- Earth system science
- Integrative methods
- Global governance
- Environmental policy
Sarah Cornell's research focuses on global sustainability. She coordinates SRC’s research and international collaborations on Earth resilience
Cornell leads a transdisciplinary team of researchers who aim to characterize the global ‘safe operating space for humanity’ in applicable ways, and is active in the growing international community of researchers advancing planetary boundaries science together with practitioners who use the framework. She also contributes to the science-policy interface work of SwedBio.
Cornell has a research background in marine and atmospheric chemistry. She obtained her PhD in 1996 from the University of East Anglia, UK, where she did postdoctoral research on the global nitrogen cycle before moving into transdisciplinary sustainability research. She worked on integrated approaches to environmental management, mainly of wetlands and coastal zones. Later she turned to issues of global environmental change and sustainability.
She has combined her own research with international science coordination for several years, helping bridge various knowledge communities in environmental change science. And she has occasionally worked as a sustainability consultant, on issues ranging from local participatory processes for community planning up to global environmental risks.
Cornell is involved in several forums where science interfaces with policy, business and wider society. She has served as a trustee and vice president of the international Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology, a learned society and membership body for all marine professionals. She co-chairs the executive committee of IHOPE (Integrated History and Future of People on Earth), a Future Earth project. She is associate editor for the journal Environmental Science & Policy, and an editorial advisory board member of the Journal of Critical Realism.
She teaches Challenges of the Anthropocene, an introduction to global change science and policy, in the SRC Master’s programme.
Throughout her career Cornell has championed university, national and EU initiatives to support women, working parents, and contract research staff working in science.
Awards and achievements:
- Contributing author and expert reviewer for IPCC Working Group II
News articles with Cornell, Sarah
Research news | 2021-05-25
Why local sustainability planning should be globally focused
Local efforts to reach sustainability goals risk causing “spillover effects” on global goals for sustainability. Managing these impacts better should be a priority
Research news | 2021-05-12
Want to make fashion green? Listen to the consumers
The fashion and textiles industry is too focused on the material ‘stuff’. It should start thinking more about the consumers’ needs and desires
Research news | 2021-04-12
Six targets for a sustainable textile industry
Combining circular economy and planetary boundaries can pave the way for a sustainable transformation of the fashion industry
Research news | 2021-03-25
Centre wins bid to host 40 MSEK research programme on transformation to fossil free future
The 4-year programme, Fair Transformations to a Fossil Free Future, is funded jointly by Mistra and Formas