+46 8 674 76 64


Profile summary

  • Cultural evolution
  • Human cooperation
  • Marine ecosystems
  • Ocean stewardship
  • Seabird ecology
  • Sustainability Science

Henrik Österblom is a professor of environmental science, with a research focus on human cooperation

Österblom has co-developed the concepts of keystone actors and corporate biosphere stewardship. With a strong interest in seabirds and marine ecosystems, he is exploring ways to improve the human relationship with the ocean.

He is chair of the Natural Capital Partnership Committee, Stanford University, chairman of the SeaBOS fundraising foundation and board member of Race for the Baltic fundraising foundation. He has served as theme leader, deputy science director and science director at the Stockholm Resilience Centre. Starting from 2023, he is on part-time leave from the Stockholm Resilience Centre to start up the Anthropocene Laboratory at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Österblom has a master’s degree in behavioural ecology from the Department of Zoology, Uppsala University (1998) and a PhD in marine ecology from the Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University (2006).

He did his post doc at the University of Tasmania and the University of British Columbia and has been a visiting researcher and visiting professor at Tokyo University.

Awards and achievements

  • Sweden Impact Award (2017)
  • The Askö Young Scientist Award, Stockholm University (2011)

Current funding

  • Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation


Frida Bengtsson PhD Main supervisor

Key publications

Österblom, H., Folke, C., Rocha, J., Bebbington, J., Blasiak, R., Jouffray, J.-B., Selig, E. R., Wabnitz, C.C.C., Bengtsson, F., Crona, B., Gupta, R., Henriksson, P. J. G., Johansson, K.A., Merrie, A., Nakayama, S., Ortuño Crespo, G., Rockström, J., Schultz, L., Sobkowiak, M., Søgaard Jørgensen, P., Spijkers, J., Troell, M., Villarubia-Gómez, P., Lubchenco, J. (2022) Scientific mobilization of keystone actors for biosphere stewardship. Scientific Reports 12: 3802 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-07023-8

Österblom, H., Bebbington, J., Blasiak, R., Sobkowiak, M., Folke, C. (2022) Transnational Corporations, Biosphere Stewardship, and Sustainable Futures. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 47: 609-635 https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-environ-120120-052845

Österblom, H., Paasche, Ø. (2021) Earth Altruism. One Earth 4 (10): 1386-1397. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oneear.2021.09.003

Österblom, H., Wabnitz, C.C.C., Tladi, D., Allison, E.H., Arnaud-Haond, S., Bebbington, J., Bennett, N., Blasiak, R., Boonstra, W., Choudhury, A., Cisneros-Montemayor, A., Daw, T., Fabinyi, M., Franz, N., Harden-Davies, H., Kleiber, D., Lopes, P., McDougall, C., Resosudarmo, B.P. , Selim, S.A. (2020) Towards ocean equity. Blue paper commissioned by the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy. World Resources Institute. Available online at https://oceanpanel.org/publication/towards-ocean-equity/

Paasche, Ø., Österblom, H. (2019) Unsustainable Science. One Earth 1(1): 39-42 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oneear.2019.08.011

Österblom H. (2019) The World is Yours. The Lancet 391: 528-529 https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)32107-X

Österblom, H., Jouffray, J.B., Folke, C., Crona, B., Merrie, A., Troell, M., Rockström, J. (2015) Transnational Corporations as ‘Keystone Actors’ in Marine Ecosystems. PLOS ONE 10(5): e0127533 https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0127533

Cury, P. M., Boyd, I. L., Bonhommeau, S., Anker-Nilssen, T., Crawford, R. J. M., Furness, R. W., Mills, J. A., Murphy, E. J., Österblom, H., Paleczny, M., Piatt, J. F., Roux, J.-P., Shannon, L. and Sydeman, W. J. (2011) Global Seabird Response to Forage Fish Depletion, One-Third for the Birds. Science 334:1703-1706. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1212928

Publications by Österblom, Henrik