Research at the Department of Geography

– Faculty of Social Sciences and Technology Management


Our research covers a broad range of fields across human and physical geography, with further links to other disciplines. We explore the interface between nature and society, and engage in debates on central problems and concepts of the discipline, such as space and place, scale (e.g. the local and the global), and the fundamental issue of structure and agency in the social sciences.

Our research provides relevant and novel insight to the complex challenges our society is facing by an interdisciplinary orientation and a tradition for focused collaboration among the staff. The research is clustered into four interconnected groups:

Climate, vulnerability, adaption and mitigation

  • Landscapes of risk: apprehension and experience
  • Local vulnerability and adaption
  • Consequences for health and welfare
  • Renewable energy and sustainability
  • Changes in steep catchments and the cryosphere

Our research considers the effects of climate change on nature and society, and adaptation/mitigation strategies. Within physical geography we focus on mountain areas and artic environments, especially changing conditions of the cryosphere (snow, permafrost and glaciers) and the relationship between debris transport and flash floods in steep catchments. Within human geography our research is on social vulnerability, risk perception and adaptation in relation to natural hazards. We also work on climate change effects on global health/welfare, and studies relating to the development of renewable and sustainable energy.

Environment, resources, management

  • Landscape: protection, use and participation
  • Nature as ecosystem services: production and distribution
  • Water as resource and challenge
  • Biodiversity: discourses and practices
  • Valuable natural resources: conflict, peace building and development

Within this field we conduct research on use, management and protection of a range of renewable natural resources such as land and water. We focus on how resources are conceptualized within different contexts – for example as ecosystem services, landscape or biodiversity – and how these different conceptualizations often create competing and conflicting discourses and practices. Another key topic within this field is stakeholder roles and participation related to use and distribution of resources. Our research also includes valuable natural resources, such as diamonds and oil, with a focus on revenue management and how these types of resources are linked to armed conflict. 

Mobility, transnationalism and inequality

  • Translocality
  • Transgressing local/ global divides
  • Flows of ideas, goods and people
  • Conflict and mobilities
  • Geographies of inequality and exclusion

In this strategic area we are concerned with understanding how mobilities and translocal connections change relations between people and places. We emphasise how ideas, goods and people move and how translocality (nationally and internationally) reconfigure connectivity between places. A central theme is how and why people move and we analyse causes to migration that include conflict, environment, economy and lifestyle. Colleagues involved in this strategic area study how globalisation, transnationalism and mobility lead to new or strengthen old divides of inequality and exclusion. Related research includes changes in transport and communication technology as a principal premise for mobility and the changing relations between people and places.

Innovation in industry and society

  • Entrepreneurship, including cultural, social and green
  • Local and regional restructuring and innovation
  • Urban and rural development and place marketing
  • Culture, experiences and tourism
  • Clusters and innovation systems

This research field, covering regional and local processes of restructuring and innovation, includes social, economic, cultural and political aspects. We also focus on various planning and development strategies in urban, rural, regional and global contexts. We ask how firms, places and regions are coupled with international value chains and networks. Entrepreneurship in industry as well as cultural, social and green entrepreneurship is research subjects. Related research explores how clusters and innovation systems emerge and develops. We also investigate the significance of culture, experiences and tourism in creating entrepreneurial rural districts and cities. From this angle we pay particular attention to strategic development of places and place marketing.

Latest publications

Find our latest publications in the Cristin database.