Dr Helena Reinardy

        Dr Helena Reinardy holding sea urchin on her hand in the Arctic

Aquaculture researcher / teaching fellow

A marine biologist and ecotoxicologist researching the changing marine environment, such as increasing temperatures, altered pH, and presence of pollutants and the complex effects on organisms from epi- genetics, molecular toxicology, physiology, reproduction, growth, and survival.

I am research area co-leader for .

Contact details:

Dr Helena Reinardy is a marine biologist and ecotoxicologist with extensive experience in biology of fish and marine invertebrates applied to various industries such as aquaculture, fisheries, environmental risk and safety, industrial waste management, and regulatory toxicology.

For the last 10 years, she has researched the complex interaction between organisms and their every changing environment. The current changes that are occurring the marine environment include climatic shifts such as increasing temperatures, reduction in pH, altered oxygen content, and presence of contaminants and pollutants. Combined, these multiple-level stressors affect organisms in the ocean, and their responses can determine susceptibility to disease, adaptive evolution, and long-term species resilience to changing environmental conditions. Helena has experience with a range of environmentally-relevant contaminants and stressors with projects into effects of oil, metals, radionuclides, pharmaceuticals, mutagens and carcinogens, nanoparticles, mine tailings waste, ocean acidification, and thermal stress. Helena applies a range of effects measurement spanning genetic and epigenetic levels changes to molecular toxicology, physiology, behaviour, reproduction, and survival.

Her research has both pure and applied angles and she works closely with partners and stakeholders from industry, governmental regulators, and national and international research sectors to understand environmental situations of concern.

Helena’s current post involves teaching aquaculture to undergraduate and graduate students, and conducting and developing research collaborations. In addition, she is affiliated to the University Centre in Svalbard as an adjunct Associate Professor in the Arctic Technology Department and supports research and education initiatives in environmental toxicology and chemistry.


List of current research projects

Sensitivity of polar cod early life stages to a changing Arctic, impacts of petroleum and elevated temperature (Sens2change). Funded by the Fram Centre, MIKON flagship, Tromso Norway. Jan 2018-Dec 2019. Work package leader on epigenetics effects

Incorporating pollutant availability and mobility in environmental risk assessment management tools (PAMERA). Funded by the Fram Centre, MIKON flagship, Tromso Norway. Jan 2018 - Dec 2019. Mail tailings characterisation

Ocean Acidification - drivers and effects on arctic marine organisms and ecosystems (OA-DREAM). Funded by the Fram Centre, MIKON flagship, Tromso Norway. Jan 2018 - Dec 2019. Effects of OA on gametes and vulnerable life stages


Important past projects

Environmental Waste Management. Effects of mine tailings on early life stages of Atlantic cod (EWMA). Funded by the Norwegian Research Council. 2015-17

Peer-reviewed publications

Imsland AKD, Purvis E, Reinardy HC, Kapari L, Watts EJ, Hangstad TA (2021) The effects of cryogenically preserved sperm on the fertilization, embryonic devlopment and hatching success of lumpfish Cyclopterus lumpus. Aquaculture 737466   https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aquaculture.2021.737466

Pedersen, K.B., Reinardy, H.C., Jensen, P.E., Ottosen, L.M., Junttila, J., Frantzen, M. 2018. The influence of Magnafloc10 on the acidic, alkaline, and electrodialytic desorption of metals from mine tailings. Journal of Environmental Management. 224:130-139.

Emerson, C.E., Reinardy, H.C., Bates, N., and Bodnar, A.G. 2017. Ocean acidification impacts spine integrity but not regenerative capacity of spines and tube feet in adult sea urchins. Royal Society Open Science 4:170140.

Aguirre-Martinez, G.V., Reinardy, H.C., Martin-Diaz, M.L., and Henry, T.B. 2017, Response of gene expression in zebrafish exposed to pharmaceutical mixtures: Implications for environmental risk. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 142:471-479.

Reinardy, H.C., Chapman, J., and Bodnar, A.G. 2016. Induction of innate immune gene expression following methyl methanesulfonate-induced DNA damage in sea urchins. Biology Letters 12(2):20151057

Reinardy, H.C., Emerson, C.E., Manley, J.M., and Bodnar, A.G. 2015. Tissue regeneration and biomineralization in sea urchins: role of Notch signaling and presence of stem cell markers. PLoS ONE 10(8) e0133860.

Reinardy, H.C. and Bodnar, A.G. 2015 Profiling DNA damage and repair capacity in sea urchin coelomocytes and larvae exposed to genotoxicants. Mutagenesis, 30(6): 829-839. DOI:10.1093/mutage/gev052.

