Österblom has a PhD in Marine Ecology from the Department of Systems Ecology at Stockholm University, and a Master’s Degree in Behavioural Ecology from the Department of Zoology at Uppsala University.
He is interested in ocean ecosystems and ways to improve stewardship of marine resources. Starting as a seabird ecologist, with a particular interest in social interactions between alcids, he has worked on understanding how the Baltic Sea is managed, how international collaboration emerged to address non-compliance in Southern Ocean fisheries, and how transnational corporations shape the present and future ocean. Ongoing work is focusing on the speed and role of science in society, global cooperation and altruism, and understanding cascading industry effects from novel sustainability approaches. He has worked at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, and as Special Advisor to the Swedish Government in the Secretariat for the Environmental Advisory Council.
Österblom is leading the Keystone Dialogues, a global co-production project including major private actors in global seafood, which has resulted in the establishment of the Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship (SeaBOS) initiative, aimed to transform global seafood towards more sustainable practices. He is principal investigator in Nereus – Predicting the Future Oceans Program, and member of the IMBER Human Dimension Working Group, the Future Earth Knowledge Action Network and the Seas of Norden Network.
Österblom serves on the international advisory board of the South American Institute for Resilience and Sustainability Studies (SARAS²), as board member of Race for the Baltic, and represents Stockholm University in the United Nations Global Compact Action Platform for Sustainable Ocean Business. He is a member in the Expert Group for the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy.
Österblom represents the Stockholm Resilience Centre in the Section for Earth and Environmental Sciences at Stockholm University and is subject editor for Ecology and Society and PLOS One.
Research news | 2019-07-03
Announcement part of next phase of the Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship (SeaBOS), a joint initiative between the world’s largest commercial seafood companies and science to strengthen sustainable practices within the seafood industry
Research news | 2019-06-27
New study presents and analyzes first longitudinal database on fisheries conflict
Research news | 2019-04-12
New study reveals what roles non-state actors play in tuna regional fisheries management organizations
Research news | 2019-03-14
Why universities and scientists should play a pivotal role in better disclosing sample origin of marine genetic data
Deputy Science Director Henrik Österblom interviewed about a new global scientific synthesis on marine regime shifts
Global seafood trade leave consumers unaware of over-exploited marine ecosystems
How adaptive governance helped pull back illegal fishing in the Southern Ocean
How Interpol and international networks join forces to stop illegal fishing
2019 - Journal / article
International fisheries conflict can cause crises by threatening maritime security, ecosystems and livelihoods. In a highly connected world, the possibility for localized fisheries conflict to escalate into ‘systemic risks’, where risk in one domain such as food supply can increase risk in another domain such as maritime security and international relations, is growing. However, countries often choose hard-line actions rather ...
2019 - Journal / article
Non-state actors (NSAs) have proliferated in number and are increasingly acknowledged to matter for global governance of natural resources. This has generated considerable scholarly interest, but there is surprisingly little systematic knowledge about patterns and trends of NSA participation in global fisheries institutions. This article addresses this gap by studying NSA populations, considering more than 500 actors attending...
2019 - Journal / article
Interdependence of social-ecological systems (SES) across the globe is rapidly increasing through increased connectivity, for example, through flow of information and trade. This case study of highly remote Himalayan villages in West Sikkim, India, explores how cross-scale interactions can shape the development of a local SES. In-depth interviews across four different institutional scales—state, district, gram panchayat uni...
2018 - Journal / article
They studied the at-sea distribution of two auks (Common Murre Uria aalge, Razorbill Alca torda), two gulls (Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus, Herring Gull Larus argentatus), and Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo during the peak breeding season of 2014 around Stora Karlsö, the main Baltic Sea seabird colony. Simultaneously, they quantified forage fish abundance and distribution using hydro-acoustics and pelagic trawli...