Bodil Elmqvist

LUMES Director of Studies



Current Research

My present research is part of a larger research project called LUsTT (Land Use Today and Tomorrow).Project website » The main goal of the LUsTT project is to analyze the multiple natural and societal factors that determine land use as a basis for exploring alternative plausible land use futures and their associated risks to society and ecosystems. Further, the project aims at identifying feasible pathways to the sustainable use of land resources as inputs to national and global policy processes. My role in LUsTT is to analyse European and Swedish policies on renewable energy, focusing on the impacts of EU initiated certification schemes for sustainable biofuel production.


I previously worked in the MATISSE FP6 project. MATISSE (Methods and Tools for Integrated Sustainability Assessments) aimed to achieve a step-wise advance in the science and application of Integrated Sustainability Assessment (ISA) of EU policies. In order to reach this objective the core activity of the MATISSE project was to improve the tools available for conducting Integrated Sustainability Assessments. Within the MATISSE project, I was involved in a water case study based in the Ebro river basin of Spain.

During my Ph D studies, which I completed in 2006, I worked with environmental and social changes related to rural development in African drylands. In order to study these changes I used a combination of methods including interviews and remote sensing. The fieldwork was carried out in Sudan.


Keywords: rural development, land use, climate change, GIS, municipalities, planning

My teaching is related to topics such as rural development, natural resource management, geographical information systems as well as local governance and planning. I have extensive experience as course coordinator, master’s thesis supervisor and lecturer.

Currently, I teach in the following courses in the LUMES programme (Lund University International Master’s Programme in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science):

  • Methodology, Methods and Tools for Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
    I am in charge of the module on spatial analysis and geographical information systems (GIS).
  • Making Change Happen.
    I am the course coordinator of this course which is about learning ways to change the world to more sustainable pathways. During different LUMES courses, students get many ideas about sustainable practices. In the Making Change Happen course some of these ideas can be put into practice and the theoretical learning from different courses be put to a test in real life.

I also teach at the Swedish master’s in Applied Climate Strategy (Tillämpad klimatstrategi)
( organised by the Department of Environmental Studies. The two courses where I teach are:

Previously, I have also taught at LUMID (Lund University Master Programme in Development and Management) hosted by the Department of Human and Economic Geography. My teaching experience at the undergraduate level includes lectures on geographical information systems and remote sensing at the Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Analysis.

Papers and publications

Peer reviewed articles and book chapters
Elmqvist B., Brogaard S. and Peck P. (2013) ‘Hållbarhetskrav på biodrivmedel’ [Sustainable criteria on biofuels], pp. 195-207, book chapter in: 15 Nedslag i Klimatforskningen: Dåtid, Nutid, Framtid, Hall, M. And Björck, I. (eds), Lund: CEC.

Brogaard, S., Elmqvist B., Anderberg S. and Morris J (2013), Sustainable biofuel production in the transport sector through the Renewable Energy Directive? The case of Sweden (manuscript)

Elmqvist B., Ardö J. and Olsson L. (2008), Land use studies in drylands: an evaluation of object-oriented classification of very high resolution panchromatic imagery. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 29: 7129-7140.

Elmqvist B. and Khatir A. (2007), The potential of bush fallows with changing roles of agriculture – an analysis combining remote sensing and interview data from Sudanese drylands. Journal of Arid Environment, 70: 329-343.

Tàbara D., Elmqvist B., Ilhan A., Madrid C., Olsson L., Schilperoord M., Valkering P., Wallman P., Weaver P. (2006) Modelización participativa para la evaluación integrada de la sostenibilidad de los recursos hídricos: el Modelo del Mundo Celular y el Proyecto Matisse, Revista Internacional de Sostenibilidad. Tecnología y Humanismo, 1: 185-210.

Elmqvist B. and Olsson L. (2006), Livelihood diversification: continuity and change in the Sahel. Geojournal, 67: 167-180.

Elmqvist B., Olsson L., Elamin E. and Warren A. (2005), A traditional agroforestry system under threat: an analysis of the gum arabic market and cultivation in the Sudan. Agroforestry Systems, 64: 211-218.

Contributions to conferences and symposia
Elmqvist B. (2012)
, Utmaning hållbart Lund: hur kan akademi och kommun samarbeta, Kristiansstad Vattenrike, Forskning och innovation med kommuner som inkubator, 4 April 2012 (invited speaker).

Brogaard, S., Elmqvist B., Anderberg A. and Morris J (2012), What is the potential of the EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED) and associated sustainability criteria to contribute to sustainable biofuel production? – Sweden in a global context, Lund Earth System Governance Conference, 18-20 April 2012 (conference abstract and oral presentation)

Brogaard, S., Elmqvist B., Anderberg S. and Morris J (2012), Sustainable biofuel production in the transport sector through the Renewable Energy Directive? The case of Sweden, Leuphana Sustainability Summit, 29 March-2 April 2012, Luneberg, Germany (conference abstract and oral presentation)

Edwald G., Elmqvist B., Wallman P., Olsson L., Tabara D. and Valkering P. (2007), Methods and Tools for Integrated Sustainability Assessments: Matisse. Sustainable Neighbourhood – from Lisabon to Leipzig through Research, Leipzig, Germany, 8-10 May 2007 (abstract).

