Professor Karen Timmermann. Photo/graphics: DTU Aqua.

New Professor of Biogeochemical Modelling

Wednesday 01 Jul 20


Karen Timmermann
DTU Aqua
+45 93 51 03 81

Karen Timmermann has been appointed Professor at DTU, where she will conduct research into anthropogenic and natural impacts on coastal waters.

On 1 May 2020, DTU appointed Karen Timmermann as Professor of Biogeochemical Modelling. She comes from a position as Senior Researcher at the Department of Bioscience at Aarhus University. 

Biogeochemistry is the science of the processes that control the cycles of carbon and nutrients in nature and their importance for the state and functions of ecosystems. Karen Timmermann’s specialization is coastal waters, and her primary task as Professor at DTU is to strengthen the research in coastal ecology. Organizationally, she is attached to the Danish Shellfish Centre at DTU Aqua.

Karen Timmermann’s research has focus on how human activity and natural variability affect coastal waters. This includes climate change, nutrient load from land and fisheries, and the significance of these pressures on, for example, algal growth, eelgrass distribution, and the occurrence of deoxygenation. Her research also focuses on methods for counteracting the impacts or consequences thereof. This may, for example, be cultivation of mussels that absorb excess nutrients and thus reduce the risk of algal blooming.   

Karen Timmermann has a background in environmental biology and modelling. Modelling is, for example, used to calculate possible scenarios for the development of coastal ecosystems, and this will be needed in the scientific advice which constitutes a key part of the new Professor’s field of work. Modelling results may, for example, be used when authorities and politicians are to make decisions on the management of human activities in coastal areas, such as nutrient emissions, fisheries, or the establishment of offshore wind turbines. 

In addition to research and scientific advice, Karen Timmermann will teach at BSc, MSc, and PhD level.


Karen Timmermann has a Master’s degree in mathematics and environmental biology and a PhD in environmental biology from Roskilde University (RUC). 

In 2006, she was appointed as postdoc at the then National Environmental Research Institute, which became part of Aarhus University in 2007. Karen Timmermann was appointed in a researcher position in 2007, and she became a senior researcher in 2010. 

As head of a research group at Aarhus University, Karen Timmermann has provided the scientific foundation for the Danish River Basin Management Plans aimed at ensuring that Danish coastal waters achieve good ecological status. She has received research funding from Innovation Fund Denmark and the Velux Foundations—among other foundations—for studies on measures that can improve the coastal environment and reduce negative impacts of human activities. 

For the past eight years, Karen Timmermann has been advising authorities and politicians on the marine environment.