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Magnus Nyström appointed professor in environmental science

Magnus Nyström is an internationally recognised researcher in sustainability science with a background in systems ecology and a special emphasis on marine and coral reef ecology.

Promotion will boost centre’s research on biosphere stewardship and help develop the field of sustainability science

Story highlights

• Magnus Nyström is an internationally recognised systems ecologist with a background in marine and coral reef ecology

• He sees the new professorship as a very welcome recognition of the efforts in research, teaching and administration he has done over the years

• The plan is to continue to explore how humans shape the global biosphere and how this in turn influences human societies

Centre researcher Magnus Nyström has been promoted to professor in environmental science with focus on resilience in social-ecological systems. The decision was made by the Stockholm University's Vice-Chancellor 3 March 2022.

Nyström is an internationally recognised researcher in sustainability science with a background in systems ecology and a special emphasis on marine and coral reef ecology.

The promotion is a recognition for his efforts in research, teaching and administration over the years at Stockholm University, and SRC in particular.

”I am proud and honoured by this acknowledgement from the university,” he says. “It shows our work on continuously developing the field of sustainability science is acknowledged.”

Future plans

The professorship will enable him to continue focusing on how humans shape the global biosphere and how this, in turn, influences the biosphere’s capacity to support human societies.

More specifically, the future plans will be cantered around two broad research avenues:

• What the Anthropocene means for the global ocean, and what role does the global ocean play for humanity in the Anthropocene

• What the escalating transformation of the Earth’s biosphere means for global resilience and systemic risk.

A well-deserved recognition

This research is particularly cantered around something Nyström calls the “Global production ecosystem” – the part of the biosphere that has been simplified, intensified and globalized for the production of a few particular harvestable species in agriculture, forestry and aquaculture. This topic was also the subject of a study Nyström lead in 2019, which was subsequently published in Nature as part of the journal’s 150th anniversary collection.

All the articles published during the anniversary were carefully chosen to reflect the past, present and future of the journal, and the latter is exactly what Nyström feels motivated to focus on as a professor:

This promotion serves as a source of motivation to continue doing research at the frontline of sustainability science, foster the next generation of researchers, and contribute to the excellence in environmental research at Stockholm University.

In 2021 professor Nyström also received a 3-year research grant from The Swedish Research Council.

The project “Investigating the nexus between homogenization, connectivity and contagious risk in the Global production ecosystem” provides infrastructure for a deeper exploration of ideas cantered around the Global production ecosystem.

“This is a well-deserved recognition of Magnus’ work,” says Henrik Österblom, science director at the centre.

“His approach to the study of social-ecological systems and resilience has helped us understand the challenges that are facing us in the Anthropocene.”

Research background

Nyström earned his PhD in systems ecology 2001 and has since published his work in a number of leading journals like Nature, Science, Nature Sustainability, Nature Ecology and Evolution, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, and Ecology Letters.

Moreover, he has lead several research projects on coral reef conservation, governance, and management, funded by e.g. Sida (Sweden's government agency for development cooperation) and Formas (a Swedish government research council for sustainable development).

Alongside his research, Nyström has also designed and lead numerous courses at Master’s and PhD levels. He is currently director of PhD studies at the Stockholm Resilience Centre and has supervised a number of PhD students and master students during his career.

Published: 2022-03-07