PhD candidate

+46 8 674 78 52; +46 72 148 21 67



Profile summary

  • Ecosystem services
  • Resilience assessments
  • Transdisciplinary methods
  • GIS
  • Workshop facilitation

Katja Malmborg’s PhD research combines resilience thinking with the ecosystem services concept

Malmborg’s PhD project is about operationalizing the ecosystem service concept for local decision-making. Using resilience thinking as a guide, she has run a number of workshops with a group of local and regional actors in her study area, the Helge å catchment, southern Sweden.

Together with the workshop participants, she has explored the system dynamics that underlie the current production of a list of iteratively selected ecosystem services across the catchment area. They have also conducted visioning exercises together and formulated strategies to reach the co-produced future visions. For her future work, Malmborg will build on the workshop outputs and explore potential opportunities and barriers for using the ecosystem services concept in a Swedish local governance context through text analysis, surveys and in-depth interviews.

Malmborg has a BSc in geography from Stockholm University and a MSc in sustainability from Stockholm Resilience Centre. Her MSc thesis focused on mapping ecosystem services in the multifunctional rural landscape in northern Burkina Faso using a combination of participatory transect walks and remote sensing. After graduating, she worked as a research assistant in the WLE Innovation Fund (CGIAR) project, Targeting Agricultural Innovation and Ecosystem Service Management in the Northern Volta Basin. The project focused on improving the capacity to identify and implement irrigated and rainfed technologies that increase adaptability and transformability of local livelihoods in the Volta Basin (Burkina Faso and Ghana). Malmborg has extensive fieldwork experience in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Sweden.

In her PhD project, Malmborg collaborates with Kristianstad Vattenrike, a UNESCO biosphere reserve in southern Sweden. Her methods include stakeholder workshops in which local managers and policy-makers from the Helge å catchment area are actively taking part in co-producing the research results. The project is funded by the Swedish environmental protection agency (Naturvårdsverket) and aims at developing ways to operationalize and implement the ecosystem services concept into local, regional and national policy in Sweden. Her case study in southern Sweden is also part of the PECS network of case studies.

Since starting her PhD in 2017, Malmborg has been course assistant of the the module Resilience Thinking, which is part of the SRC master’s programme Social-Ecological Resilience for Sustainable Development. As assistant, she has contributed to the module through planning content, lecturing, running exercises and supervising students. She has also led sessions on methodology, in particular qualitative methods and fieldwork, as well as research ethics.

From her Finnish grandmother, Malmborg inherited a love for baking and a passion for yarn. So, in her free time, she designs and knits mittens and cardigans for her friends, which you can check out on Instagram.

Publications by Malmborg, Katja