Research Coordinator and Project Manager

+46 737 078 867



Staff profile

Maria is Research Coordinator working with the Urban research theme at Stockholm Resilience Centre, and also works with the Baltic Ecosystem Adaptive Management (BEAM) team

Profile summary

  • Maria received her Master’s of Science from the Stockholm Resilience Centre, where
    her thesis focused on the potential of city inhabitants' norms and values in protecting
    urban greens, focusing on sacred trees, in Bangalore, India
  • She was a co-editor of the book Urbanization, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Challenges and Opportunities
  • She was co-producer of the short video "An Urbanizing Planet"

Maria is Research Coordinator working with the Urban research theme at SRC, with the projects Urban Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (URBES), Accelerating and Rescaling Transitions to Sustainability (ARTS), and the Green Town Stockholm initiative. Maria also works in the Baltic Ecosystem Adaptive Management (BEAM) team, with the Baltic Health Index project, part of the global framework Ocean Health Index.

Maria was one of the coordinators of the Cities and Biodiversity Outlook project, running 2012 through 2014, co-editor of the project's scientific foundation published as the open access book "Urbanization, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Challenges and Opportunities", available from the project website, and co-producer of the short video "An Urbanizing Planet". Previous projects also include the position as Science Officer for the bioSUSTAINABILITY International Programme Office, one of DIVERSITAS four core projects.

Core research interests include development trends in peri-urban areas in Latin America and Asia, sustainable management of the associated social-ecological systems, and the connections between urban areas and the often geographically distant resource-providing areas upon which the cities depend.

An SRC graduate, Maria analyzed in her MSc thesis the potential of city inhabitants' norms and values to protect urban greens, focusing on sacred trees, in Bangalore, India's fifth largest city. Prior to that, Maria studied environmental and social-environmental science at Gothenburg University, specializing in Human Ecology, and spent one semester at the Australian National University, Canberra. Her BSc paper was supported by a SIDA Minor Field Study grant, and explored power structures and the prerequisites for developing adaptive governance in a rural fishing village in Cambodia.


Publications by Schewenius, Maria

The potential of trait-based approaches to contribute to marine conservation

Stuart-Smith, R.D., A.E. Bates, J.S. Lefcheck, J. Emmett Duffy, S.C. Baker, R.J. Thomson, J.F. Stuart-Smith, N.A. Hill, S.J. Kininmonth, L. Airoldi, M.A. Becerro, S.J. Campbell, T.P. Dawson, S.A. Navarrete, G. Soler, E.M.A. Strain, T.J. Willis, G.J. Edgar

2015 - Journal / article

The value of diversity metrics to represent ecological communities and inform broad-scale conservation objectives and policy has often been subject to debate and uncertainty and. In practice, diversity metrics are important in setting management and conservation priorities, just as economic indices contribute to global monetary and financial policies. Thus, key challenges for ecologists are to identify new ways to view and summarise patterns in biodiversity and improve on the metrics available for management purposes. In a recent paper on functional diversity patterns in reef fishes, we highlighted the potential of new insights gained from functional trait-based approaches to inform marine management, stressing the need to develop and refine biodiversity measures that are linked to ecology (rather than taxonomy). We used a unique, fisheries-independent reef fish identity and abundance dataset, collected using standardised methods from equatorial to high latitude regions all over the world, to provide the first global view of the distribution of individuals amongst species (including a measure of evenness) and functional traits amongst marine communities. A recent paper by Robinson et al. published in Marine Policy criticised the use of our evenness index as a measure of biodiversity, and questioned the use of functional trait-based metrics derived from surveys of standardised areas for decisions relating to broad-scale management of marine systems. In this paper we respond to Robinson et al. and rebut their claims related to sampling bias and broad-scale applicability of trait-based approaches.

Schewenius, Maria

Stockholm Resilience Centre is a collaboration between Stockholm University and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Stockholm Resilience Centre
Stockholm University, Kräftriket 2B
Phone: +46 8 674 70 70

Organisation number: 202100-3062
VAT No: SE202100306201