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 marine ecosystems and ways to improve ocean stewardship. 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 role of science in society and the cultural evolution of global prosocial behavior. 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 has facilitated 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. This project is funded by the Walton Family Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. He is also principal investigator of project New solutions to marine problems, aimed at accelerating marine ecosystem knowledge through the use of autonomous drones and artificial intelligence and funded by the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation.
Österblom is a member of the Expert Group for the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy and member of the IMBER Human Dimensions Working Group. He 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 as chairman of the SeaBOS Fundraising foundation. He is subject editor for Ecology and Society, and PLOS One.
Stockholm Resilience Centre podcast on the importance of music and science.
Guest on Rethink Talks: What it takes to make science and business connect, exploring the challenges and risks associated to science business collaboration.
Research news | 2021-01-14
Approximately 100 companies account for more than one-third of high seas fishing
Research news | 2021-01-13
The 100 largest companies that operate within eight ocean industries took an estimated 60% of all revenues. The next step will be to explore their environmental footprint
Research news | 2020-12-08
Research identifying the largest corporations in the global seafood industry has positioned the Stockholm Resilience Centre and its partners as leaders in a unique branch of transdisciplinary science. Below is an overview of the work and the scientific interest it has generated
Research news | 2020-12-08
Commitments the result of unique science-business collaboration initiated by the centre