My name is Aviaja Lyberth Hauptmann. I am Kalaaleq (Inuk from Greenland), Danish, a microbiologist and a public debater. I was born in the capital of Greenland, Nuuk in ‘86 and grew up at the polar circle in the town Sisimiut.

When I was 10 years old my family moved to Denmark, where I spent the next 21 years following my dream, to become a biologist. I have wanted to be a biologist as long as I remember. Originally, my ambition was to move to Africa and work with elephants. With time my interest in biology turned to something much smaller, and colder as well, the microbes of our planet and in particular the ones in the Arctic.

I earned my degree in biology with focus on Arctic microbiology in 2012 and was fortunate to be given the opportunity to do a Ph.D. in microbial metagenomics at the Technical University of Denmark also with focus on Arctic environments.

What fascinates me the most about working with microbiology in the Arctic is that it brings a broad spectrum of opportunities to explore not just our current state and the changing climate but also the potential for sustainable businesses through biotechnology, which might one day become an alternative to heavy industries in the Arctic. Using the skills and experience I gained from my Ph.D.-work I wanted to work on something, which is close to the hearts of the people of Greenland. I moved the focus of my work from the cryosphere, the frozen environment, to our native foods. I also moved after 21 years back to Greenland to my birth-town Nuuk, from where I am doing my research at the University of Greenland, Ilisimatusarfik.

I am currently leading my own postdoc project The Greenland Diet Revolution, a research project on the microbes on traditional Greenlandic foods and our native gut microbiome.

You can contact me through: Twitter: @AviajaHauptmann / Email:

Follow my project with #gldietrevolution at Instagram @agreenisland

If you want to know more about my work here is a recent video of me giving a talk at the
International Congress on Circumpolar Health

Here is a piece about me and the project from Nunatsiaq news

Link to my blog at the Engineers homepage of Denmark (in Danish)

Find my CV and list of publications here

A sample of my publications are:

Hauptmann, Aviaja Lyberth. (2018). “Kom med dybt ind i maven på Grønland.” Teknologiens Mediehus, 23 April.

Björnsdóttir, Bryndís, Margrét Geirsdóttir, Elísabet Eik Guðmundsdóttir, Guðjón Þorkelsson, Rósa Jónsdóttir, Gunnar Þórðarson, René Groben, Stephen Knobloch, Aviaja Lyberth Hauptmann, Janus Vang, Ingunn Gunnarsdóttir, Ragnar Jóhannsson, Lisbeth Due Schönemann-Paul, and Sigrún Elsa Smáradóttir. (2018). “Biorefining and Biotechnology Opportunities in the West Nordic Region.” Matis. ISSN 1670-7192.

Hauptmann, Aviaja Lyberth, Thomas Sicheritz-Pontén, Karen A Cameron, Jacob Bælum, Damian R Plichta, Marlene Dalgaard, and Marek Stibal. (2017). “Contamination of the Arctic reflected in microbial metagenomes from the Greenland ice sheet.” Environmental Research Letters 12(7): 1-10.

Podcast interview:

Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness. (2023) “Are Plant-Based Diets For Everyone? with Dr. Aviaja Lyberth Hauptmann.”  January 23rd, 2023.

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