Österblom has a PhD in Marine Ecology from the Department of Systems Ecology at Stockholm University, and a Master’s Degree in Behavioural Ecology from the Department of Zoology at Uppsala University.
He is interested in ocean ecosystems and ways to improve stewardship of marine resources. Starting as a seabird ecologist, with a particular interest in social interactions between alcids, he has worked on understanding how the Baltic Sea is managed, how international collaboration emerged to address non-compliance in Southern Ocean fisheries, and how transnational corporations shape the present and future ocean. Ongoing work is focusing on the speed and role of science in society, global cooperation and altruism, and understanding cascading industry effects from novel sustainability approaches. He has worked at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, and as Special Advisor to the Swedish Government in the Secretariat for the Environmental Advisory Council.
Österblom is leading the Keystone Dialogues, a global co-production project including major private actors in global seafood, which has resulted in the establishment of the Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship (SeaBOS) initiative, aimed to transform global seafood towards more sustainable practices. He is principal investigator in Nereus – Predicting the Future Oceans Program, and member of the IMBER Human Dimension Working Group, the Future Earth Knowledge Action Network and the Seas of Norden Network.
Österblom serves on the international advisory board of the South American Institute for Resilience and Sustainability Studies (SARAS²), as board member of Race for the Baltic, and represents Stockholm University in the United Nations Global Compact Action Platform for Sustainable Ocean Business. He is a member in the Expert Group for the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy.
Österblom represents the Stockholm Resilience Centre in the Section for Earth and Environmental Sciences at Stockholm University and is subject editor for Ecology and Society and PLOS One.
Research news | 2020-09-28
Scale of current challenges requires scientists to take on a greater responsibility
Research news | 2020-08-10
Sverige har tagit flera steg i rätt riktning men det finns fortfarande många frågetecken kring hur ekosystembaserad förvaltning bäst genomförs i praktiken
Research news | 2020-08-05
Researchers offer candid reflections on their experiences engaging with industries
Research news | 2020-07-19
Should the ocean system collapse, the resultant crisis would be as devastating as the COVID-19 crisis
Deputy Science Director Henrik Österblom interviewed about a new global scientific synthesis on marine regime shifts
Global seafood trade leave consumers unaware of over-exploited marine ecosystems
How adaptive governance helped pull back illegal fishing in the Southern Ocean
How Interpol and international networks join forces to stop illegal fishing
2020 - Journal / article
We welcome the interest in our work on transnational corporations (TNCs) and biosphere stewardship. TNCs have rarely been linked to ecosystem dynamics, and even less so considered suitable partners for knowledge co-production in sustainability research. How TNCs shape the intertwined nature of people and planet therefore represents a timely and critical topic and the Correspondence articles by Schneider et al. and Etzion offer...
2020 - Journal / article
Does humanity's future lie in the ocean? As demand for resources continues to grow and land-based sources decline, expectations for the ocean as an engine of human development are increasing. laiming marine resources and space is not new to humanity, but the extent, intensity, and diversity of today's aspirations are unprecedented. We describe this as the blue acceleration—a race among diverse and often competing interests fo...
2019 - Journal / article
The purpose of this paper is to interrogate the nature and relevance of debates around the existence of, and ramifications arising from, the Anthropocene for accounting scholarship. The paper’s aim is achieved through an in-depth analysis of the Anthropocene, paying attention to cross-disciplinary contributions, interpretations and contestations. Possible points of connection between the Anthropocene and accounting scholarshi...