My research interest concerns both behavioural and conservation ecology, but recently especially the interface between the two disciplines. My early post-graduate research to a large extent concerned evolutionary conflicts, e.g. sexual conflicts and parent-offspring conflicts, and their consequences for mating systems and life-history strategies. My recent focus on biodiversity and conservation research concerns how antropogenic change of the environment affects the behaviour of animals and as a consequence their population dynamics and persistence in heterogeneous landscapes.
I have recently focused on how agricultural intensification and climate change affects meta-communities of interacting organisms and the resulting consequences for ecosystem services. In particular we have developed methods to empirically investigate the effect of agricultural management and landscape structure, and their interaction, on the persistence of mobile organisms in agricultural landscapes. We have investigated how resulting changes in biodiversity affect the ecosystem services pollination and biological control.
I have realized that understanding and mitigating the impacts of global change on biodiversity and ecosystem services requires a cross-disciplinary effort, involving both a scientific understanding of how organisms react to climate and land-use change and how these changes affect the production of ecosystem services, but also modeling at spatial and temporal scales holding beyond the range of historical experience, valuation of ecosystem services and understanding of policy development. In cross-disciplinary research efforts linked to interaction with stakeholders I therefore try to identify societal strategies that combine preservation of biodiversity with climate adaptation and mitigation, e.g. through formulation of agri-environment schemes that benefit biodiversity, ecosystem services and ecosystem resilience.
As director of the Centre of environmental and climate research I am promoting cross-disciplinary research aiming at addressing the most urgent environmental issues in a rapidly changing world. I am engaged in making use of science in society, for example as a member of the executive committee for the Mistra Council for Environmental Evaluation, coordinator of the Lund University “Climate Initiative”, by arranging stakeholder conferences, by producing popularized summarized of research and by giving seminars for the public and other stakeholders.
I am also interested in developing education, and have initiated several new courses addressing environmental issues, as well as developed cross-disciplinary educational programs addressing these issues. In 2002 I received the Lund university pedagogic prize for my development of the new cross-disciplinary education in environmental science. I am also the initiator and subject representative of the new PhD-subject environmental science, were students address current environmental issues.
Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in a Changing Climate (BECC). A strategic cross-disciplinary research environment at Lund and Gothenburg Universities. Focus on the consequences of climate change for biodiversity and ecosystem services. Coordinator.
Multifunctional Agriculture: Harnessing Biodiversity for Sustaining Agricultural Production and Ecosystems (SAPES). A strong research environment funded by Formas. Focus on how agricultural land-use and management affect multiple ecosystem services. Coordinator.
Effects of wildlife conservation efforts on a declining farmland bird, the partridge, and farmland biodiversity. Research project funded by the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg’s foundation. Project leader.
Snail and Swift: Evolution and Ecology of Animal Mobility. A centre for Animal Movement Research at Lund University funded by a Linnaeus Grant from the Research Council VR and coordinated by Prof. Susanne Åkesson. Co-applicant.
David Kleijn, Maj Rundlöf, Jeroen Scheper, Henrik G. Smith, Teja Tscharntke (2011), Does conservation on farmland contribute to halting the biodiversity decline?, Trends in Ecology & Evolution 26(9): 474-48.
Jonason, D., Andersson, G. K. S., Öckinger, E., Rundlöf, M., Smith, H. G. and Bengtsson, J. (2011), Assessing the effect of the time since transition to organic farming on plants and butterflies. Journal of Applied Ecology, 48: 543-550.
Simon G Potts et al. (2011), Developing European conservation and mitigation tools for pollination services: approaches of the STEP (Status and Trends of European Pollinators) project. Journal of Apicultural Research, Vol. 50(2): 152-164.
Harris, S., Ramnarine, I. W., Smith, H. G. and Pettersson, L. B. (2010), Picking personalities apart: estimating the influence of predation, sex and body size on boldness in the guppy Poecilia reticulata. Oikos, 119: 1711-1718.
Sahlin, U., Smith, H. G., Edsman, L. and Bengtsson, G. (2010), Time to establishment success for introduced signal crayfish in Sweden - a statistical evaluation when success is partially known. Journal of Applied Ecology, 47: 1044-1052.
Dänhardt, J., Green, M., Lindström, Å., Rundlöf, M. and Smith, H. G. (2010), Farmland as stopover habitat for migrating birds - effects of organic farming and landscape structure. Oikos, 119: 1114-1125.
Maria von Post (main supervisor)
Annelie Jönsson (main supervisor)
Georg Andersson (main supervisor)
Annika Söderman (main supervisor)
Lina Herbertsson (environmental science, main supervisor)
Torben Wittwer (environmental science, main supervisor)
Helena Hansson (assistant supervisor)
Ola Lundin (SLU, assistant supervisor)
Edu Effiom (assistant supervisor)
Erkki Palmuu (assistant supervisor)
Maria Karlsson (assistant supervisor)
Sandra Lindström (SLU, assistant supervisor)