CEFO The Center for Environment and Development Studies Research Forum

Who We Are

CEMUS Research Forum is a transdisciplinary research forum open to researchers and PhD-students at Uppsala University, SLU and other universities in Sweden. CEFO activities focus on environment, development and sustainability studies. We collaborate with other universities and departments to enrich research education through our transdisciplinary Sustainability Seminars, PhD courses, workshops, lectures and field trips. CEFO was initiated by PhD-students, staff and students at CEMUS in 2002 as a research school between Uppsala University and Swedish Agricultural University (SLU).

CEFO is mainly driven by PhD students from across Uppsala University, along with senior faculty support. 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.

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 organize 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.

Sounds interesting?

Below you find a schedule for our activities, you are of course welcome to join them. In addition to that, we would be happy to send you invites to our activities, if you are interested in that please send an e-mail to our coordinator helena.fornstedt@angstrom.uu.se.

To become a formally affiliated PhD student see the affiliation agreement and contact the coordinator (Helena). If you are a mater student or researcher we would be happy to include you in our group as a non-affiliated member. The more the merrier!

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).

Fall 2020 Schedule

The interdisciplinary seminar takes place Tuesdays 10:15-12:00 twice per month during term time in via zoom or/and 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.

Time Title Location


Aug 25


Opening Meeting for semester – Affiliates and participants Zoom meeting


Sep 8


Afternoon Outdoor fika – CEFO, CEMUS and CCL

We will provide coffee/tea and a cookie as well as some (social distanced) facilitated activities. Download a PDF with more info here

Please sign up here before the 4th of Sep, so we know how much fika to order

The entrance of Blåsenhus facing the Botanical Garden.

A fika trolley will be placed outside, We will grab fika and then walk together to a nearby lawn (probably this one). Bring a thermos cup if you have one!




Sep 22



“(Escape) games for environmental communication and education: theoretical, practice-based and experimental perspectives”

Emmy Pater introduces us to her work on developing an escape game for environmental communication and education. Then she let us try some digital puzzles that are cooperative, creative, interactive and sustainability-themed. We end it all with a discussion.

You can find more infoabout her the game here

Emmy Pater, teaching assistant at Department of Earth Sciences, Centre for Environment and Development Studies (CEMUS)

(Bregje van Veelen reschedule to the 17th of Nov)

Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 630 2409 8501

Join via this link



Oct 6


Research Seminar


“Urban building energy modeling of future cities”

Addressing the complexity of climate change, local governments and municipalities require a systematic approach that identifies problems, formulates possible strategies, and evaluates resulting benefits. In this context, urban planning and in particular, urban energy planning seems like a pivotal approach that can be moved to the forefront of the transition to sustainability and carbon neutrality. Urban energy planning is an inclusive concept that targets many individual components of urban energy systems contributing to the interactive process of using and producing energy. With buildings being one of the most energy-intensive components of the urban energy system, opportunities for accelerated transformation towards sustainability are enormous only if best-practices in energy efficiency and integrated renewable energy technologies in buildings are efficiently used. However, in order to plan for more resource-efficient buildings, understanding of flows of energy in buildings and synergies between buildings and the other components of urban energy systems is crucial.

Bottom-up engineering-based models of energy use in buildings, refer to as “urban building energy model (UBEM)”, is a new concept that has been flourished during the last two decades. The UBEMs are analytical tools that highlight patterns of energy use in buildings and give an insight into urban energy system behavior.  Using a broader definition, the UBEMs reflect on utilization as well as generation of energy and provide an estimation of sptio-temporal information of energy over the whole city. These models are also capable of designing and investigating new and existing systems which makes them an attractive tool for city planners and policymakers in the analysis of existing as well as new districts in cities. Overall, the extent and applicability of UBEMs, motivates the need and growing trend for development of such models to evolve towards sustainability and energy efficiency in cities

Fatemeh Johari PhD Candidate at Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering, Civil Engineering and Built Environment

Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 686 9047 1755

Join via this link



Oct 20


Research Seminar


Yacob Mulugetta Professor of Energy and Development Policy, Department of Science, Technology, Engineering & Public Policy, University College London

Baltic Library Room, NRHU, Earth Sciences Department

Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 610 7138 4789

Join via this link



Nov 3


Research Seminar


“A Green New Deal beyond growth”

The emerging political discourse of the Green New Deal postulates the need for an active role of the State in the economy to drive the ecological transition by deploying the power of public investment and coordination. However, a truly transformative Green New Deal must also move beyond the ‘growth paradigm’ by decreasing energy and material use in affluent countries, decommodifying the basic necessities of life, and democratizing economic production.

