The SES-LINK group at Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University studies the co-evolutionary dynamics of social-ecological systems (SES). We understand SES as complex adaptive systems of humans embedded in ecosystems whose dynamics arise from multiple social-ecological interactions at and across scales. We are particularly interested in identifying key interactions and causal mechanisms that may explain large scale change (regime shifts, transformations) or lack thereof (traps) within particular social-ecological contexts. Our aim is to develop middle-range theories of SES change that take the context-dependence of SES phenomena into account and shed light on their resilience and governance.

Social-ecological systems are complex adaptive systems

View our short animation of social-ecological systems as complex adaptive systems. Made by the SES-LINK group in collaboration with Azote.


We do research on 1) explaining and managing change in social-ecological systems, 2) the role of human adaptive behaviour as well as social processes and structures for sustainable and resilient SES, 3) cross-scale dynamics of SES, and 4) epistemologies and ontologies of SES research, particularly a shift towards process and relational ontologies of SES. READ MORE ⇒


We combine empirical or experimental research with mathematical and computational modeling (agent-based modeling) to develop and test possible social-ecological explanations for observed SES phenomena such as regime shifts in marine ecosystems, poverty traps in bio-cultural landscapes, or cooperation and self-governance of common pool resources such as small-scale fisheries. READ MORE ⇒


We are an interdisciplinary team of researchers with backgrounds ranging from ecology, political science, artificial intelligence, system science, computer science, philosophy, physics, mathematics, etc. READ MORE


Our research is funded by European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 682472 — MUSES), the EU Horizon 2020 project AQUACROSS, the NSF project MAREA, as well as Mistra and Sida funding to the Stockholm Resilience Centre (GRAID).