Line Gordon is an internationally recognized sustainability scientist with a passion for food that is good for both people and planet. In her research she is interested in tipping points and cross-scale interactions in the Anthropocene; i.e. how intentional and unintentional actions in one place can influence systemic change elsewhere. In research she integrates insights from resilience thinking, land use change, food systems, hydrology, and social-ecological systems.
She has an interdisciplinary background, with a PhD in Natural Resources Management from Department of Systems Ecology at Stockholm University, and a Post Doc at International Water Management Institute, with HQ in Sri Lanka. She has been a research theme leader at Stockholm Resilience Centre 2007-2015, a Deputy Science Director since 2013 and is the Deputy Director since 2015.
Line has long experience leading international research projects. One example is her research on Moisture recycling, analysing how land use change influence rainfall patterns and hydrology elsewhere. This research has been funded by the Swedish Research Council, Formas and Bolin Centre for Climate Change, and conducted together with researchers at e.g. TU Delft, Colorado State University, and RHIN in Kyoto. She has also led, and still contributes to several research projects in the Sahel region (including Burkina Faso, Niger, and Senegal), including research on ecosystem services, livelihoods and social-ecological resilience assessments. This research has been funded by grants from SIDA, the Swedish Research Council, CGIAR, and the French National Research Agency (ANR).
She now co-leads the food theme in the Wallenberg Foundation Stanford collaboration programmes on ‘Natural capital, resilience and biosphere stewardship’ and ‘Fundamental research in biosphere-based sustainability science’. She is also one of the authors of the EAT-Lancet Commission, and on its Executive Editorial Team. Gordon also sits on the Board of Trustees for EAT, a network that integrates knowledge on food, health, and sustainability to work towards providing environmental limits for healthy diets of the growing global population. She also work on aspirational change in food systems, especially in the Nordic region.
Line enjoys mentoring students, especially when they help figuring out complex issues such as where rain comes from and to what extent rainfall patterns are influenced by land use change elsewhere. She currently has one Post Doc (Miina Porkka on Water and Tipping points in Drylands), one PhD-student (Aniek Hebink on Urban Food Systems) and one MSc-student (Kajsa Resare Sahlin on flavor and sustainability of Swedish Beef).
Line has published over 50 research articles, including articles in PNAS and Trends in Ecology and the Environment. She also co-authored the book Water Resilience for Human Prosperity (2014) and has contributed to several other book chapters.
She is a popular speaker at Swedish and International events, especially around food system change, water resources management and more general aspects of sustainable development.
Research news | 2018-03-14
Amid an increase in megacities, changes in ecosystems far away can affect local access to freshwater
Research news | 2018-03-08
New method to map livelihood benefits of ecosystem services for guiding future land use decisions in the Sahel
Research news | 2018-01-24
Centre researchers lead project to create an alternative vision of a sustainable food system in the region
Research news | 2017-12-18
Despite being essential for several of the Sustainable Development Goals the role of ecosystem services have largely been ignored
2018 - Journal / article
Urbanization is a global process that has taken billions of people from the rural countryside to concentrated urban centers, adding pressure to existing water resources. Many cities are specifically reliant on renewable freshwater regularly refilled by precipitation, rather than fossil groundwater or desalination. A precipitationshed can be considered the “watershed of the sky” and identifies the origin of precipitation fallin...
2018 - Journal / article
Most current approaches to landscape scale ecosystem service assessments rely on detailed secondary data. This type of data is seldom available in regions with high levels of poverty and strong local dependence on provisioning ecosystem services for livelihoods. We develop a method to extrapolate results from a previously published village scale ecosystem services assessment to a higher administrative level, relevant for land ...
2017 - Journal / article
Achieving well-being for all, while protecting the environment, is one of the most pressing global challenges of our time, and a central idea in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We believe that integrating ecosystem services, the benefits nature provides to people, into strategies for meeting the SDGs can help achieve this. Many development goals are likely underpinned by the delivery of one or more ecosystem servi...
2017 - Journal / article
Food lies at the heart of both health and sustainability challenges. We use a social-ecological framework to illustrate how major changes to the volume, nutrition and safety of food systems between 1961 and today impact health and sustainability. These changes have almost halved undernutrition while doubling the proportion who are overweight. They have also resulted in reduced resilience of the biosphere, pushing four out of s...