Andrea Morf

Senior Research Fellow

Andrea is no longer working at Nordregio.

Specialised in research, analysis and further development of coastal and marine governance.

Main interest areas:

  • Institutional development, participation and process facilitation, conflict management, and rural development – not the least in relation to the ongoing development of
  • Marine Spatial Planning, Integrated Coastal Zone Management, and the increasingly integrative and participatory management of natural resources and cultural and natural heritage in marine and coastal areas.
  • Method- and process development for knowledge integration: my empirical competence is mainly qualitative, but I do understand enough of natural sciences and quantitative methods to seek and enjoy collaboration with practitioners, quantitative researchers, and modellers for combining different types of knowledge to analyse and tackle a specific problem at hand.
  • Risk analysis, communication and management in relation to tackling the effects of climate change in coastal areas.

Academic qualifications
MSc in Environmental Sciences, Dept XB Environmental Sciences, ETH Zurich (1994)
PhD in Human Ecology, School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg (2006)


Prior and present positions
My professional experience encompasses both regional spatial planning (Kanton Thurgau 1995-1997), environmental consultancy, academic-level research, knowledge synthesis, teaching and expert training at the University of Gothenburg (from 1997 as PhD student and later as senior researcher at the School of Global Studies and 2007-2010 as transdisciplinary PostDoc at the Department for Marine Ecology), Luleå Technical University (2014-15 as senior researcher at the Department for Political Sciences), and the Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment (since 2009 as scientific coordinator and analyst in the area of management of marine uses). I also have experience in youth and adult environmental pedagogy (YWCA, SILVIVA 1981-1996).

Andrea Morf‘s spatial story

Space for me has to do with moving, maps, places, and planning both privately and professionally.

I love places where land meets water of some kind (coasts and shores but also mountains and ice) and if there is some fire with it the better – the sun in Greece or volcanoes on Iceland. These places wake my interest and inspire me! This has to do with my love for water based activities (sailing, swimming, snorkeling etc.), with the esthetical qualities of interface-landscapes and, for an environmentally interested person also with ecological characteristics of such interfaces – a challenging, highly varying environment leading to beautiful and high biological diversity.

I was born at the Lake of Geneva with a fantastic view on the lake and the Alps behind. We then moved to Lake Greifensee close to Zurich, where we had a boat and went sailing and swimming. In the mid 70s, our family spent time in the US and travelled all the way from Pennsylvania to California. There, I met the sea – Atlantic and the Pacific – for the first time in life, and was thrilled – of the waves, the tides, and what is left on the shore and being in the salt water and eating seafood. I wanted to become a marine biologist.

Back in Switzerland, my parents bought a house in village close to the city of Winterthur – in the middle between Zurich and Constance – without lake, and no river either. The only water close by was the local swimming pool smelling chlorine. So, travelling and holidays at the sea or on a canal ferry was always a great thing. We discovered Greek and Italian shores and archipelagos and large parts of France. Even today, I regularly spend some weeks in Greece on the beautiful island of Korfu, to relax, enjoy the countryside and interact with the locals, who have become friends, and of course to be in and on the water.

When we were small, my brother and me made landscapes in the sand and drew maps and invented and planned city- and landscapes… Later on, we became scouts and used drawings and maps in outdoor activities in the Alps and lowlands. I like maps – to get to know an area, for hiking, navigation, but also for collecting and just putting on the wall. Many maps are artwork!

Maybe because of all that, I studied environmental sciences with a lot of water and human dimensions and finally ended up in spatial planning in the Canton of Thurgovia with Lake Constance providing the necessary water again. I got interested in participation and conflict management and transboundary collaboration on the management of water bodies, but the sea was still far away. Then, a research project on sustainable coastal zone management (SuCoZoMa) at Gothenburg university in Sweden offered PhD opportunities and I had fallen in love with the Swedish archipelago, especially the West coast. It looks at the same time very marine and very alpine. One of the case study in my thesis on participation and conflict management in coastal planning, Koster, has since then never been much out of focus – both leisure-wise and in my research on coastal and marine planning and management, participation and sustainable development.

Today, I live on an island on the Swedish West coast and I am half-time working on an island in the middle of Stockholm – with daily view on the water. My present work is on development of institutional systems to use and enjoy the sea and coastal areas in a long-term sustainable way (i.e. Marine Spatial Planning). This includes people and places and solving conflicts and finding common visions and a lot of being in marine and coastal places to meet the people I work with.