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Ola Tveitereid Westengen

Image of Ola Tveitereid Westengen
Postal address UiO Centre for Development and the Environment PO Box 1116 Blindern 0317 Oslo

Academic Interests

  • Biodiversity and genetic resources, conservation and use
  • Crop Evolution, geneflow and adaptations
  • Livelihoods and crop diversity
  • Food security and Adaptation to Climate Change

Project involvement

Researcher, SUM, NFR AidEffect project led by Dan Banik: Impacts of Norwegian and Chines Development Assistance in Malawi and Zambia (With role in Work package 2: Livelihoods and Food security

Coordinator of Operation and Management, Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Nordic Genetic Resource Centre (ending March 2015)

Associate Professor in Agricultural Development, Department of International Environment and Development studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (starting March 2015)

Courses taught

Lectures in


Ola Westengen is the Coordinator of Operation and Management for the Svalbard Global Seed Vault – a storage facility to back-up genetic diversity held in genebank collections of crop diversity worldwide. He is employed by the Nordic Genetic Resource Center for that position. At SUM he is a research fellow working on a PhD project entitled “Seeds of Adaptation”, studying maize and sorghum diversity and adaptation in sub-Saharan Africa. Fieldwork for his thesis was carried out in South Sudan and Tanzania and the research involves genetic analyses of the crops grown as well as analyses of socio-economic and cultural factors involved in adapting to climatic stress.

Ola holds a Master in Management of Natural Resources from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. From 2006-2008 he worked as a Programme Officer with The Global Crop Diversity Trust based in the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Previously he worked in Sri Lanka on relief and rehabilitation of farmers’ and fishers’ livelihoods after the tsunami, with the Norwegian Development Fund’s local partner organization ‘Green Movement of Sri Lanka’.

Positions held

  • He serves at the board of FIAN


Tags: Aid, Food, Natural Resource Management, Poverty, Africa


View all works in Cristin

  • Westengen, Ola (2015, 20. mai). A worldwide network of seed information is taking root . [Internett].  Scidev.net.
  • Westengen, Ola (2015, 02. februar). En el Polo Norte existe el "Arca de Noé" de las plantas . [Radio].  Colombia.
  • Westengen, Ola (2015, 26. mai). Frøbanken i Syria reddes til Svalbard . [Radio].  NRKP1.
  • Westengen, Ola (2015). Frøhvelvet på Svalbard . Faktafyk : om saker ungdom er opptekne av.  ISSN 1893-8507.  3(1), s 50- 54
  • Westengen, Ola (2015, 18. juni). Save seed banks, save the world . [Internett].  Positive News.
  • Westengen, Ola (2015, 22. mai). Svalbard kan være Syrias redning.  Aftenposten.
  • Westengen, Ola (2015, 22. mai). Syrias frølager kan være ødelagt - Svalbard er livsviktig backup .  Aftenposten.
  • Westengen, Ola & von Bothmer, Roland (2015). Den frosne Arken, I: Leif Magne Helgesen; Kim Holmén & Ole Arve Misund (red.),  Isen smelter - etikk i Arktis.  Fagbokforlaget.  ISBN 978-82-450-1794-6.  Ressurser og næringsliv i Arktis.  s 165 - 178
  • Westengen, Ola Tveitereid (2014, 15. november). Ark in the Arctic .  The Hindu.
  • Westengen, Ola Tveitereid (2014). Cultural determinants of crop diversity: implications for conservation and use.
  • Westengen, Ola Tveitereid (2014). Fakta og fiksjon om Svalbard Globale Frøhvelv.
  • Westengen, Ola Tveitereid (2014, 15. juni). Frø frå borgarkrigens Aleppo sikra på Svalbard . [Internett].  NRK.
  • Westengen, Ola Tveitereid (2014, 31. august). Norway’s ‘Doomsday Vault’ holds a priceless treasure: Seeds .  The Star.
  • Westengen, Ola Tveitereid (2014, 28. november). Svalbard, 300 milioni di semi nella fortezza scavata nel ghiaccio .  Corriere della Sera.
  • Westengen, Ola Tveitereid (2014). The Svalbard Global Seed Vault: a frozen ark for food security.
  • Westengen, Ola Tveitereid (2013, 27. november). - Jeg kan ikke tenke meg et tryggere sted .  Aftenposten.
  • Westengen, Ola Tveitereid (2013). Bevaring av genetiske ressurser på Svalbard. Genialt.  ISSN 0804-225X.  (2)
  • Westengen, Ola Tveitereid (2013). Klimaendringer og matsikkerhet.
  • Westengen, Ola Tveitereid (2013). Livelihoods and adaptation to climatic stress in the semi-arid zone in Tanzania.
  • Westengen, Ola Tveitereid (2013). Modern maize varieties going local in the semi-arid zone in Tanzania: Implications for adaptation to climate change.
  • Westengen, Ola Tveitereid (2013). Temporal population structure in sorghum landraces from Lafon, South Sudan: Genotypic responses to climatic variability and change?.
  • Westengen, Ola Tveitereid; Jeppson, Simon & von Bothmer, Roland (2013). Safety duplicating global ex-situ collections: taxonomic and institutional representation in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.
  • Westengen, Ola Tveitereid (2012). Challenging adaptation categories -The role of crop diversity and seed systems in adapting to climatic stress in the semi-arid agricultural zone in Tanzania.
  • Westengen, Ola Tveitereid (2012). Recursos genéticos, su conservación y acceso en la Bóveda Global de Semillas, Svalbard, Noruega.
  • Westengen, Ola Tveitereid (2012). Svalbard Global Seed Vault -Your back-up in the Arctic.
  • Holsten, Hilde Hartmann & Westengen, Ola Tveitereid (2011, 28. november). Sikkerhet i et lite frø . [Internett].  Forskning.no.
  • Westengen, Ola Tveitereid (2010). Science for Development? International Foundation for Science, NORAD .
  • Westengen, Ola Tveitereid (2010). Svalbard Global Seed Vault doubles its content after two years. Newsletter for Europe. Bioversity International.  (40), s 17- 17
  • Westengen, Ola Tveitereid (2010). The use of controlled environments for storing plant genetic resources for the future.
  • Westengen, Ola Tveitereid (2009). En ny grønn revolusjon?. Klassekampen.  ISSN 0805-3839.
  • Westengen, Ola Tveitereid (2008). Svalbard Globale Frøhvelv -Symbol og Realitet . Nordiske Genressurser.  ISSN 1603-3922.
  • Westengen, Ola Tveitereid (2008). Svalbard Seed Vault . Newsletter for Europe. Bioversity International.  (36), s 14- 15
  • Westengen, Ola Tveitereid (2008). The day of the big freeze in Svalbard. Global Seed Vault opened. Geneflow.  1(1), s 6- 8
  • Westengen, Ola Tveitereid (2007). Conservation of crop biodiversity for a food secure future .

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Published Aug 15, 2011 02:53 PM - Last modified Feb 11, 2015 03:35 PM