Dr Lisen Schultz

Email: lisen.schultz@su.se
Phone: + 46 8 674 7896


Lisen Schultz holds a Schwartz Research Position since January 2011. Her research aims at deepening understanding of conditions and strategies that enable resilience-based management of landscapes and seascapes. Her work focuses on the role of bridging actors, who catalyze collaboration and learning across levels and sectors in adaptive co-management. Most of her research is carried out in biosphere reserves.

She was awarded a PhD in June 2009, with the thesis “Nurturing resilience in social-ecological systems: Lessons learned from bridging organizations", supervised by Prof. Carl Folke at the Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University.

The thesis contains case studies of Kristianstads Vattenrike Biosphere Reserve (Sweden) and comparative studies done within the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the World Network of Biosphere Reserves.

In Kristianstads Vattenrike, she studied different user groups that act as stewards of the land, analyzing how their activities were facilitated and complemented by official management through a bridging organization.

She also developed a method to identify local stewards in the landscape - a social-ecological inventory - arguing that such inventories should be useful in the preparatory phase of all projects concerning biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management. Hypotheses on the conditions and strategies that enabled success in Kristianstad were then tested in a survey of 146 biosphere reserves. Results indicate that biosphere reserve offices have the potential to act as bridging organizations, and when they do, they are more likely to fulfill the multiple objectives of biodiversity conservation, local development, and generation of ecosystem services.

In addition to conducting her own research, Lisen Schultz is engaged in PECS, popular science communication and various science-policy-practice processes.

Research questions
What are the results of adaptive co-management in terms of biodiversity, ecosystem services, human well-being and capacity to deal with change?

What are the challenges faced by bridging organizations in adaptive co-management and how can they be overcome?

How are conventional approaches to natural resource management and biodiversity conservation transformed into adaptive co-management of social-ecological systems?

Ongoing projects
Comparison between two areas where adaptive co-management is on-going (Kristianstads Vattenrike Biosphere Reserve and Östra Vätterbranterna Biosphere Candidate) and two areas that lack a common framework. This project is part of SAPES — Multifuntional Agriculture: Harnessing Biodiversity for Sustaining Agricultural Production and Ecosystem Services

Experimental study of learning and behavioral change among users of a mobile application for environmental awareness. This study is part of the project EcoFriends Sweden which is designing a mobile application where users can discuss and see the effects of their consumer choices visualized as changing landscape that they share with their friends.

Centre publications

All publications


Stakeholder participation, learning and management of ecosystems: a global study of 146 Biosphere Reserves in 55 countries
01/01/2012 - 31/12/2016

Theories of natural resource management and conservation, such as adaptive management and adaptive co-management, are based on strong but mostly untested assumptions about the importance of engaging local stakeholders in conservation and management efforts.


Collaborating with

Folke, Carl

Professor Carl Folke is Science Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre and the Director of the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, one of the collaborating partners of the Stockholm Resilience Centre.

He took on those p...


Last updated on 2017-16-06 at 11:14