CEFO The Center for Environment and Development Studies Research Forum

A research and collaboration forum driven by PhD students in departments across Uppsala University and framed by issues, not discipline.

Who We Are

We are a research forum focused on facilitating interdisciplinary research discussions around sustainability and environmental change. CEFO is driven by PhD students from across uppsala university. Our affiliated members and other participants are from diverse departments and disciplines, bringing multiple perspectives to the discussions. We encourage conversations framed by problem, not by discipline.

To become a formally associated  PhD student see the affiliation agreement and contact lakin.anderson@fek.uu.se. Researchers and Master students are kindly requested to send a short mail of interest.

Supported by

Uppsala University Climate Change Leadership Node and NRHU Natural Resources and Sustainable Development Programme

CEMUS Centre for Environment and Development Studies, an interdisciplinary center for education, outreach, and research at Uppsala University and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU).

What We Do

Twice per month we host a research seminar series featuring talks and workshops from CEFO members and invited speakers. We run skills workshops and organise field trips. We also initiate and run student-driven PhD courses in collaboration with faculty and offer opportunities for getting feedback for your research from a wider audience. We welcome new members from all departments who hope to broaden their horizons. Seminars, workshops and events are open to any interested PhD students, researchers, master’s students and interested public.

Sustainability Research Seminars

The interdisciplinary seminar takes place, Tuesdays 10:15-12:00 every second and fourth week of the month during term time in the Baltic Library, at the Department of Earth Sciences,  Villavägen 16. We end at 12.00 and go on to eat lunch together. The first and last seminar each term includes planning discussions where PhD-students and researchers suggest future activities. The seminar is hosted by affiliated CEFO Members and supported by CEMUS, NRHU and the Climate Change Leadership Node at Uppsala University. It

 2019 Autumn Seminar and Workshop Schedule

[ To be posted soon in early September ]

email  lakin.anderson@fek.uu.se to be placed on our mailing list

Spring 2019 Seminar and Workshop Schedule

12 Feb: Björn Eriksson (MSc Sustainable Development)

26 Feb: Application Writing Workshop with Anneli Ekblom for Post-Docs, PhDs, and finishing master students

12 March: Lakin Anderson (Dept. of Business Studies)

26 March: Fabian Engel (Dept. of Ecology and Genetics)

2 April: Matilda Andersson (Dept. of Ecology and Genetics)

14 May: Lovisa Eiríksdóttir (Dept. of Business Studies)

28 May: Sachiko Ishihara (Dept. of Social and Economic Geography)

4 June: Wrap up and reflections

Other Spring 2019 Activities

February 2019: Field trip and planning trip to Gotland

Spring 2019: Planning of Climate Change Leadership PhD course at Uppsala University

Interdisciplinary PhD Courses

Autumn 2019  Climate Change Leadership: Power, Politics and Structures

Previous Courses

PhD students associated with CEFO have proposed, developed and coordinated a variety of interdisciplinary courses over the years.

Click here for overview of CEFO past courses

CEFO Anthologies and Publication Series


The activities, courses and discussions at CEFO has resulted in some publications, namely these CEFO Anthologies. We are also currently working on an anthology “Co-creating actionable science: reflections from the field”.

Friman, E. and Gallardo F., G. L., eds. 2010. Politicized Nature: Introduction’ in Politicized Nature. Global Exchange, Resources and Power. Uppsala: Cefo Publication Series Number 2. Pp. 9-17.

Gallardo Fernández, G. 2008. From Seascapes of Extinction to Seascapes of Confidence: Territorial Use Rights in Fisheries in Chile: El Quisco and Puerto Oscuro. Stockholm: Co-Action Publishing.

Schulz, S.L. ed., 2007. Ekokritik: Naturen i litteraturen – en antologi, CEMUS Skriftserie Nr. 1. Uppsala: Centrum för miljö- och utvecklingsstudier.

What does it mean to be an affiliated PhD student?

Would you like to become an affiliated student or join the e-mail list? 

E-mail: lakin.anderson@fek.uu.se

Visons and Values of CEFO

– Created by members during the Gotland Retreat January 2019 –

What CEFO adds to the experience of being a young researcher

  • Meet and connect with PhD students from other departments and disciplines
  • Broaden your perspectives and research
  • To have an insight into how postgraduates operate in different fields other than my own
  • Opportunity for reflexive learning about your own research communication to a wider audience
  • Experience of running PhD courses, workshops and events
  • Chances to learn about how to be constructive to other people’s research
  • Peer-based support on research ideas, writing, skills, courses, and career
  • To learn how to produce a journal and what it means to be on an editorial team
  • Support for the research process – e.g. technical details, how to apply to grants, how research ideas originate, the process of publication
  • Fun! During the ‘urgh’ times in our areas, this environment could play a supportive role

What is our role within the university? What is the university not doing that we are doing?

  • Create meeting places across disciplines and departments
  • To challenge the narrow specialization of disciplines and stress the need for many different perspectives
  • Initiate conversations across boundaries with a focus on environmental/climate change issues
  • Peer-supported feedback on your work in progress from wide perspectives
  • PhD student-led education. Courses developed from needs and perspectives of PhD students. Create and run courses that aren’t limited by a specific discipline.
  • A bottom-up / grassroots network
  • Bring together answers to questions that aren’t raised yet
  • Challenge subject hierarchy and recognize we have different approaches to the same issue

Why does the world need transdisciplinarity / interdisciplinarity? 

  • Because research fields are getting more and more specialized
  • Global, long-lasting decisions need a common ground, i.e. need to be accepted by people from different disciplines
  • Everything on Earth is connected. The world is getting more complex
  • Inter-disciplinary approaches breeds creativity and new innovation – e.g. RADAR
  • To challenge public misconception on highly relevant topics (such as what climate change actually is) through using data expertise from a wide range of disciplines
  • Because not considering other perspectives is how we cause more problems with proposed solutions
  • The thinking that ‘caused’ global challenges might not solve it
  • The thesis is bigger than your department. “Limited by the problem not by the discipline”
  • Translate concerns into shared aims