Digital Innovation for Sustainable and Inclusive Economic Development
5th International Conference
Prof Nils Ekelund

Nils Gustav Andreas Ekelund

Prof. Plant Physiology Dept. Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Society Faculty of Education and Society Malmö University Nordenskiöldsgatan 10, 205 06 Malmö, Sweden +46 72 5539687 E-mail: 0000-0003-2835-097X


It is evident that the effects of climate change have a major influence on land use, ecosystem services, human well-being and health. This presentation will focus on the understanding how our planet is affected by climate change and specially lakes and wetlands that are suitable sentinels of climate change because they constitute well defined ecosystems and they respond quickly to changes in climate. Currently, over-use of water is taking place in many places, which poses major risks to groundwater levels and it is argued that today we consume roughly half of the planet’s accessible surface freshwater. This makes it clear that if the dependence on ecosystems for human well-being becomes less visible, people will not even notice the possible ecosystems destruction. The water needs for society and human well-being make lakes and wetlands even more important as these are one of the most valuable ecosystems on our planet, which provide ecosystems services such as water supply, waste treatment, local climate regulation, and flood control. The concept of ecosystem services, which encompasses the human benefits derived from ecosystem functions generated by nature and ecosystems will in this presentation be stressed in relation to the sustainable development goals (SDGs 2030) for economic, social and environmental development. Finally, the keynote will touch upon how the application of emerging ICT technologies provide realtime monitoring and relevant data collection on lakes and wetlands. This is expected to improve ecosystem services, including technological change and social innovation in relation to sustainability, and the need for a deeper focus on intertwined socio-ecological interactions.


Nils Ekelund is Professor in Plant Physiology since 2002. Nils did his PhD 1988 and became 1995 Associate Professor in Plant Physiology at Lund University. From the 1 of August 2012 is Nils Professor in Plant Physiology at Malmö University and he was head of the Department of Natural Science, Mathematics, Society at Malmö University between 2012 and 2018. Nils has research experience in the field of aquatic ecosystems where he has been studying the effects of ultraviolet radiation, low temperature, salinity and other environmental effects on both phytoplankton and macroalgae. The research during the last years has been focused on ecosystem services and spatial expansion in peri-urban zones of small rural towns in South Africa.

Latest publications

Ingwani, E., Thynell, M, Gurure, L.R., Ekelund, N.G.A., Gumbo, T., Schubert, P., & Nel, V.
2023.The impacts of peri-urban expansion on municipal and ecosystem services: Experiences from Makhado Biaba Town, South Africa. Urban Forum.

Christersson, C.E., Melin, M., Widén, P., Ekelund, N., Christensen, J., Lundegren, N., & Staaf, P. 2022. Challenge-Based Learning in Higher Education: A Malmö University Position Paper. International Journal of Innovative Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 3:1, 1-14. DOI: 10.4018/IJITLHE.306650.

Christensen, J., Ekelund, N., Melin, M., & Widén, P. 2021. The Beautiful Risk of Collaborative and Interdisciplinary Research A challenging collaborative and critical approach towards sustainable learning processes in academic profession. Sustainability, 13, 4723.

Ode Sang, Å., Hagemann, F.A., Ekelund, N., & Svännel, J. 2021. Urban ecosystem services in strategic management and planning in Swedish municipalities. Urban Ecosystems.