A new marine research vessel Þórunn Þórðardóttir, expected to enhance Iceland’s marine research capabilities, will be launched on December 15 and is expected to be delivered in October 2024. The ship’s namesake was a pioneering marine researcher in Iceland.
To replace Bjarni Sæmundsson
A new marine research vessel, the Þórunn Þórðardóttir HF300, will be launched on December 15. Þórunn, the ship’s namesake, was Iceland’s first woman educated in marine research and a pioneer in studying microalgae’s primary production (i.e. the process by which microalgae convert inorganic carbon, typically in the form of carbon dioxide (CO₂), into organic compounds using the energy from sunlight).
Born in 1925 and a graduate of Oslo University, Þórunn received honorary recognition for her contributions to marine research. She adapted the radiocarbon method to Icelandic conditions, and her measurements remain relevant today, as noted by the Marine & Freshwater Research Institute. She passed away in 2007, leaving behind her husband, Odd Didriksen, and their two children.
In a press release published on the government’s website, Minister of Food, Agriculture, and Fisheries, Svandís Svavarsdóttir, highlighted the ship’s significance for Icelandic marine research and commended the apt naming on the day of the Women’s Strike. The vessel, whose construction has been overseen by the engineering firm Skipasýn at the Astilleros Armón shipyard in Spain, measures nearly seventy metres in length and thirteen metres in width. Powered mainly by oil and equipped with two large batteries, it will replace the Bjarni Sæmundsson in about a year.