri municipality.

    1992–1994 Director general, Department of environmental affairs, Ministry for the environment.

    1990–1991 Head of department, Ministry for the environment.

    1988–1990 Director, Icelandic Forest Research Station.

    1983–1987 On the bord of the Nature Conservation Council.

    1982–1987 Specialist, Icelandic Forest Research Station.

    1983–1984 Part-time teacher, University of Iceland.

    1981 Research on plant-feeding insects, funded by the Science Fund.

    1980–1981 Part-time teacher, University of Iceland.

    1980–1981 Teacher, FB Community College.

    1976–1981 Ph.D. studies, University of Exeter.

    1978–1979 Teacher, Hamrahlíð College.

    1974–1976 Teacher, Hamrahlíð College.

    1972–1975 Research assistant, University of Iceland Institute of Life Sciences.

    1973 (summer) Research assistant, Icelandic Institute of Natural History.

    1971–1972 Tour guide in Spain.

    Other projects

    2004–2014 On the board of the Bern Convention Standing Committee (vice-chairman 2004–2008, chairman 2008–2011 and ex-chairman 2011–2014).

    2003–  On the editorial board of Zoology of Iceland.

    1999–2003 On the project management team for The Icelandic Master Plan for Nature Protection and Energy Utilization.

    1996–1998 On the board of South Iceland Association of Local Authorities.

    1994–1998 On the board of Árnessýsla Cultural Heritage Museum.

    1994–1996 Chairman of the board of Fiskeyri hf.

    1991–1993 On the board of Árnes hf.

    1988–1991 On the editorial board of Scandinavian Journal for Forest Research.

    1988–1990 On the editorial board of Búvísindi.

    1985–1988 Vice-chairman of the Mývatn Research Station.

    1983 Editor of the Annual report of the Icelandic Forestry Association.

    International cooperation

    1994– Iceland's representative on the Bern Convention Standing Committee and chair of the Icelandic delegation.

    1995– Iceland's representative on various groups of experts for the Bern Convention e.g. on alien species, biodiversity in islands in Europe, and Emerald Network.

    1994–2000 Iceland's representative on the Council of Europe Nature Conservation Committee (CoDBP).

    1990–1992 Iceland's representative on the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

    1993–2000 Chair of the Iceland delegation at Conferences of the Parties (CoP) of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

    1994–2002 Iceland's representative on the Science Committee for the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

    1990–1992 Iceland's representative at the negotiations for the United Nations Convention on Climate Change.

    1992–1994 Chair of the Iceland delegation at Conferences of the Parties (CoP) of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change.

    1990–1992 On the Icelandic delegation in preparation meetings for the United Nations Rio Conference on environmental development and one of three negotiator at the conference in 1992.

    1993–2013 Representative in Icelandic delegations in Conferences of Parties (CoP) of international conventions concerning nature protection, such as the CITES-convention, the Ramsar-convention, the International Whaling Commission, the AEWA-convention, and Bonn-convention.

    1991 Iceland's representative in preparing and establishing the arctic collaboration on the conservation of arctic flora and fauna (e.g. CAFF).

    2009–2013 Member of the negotiation committee in preparation for Iceland's membership in the EU.

    1983–2000 In various Nordic countries collaboration committees.


    BioIce (1992–2016) Chair of Benthic invertebrates of Icelandic waters (BioIce).

    1991–1993 Chair of a project on digitizing maps and geographical information systems, initiated by the Ministry for the Environment.

    Articles and lectures

    Has written many articles on natural and environmental sciences in journals and newspapers and given lectures at home and abroad. Has published scholarly articles in journals such as „Journal of Animal Ecology“, „Biological Journal of the Linnean Society“, „Scandinavian Journal for Forest Research“ and „Naturopa“ as well as Icelandic journals such as  „Búvísindi“ and „Iceland Forestry Service Annual report“.

    Editor and co-author of „Iceland – national report to UNCED“, published by the Ministry of the Environment, 1992.