Research / Research areas

Environmental Studies

Graphic element for the research area of Environmental Studies

Södertörn University has addressed the challenge of integrating Natural and Social Sciences creating a relevant, dynamic and engaged interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research area: Environmental Studies.

Within Environmental Studies, researchers draw on approaches,theories and methods from different disciplines in order to achieve an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the causes, scope and management of problems relating to the environment and natural resources, and necessary conditions for sustainable growth. This broad interdisciplinary research area, examines human interaction with ecological processes, from different natural science and social science disciplinary viewpoints. The research covers ecological and other natural processes that affect the ecosystems over space and time, environmental changes and problems caused by anthropogenic influences as well as environmental policy, governance and sustainable development. Knowledge in both ecological and social sciences is necessary for the understanding of the complexity and multidimensionality of environmental issues and problems. Research within Environmental studies at Södertörn University focuses on three integrated themes: Environmental Change and Ecological Processes, Environmental Governance and Environment and Development.


ECOPOOL - ecosystem as common-pool resources

Implications for building sustainable water management institutions in the Baltic Sea Region


ECOPOOL is a multidisciplinary research project that focuses on governance of water resources and related ecosystem services in the Baltic Sea Region. The new demands on institutional arrangements by the EU Water Framework Directive, as well as of changing ecosystems due to e.g. climate change could be viewed as a reorganization phase that implies an increased need for adaptive capacity and transformability.

The overall aim of the project is to contribute to an improved understanding of the feedbacks between ecosystems and society for sustainable governance. We use an ecosystem approach perspective with particular focus on the following aspects:

  • Appropriation of scales, in particular, cross-scale and multi-level governance issues.
  • The role of stakeholder participation and local ecological knowledge.
  • The capacity to adapt and transform in the phase of change in ecosystems and society.

The project is organized as a set of partly comparative case studies in two sub-projects, focusing on different aspects of the implementation of the Water Framework Directive. The financier of the project is the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies and geographically, we will focus on the Northern Baltic Sea Water District and two selected sub-basins in Sweden, and similar catchment areas in other Baltic countries.

The project is multidisciplinary combining methods and theoretical ideas from natural resource management, planning, physical geography, ecology and economics. A core idea in this project is that the participants work in an integrated manner. The participants are researchers from Södertörn University, KTH - Royal institute of technology and other research institutes and companies.

SH Enveco KTH