Stockholm university

Zahra Kalantari

About me

Associate Professor and Docent at KTH royal institute of technology and Stockholm University

Director of WaterCentre at KTH

Director, Navarino Environmental Observatory (NEO)

I am an associate professor in Environmental and Engineering Geosciences for Sustainability in the Anthropocene at KTH royal institute of technology and Stockholm university. I have successfully led and carried out interdisciplinary research and created a long-term legacy of research-policy-practice collaboration to build institutional capacity and a knowledge base about the greatest climate change-related challenges.

I have participated in a number of international research and user networks, including European Cooperation in Science and Technology (ECOST). Through my dedicated teaching, guidance of young researchers and sustainable research communication, I have contributed across disciplines and sector boundaries both in Sweden and internationally.

Broad interest in the areas of:

  • Regional and global hydrology and water resources issues;
  • Sustainable urban and rural development and adaptive land-use planning for decision support; 
  • Vulnerability assessment to water-related disasters and conflicts (application of modelling, machine learning and AI);
  • Nature-Based Solutions and ecosystem services;
  • Smart city and IoT

Our team

Carla Ferreira (postdoc), land use and climate change 

Navid Ghajarnia (reseacher), global hydrology 

Samaneh Seifollahi (reseacher), water system analysis and management

Sina Khatami (postdoc), computational hydrology

Elisie Jonsson (Ph.D. student), climate change and conflicts (main supervisor)

Jessica Page (Ph.D. student), sustainable urban and regional development (main supervisor)

Jacopo Cantoni (Ph.D. student), IoT and data mining (co-supervisor)

Romain Goldenberg (Ph.D. student), urban ecosystem services (co-supervisor)

Yan Ma (Ph.D. student), hydroclimate and infectious diseases (co-supervisor)

Selected recent national and international assignments

- Associate Editor of AMBIO (A Journal of the Human Environment), since 2019.

- Associate Editor of Land Degradation and Development, since 2018.

- Guest Editor of Special Issue on Anthropocene, Land Degradation and Development ,Journal of Environmental Management, Water, Sustainability

- Representative of Sweden and member of the Board and Steering Committee of European COST Action – CONNECTEURLand4FloodDAMOCLES and FIRELINKS


GE7069 Traffic and Environment (SU)

AL2300 Natural Resources Management Tools (KTH)

AE2107 Modelling of Water Systems (KTH)

AE1106 Geoscience (KTH)

AL1303 Soil and Water (KTH)


Publications and citations at Google Scholar and Publons

Selected projects


  • 2021-2025: PI for 'Science for a secure society: Hydro-climatic hazard, risk, and crisis management in Sweden (CrisAct)' funded by VR. 680 000 Euros
  • 2021-2025: PI for 'AI-powered Knowledge Integration to Carbon-Neutral Cities' funded by Formas. 400 000 Euros
  • 2021-2022: PI for 'Optimization of Agricultural Management for Soil Carbon Sequestration Using Deep Reinforcement Learning and Large-Scale Simulations' funded by Digital Transformation Institute ( DTI) within AI for Energy and Climate Security Award. 250 000 Euros
  • 2020-2022: PI for ‘ChangeMakers - Start-ups for sustainable environment created by youngsters change makers’, funded by Central Baltic. 190 000 Euros (total project budget 1 078 848 Euros)
  • 2020-2025 Director of Navarino Environmental Observatory (NEO). Funding from Stockholm University and private sector for research in climate change and the environment of the Mediterranean region. Total budget (5 years) about 500 000 Euros.
  • 2019-2022: PI for ‘Carbon-neutral cities’, funded by VR. 388 700 Euros
  • 2019-2022: PI for ‘The missing link: How does climate affect human conflict and cooperation through water?’, funded by Formas. 300 000 Euros
  • 2019-2021: Co-PI for ‘The 'infrastructural turn' in urban service delivery: insights into municipal solid waste management in African cities’, funded by Formas. 260 000 Euros
  • 2018-2022: Co-PI for ‘COASTAL – Collaborative land-sea integration platform’, funded by EU- H2020. 500 000 Euros (total project budget 5,000,000 Euros)

Recently completed

  • 2020: PI for ‘Coupled social-ecological systems modeling of urban land-use changes, greenhouse gas emissions, and management policies’, funded by Region Stockholm. 40 000 Euros
  • 2019: PI for ‘Developing a mapping framework for Arctic wetlands across scales’ funded by Arctic Avenue and ASIAQ. 20 000 Euros
  • 2018: PI for ‘Nature-based solutions for flood-drought risk mitigation in vulnerable urbanizing regions. Planning funds for interdisciplinary research initiatives. 10 000 Euros
  • 2018: Co-PI for ‘Water monitoring networks – iWater’, funded by Vinnova, Sweden’s innovation agency, awarded in 2018, 602 200 Euros
  • 2018: Co-PI for ‘iWater - Övervakning av vattenkvalitet för framtidens smarta städer, funded by Vinnova, Sweden’s innovation agency, 2018, 47 200 Euros
  • 2017: PI for ‘Landscape analysis and climate change’, funded by Swedish Government - Strategic Research Area Funds. 137 600 Euros
  • 2017: PI for ‘Sustainable urban-regional development and watershed planning in Stockholm region’, funded by Stockholm County (SLL). 40 000 Euros
  • 2017: PI for ‘Scoping for resilience and management of Arctic wetlands’, funded by the Swedish Ministry of Environment and Energy through Formas. 26 380 Euros
  • 2016: Co-PI for ‘Water monitoring networks – iWater’, funded by Vinnova, Sweden’s innovation agency, awarded in 2016, SEK 150 000 Euros
  • 2015: PI for ‘Ecosystem services supply and beneficiaries in the landscape’, funded by SSEESS, KVA. 10 000 Euros
  • 2014-2018: PI for ‘Quantifying the influence of various land uses and/or management strategies on the hydrological impacts of high flows and other extreme weather events, under current and future climate conditions’, funded by Formas. 300 000 Euros

Research projects