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Profile summary

  • Resilience assessments
  • Transdisciplinary research
  • Food systems
  • Science-practice interface
  • Local and regional planning
  • Transition movement
  • Transformation

My Sellberg’s research focuses on transformations to sustainable and resilient food systems – in Sweden and the Stockholm region

Sellberg engages actors outside of academia to collaborate on how to enable transformations to sustainable and resilient food systems. Her ambition is to build a long-term case study and networks in the Stockholm-Mälaren region in Sweden. She mainly uses participatory and qualitative methods.

In her food systems research, Sellberg is exploring city-region and regional food systems, food planning and governance, the role of crises such as Covid-19, and small-scale food innovations using the approach of the Seeds of Good Anthropocenes – an international sustainability project.

She is also teaching how to apply resilience thinking through, for example, participatory resilience assessment based on the approach in Wayfinder, at Stockholm Resilience Centre and as a guest lecturer.

In her PhD, Sellberg used participatory case studies of resilience practice in different contexts; mainly in Sweden, but also in Australia. Her supervisors were Garry Peterson, Albert Norström and Sara Borgström (now at KTH). The aim of her PhD was to advance understanding of how to apply resilience thinking and strengthen its potential to contribute to sustainability transformations. This led to Sellberg helping to review the latest online guide to resilience practice – Wayfinder.

After her PhD, Sellberg developed a pilot training programme in resilience practice together with Louise Hård af Segerstad. The programme targeted civil servants from municipalities, county councils, and regions in Sweden and translated resilience practice approaches to a Swedish governance context.

Sellberg has a MSc in Sustainability from the Social-Ecological Resilience for Sustainable Development programme from the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, and a BSc in Environmental Science from Lund University. Sellberg also has a background as the chairman of Lund Students for Sustainability (2009–2010) and as an environmental consultant within sustainable business development (2011–2013).

Her PhD was part of SEEN, a project on social-ecological dynamics of ecosystem services in the Norrström basin, which was connected to other case studies of social-ecological systems around the world through the Program on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS). Through PECS, Sellberg has a network of transdisciplinary sustainability scholars from different parts of the world (see e.g. the blog series on Transdisciplinary PhD Journeys). Sellberg is also a member of the Resilience Alliance, which is an international network connecting resilience researchers.

One of Sellberg’s passions is to bridge research and practice and her collaborations focus on local and regional actors in Sweden. She is currently collaborating with Södertälje municipality and MatLust development hub for sustainable food. She also works parttime outside academia with Upplandsbygd Lokalt Ledd Utveckling – a rural development organization outside of Uppsala.

Through her case studies, Sellberg has collaborated with Astrid Lindgrens Hembygd and the Transition Movement, with Eskilstuna municipality over several years, and engaged diverse food actors to develop a positive scenario for food in the Stockholm-Mälaren region.

Awards and achievements

  • Developed and completed Swedish training program in resilience practice with five local-regional organizations in 2019–2020
  • Successfully defended her PhD thesis in October 2018
  • Co-authored report for Eskilstuna municipality on the resilience of their food system
  • Chair of the SRC PhD council 2015–2016

Current funding

  • Diversification for sustainable food systems in the Stockholm region, Formas
  • Rapid Transition Lab, Vinnova
  • Seeds of Good Anthropocenes project, Formas
  • Food planning leadership, Formas

Key publications

My M. Sellberg, Jessica Cockburn, Petra B. Holden, and David P. M. Lam. 2021. Towards a caring transdisciplinary research practice: navigating science, society and self, Ecosystems and People, 17(1):292–305.

Sellberg, M. M., A. Quinlan, R. Preiser, K. Malmborg, and G. D. Peterson. 2021. Engaging with complexity in resilience practice. Ecology and Society 26(3):8.

My M. Sellberg, Albert V. Norström, Garry D. Peterson, and Line J. Gordon. 2020. Using local initiatives to envision sustainable and resilient food systems in the Stockholm city-region. Global Food Security 24:100334.

M. Sellberg, P. Ryan, S.T. Borgström, A.V. Norström, and G.D. Peterson. 2018. From resilience thinking to Resilience Planning: Lessons from practice. Journal of Environmental Management 217:906–918.

Publications by Sellberg, My