The executive staff of the Barents Institute consists of two experts:
research director Urban Wråkberg and administrative manager Svein Helge Orheim.

Aileen Espíritu - Senior Research Fellow at the Barents Institute

Aileen A. Espíritu’s research project at the Barents Institute is entitled “Service Provision, Environmental Management, and Sustainable Communities: a qualitative comparative study of Quality of Life in the Barents Region.” Aileen started her research at Kirkenes in July 2007. The aim of this research project is to determine how a good quality of life of Barents communities is sustained, or in some cases attained in an environment of transformation and change brought on by the “new economy”.
E-mail: aileen.espiritu at

Fujio Ohnishi - Visiting Research Fellow at the Barents Institute

Fujio Ohnishi is studying the structure and functions of Barents cooperation and the interplay of national and regional agents in Norway-Russian confidence building and regional integration in the Barents regions. He is comparing this with cross-border collaboration in the Northern Far East with intent to identify positive lessons for prospective cooperation in both parts of the world.
E-mail: fujio at

Victoria Tevlina - Senior Research Fellow at the Barents Institute

Victoria Tevlina’s main research project at the Barents Institute aims to produce a general comparative outlook on the growth and change of social welfare systems in Russia and Norway over the last two hundred years. This is a multicultural and multidisciplinary project in which she is analyzing the ideological context and material conditions for civic initiative and public policy aiming to implement various practices of modernisation and the furthering of wellbeing within the social sphere in Norway and Russian.
E-mail: victoria at

Master of Art research projects

The Barents Institute co-advices and supports Master theses on several important issues related to the Barents Region.

Barents Institute Visiting Professorships

Barents Institute occasionally appoints visiting fellows or professors based on their excellency of research on some of the fields central to the BAI. They are invited to stay at the institute in Kirkenes to do research, to interact with the permanent staff and students of the institute, and to contribute to BAI outreach and consulting business.

Urban Wråkberg - Research Director of the Barents Institute

Urban Wråkberg has twenty years experience of research coordination on the high north, and of research on social, political and scientific issues of the arctic and Antarctica. Based on his international network and expanding alliances in the Barents Region, his is developing the research and outreach agenda of the Barents Institute. In his research he focuses the processes of knowledge formation, theory and practices of nature protection, and northern industrial development.
E-mail: urban at