Thomas publishes research on ecological and institutional economics focusing on ecosystem services, adaptive governance, social learning, sustainability transformations, and green economy. At present, he has four research project grants: 1) Institutional analysis of Ecological Compensation as an instrument for ensuring No Net Loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services (Formas); 2) Mistra Financial Systems: Putting financial systems to work for sustainability, where he is a leader and member of the program management group; 3) Effective and equitable institutional arrangements for financing and safeguarding biodiversity (Formas); and 4) BiodivERsA3: GreenFutureForest, where he is the leader on insurance value of ecosystems.
Thomas is also coordinating lead author for the European and Central Asian Regional Assessment of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).
Thomas holds a PhD from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, where he studied property rights of the indigenous Sami people, ethics, and conflict resolution. With a background in agricultural economics, he has explored interdisciplinary science, from social sciences to ecology. Presently, his work is mostly transdisciplinary. Previously, Thomas was a full-time teacher and the director of studies at SRC, but now focuses more on research.
In 2013, Thomas worked half-time co-authoring a report, commissioned by the Swedish government, on the value of ecosystem services. He is currently engaged in dialogue seminars within the CBD (Convention on Biological Diversity) and with IPBES.
Thomas serves as a board member of Sveaskog AB, the largest forest owner in Europe, and as a board member of the Swedish Nuclear Waste Fund. He also serves as expert in governmental investigations on climate economy and on ecological compensation. He is also a member of a think tank Global Utmaning (Global Challenge), and recently participated in a pre-study on green economy for Mistra, the Swedish foundation for strategic environmental research. This report was launched in 2015 and it was broadcasted by national television.
Thomas regularly gives presentations about his research to various Swedish parliamentary committees, the Swedish Environmental Protection Board, the Swedish Board of Agriculture, and decision-makers in the private sector, including NGOs.
Thomas collaborates with other departments at SU on teaching and research. He has helped catalyze the Faculty of Social Sciences to instigate a new topic for graduate studies: environmental social science, which will promote interdisciplinary research careers. In 2015 Thomas had some of his research featured by Stockholm University.
Awards and achievements:
Research news | 2017-11-06
Why the need to understand the links between learning and action is critical to the sustainable management of natural resources
Research news | 2017-08-03
New study looks at ecological compensation, a novel legal and policy instrument, and how Sweden is using it to balance development and conservation of important biological and social areas
Research news | 2017-02-10
Contrary to critics, resilience research is not blind to power structures or conflicts
Research news | 2016-01-20
Economic instruments for biodiversity and ecosystem services need not rely on markets or monetary valuation
2018 - Journal / article
The format for formal international negotiations on environment and development sometimes prevents negotiators from truly listening to each other and adapt pre-existing positions to realize constructive conflict resolution. In this paper we present and analyse “Multi-Actor Dialogue Seminars” (MADS) as an approach to contribute to transformative social learning and conflict resolution, and the contribution to tangible and intan...
2017 - Journal / article
Learning is considered as a promising mechanism to cope with rapid environmental change. The implications of learning for natural resource management (NRM) have not been explored in-depth and the evidence on the topic is scattered across multiple sources. We provide a qualitative review of types of learning outcomes and consider their manifestations in NRM across selected empirical literature. We conducted a systematic search ...
2017 - Journal / article
Agri-environmental schemes are often targeted at heterogenic landscapes to support several ecosystem services besides food production. The question is whether heterogenic landscapes also support recreation values. Previous studies suggest this but statistical analysis of the relation between heterogeneity and recreation is lacking. To assess this, we used a quantitative Landscape Heterogeneity Index (LHI), developed for biodiv...
2017 - Journal / article
Ecological compensation (EC) is being explored as a policy instrument for the European Union’s ‘No Net Loss of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services’ initiative. EC is commonly associated with the Polluter-Pays Principle, but we propose the Developer-Pays Principle as a more comprehensive principle. Safeguards that are relevant to local and national contexts are needed when addressing social-ecological resilience in the face of ...