Tabara D., Wallman P., Elmqvist B. and Valkering P. (2006), Participatory Modelling for the Integrated Sustainability Assessment of Water: The World Cellular Model and the Matisse Project. International Conference on Sustainability Measuring and Modelling – ICSMM 06, Terrassa, Spain, November 2006 (conference paper).

Elmqvist B. (2005), Livelihood Diversification: Continuity and Change in the Sahel.  The Inaugural Nordic Geographers Meeting: Power over time-space, Lund, Sweden, May 10-14 2005 (abstract and oral presentation).

Elmqvist B. (2005), Land Use Assessment in the Drylands of Sudan Using Historical and Recent High Resolution Satellite Data, Conference Proceedings: 31st International Symposium on Remote Sensing of the Environment, St Petersburg, Russia, June 2004, (conference paper and oral presentation).

Elmqvist B. (2004), Poverty reduction and risk management in semi-arid Africa – the case of gum arabic in central Sudan. St Lucia wetlands, South Africa, June 2004 (oral presentation).

Elmqvist B. (2003), The Resilience of Traditional Agroforestry Systems, Local Land Use Strategies in a Globalizing World: Social and Natural Environments, Institute of Geography, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, August 21-23, 2003 (poster presentation).

Elmqvist B. (2003), Tvärvetenskapliga avhandlingsämnen, Geografdagarna, 8 May 2003, Örebro (oral presentation).

Elmqvist B. (2002), Ett hotat jordbrukssystem i Sudan: gummi arabicum, Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University, 21 November 2002 (oral presentation).

Elmqvist B. (2001), Kan en bonde i Afrika tjäna pengar på växthuseffekten?, SSAG symposium for Ph D students, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, 15 November 2001, (poster presentation).

Reports and working papers
Tabara D., Wallman P., Elmqvist B., Ilhan A., Madrid C, Olsson L., Schilperoord M., Valkering P., Weaver P. (2007)
, Participatory modelling for the integrated sustainability assessment of water: The World Cellular Model and the MATISSE project, Matisse working paper No. 9.

Valkering, P., Offermans, A., Tàbara, D., Wallman, P., Elmqvist, B., Ewald, G. & Martens P. (2008). Modelling Cultural and Behavioural Change in Water Management: An integrated, agent-based, gaming approach. Matisse working paper No. 25.

Elmqvist B. (2006
), Livelihood diversification and land use change in the Sahel: an interdisciplinary analysis of gum arabic in Sudan, Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Analysis, Lund University, Ph D thesis.

Elmqvist B. & Lundström J. (2000), The Utility of NOAA AVHRR Data for Vegetation Studies in Semi-arid Regions: a minor field study in the Hoanib Catchment of Namibia, Department of Physical Geography, Lund University, MSc thesis. 


I work half-time for the project Utmaning Hållbart Lund, a project where Lund University and the municipality of Lund are cooperating to promote sustainability. The project aims to stimulate collaborations between the university and the municipality related to sustainability.

I am also one of the representatives of Lund University in RCE Skåne, a Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) on Education for Sustainable Education ( An RCE is a network of existing formal, non-formal and informal education organisations, mobilised to deliver education for sustainable development (ESD) to local and regional communities.

Finally, I am also co-organising the outreach group at LUCSUS.

I have been part of organising the following events:


PLANET LUND, Lund’s first sustainability Festival, 12-16 May, 2012

PLANET LUND was a festival for everyone who wants to know more about what’s being done  in Lund for the future of our planet − and how we can all help in our everyday lives. PLANET LUND was two weeks filled with activities, knowledge-sharing and the will to change − locally and globally. All organizations in Lund were invited to participate in the programme: large corporations and businesses, small firms and retailers, schools and kindergartens, restaurants, sports clubs and non-governmental organizations. Lund University and the municipality of Lund were involved on a wide front – they organized the festival through initiating and supporting the project Utmaning hållbart Lund. I was part of the organizing committee specifically inviting teachers, researchers and students from Lund University to participate. I was also in charge of the event “Forskare håller låda” where researchers presented their research in five minutes on the pedestrian street in the center of Lund, much like an academic speaker’s corner.


World Water Day, 22 March 2012

This workshop was organised by LUCSUS, Vattenhallen Science Centre LTH( and Sydvatten ( Around 60 pupils aged 15 participated during half a day at Vattenhallen and learned about virtual water, water quality and Corporate Social Responsibility related to global water issues.

 Workshop: Hållbart Lärande, 18 oktober 2011

This whutkonforkshop was organized by LUCSUS,                           Hutskåne ( and Länsstyrelsen i Skåne   (  Around 80 school teachers participated and discussed education for  sustainable development during one day in Lund.

Forum Östersjön

ostersjoForum Östersjön is a museum, located on Gotland, about the  Baltic  Sea. I was part of the group at LUCSUS that contributed  with      some of the scientific input for the creation of the  exhibition. (

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