Andrea Morf


School of Global
Visiting address
Konstepidemins väg 2
41314 Göteborg
Room number
Postal address
Box 700
405 30 Göteborg

Scientific Coordinator

Swedish Institute for the Marine
Visiting address
Seminariegatan 1F (Rektorsvillan)
41314 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 260
405 30 Göteborg

About Andrea Morf

My master in environmental sciences from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, my Ph.D. in human ecology from the University of Gothenburg, and my professional experience in regional planning and environmental consultancy have given me a solid base for interdisciplinary cooperation in both research and practical management. I like combining research and teaching with consultancy. I am also interested in collaboration for developing courses relevant for environmental practice. With a foot in both social and natural sciences I can help developing links between disciplines for research, teaching, and practice. I enjoy applying my experiences in event- and project management from nature-experience oriented education and scouting even in academic and professional settings (workshops, teaching, or research projects).

Languages: German, Swedish, English, French and some Italian.

Professional interests

Natural resource-, coastal- & ocean management, marine ecology and -environmental problems (climatic change, acidification, biodiversity loss, pollution, etc.); spatial planning, participation, conflict management, environmental pedagogy; rural development, sustainable development, resilience; transdisciplinarity in research and practice.

Ongoing research and other relevant work

The Road Towards Koster Sea National Park: The Significance of Local Participation. A Pilot Process of Maritime Management and Conservation Planning in Sweden Introducing integrative and participatory management of marine resources to an originally centralist and sector-based system of governance as in Sweden presents challenges. International pressure towards participatory and ecosystem based management, e.g. the Convention of Biodiversity and the European Union’s Integrated Maritime Policy, Marine Strategy Directive and ICZM-recommendations, are increasing.

One year ago, Sweden has inaugurated its first marine national park comprising the Koster and coastal archipelago in Strömstad and Tanum municipalities. The road towards the park has been long, curvy, and bumpy. Ideas first presented more than 30 years ago met little local enthusiasm. In the end, top-down management has met bottom-up initiative; conservation is no more a "dead hand" but provides potential for rural development through sustainable tourism. Local users are not merely tolerated but an important part in the park's management structure, the Koster Sea delegation and its thematic advisory groups. The park’s objectives also include educational and sustainable use-goals.

Many participants have become interested to analyse what they call the ”Koster Sea Dialogue”. From a scientific perspective, the process is a highly interesting case of integrative management of coastal resource conflicts and institutional innovation in conservation. The inclusion of a rural development perspective, the development of multiple forms of collaboration over years, and active individuals on various levels seem to have been important drivers. The case connects to findings from various areas of environmental social sciences.

The research includes Ph.D.- and post-doctoral research and an ongoing documentation project with focus on coastal planning, participation, conflict management, and institutional change. Swedish project description

Post-doc project on innovative and participatory management of marine resource conflicts.  In collaboration with marine scientists from the University of Gothenburg (January 2008-September 2010).

In coastal and marine management, multiple uses need to be coordinated and the emerging conflicts addressed. Today’s historically grown institutional frameworks have problems to achieve the necessary flexibility and integration across sectors and levels, stakeholder groups and types of knowledge. A number of international initiatives urge for a redesign of management in a more integrative, adaptive and participatory manner, such as the Convention on Biodiversity by way of the Ecosystem Approach, the EU (Marine Strategy & Directive, ICZM-Recommendations, Water Framework Directive).

My post-doc project shall contribute to improved coastal- and marine management. Focus is the management of environmental problems and resource conflicts through participation and collaboration of actors. I want to deepen thesis-research on integrative and participatory tools for dealing with marine conflicts (see Morf 2006).

A number of expanding marine uses with high conflict potential both within Sweden and internationally make interesting case studies: e.g. conservation, recreation, aquaculture, or energy production. Selected Swedish examples of conflicts and the innovative ways of their management through Ecosystem- and ICZM- based approaches are studied. As there is a lot to learn from other countries, the perspective is widened internationally through visits and literature-studies of forerunner-projects in Europe and overseas.

Management of global-scale marine issues (looking for collaboration)

There are a number of large-scale marine problems in need of special management approaches requiring work on a local level, but transcending the local perspective: ocean acidification, effects of climatic change, biodiversity loss, pollution. I am looking for transdisciplinary collaboration with other scientists on this issue.

Expertise/consultancy in coastal- and marine planning and management

I also combine research with expert work, such as recently in connection with marine- and coastal management for the Swedish EPA and the Governmental Inquiry for the Marine Environment: inventory and problem analysis of knowledge relevant for marine management of 12 national authorities (Morf 2008a), assessment of costs of knowledge exchange for coastal and marine management with Swedish authorities, and a study for a pilot project to test the implementation of the Ecosystem Approach in Swedish coastal areas (Morf 2008b). I intend to continue working with marine management in Sweden and the Ecosystem Approach (see post doc project).


I teach on various levels in both day-, evening-, web-based courses. Except for lectures in my areas of research, this includes following areas:

  • Basics in natural sciences for environmental studies: understanding important environmental problems and limits for resource use from a natural scientific perspective.
  • Rural development and cooperation: human ecological perspective on problems of rural areas, participation processes for achieving more sustainable management of resources.
  • Natural resource management: spatial planning, participation, conflict management, coastal management.
  • Scientific methods: case-study, social science and transdisciplinary methods for field-work, group work, essays.