Thematic Network on Arctic Marine Biodiversity

Natural history museum collections provide historical records of species in place and time. This is especially relevant for the Arctic, where climate change is affecting the ecosystem at an alarming rate. A vastly unknown part of the Arctic ecosystem could be lost forever as species go extinct, and some specimens can be difficult to store in museum collections due to their small size and fragility. To document animals of the Arctic Ocean for future generations, we want to scan specimens and reconstruct them digitally through X-ray microtomography. This will allow us to make a ‘digital collection’ of the Arctic fauna, to describe new species, discover new anatomical and morphological characters, facilitate open science, and to make museum exhibitions for the public based on digital or 3D-printed reconstructions of individual animals. The digital specimens will be openly accessible for everyone to use in research and education.


  • Joel Vikberg Wernström, Ben J. Slater, Martin V. Sørensen, Denise Crampton, Andreas Altenburger (2023). Geometric morphometrics of macro- and meiofaunal priapulid pharyngeal teeth provides a proxy for studying Cambrian “tooth taxa”, Research Square.

Other Information

Andreas Altenburger , Lead of the UArctic Thematic Network on Arctic Marine Biodiversity