Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Menu Search

Trinity College Dublin By using this website you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with the Trinity cookie policy. For more information on cookies see our cookie policy.

Profile Photo

Professor Poul Holm

Professor (History)

My current research interest is North Atlantic fisheries c. 1400-1700, and more generally the interdisciplinary combination of marine science and history. I have studied the impact of war on everyday life in Norway, Sweden and Denmark between 1550 and 1914 and published widely on medieval and early modern marine environment, coastal communities, and maritime culture. I began as a medieval historian with a specialism in the Vikings in Ireland - an interest which I have kept alive through my career. Other interest areas for me are research policy and the potential of digital technologies for the humanities. At Trinity College Dublin I have had the privilege of being the founding Director of the Trinity Long Room Hub, the Arts and Humanities Research Institute. Previously I have been Rector of Roskilde University and Professor at Aarhus University and the University of Southern Denmark. I began my career as a curator at the Danish Fisheries and Maritime Museum. I served for four years as head of the Danish Research Council for the Humanities and was the founding President of the EU-funded network of research councils Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA). I chaired the METRIS committee (Monitoring European Trends in Research in the Socio-economic sciences and humanities) for the EU Directorate-General for Research. I have served as President of three international academic organisations (European Society for Environmental History, the Association for the History of the Northern Seas, and the European Consortium of Humanities Institutes and Centres. In 2015 I was elected President of the European Alliance of Social Sciences and Humanities. I am a member of the editorial boards of several academic journals (Humanities, Mariners' Mirror, Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, Global Environment, Journal of Marine and Island Cultures). I have been awarded visiting research fellowships at the University of Cambridge, the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, and the San Cataldo Foundation in Amalfi, Italy. I was a co-awardee of the prize for the Best Research of the Year 2009 by, a Danish science magazine, and was knighted by the Danish Queen for services to research in 2008. In 2011 the Japanese Cosmos Prize was awarded to the Scientific Steering Committee (of which I was a member) of the Census of Marine Life. In 2015 I was elected a Member of Academia Europaea. For the years 2016-2020 I hold a European Research Council Advanced Grant.
  Coastal Environmental Change   Coastal Zone Ecosystems and Management   Digital Humanities   Early development of Dublin   Economic History   Environment & Society   environmental history   Fish, Fisheries   Humanities   Marine   Marine Ecosystems   Marine Sciences, Maritime Studies   Medieval Europe   Medieval History   Urban and economic history   Vikings   Wetlands
 NorFish - North Atlantic Fisheries: An Environmental History, 1400-1700
 History of Marine Animal Populations
 Humanities for the Environment
 Digital Arts and Humanities Structured PhD Programme
 Humanities World Report

