Educated in marine biology, University of Oslo, Norway in 1978.
Research position at the University of Oslo (1979–1984), analyzing basic physiological processes in marine fishes and effects due to oil and dispersants on fish and marine ecosystems.
Senior engineer and head of section at the Norwegian Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (1985–1992), regulating operation and handling acute discharges from shipping and oil and gas exploration and exploitation in the seas around Norway and at Svalbard. National delegate to expert groups under the Oslo and Paris Convention (OSPAR) and the London Dumping Convention (LDC).
Chair of the Scientific Assessment Group assessing pollution of the North Sea under the North Sea Task Force (1988–1993). Member of the Norwegian delegation (1989–1991) preparing the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy (AEPS), signed by Arctic ministers of Environment in 1991 and reorganized into the Arctic Council (1996).
Served as the Executive Secretary for Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) (1992–2017), assessing and reporting trends and effects due to pollution and climate change on Arctic ecosystems and humans, and proposed policy relevant actions based on science.
Evaluated and contributed to monitoring, research and assessment programs in Canada, Denmark, EU, India, Russia, UNEP and the USA.
Senior Advisor to the Rector of the University of Tromsø, the Arctic University of Norway, with priority focus on Arctic science and international cooperation (2017 – present).