Riccardo Mastini PhD Candidate at Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA), Autonomous University of Barcelona. Riccardo is a policy advisor for the international campaign Green New Deal for Europe. He is a member of the academic collective Research & Degrowth and of the international network Wellbeing Economy Alliance. You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 611 2910 1298

Join via this link

Tuesday, Nov 17


10:15 -12

Research Seminar

New frontiers of climate governance: imagining the modern timber city

Climate governance must be a project of not only regulatory undertaking, but also of deep-rooted societal and spatial (re)imagination. But how do we re-imagine our world, who is involved, and what is left out? In this presentation, I explore these questions in relation to a still underexplored front of climate action: proposals for a revolution in low-carbon materials, that seek to establish a 21st century bioeconomy. Specifically, I will do this through the emergent imaginary of the ‘plyscraper’, which put timber skyscrapers at the heart of the vision for low-carbon living of the future. While the use of wood in construction has long been practiced (as evidenced by the red timber houses that dot the Swedish country side), what makes the new timber imaginary different is that it positions itself as distinctly urban and modern. But how ‘green’ is it? How does the imaginary establish timber’s green qualities and with what effect? By exploring the jostling involved in bringing this imaginary into being, I consider a number of yet unresolved issues around establishing the green/low-carbon qualities of this new frontier of climate action, and the broader implications for climate governance

Bregje van Veelen Researcher at Department of Earth Sciences, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development


Baltic Library Room, NRHU, Earth Sciences Departmen

Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 685 8941 8794

Join via this link

Tuesday, Dec 1


10:15 -12

Research Seminar

“The good life is in the rural? Moving to the countryside in post-growth Japan”

What is a good life? What role does place play in this? This seminar discusses initial results on why people move to rural areas and how they experience this lifestyle, based on ethnographic fieldwork in Yakushima, an island in western Japan. Do these stories express new notions of a good life, something that’s not based on economic and material prosperity?

Sachiko Ishihara PhD Candidate at Department of Social and Economic Geography

Baltic Library Room, NRHU, Earth Sciences Departmen

Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 641 7817 4670

Join via this link

Tuesday, Dec 15


10:15 -12.00

Research Seminar


“Rivers in the sky – key features for understanding extreme
hydrometeorological events”

Atmospheric rivers are long narrow bands of large integrated water vapor transport in the troposphere. At land fall they are usually associated with extreme conditions in terms of wind and precipitation. In recent years there has been a growing interest in atmospheric rivers, concerning their regional impacts on water availability, the modulation by climate variability and their representation in weather and forecast models. Air-sea processes are major
modulators by two aspects of describing and understanding atmospheric rivers, (i) in the source area over the large oceans and by (ii) coastal processes at land fall. When atmospheric rivers land fall they interact with coastal processes, uplift of the moisture-rich air in the atmospheric rivers over the land (mountains) and the dynamics of the largescale flow. These
features frequently act to generate high precipitation totals and extreme wind conditions

Venugopal Reddy Thandlam, PhD Candidate at Department of Earth Sciences

Baltic Library Room, NRHU, Earth Sciences Department

Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 682 7370 6018

Join via this link



Current Affiliates

Sachiko Ishihara, Dept. Social and Economic Geography

Lovisa Eriksdottir, Dept. Business Studies
Isak Orhlund, Dept. Civil and Industrial Engineering
Fouad El Gohary, Dept. Civil and Industrial Engineering
Matilda Andersson, Dept. Ecology and Genetics
Fabian Engel, Dept. Ecology and Genetics
Lakin Anderson, Dept. Business Studies

Holly Jayne Redman, Dept. Chemistry – Ångstrom Laboratory

Isak Stoddard, Dept. Earth Sciences, NRHU/Climate Change Leadership Node

Fatemeh Johardi, Dept. Civil and Industrial Engineering

Helena Fornstedt, Dept. Civil and Industrial Engineering

Venugopal Reddy Thandlam, Dept. Earth Sciences


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


Spring 2020 Schedule

Time Title Location


Feb 4


Opening Meeting for semester – Affiliates and participants Baltic Library Room, NRHU, Earth Sciences Department


Feb 18


Open Workshop Hosted by CEFO –


Critical sustainability input for Uppsala University’s development of their ‘Vision 2050’ plan.

