Lucas Dawson

Lucas Dawson


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Arbetar vid Institutionen för naturgeografi
Telefon 08-16 49 99
Besöksadress Svante Arrhenius väg 8
Rum V 306
Postadress Inst för naturgeografi 106 91 Stockholm

Om mig

My current research relies on complexity theory and systems thinking, using participatory modelling and scenario methods to evaluate integrated, adaptive governance and management approaches for multifunctional green infrastructure at multiple scales. These methods seek to engage a broad range of stakeholders in the identification and development of robust future strategies for sustainable landscapes.

I plan to defend my PhD thesis in the spring of 2018.

I have also been a Dept. of Physical Geography board member 2015 & 2016, but have relinquished this post in 2017 to focus on the completion of my dissertation.


I currently teach on the following courses:

Applied Environmental Modelling I

Applied Environmental Modelling II

Remote Sensing and GIS


I have previously taught on the following courses:

Environmental Management Systems

International Environmental Issues


Current Research Projects:

  • Green infrastructures for ecological sustainability and human well-being: a network of forest, rural and urban landscapes as laboratories for integrative research (FORMAS Strong Research Environments)
  • IPBES (Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) Assessment: Direct and Indirect Drivers of change in Europe and Central Asia
  • Integrated spatial planning for ecological sustainability of the Baltic Sea Region
  • Collaborative learning for water sustainability

Current Study Areas

  • Bergslagen, Sweden
  • Zemgale, Latvia
  • Pskov, Russia
  • Several sites in Belarus


I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas
  • 2017. Lucas Dawson. Journal of Environmental Management 197, 24-40

    Due to a long history of intensive land and water use, habitat networks for biodiversity conservation are generally degraded in Sweden. Landscape restoration (LR) is an important strategy for achieving representative and functional green infrastructures. However, outcomes of LR efforts are poorly studied, particularly the dynamics of LR governance and management. We apply systems thinking methods to a series of LR case studies to analyse the causal structures underlying LR governance and management in Sweden. We show that these structures appear to comprise of an interlinked system of at least three sets of drivers and four core processes. This system exhibits many characteristics of a transformative change towards an integrated, adaptive approach to governance and management. Key challenges for Swedish LR projects relate to institutional and regulatory flexibility, the timely availability of sufficient funds, and the management of learning and knowledge production processes. In response, successful project leaders develop several key strategies to manage complexity and risk, and enhance perceptions of the attractiveness of LR projects.

  • 2015. Marine Elbakidze (et al.). Land use policy 48, 270-285

    International and national policies stress the importance of spatial planning for the long-term sustainability of regions. This paper identifies the extent to which the spatial planning in a Swedish region can be characterised as a collaborative learning process. By combining qualitative interviews and systems thinking methods we analysed the main attributes of public-led spatial (i.e. comprehensive) planning in nine municipalities representing a steep urban-rural gradient in the Bergslagen region of Central Sweden. We show that the attributes of strategic spatial planning needed for collaborative learning were absent or undeveloped. All studied municipalities experienced challenges in coordinating complex issues regarding long-term planning to steer territorial development and help to solve conflicts among competing interests. Stakeholder participation was identified as a basic condition for social learning in planning. Together with stakeholders we identified the causal structure behind stakeholder participation in municipal planning processes, including main drivers and feedback loops. We conclude that there is a need for arenas allowing and promoting stakeholder activity, participation and inclusion that combines both bottom-up and top-down approaches, and where evidence-based collaborative learning can occur.

  • Artikel Less is more
    2012. Lucas Dawson, Peter Schlyter. Energy Policy 47, 91-101

    Concentrated Solar Thermal Power (CSP) represents a technology with a great deal of promise for low-emissions electricity generation. Several recent studies have identified large swathes of the world's 'sunbelt' as technically suitable for the technology, but current estimates grossly overestimate site suitability for CSP. There is a need for more realistic suitability estimations in order to provide a more accurate basis for policy and investment decisions. This paper establishes a generally applicable GIS-based methodology to better enable identification of CSP-suitable sites at the continental scale. We test the methodology, identifying a large number of CSP suitable sites in Western Australia (WA). Our results indicate a 99.4% reduction from technically suitable areas to areas showing medium-to-very-high suitability in the current and near term in WA. The availability of infrastructure is critical to site suitability and the introduction of new major loads and infrastructure in currently under-developed regions is likely to open up further areas with medium to very high suitability. Despite the fact that current global/continental scale estimates of CSP potentials are likely overestimated by at least two orders of magnitude, truly CSP-suitable areas remain more than sufficient to motivate investment in utility-scale CSP and power potentials from this technology remain enormous.

Visa alla publikationer av Lucas Dawson vid Stockholms universitet

Senast uppdaterad: 17 juni 2019

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