Renate Degen received the three-year Hertha Firnberg grant from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) to study the functions of macro- and megabenthic communities in the Arctic Ocean. While in recent years some information was gathered about the structural variability of Arctic benthos, information on the functional variability is currently still lacking. The aim of this project is to fill these knowledge gaps by means of a pan-Arctic, integrated approach, including i) the analysis of benthic functioning on Arctic shelves and basins and along a shelf-slope-basin gradient in the Eurasian and the Amerasian part of the Arctic, ii) the identification of functions and regions most susceptible to changes, and iii) the prediction of benthic ecosystem functioning in a future, seasonally ice free Arctic Ocean.