Conveners, Helena Fornstedt and Lakin Anderson. In Collaboration with Official Project Group for UU  Vision.

FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/182438952821404/

CEMUS Library


Mar 3


Research Seminar


Isak Stoddard, Phd Student and Researcher, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development, Climate Change Leadership Node,Uppsala University

“A factor of two: how the mitigation plans of ‘climate progressive nations’ fall far short of Paris-compliant pathways”

Baltic Library Room, NRHU, Earth Sciences Department


Mar 17


Research Seminar


Sven Widmalm, Professor at Dept. History of Science and Ideas, Uppsala University

“Interdisciplinarity: historical reflections and  reflexions on contemporary policy”


Zoom Meeting

(Link via email)



April 7


Research Seminar [CANCELLED]


Foad El Gohary, PhD Student and Researcher, Industrial Technology and Management, Dept. Engineering Sciences, Uppsala University

“Demand side management in the electricity sector”

Zoom Meeting

(Link via email)



April 21


Research Seminar


Jennifer Hinton Stockholm Resilience Center

“Profit-Orientation and Post-Growth Economies: Connecting the Dots”


Zoom Meeting

(Link via email)

Tuesday, May 5


10:15 -12

Seminar: Cross-Disciplinary Concept Sharing

CEFO Affiliates, Members and Participants

Zoom Meeting

(Link via email)

Tuesday, May 19


10:15 -12

Artistic / Research Seminar

Helena Fonstedt, Institutionen för samhällsbyggnad och industriell teknik, Uppsala University

‘”Building climate transition narratives through sequential arts


Zoom meeting

(Link via email)


Tuesday, June 2


10:15 -13:30

Final Research Seminar (Guest TBC)



Affiliates meeting lunch. Constitutional voting and planning for next semester., New Coordinator selection.

Baltic Library Room, NRHU, Earth Sciences Department

Autumn 2019 Seminar and Workshop Schedule

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

Time Title Location
Sep 10



Autumn start-up meeting, Welcome!


Discussion of plans and activities for CEFO group, new affiliated PhD students signing on.

Baltic Library, NRHU, Earth Sciences Department

Sep 24 10:15-12

Derk Loorbach


Research Seminar

Director of DRIFT and Professor of Socio-economic Transitions at the Faculty of Social Science, both at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Derk is one of the founders of the transition management approach as new form of governance for sustainable development.

Baltic Library, NRHU, Earth Sciences Department
Oct 8



Affiliates and Participants


CEFO Meeting

Concrete projects, CEFO guidelines and statutes, various proposed activities, updates on CCL course.

Baltic Library, NRHU, Earth Sciences Department
Oct 22



Klas Palm


Seminar and Discussion

Coordinator of Uppsala University Sustainability Initiatives will talk about what they are doing for sustainability research at UU, and how it is being envisioned, structured, funded, etc.

Baltic Library, NRHU, Earth Sciences Department
Nov 12



Keri Facer


Workshop (Theme TBA)

Keri Facer, Zennström Professor in Climate Change Leadership at Uppsala University, Prof. of Educational and Social Futures at Uni of Bristol , UK

‘Values in Academia’ Skills workshop for young scholars interested in sustainable development and crossing disciplinary boundaries

Kollaboratoriet, Östra Ågatan
Nov 26 10:15-12 CEFO Seminar, projects meeting, and spring planning


Incl. Short Presentation from Climate Existance Conference organisers

Baltic Library, NRHU, Earth Sciences Department
Dec 10


10:15 -12

Interdisciplinary PhD Seminar, double talk!


1.Holly Jayne Redman, Depart. of Chemistry.

Building Hydrogenase Mimics as Potential Sources of Hydrogen as an Energy Carrier

2. Tobias Olofsson, Dept. Sociology

Turning Rocks Into Money – Predictions and Uncertain Futures in Swedish Mineral Exploration

Baltic Library, NRHU, Earth Sciences Department


Our Internal Rules and Procedures Document

CEFO Rules and Procedures as of Spring 2020


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: helena.fornstedt@angstrom.uu.se