The research and teaching in the Department of Systems Ecology at Stockholm University focuses on the study of ecosystems and on sustainable use of natural resources. Studies are made on both basic and applied ecological problems, with an emphasis on coastal and marine ecosystems and coupled social-ecological systems. The Department has been involved in the development of the interdisciplinary field of ecological economics, and research is carried out in many developing countries, mostly in the tropics.
The Department works in close collaboration with the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University and the Beijer International Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Södertörn and Gotland University Colleges and the Institute of Coastal Research of the Swedish Board of Fisheries.
The Stockholm Resilience Centre is a Swedish Centre of Excellence established in 2007 as a joint effort between the Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University; Beijer International Institute of Ecological Economics; and Stockholm Environment Institue, SEI. The Centre is funded by FORMAS, with an aim to do integrated research on social-ecological systems.
The project runs over a five-year period and its work focuses on complex systems, regime shifts and resilience. The centre argues that because of positive feedbacks causing non-linear dynamics and regime shifts in social-ecological systems, a resilience approach will be required for guiding management and policy towards sustainability.
The Centre for Transdisciplinary Environmental Research (CTM) at Stockholm University and The Baltic Nest Institute (former MARE) are also part of the Stockholm Resilience Centre.
The Stockholm Resilience Centre works in close contact with Albaeco, an independent non-profit organisation founded in 1998 by researchers in Natural Resource Management at Stockholm University together with representatives from advertising, media and business economics. Albaeco is connected to an extensive network of international researchers from both the natural and social sciences. Albaeco is an active partner of the Centre and assists researchers in their communications efforts to reach out with research findings to the media, politicians, government agencies and resource users at local, regional and international levels. Albaeco’s mission is to communicate the latest in sustainability science with a focus on Nature’s importance to society and the economy. Albaeco spreads easy-to-grasp information on how human societies depend on functioning ecosystems, and how societies influence the capacity of ecosystems to sustain human well-being. The information is available for practical use by policy-makers, businesses, schools, media and the general public. More information about Albaeco.
Albaeco produces many publications. One of them is the Sustainable Development Update (SDU), a newsletter on evironment – development issues, that from 2009 has been turned into a News Blog. It was originally developed out of the electronic
Newsletter called Environment,
Development & Conflict EDC News, that was published 2003–06 by the Dept. of Peace and Decvelopment Studies (PADRIGU), University of Gothenburg, and funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). Go for the Sustainable Development Update (SDU) News Blog.
Research connected to South Asia:
During the period 2008-09, Dr. Jenny Grönwall was connected to the department. She was previously connected to the Department of Water and Environmental Studies,
Tema Institute, Linköping
University, where she defended her doctoral dissertation titled ”Access to water
Rights, obligations and the Bangalore situation” on Wednesday 4 June 2008. At the Dept. of Systems Ecology, she pursued a post-doc study focusing on urban development in Bangalore city, India.More information about Dr. Grönwall’s research.
From March 2011, Jenny Grönwall works as Technical Officer at the WaterWise division,
Abu Dhabi Regulation and Supervision Bureau in the United Arab Emirates. This is a government agency aiming at enhancing water efficiency in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
The researcher Max Troell defended his doctoral dissertation entited ”Intensive fish cage farming: impacts, resource demands and increased sustainability through integration” at the department in 2001. It focused on integrated aquaculture techniques, and characteristic for his work is a system ecology perspective applied to aquaculture.
He is now working as a Research Associate at the Beijer International Institute of Ecological Economics in Stockholm. More information about his research.
Partner driven INDO-Swedish collaboration project on governance of ecosystem services
In July 2010, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), through its program for Partner Driven Cooperation (Aktörssamverkan), announced a call for applications for grants to collaborative projects related to access to and use of research for the period 2010 – 2012. This program is not support to research but rather assisting partners in assessing and using research in policy formulation and innovation. Sida’s initiative for Partner Driven Cooperation is aiming to support sustainable cooperation relationships, and concerns only a few selected countries, namely China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. More information.
In December 2010, decisions were made. A total number of 32 projects were selected, out of which nine refers to Indo-Swedish collaboration projects. Information about all India related projects given grants.
Dr. Maria Tengö, researcher at the Dept. of Systems Ecology, is the main applicant for one of these India related grants. She and her colleagues behind the application are given SEK 4.17 m for three years (2010-12) for a project entitled ”Bridging the science-policy gap for governance of ecosystem services – lessons learned from sacred ecosystems”. More information will follow.