Researcher (Centre affiliate)


Profile summary

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

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

Jonell is a researcher at the Stockholm Resilience Centre 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.

Projects she leads centers on exploring approaches for levering supermarkets’ capabilities to be a positive force in the Swedish food system (ReSus project) and strategies for sustainable blue food (Seafood in Japan and Sweden - alternative pathways to sustainability). Key aims include to determine the effectiveness of already existing sustainability initiatives and explore barriers and potentials for pre-competitive collaboration and relational approaches within the food- and blue food sectors. Jonell is also a researcher in the Mistra Food Futures program where she is leading work on setting and analysing food system targets and identifying barriers for systemic change and is involved in research on developing strategies for transformation.

Together with Patrik Henriksson, Jonell is leading the Food for Resilience research theme at the Stockholm Resilience Centre. Jonell has published papers and book chapters in peer-reviewed journals including Nature, Nature Communications, Environmental Research Letters and the Lancet. Jonell is a member of the editorial board of the journal Environmental Research: Food Systems.

Jonell holds a MSc in Marine Ecotoxicology and received her PhD in Systems Ecology, focusing on eco-certification of aquaculture, from Stockholm University. Her PhD thesis was titled “Kind of turquoise: Effects of seafood eco-certification and sustainable consumption”.

As a postdoc in the EAT-Lancet Commission on Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems (2016-2019), Jonell was part of a team defining 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 centered on the role of eco-certification schemes in improving the performance of the growing aquaculture sector. She was 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.

Jonell co-leads the course module, Corporations and sustainable development in the Anthropocene II, in Sustainability science II at Stockholm University. She is a regular lecturer at the course ‘Sustainability perspectives on contemporary fisheries. Where have all the fishes gone?’ held at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the MSc course ‘Diet and health – scientific evidence, recommendations and sustainability’ at Karolinska Institutet.

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

Some recent examples include a webinar organised by Svensk Dagligvaruhandel, 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 2020-00862
  • Formas: Dnr 2021-02327
  • Mistra Food Futures (DIA 2018/24 #8)


Abigayil Blandon


Main supervisor

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.

Jonell, M., Tlusty, M.F., Troell, M., Rönnbäck, P., 2019. Certifying farmed seafood. In: Vogt, M. (Ed.), Sustainability Certification Schemes in the Agricultural and Natural Resource Sectors: Outcomes for Society and the Environment. Routledge, New York, pp. 157–178.

Crona, B. I., E. Wassénius, M. Jonell, J. Z. Koehn, R. Short, M. Tigchelaar, T. M. Daw, C. D. Golden, J. A. Gephart, E. H. Allison, S. R. Bush, L. Cao, W. W. L. Cheung, and F. Declerck. 2023. Four ways blue foods can help achieve food system ambitions across nations. Nature 616, 104-113

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