Opening Symposium


We were very pleased to have a diverse selection of speakers contributing to the Symposium's discussions.


Each speaker's presentation can be found beside their profile. 

Monday Morning 
​(open to the public)
  Welcoming Comments from Kristin Flornes 
(slides with audio, mp4 file)
                 kristin flornes

Welcome from Dr. Kristin Flornes
IRIS President
Kristin Flornes holds a (PhD) in mathematics from NTNU (1998) and an MSc in industrial mathematics from NTNU (1993). She has worked for IRIS since 2005. Flornes is currently the President of IRIS. Prior to this, she was Senior Vice President and head of the Energy Department. Flornes has over 20 years’ experience from academia, industry and research.

  Welcoming Comments from Dilek Ayhan 
(slides with audio, mp4 file)

  Dilek Ayhan
State Secretary / Deputy Minister at Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries
Dilek Ayhan is State Secretary in the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries. She has extensive experience championing entrepreneurship and working to support diversity and intercultural communication. Ms. Ayhan was selected as a Young Global Leader by World Economic Forum in 2016, is the co-founder and former Managing Director of Alarga, a company established to strengthen the competitiveness of Norwegian businesses by strengthening individual companies' intellectual capacity, and a former manager of JADE, a European network for young entrepreneurs.

  Welcoming Comments from Solveig Ege Tengesdal 
(slides with audio, mp4 file)

  Solveig Ege Tengesdal
County Mayor of Rogaland
Solveig Ege Tengesdal is from Egersund, where she held the position of Deputy Mayor and has been Mayor of the Rogaland County Municipality since 2015. Before taking the post as mayor, she was the director of UNINOR, a vocational rehabilitation  company.

  Welcoming Comments from Kristine Enger 
(slides with audio, mp4 file)
kristine engberg

  Kristine Enger
Mayor of Randaberg
Kristine is originally from Rygge in Østfold, and is now the Mayor of Randaberg municipality. She is on leave from her position as Technical Director with the County Governor’s office in Rogaland. She is educated as an economist at NHH and as a sociologist (cand. Polit.) at the University of Bergen.

SUREAQUA Overview with Fiona Provan & Elisa Ravagnan (pdf)

  Fiona Provan
Centre Leader, SUREAQUA
Senior Research Scientist at the International Research Institute of Stavanger
Fiona Provan began with IRIS in 2004 as a postdoctoral researcher to investigate stress biomarkers in salmon, a project that was funded by Skretting. She credits this project as sparking her interest in the aquaculture industry as she became more aware of the challenges and opportunities involved. Since then, Fiona has led a number of projects related to sustainable food production, with her main interests being in the realm of aquaculture ranging from fish feed to fish health and the use of by-products.


  Elisa Ravagnan
Centre Co-Leader, SUREAQUA
Senior Research Scientist at the International Research Institute of Stavanger
Elisa Ravagnan joined IRIS as a postdoctoral researcher in 2006 to develop an index for marine environment quality related to the effects of pollutants on marine organisms. She has always been interested in working with complex datasets, connecting physical, chemical and biological data, and she has participated in many projects within the oil and gas, aquaculture and climate change sectors. Over the years, she has become increasingly involved in
interdisciplinary approaches through projects linking natural science with economics and social science.


Keynote Speakers:

Monday Morning 
​(open to the public)
michael depledge edited

"Living within the ocean’s boundaries"
​(Watch the presentation with audio here.)
with Michael Depledge
Professor and Chair of Environment and Human Health at the University of Exeter Medical School, Devon, UK and is an Honorary Professor of Public Policy at University College, London

Michael Depledge was formerly a Commissioner of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution and Chief Scientist of the Environment Agency of England and Wales. Depledge has published ca. 400 papers in the peer reviewed international literature in diverse areas within the sphere of environment and human health, including oceans and human health, chemical pollution, climate change impacts, pharmaceuticals in the environment as well as studies on the use of the natural environment to foster improvements in health and wellbeing. Depledge is an advisor on environment and health issues to the UK Government, the World Health Organisation, the United Nations Environment Programme, the European Environment Agency as well as many other organisations, including the Eden Project ( He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in the 2017 New Year’s Honours list for services to environment and human health science.


​"Sustainability through Innovation: an Aquafeed industry perspective"
(Watch the presentation with audio here.)
with Alex Obach
Managing Director at Skretting Aquaculture Research Centre

Alex Obach has held the position of Managing Director at Skretting Aquaculture Research Centre since 1st May 2007. Originally from Barcelona, Spain, he is a veterinarian with a Master in Aquaculture from the University of Girona (Spain) and a PhD in fish pathology and immunology from the University of West Brittany (France). He started working at Skretting Aquaculture Research Centre in 1993 as a researcher, initially within fish health then as a nutritionist. He has most recently held the position as Manager of ARC’s Fish Health department. Between 1993 -1995, he was also engaged as lecturer at the University of Barcelona, and worked for two years as the Managing Director of the Marine Harvest Technical Centre.


samdupont5 edited

"We Are the Ocean"
(Watch the presentation with audio here.)
with Sam Dupont
Professor at the University of Gothenburg
​Educator for ocean acidification and communicator
Sam Dupont is Associated Professor at the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg and an Honorary Assistant Professor at the School of Biological Sciences, Hong Kong University. His main research topic is on the impact of increased CO2 and related changes on marine species and ecosystems. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre (OA-ICC), the Executive Council of the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON) and the Steering committee of the EuroMarine consorium. He is also in contact with economists through his role in a working group on economics of ocean acidification that brings together scientists from many international scientific initiatives, economists, and representatives of major international organizations including UNESCO, FAO, OECD, World Bank, IGBP, and the CIESM. Prof. Dupont is also the co-founder of the Centre for Collective Action Research (CECAR) at the University of Gothenburg, an interdisciplinary centre having as overall mission to develop a science-based framework to facilitate communication of scientific knowledge helping the enforcement of Large Scale Collective Actions (LSCA).


Monday Evening
(private event)

"Swimming with Arctic Orcas"
with Andreas B. Heide
Marine biologist, explorer, and captain of Barba
​Andreas Heide is the proud owner and captain of Barba, a Jeanneau Sun Fast 37m sailboat. Trained as a marine biologist and with experience with the Norwegian Navy, Andreas leads expeditions to remote areas in the Nordic region, including Greenland in 2010, the volcanic island of Jan Mayen in 2012, and the circumnavigation of the Svalbard archipelago in 2015 as noteworthy highlights. In particular, the past three years of his expeditions have included extensive and up close interactions with whales in the greater context of marine conservation. His work has been picked up by outlets such as BBC, ABC, Huffington Post and more. His ongoing goal is to connect the audience with nature through spectacular storytelling, while including an underlying message of ocean conservation. Having explored, observed, and survived the wonders and challenges of our Nordic marine environment, Andreas has unique insight  into the fragility and allure it entails. (Read more about his adventures at



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Contact information:
General Inquiries:

Fiona Provan, Centre Leader
(+47) 51 87 55 37

Elisa Ravagnan, Centre Co-Leader
(+47) 46 90 22 55