Expedition to Adventfjorden 1896
Expedition to Adventfjorden 1896
 
 
Geography was established at Stockholm University as a subject in its own right in 1912, but it was not until 1929 that the first professor, Hans W:son Ahlmann, was appointed. He held this position until 1950. Gunnar Hoppe was appointed professor in 1954, one year before the division between Physical Geography and Human Geography commenced. Professor Hoppe retired in 1980 and was succeeded by Gunnar Østrem, Wibjörn Karlén, and, in 2003, by Peter Kuhry. Hans W:son Ahlmann, particularly interested in Arctic research, led several expeditions to the Arctic and initiated the establishment of a glaciological research station in the Swedish mountains, the Tarfala Research Station. Valter Schytt was appointed professor of glaciology in 1970 and held the position until 1985. Per Holmlund succeeded him in 1999.
Gunnar Hoppe pioneered the incorporation and interpretation of aerial photographs in geomorphological research. His strong interest in remote sensing led to the creation of a professorship in remote sensing at the Department of Physical Geography in 1980, a position held by Leif Wastenson until 2001. Johan Kleman succeeded him. Leif Wastenson developed and expanded the field of remote sensing leading to the establishment of a professorship in ecological geography, held by Margareta Ihse between 1997 and 2008. In 2005, following a strategic decision to develop the Department’s profile in hydrology, a new professorship in hydrology, hydrogeology and water resources was established. The position is held by Georgia Destouni.
As long as geology has been a subject at Stockholm University, Quaternary Geology has received considerable attention. Two early professors of geology, Gerard De Geer (1897-1924) and Lennart von Post (1929-1950) had international reputations in Quaternary geology, De Geer for his invention of the clay-varve dating method and von Post as the father of pollen analysis. In 1956 von Post’s successor, Ivar Hessland, created an assistant professorship, the first holder of which was Carl-Gösta Wenner, who gave the department new direction towards applied geology. In 1962 Quaternary Geology became an independent subject and in 1963 a Department on its own. Jan Lundqvist succeeded Wenner in 1980 and became the first full professor of Quaternary Geology at Stockholm University. Lundqvist retired in 1993 and was succeeded by Bertil Ringberg, and, from 2002 to 2007, by Barbara Wohlfarth.
The Department of Physical Geography and the Department of Quaternary Research amalgamated to create the Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology on January 1, 2001. Research interests of other professorships at the department are in tropical geography (Carl Christiansson), paleoclimatology (Karin Holmgren and Gunhild Rosqvist), glaciology (Peter Jansson), remote sensing (Bengt Lundén), paleoglaciology (Arjen Stroeven) and Quaternary geology (Frank Preusser and Stefan Wastegård). Together with the aforementioned professorships we successfully straddle both traditional and innovative directions in physical geography and Quaternary geology.