El-Bibany, A.H., Bodnar, A.G., and Reinardy, H.C. 2014. Comparative DNA damage and repair in echinoderms exposed to genotoxicants. PLoS ONE 9(9) e107815.

Scarlett, A., Reinardy, H.C., West, C., Henry, T.B., and Rowland, S. 2013. Acute toxicity of aromatic and non-aromatic fractions of naphthenic acids extracted from oil sands process-affected water to larval zebrafish. Chemosphere. 93(2):415-420.

Reinardy, H.C., Scarlett, A., West, C., Rowland, S., and Henry, T.B. 2013. Aromatic naphthenic acids in oil sands process-affected water, resolved by GCxGC-MS, only weakly induce the gene for vitellogenin production in zebrafish (Danio rerio) larvae. Environmental Science and Technology. 47(12):6614-6620.

Reinardy, H.C., Dharamshi, J., Jha, A.N., Henry, T.B. 2013. Changes in expression profile of genes associated with DNA repair following induction of DNA damage in larval zebrafish Danio rerio. Mutagenesis. 28(5)601-608.

Reinardy, H.C., Skippins, E., Henry, T.B., Jha, A.N. 2013. Assessment of DNA damage in sperm after repeated non-invasive sampling in zebrafish Danio rerio. Journal of Fish Biology. 82: 1074-1081

Reinardy, H.C., Syrett, J., Jeffree, R., Jha, A., Henry, T. 2013. Cobalt-induced genotoxicity in male zebrafish (Danio rerio), with implications for reproduction and expression of DNA repair genes. Aquatic Toxicology. 126: 224-230.

Reinardy, H.C., Teyssie, J-L., Jeffree, R.A., Copplestone, D., Henry, T.B., Jha, A.N. 2011. Uptake, depuration, and radiation dose estimation in zebrafish exposed to radionuclides via aqueous or dietary routes. Science of the Total Environment. 409: 3771-3779.

Fraser, T.W.K., Reinardy, H. C., Shaw, B.J., Henry, T.B., Handy, R. 2011. Dietary toxicity of single-walled carbon nanotubes and fullerenes (C60) in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Nanotoxicology. 5(1): 98-108.

Wells, A., Grierson, C.E., Marshall, L., MacKenzie, M., Russon, I.J., Reinardy, H., Sivertsgard, R., Bjorn, P.A., Finstad, B., Bonga, S.E.W., Todd, C.D. and Hazon, N. (2007). Physiological consequences of “premature freshwater return” for wild sea-run brown trout (Salmo trutta) postsmolts infested with sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 64(10): 1360-1369.

Wells, A., Grierson, C.E., MacKenzie, M., Russon, I.J., Reinardy, H., Middlemiss, C., Bjorn, P.A., Finstad, B., Bonga, S.E.W., Todd, C.D. and Hazon, N. (2006). Physiological effects of simultaneous, abrupt seawater entry and sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) infestation of wild, sea-run brown trout (Salmo trutta) smolts. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 63(12): 2809-2821.

Todd, C.T., Stevenson, R.J., Reinardy, H. & Ritchie, M.G. (2005). Polyandry in the ectoparasitic copepod Lepeophtheirus salmonis despite complex precopulatory and postcopulatory mate-guarding. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 303: 225 – 234.

At SAMS UHI I am currently leading the 'Global Overview of Aquaculture' module on the MSc in Aquaculture, Environment and Society as well as the 'Aquaculture' module in year 3 of the BSc in Marine Science.


Modules involved with on external programmes

UNIS Arctic Technology Department courses:

AT-210 Arctic Environmental Pollution

AT-331/831 Arctic Environmental Pollution: Distribution and Processes

AT-333/833 Arctic Petroleum: Challenges for Society, Technology and Environment


Other teaching responsibilities

Board member for the EnviTox Masters programme, NTNU, Trondheim


Current research students

Tatiana Drotikova: Local emission of aerosol particles and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons into the Svalbard atmosphere. PhD candidate. Registered at UNIS and NMBU


Alumni research students

Ditte Secher Paludan: MSc thesis 'Transcriptional study on endocrine disruption in female polar cod (Boreogadus saida) following a prolonged recovery to short-term exposure to oil spill residue. 2017-18. Copenhagen University

Employment history

Since 2018 Teaching Fellow / Researcher in Aquaculture. SAMS

2017-present Associate Professor. University Centre in Svalbard

2015-17 Postdoctoral Scientist. UNIS

2012-15. Postdoctoral Scientist. Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences



2012 PhD Fish Ecotoxicology. Plymouth University

2008 MRes Applied Fish Biology. Plymouth University

2005 BSc (Hons) Marine and Environmental Biology. University of St Andrews


Professional Memberships


UK & European Environmental Mutagen Society

Society of Biology

Norwegian Environmental Toxicology Network