Caroline is a PhD candidate in Sustainability Science at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, and is based at the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. In her research, Caroline focuses on the behavioural dimension of complex social-ecological systems.
In the context of growing evidence of the relationship between human behaviour and the likelihood of abrupt, and potentially persistent ecosystem change, Caroline is interested in questions such as how humans perceive such changes, and their inherent uncertainties, how we respond to them, and, in turn, what implications our responses have for sustainable development.
The inter-disciplinary and collaborative nature of her work is driven by her curiosity about the behavioural aspects in human-environment interactions in general, and, specifically, to uncover critical social-ecological factors and mechanisms underlying collective action, sustainable resource use and stewardship.
Caroline uses a combination of overall quantitative methods, including behavioural economic experiments, surveys/interviews, and agent-based modelling. She applies the experimental technique, her main method, both in the lab (with students) and the field (with actual common-pool resource users).
Caroline holds two Master’s degrees, combining fields in the social and applied sciences with fields from the natural sciences. She holds a MSc in Management (‘Diplom’ in German) from the University of Mannheim in her native country Germany, where she studied business management, economics, and system dynamics, including one semester abroad at Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand. Her second Master’s degree she holds in ‘Ecosystems, Resilience and Governance’ from Stockholm University.
Prior to her PhD studies, Caroline was a research assistant and intern at several research institutions in Germany, Sweden, and Iceland. She also gathered significant experience at various consultancy jobs as a freelance student consultant. The collaborative and project management skills she gained in these professional experiences, as well as her prior management studies, benefit her work as a researcher.
Since 2015, Caroline is a member of the Beijer Young Scholars network. From 2013-2015, Caroline was an active member of the PhD council of Stockholm Resilience Centre, first as a vice-chair, and then as education representative.
Caroline was part of the development of a funding proposal granted by FORMAS (Swedish research council) that funds part of her PhD studies: How do people respond to abrupt ecosystem changes? Using behavioural lab and field experiments to explore social-ecological linkages in common-pool resource systems (Drnr: 211-2013-1120). Project team members: Therese Lindahl (project leader), Anne-Sophie Crépin, Juan-Carlos Rocha, Caroline Schill.
In Jan/Feb 2016, Caroline did field work in Colombia; specifically, economic field experiments in four different fishing communities along the Colombian Caribbean coast.
Caroline is a lecturer in the module Drama of the Commons, and a teaching assistant in the module Economic approaches to analyse ecosystem support of humanity of the Master’s program of Stockholm Resilience Centre.
Research news | 2018-01-24
Former and current PhD students from SRC propose a new framework to help early-career sustainability scholars to become “undisciplinary”
Research news | 2016-11-18
Threat of abrupt resource decline can trigger more effective communication and cooperation
Research news | 2016-11-04
Why cooperation alone is not enough to secure sustainable use of a resource
Research news | 2016-10-07
Social norms can cross tipping points faster if new behaviour is difficult for others to ignore
2017 - Journal / article
The establishment of interdisciplinary Master’s and PhD programmes in sustainability science is opening up an exciting arena filled with opportunities for early-career scholars to address pressing sustainability challenges. However, embarking upon an interdisciplinary endeavor as an early-career scholar poses a unique set of challenges: to develop an individual scientific identity and a strong and specific methodological skill...
2016 - Journal / article
This paper presents a novel experimental design that allows testing how users of a common-pool resource respond to an endogenously driven drastic drop in the supply of the resource. We show that user groups will manage a resource more efficiently when confronted with such a non-concave resource growth function, compared to groups facing a logistic growth function. Even among cooperative groups there is a significant behavioral...
2016 - Journal / article
Cooperation amongst resource users holds the key to overcoming the social dilemma that characterizes community-based common-pool resource management. But is cooperation alone enough to achieve sustainable resource use? The short answer is no. Developing management strategies in a complex social-ecological environment also requires ecological knowledge and approaches to deal with perceived environmental uncertainty. Recent beha...
2016 - Journal / article
Climate change, biodiversity loss, antibiotic resistance, and other global challenges pose major collective action problems: A group benefits from a certain action, but no individual has sufficient incentive to act alone. Formal institutions, e.g., laws and treaties, have helped address issues like ozone depletion, lead pollution, and acid rain. However, formal institutions are not always able to enforce collectively desirable...