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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

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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; Richard Breen; Tenaya Jorgensen; Francis Ludlow, How large were the armies and fleets of Viking-age Ireland? Quantitative Information on Norse and Irish Warfare in the Irish Annals, 794-1169, 2023, p1-15 , Journal Article, PRESENTED
Agnese Cretella, Cordula Scherer, Poul Holm, Tasting the ocean: How to increase ocean literacy using seafood heritage with a visceral approach, Marine Policy, 2023, p1-15 , Journal Article, APPROVED
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
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 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED
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
Poul Holm,John Nicholls, Fishing at the Edge of Existence: Shetland, Faroes, Iceland, c. 1540-1790, Northern Studies, 52, 2021, p1-21 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Travis, Charles; Ludlow, Francis; Matthews, Al; Lougheed, Kevin; Rankin, Kieran; Allaire, Bernard; Legg, Robert; Hayes, Patrick; Nicholls, John; Towns, Lydia; Holm, Poul, Inventing the Grand Banks: A Deep Chart. Humanities GIS, Cartesian, and Literary Perceptions of the North-West Atlantic Fishery ca 1500-1800, Geo: Geography and Environment, 7, (1), 2020, pe00085 , Notes: [The early modern 'invention' of the Grand Banks, a feature of the Fish Revolution (CA 1500), facilitated massive and unprecedented extractions of Gadus morhua (cod) from the waters of the north Atlantic. The invention of this oceanic plantation, the result of the confluence between cartography, commerce, and cultural agency, contributed to capitalizing modern European and North America societies, and created conflict between bourgeoning Western empires. Fernand Braudel noted that "a historical study centred on a stretch of water has all the charms but undoubtedly all the dangers of a new departure" (1973, p.19). Embracing such a risk, this paper engages Humanities GIS (HumGIS) as a method to parse knowledge from sea and fishery charts, letters, pieces of drama, and scientific surveys, to study the historical geographies of the early modern north-Atlantic économie-monde.], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI

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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


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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