Beijer Fellows

Åsa Gren | PhD (Ecologist), Researcher

Åsa Gren (formerly Jansson) works mainly with the quantification of ecosystem services in an urban landscape context. She is especially interested in analyzing multiple ecosystem services and to assess the impact of differences of scale of operation of different ecosystem services in a sustainable management context. In a world of constant change it is essential to build resilience in the social-ecological systems to more effectively meet these changes. The use of scenarios for e.g. urban development or climate change is an effective tool in this pursuit.

Åsa also have an interest in operationalizing the concept of resilience through quantification and valuation, e.g. by building bio-economic models, in collaboration with economists at the Beijer institute and at Uppsala University, using response diversity as a proxy for resilience. She has also been involved in applying the lens of ecosystem services and the social-ecological complex systems lens in an Arctic context, within the four year FP7, EU funded project ACCESS. A continuation of that project, with the purpose of running scenarios of potential impacts of climate change on social-ecological arctic systems, through new applications from the Horizon 2020 calls and the ERA-Net Biodiversa calls, is under way.

Furthermore, Åsa has a great interest in applying her expertise of ecosystem services in an Arctic context. She was a part of the 4-year ACCESS program (EU FP7), 2011-2014, resulting in multiple publication, including an innovative paper published in Ambio on how to operationalize a social-ecological systems perspective in the Arctic Ocean by introducing an integrated ecosystem based management approach for sustainable and resilient management of Arctic marine resources. She is also the first author of a chapter on valuation of ecosystem services in a TEEB Arctic scoping study published in 2015.

Åsa Gren


Address: The Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, The Royal Swedish Academy of Science, Box 50005, SE-104 05 Stockholm Sweden


Åsa Gren holds a PhD in natural resources management. Her dissertation entailed quantifying ecosystem services at different scales in the Baltic Sea drainage basin. Examples of included ecosystem services are carbon sequestration and nitrogen retention by wetlands. She has also quantified the use of “green water” by ecosystems for underpinning the generation of ecosystem services, recognizing the essential role of freshwater in the generation of ecosystem services. She is currently employed as a researcher at the Beijer Institute, Stockholm Resilience Center. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment documented the importance of ecosystem services, acknowledging the importance of including them in national systems of economic accounts. Hence, Åsa Gren is, together with colleagues, involved in assessing the challenges in designing a standardised model for building a wealth-based accounting system for ecosystems, within the framework of the IWAP project (Inclusive Wealth and Accounting Prices).
Other current research entails evaluating the effects of urban development on ecosystem service generation, landscape resilience and biodiversity, using the functional and response diversity in pollinator groups as indicators for biodiversity. She addresses these questions from an urban spatial/temporal landscape perspective using e.g. GIS, as well as urban ecosystem management. This research is, at present, based in the Stockholm County of Sweden. There are however well defined plans of conducting similar research in the urban area of Stellenbosch in South Africa. There the focus will be on investigating the differences between different agricultural management practices in urban agricultural areas for building social ecological resilience to face future changes of urban development as well as climate change.