Thérese Janzén

Thérese Janzén


08-608 49 50 086084950

Institutionen för naturvetenskap, miljö och teknik


The peri-urban interface ranges from urban expansion to agricultural and rural landscapes. The recent geographical expansion of many peri-urban areas has resulted in land use and land cover changes in former rural areas, leading to fragmentation and isolation of natural environments (Niemelä et al., 2010). Peri-urban landscapes are variable and located in anthropogenic environments such as parks, managed forests, and meadows (Ellis and Ramankutty, 2008). These green areas are attractive for recreation and provide possibilities for outdoor activities including running/jogging, cycling, horseback riding, hanging out with family/friends, and enjoying nature among others (Sang et al., 2016). However, abundant tick populations have been observed in peri-urban and even in urban green spaces creating tick human intersections of high public health relevance (Rizzoli et al., 2014).

My doctoral project will assess the effects of the ongoing transition of the peri-urban landscape including these landscapes abilities to provide ecosystem services, but also on the risk of creating negative impacts on human health, using an ecosystem disservice perspective. The aim of my research project is to provide increased knowledge and understanding of landscape change and the eco-epidemiological aspects of peri-urban green areas used for recreation. In this project, I focus on the ecosystem disservice by Ixodes Ricinus, one of the principal vectors of pathogens causing arthropod-borne infections in Europe. Studying landscapes and ecosystem (dis)services calls for knowledge across disciplines, and my project is connected to two interdisciplinary projects at Södertörn University (Formas and ÖSS).

For a better understanding of the impact of the peri-urban landscape on ecosystem (dis)services this study will include a variation of peri-urban ecosystems. The ecological, economic, and social functions of the different peri-urban landscapes can affect magnitude of the ecosystem disservice, i.e. the risk of tick-borne diseases. This project will test hypotheses whether ecological factors and/or social factors influence the prevalence of ticks and tick-borne diseases. Specifically, this project aims to study ecosystem (dis)services of peri-urban green areas and identify how large- and small-scale landscape features, and human recreational activities, affect the risk of ticks and tick-borne pathogens.



Ellis, E.C., Ramankutty, N. (2008). Putting people on the map: anthropogenic biomes of the world. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 6, 439-447..

Niemelä, J., Saarela, S-R., Söderman, T., Kopperoinen, L., Yli-Pelkonen, V., Väre, S., Kotze, D.J. (2010). Using the ecosystem service approach for better planning and conservation od urban green spaces: a Finland case study. Biodiversity and Conservation, 19, 3225-3243.

Rizzoli, A., Silaghi, C., Obiegala, A., Rudolf, I., Hubálek, Z., Földvári, G., ... & Kazimírová, M. (2014). Ixodes ricinus and its transmitted pathogens in urban and peri-urban areas in Europe: new hazards and relevance for public health. Frontiers in public health, 2, 251.

Sang, Å.O., Knez, I., Gunnarsson, B., Hedblom, M. (2016). The effects of naturalness, gender, and age on how urban green space in perceived and used. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 18, 268-276.

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