Lennart Olsson

LUCSUS Director, LUCID Coordinator




Lennart Olsson is Professor of Geography at Lund University and the founding Director of LUCSUS – Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies. Lennart is also the Coordinator for a Linnaeus programme, LUCID, sponsored by The Swedish Research Council for the period 2008-2018.

Lennart holds a Ph.D. in Physical Geography Lund University (1986) specialising in desertification and particularly the use of GIS, remote sensing and spatial modelling to study the interaction of nature and society in semi-arid Africa.

His current research fields include human-nature interactions in the context of land degradation, climate change and food security in Africa and globally. His current research focuses on the politics of climate change in the context of poverty and food security. He has had research positions in Australia, USA and Hong Kong. He participated in several international assignments and was Lead Author on the IPCC report on Good Practice Guidance for LULUCF and Lead Author on the GEO-4 Global Environmental Outlook. More recently, he was coordinating lead author (CLA) for the chapter on Livelihoods and Poverty and a Cross Chapter Box on Heat Waves and Heat Stress in the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC, Working Group II.

He has supervised several Ph.D. candidates and is currently Director of the newly established Research School in Sustainability Science and the Programme Director of the LUMES programme, Lund University International Master’s Programme in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science.

Papers and publications

Some recent publications are:

  1. Olsson, L., Jerneck, A., Thoren, H., Persson, J., O’Byrne, D., 2015: Why resilience is unappealing to social science. Theoretical and empirical investigations of the scientific use of resilience. Science Advances 1(4), e1400217. [0]
    URL: http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/1/4/e1400217
  2. Bai, Z., Dent, DL., Olsson, Tengberg, A., Tucker, CJ, and Yengoh, GT. 2015: A longer, closer, look at land degradation. Agriculture for Development. 24 (Spring 2015), 1-9 [1]
    URL: http://www.taa.org.uk/assets/pubs/Ag4Dev24_Web_Version.pdf#page=5
  3. Olsson, L. and Head, B.W. 2015. Urban water governance in times of multiple stressors. Ecology and Society 20 (1): 27. [0]
    URL: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol20/iss1/art27/
  4. Olsson, L., Hourcade, J-C., Köhler, J. 2014: Sustainable Development in a Globalizing World. Journal of Environment and Development. 23(1), 1-13. [3] http://jed.sagepub.com/content/23/1/3.refs.html.
  5. Miller, T.R., Wiek, A., Sarewitz, D., Robinson, J., Olsson, L., Kriebel, D., Loorbach, D. 2013: The Future of Sustainability Science: Research for Social, Environmental and Technological Change. Sustainability Science 8(3). [46] http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11625-013-0224-6

Full publication list at:

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