Researcher (Centre affiliate)


Profile summary

  • Seafood governance
  • Corporate biosphere stewardship
  • Social ecological systems
  • Value chains & eco-certification
  • Food systems

Malin Jonell’s work focuses on corporate biosphere stewardship in the food sector, seafood governance and the role of aquaculture and fisheries in the global food system.

Jonell is a researcher at the SRC and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Her research centers around sustainable (blue) food production and consumption. She looks specifically at the potential role of markets, trade and the private sector in driving positive change in local and global food systems.

Jonell is part of the core team of the Blue Food Assessment (BFA), a joint initiative of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stanford University and EAT. The BFA was launched in 2021 and is set to produce a scientific foundation for integrating blue foods in future food systems. She is also a researcher in the Mistra Food Futures program where she is co-leading work on setting targets and identifying barriers for systemic change and is involved in research on developing strategies for transformation.

Her current projects include exploring approaches for levering retailers’ capabilities to be a positive force in the Swedish food system (ReSus project) and pathways to sustainable seafood in Japan and Sweden. Key aims include to determine the effectiveness of already existing sustainability initiatives and explore barriers and potentials for pre-competitive collaboration within the food- and blue food sectors.

Together with Amanda Wood, Jonell is co-leading the Food for Resilience research theme at SRC. Jonell has published papers and book chapters in peer-reviewed journals including Nature, Nature Communications, Environmental Research Letters and the Lancet.

Jonell holds a MSc in Marine Ecotoxicology and received her PhD in Systems Ecology, focusing on eco-certification of aquaculture, from Stockholm University.

She was a postdoc in the EAT-Lancet Commission on Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems (2016-2018). The Commission defined the safe operating space for global food systems by setting scientific targets for both sustainable food production and healthy diets. In the Seawin project, her work has centered on the role of eco-certification schemes in improving the performance of the growing aquaculture sector and what retailers and other market actors can do to improve blue food practices.

Jonell was part of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council's technical working group on revision of the shrimp aquaculture standard (2019-2021). She was also involved in the creation of the Evaluation Framework for Assessing Conformity of Public and Private Certification Schemes With the FAO Technical Guidelines on Aquaculture Certification (FAO).

Jonell is passionate about science communication and regularly speaks at industry events and make media appearances to share insights with practitioners and the general public.

Some recent examples include a film project led by Stockholm University on SDG 2 and consumer pro-environmental behavior and an interview with Now This on the role of blue food in future sustainable diets.

Awards and achievements

  • Early career research grant from Swedish Research Council Formas, 2020: Seafood in Japan and Sweden - alternative pathways to sustainability
  • Research grant from Swedish Research Council Formas, 2021: ‘ReSus’ Retail for Sustainability - Mid-value chain engagement for food system transformation
  • Östersjöakuten award 2022

Current funding

  • Formas: Dnr 2016-00227
  • Formas: Dnr 2020-00862
  • Naturvårdsverket: Dnr 2020-00076
  • Formas: Dnr 2021-02327


Abigayil Blandon


Main supervisor

Johanna Gulliksen



Key publications

Jonell, M., M. Phillips, P. Rönnbäck, M., Troell. “Eco-Certification of Farmed Seafood: Will It Make a Difference?” Ambio 42(6):659–74.

Gephart, J. A., P. J. G. Henriksson, R. W. R. Parker, A. Shepon, K. D. Gorospe, K. Bergman, G. Eshel, C. D. Golden, B. S. Halpern, S. Hornborg, Jonell, M. Metian, K. Mifflin, R. Newton, P. Tyedmers, W. Zhang, F. Ziegler, and M. Troell. 2021. Environmental performance of blue foods. Nature 597(7876):360–365.

Lindahl, T. and Jonell, M. 2020. Methods for changing dietary habits. The Consumer Authority, Background Report 2020:4.

Publications by Jonell, Malin