Page 1 of 2
Details Date
Vice-President, Chair of Humanities Class, Academia Europaea 2019-2023
Chair, History of Marine Animal Populations / Oceans Past Initiative 2000-
President, European Alliance for Social Sciences and Humanities 2015-2018
President, European Consortium of Humanities Institutes and Centres 2011-2016
Member, Trinity College Research Committee 2009-2012
Member of Steering Committee, Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK), Landscape and Environment Programme 2008-2011
Member, Census of Marine Life, Scientific Steering Committee (global) 2000-2010
Chairman, METRIS, EU DG Research committee, Monitoring European Trends in Research in the Social sciences and the humanities 2008-2009
Member of Steering Committee, ESF-COST Interdisciplinary Initiative, A European Network of Networks: New Perspectives on Landscapes 2007-2009
Member, Linnaeus Grants Committee, Swedish Academy of Sciences 2007-2008
Member, Executive Committee (formandskabet), Vækstforum Sjælland (public-private regional development foundation) 2007-2008
Member, Governing Board, Viking Ship Museum 2007-2008
Member, Governing Board, Lejre Experimental Centre 2006-2008
Member, Council, Royal Danish Geographical Society 2006-2008
Member, Executive Committee, Øresund Science Region (public-private consortium of Danish-Swedish businesses, universities, regions and municipalities) 2006-2008
Member, Board of Governors and Executive Committee, Øresund University (consortium of 14 Danish and Swedish universities) 2006-2008
Member, Scientific Steering Committee, HERA Humanities in the European Research Area 2005-2006
Member, Scientific Advisory Board, The Danish National Research Foundation's Centre for Black Sea Studies 2005-2006
President, ESEH, European Society for Environmental History 2005-2007
Member, Scientific Steering Committee, MarBEF (EU) 2004-2006
Member, Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Fish Tax Foundation 2004-2006
Member, Standing Committee for the Humanities, European Science Foundation 2004-2006
Member, Governing Board of Danish Institute for International Studies 2003-2006
Vice-President, ESEH, European Society for Environmental History 2003-2005
Member, board of Institute for Fisheries Management and Coastal Communities Development 2003-2007
Chairman, European Network of Research Councils for the Humanities (ERCH) 2002-2004
Member, Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Committee on Environmental Impact and Fisheries Resources 2001-2002
Chairman, Danish Research Council for the Humanities 2001-2005
Member, External Research Advisory Board, Danish National Museum 2001-2005
Secretary, Northern European History Research Network 2000-2002
Member, Academic Advisory Council, Danish Centre for Maritime Archaeology 2000-2003
Member, Danish Research Council for the Humanities 1999-2005
Member, Academic Advisory Council, National Fishing Heritage Centre, Grimsby, UK 1996-1999
President, Association for the History of the Northern Seas 1993-1997
Treasurer, Association for the History of the Northern Seas 1992-1993
Coordinator, Danish Museums Network for Fisheries History 1992-2000
Language Skill Reading Skill Writing Skill Speaking
Danish Fluent Fluent Fluent
English Fluent Fluent Fluent
Faeroese Medium Basic Basic
French Medium Basic Basic
German Fluent Medium Basic
Icelandic Basic Basic Basic
Latin Medium Basic Basic
Norwegian Fluent Basic Medium
Swedish Fluent Basic Medium
Details Date From Date To
Academia Europaea 2015
European Society for Environmental History 2000
International Maritime Economic History Association 1989
Poul Holm, John Nicholls, Patrick W. Hayes, Historical marine footprint for Atlantic Europe, 1500"2019, Ambio, 2024, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Cordula Scherer, Francis Ludlow, Al Matthews, Patrick Hayes, Riina Klais, Poul Holm, A Historical Plankton Index: Zooplankton abundance in the North Sea since 800 CE, Holocene, 2024, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Agnese Cretella, Cordula Scherer, Poul Holm, Tasting the ocean: How to increase ocean literacy using seafood heritage with a visceral approach, Marine Policy, 105, (105476), 2023, p1-9 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED
SDG 14 - Exploiting and Managing the Alien and Unseen World below Water in, editor(s)Martin Gutmann and Daniel Gorman , Before the UN Sustainable Development Goals., Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2022, pp425 - 447, [Poul Holm], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text
Cowboys, Cod, Climate and Conflict: Navigations in the Digital Environmental Humanities in, editor(s)Charles Travis, Deborah Dixon, Luke Bergmann, Robert Legg, Arlene Crampsie , Routledge Handbook of the Digital Environmental Humanities, , London, Routledge, 2022, pp30 , [Charles Travis, Poul Holm, Francis Ludlow, Conor Kostick, Rhonda McGovern, John Nicholls], Notes: [Concerns of the DEH include, firstly, how we come to know " with masses of information becoming increasingly available in diverse forms and platform " and secondly, how we work " in collaborative, "glocally" scaled endeavours that integrate physical and virtual environments which are changing techniques, workflows, and the ontology of research and teaching practices " and thirdly, how we understand " as cybernetic tools and methodologies provide radically new insights into and integrations of "old analogue," "new digital," and "natural archival" types of data. These concerns inform the three DEH case studies featured in this chapter. The first offers a geo-literary eco-digital geo-hermeneutic on 19th-century US expansion and environmental degradation in the American West; the second offers a "data canon" precis on the North Atlantic "Fish Revolution" between 1500 and 1800; and the third features computer-automated readings of ancient astronomical diaries to analyse ancient relations between climate and conflict in the Fertile Crescent kingdoms of Babylon and Assyria.], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI  URL
Poul Holm, John Nicholls, Patrick W. Hayes, Josh Ivinson, Bernard Allaire, Accelerated Extractions of North Atlantic Cod and Herring, 1520-1790, Fish and Fisheries, 23, (1), 2022, p54-72 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Poul Holm, James Barrett, Cristina Brito & Francis Ludlow, New challenges for the Human Oceans Past agenda, Open Research Europe, 2, (114), 2022, p1-24 , Notes: [We contend that the harvest of marine resources played a critical, but as yet underappreciated and poorly understood, role in global history. In a review of the field of marine environmental history and archaeology we conclude that while much progress has been made, especially in the last two decades, fundamental questions remain unanswered. In order to make full use of the rapid growth of Big Data and ongoing methodological breakthroughs there is a need for collaborative and comparative research. Such joint efforts on a global scale must be guided by a focus on common, simple yet challenging, questions. We propose a Human Oceans Past research agenda to call for multi- and trans-disciplinary archaeological, historical and palaeoenvironmental/palaeoecological research to investigate: (1) when and where marine exploitation was of significance to human society; (2) how selected major socio-economic, cultural, and environmental forces variously constrained and enabled marine exploitation; and (3) what were the consequences of marine resource exploitation for societal development. We contend that this agenda will lead to a fundamental revision in our understanding of the historical role of marine resources in the development of human societies.], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI  URL
Poul Holm, Patrick W. Hayes, John Nicholls, Comment on "Five centuries of cod catches in Eastern Canada", by Schijns et al., ICES Journal of Marine Science, 2022, p1-3 , Notes: [], Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Bernard Allaire, Poul Holm, The Price of Fish in French Supply Contracts (1538-1751). A Quantitative Approach to the Early Modern French Fish Market, Food and History, 20, (1), 2022, p41 - 66, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
John Nicholls, Bernard Allaire, Poul Holm, The Capacity Trend Method: A new approach for enumerating the Newfoundland cod fisheries (1675-1790), Historical Methods, 54, (2), 2021, p80 - 93, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI

