I am currently working on the project “The Return of Native Nordic Fauna” funded by FORMAS for 2013-2016. The purpose of this project is to investigate how certain animal species have been identified both culturally and scientifically as belonging in the Nordic region and how that identification has shaped historical conservation measures, particularly decisions to reintroduce the species. Through an environmental history approach, the project will expose the role of ‘nativeness’ in species reintroduction efforts dating from the twentieth century to today in Sweden and Norway, focusing specifically on the beaver and muskox. The project will investigate how species that have become locally extinct and then reintroduced are framed as native, the ways that species intentionally reintroduced versus accidentally reintroduced are treated differently, and the roles a species’ history and interaction with humans play in making a particular species ‘Swedish’ or ‘Norwegian’ or ‘Nordic’.

Read my Research Blog for “The Return of Native Nordic Fauna” project.


I was also the project coordinator and a researcher on the project “Ecosystem restoration in policy and practice: restore, develop, adapt” which is known as RESTORE for short. The project is funded by the Swedish Research Council FORMAS, Umeå University, and Swedish Agricultural University. My research for RESTORE primarily focused on the development of international restoration policy.

Endling, the power of the last in an extinction-prone world

Environmental Philosophy, doi: 10.5840/envirophil201612542

Online First: December 6, 2016


In April 1996, two men working at a convalescent center wrote a letter to the journal Nature proposing that a new word be adopted to designate a person who is the last in the lineage: endling. This had come up because of … Continue reading

Presence of absence, absence of presence, and extinction narratives

In Nature, Temporality and Environmental Management: Scandinavian and Australian Perspectives on Peoples and Landscapes, ed. Lesley Head, Katarina Saltzman, Gunhild Setten, and Marie Stensek, 45-58. Routledge, 2016.

Abstract: This chapter addresses where two issues – the problem of not seeing at a certain time and the idea of a static nature over … Continue reading

Forest‒Stream Linkages, Anthropogenic Stressors and Climate Change: Implications for Restoration Planning

Joakim Hjältén, Christer Nilsson, Dolly Jørgensen, and David Bell

BioScience 66, no. 8 (August 2016): 646-654.

Abstract: The global extraction of forest and water resources has led to habitat degradation, biodiversity loss, and declines in ecosystem services. As a consequence, ecological restoration has become a global priority. Restoration efforts to offset this … Continue reading

Forest restoration to attract a putative umbrella species, the white-backed woodpecker, benefited saproxylic beetles

David Bell, Joakim Hjältén, Christer Nilsson, Dolly Jørgensen, Therese Johansson

Ecosphere 6, no. 12: [online]. DOI: 10.1890/ES14-00551.1  [Open Access]

Umbrella species are often spatially demanding and have limited ability to adapt to environmental changes induced by human land-use. This makes them vulnerable to human encroachment. In Sweden, broadleaved trees are disadvantaged by forestry, and commercially … Continue reading

Ecological restoration as objective, target and tool in international biodiversity policy

Ecological restoration as objective, target and tool in international biodiversity policy. Ecology and Society 20, no. 2 (2015):43. [Open Access]

Ecological restoration has been mainstreamed in international biodiversity policies in the last five years. I analyze statements about restoration in three international policies: the Convention for Biodiversity Strategic Plan 2011-2020 … Continue reading

Muskox in a box

Muskox in a Box and Other Tales of Containers as Domesticating Mediators in Animal Relocation, in Animal Housing and Human–Animal Relations: Politics, Practices and Infrastructures, ed. Kristian Bjørkdahl and Tone Druglitrø, 100-114 (Routledge, 2016)

Using three short tales of animal relocation in Norway and Sweden from 1900 to 2013, I argue that the boxes used … Continue reading