Page 1 of 17
Ruth H. Thurstan, Emily Klein, Bryony Caswell, Floris Bennema, Henn Ojaveer, Brian Mackenzie, Loren Mcclenachan, Georgina Hunt, Georg Engelhard, Matthew Mckenzie, Adrian Jordaan, Sarah Buckley, Biatriz Dias, Anatole Danto, Samuel P. Iglesias, Jonas Hentati‐Sundberg , Jennifer Coston-Guarini, Molly Graham, Philine zu Ermgassen, Jock C. Currie, Poul Holm, Working Group on the History of Fish and Fisheries (WGHIST), ICES Scientific Reports, 2: 110, Copenhagen, ICES, December, 2020, 1-26, Notes: [WGHIST found extensive evidence for defining elements of blue growth in the past, and explored examples from around the world to delineate lessons for today's blue growth agendas, research now published in Fish and Fisheries. Future work will forward additional digital tools to access historical resources, develop links to other related data resources, and progress connec- tions between lessons from the past and contemporary management and policy.], Report, PUBLISHED
Poul Holm, Richard Breen, Zhen Yang, John Nicholls, DANDOC, 1.0, Trinity Centre for Environmental Humanities, 2018, Dataset, PUBLISHED
Poul Holm, Review of Crail and its Fisheries 1550-1600, by Thomas Riis , Economic History Review, 2017, p1 , Review, PUBLISHED
Poul Holm, Review of The Long Shadows. A Global Environmental History of the Second World War, Global Environment, 10, (2), 2017, p538-541 , Review, PUBLISHED
Poul Holm; Arne Jarrick; Dominic Scott, Humanities World Report 2015, Journal of Cultural Interaction in East Asia, 6, 2015, p107 - 117, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Can environmental humanities help make a better world? in, editor(s)Robert Emmett & Frank Zelko , Minding the gap. Working across disciplines in environmental studies, Munich, Rachel Carson Center, 2014, pp57 - 60, [Poul Holm], Notes: [], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Poul Holm, Oceans Past, Stockholm University, 22 January, 2014, Dept Archaeology, Invited Talk, PRESENTED
Poul Holm, Translation and Impact of SSH Research, Social sciences and Humanities Research Policy, Swedish Academy of Letters, 4 April, 2014, Swedish Academy of Letters, Invited Talk, PRESENTED
Poul Holm, Translation and Impact of Humanities Research, Global Humanities, Hanover, Germany, 18 June, 2014, Volkswagen Stiftung, Invited Talk, PRESENTED
Poul Holm, The role of the humanities in addressing global challenges, EuroScience Open Forum, Copenhagen, Denmark, 24 June, 2014, ESOF, Invited Talk, PRESENTED


Page 1 of 9
Award Date
R (Ridder (Knight) af Dannebrog ) 2008
Fellow Trinity College Dublin 2010
Member, Academia Europaea 2015
shared: COSMOS award (Steering Committee Census of Marine Life) 2011
(Shared) American Publishers Awards for Professional & Scholarly Excellence (PROSE awards): the Award for Excellence in Physical Sciences & Mathematics and the Award for Earth Sciences 3 Feb 2011
Winner Best Danish Research of the Year 2009 2009
Honorary Professor, Ocean University of China, Qingdao, China 2007
Honorary Professor, Three Gorges University, China 2007
Corresponding Scholar, Institute for Advanced Study, National Taiwan University March 2015
Marine and coastal environmental history, all periods. Early medieval (Viking) Scandinavia and Ireland