The Department of Physical Geography strives to be a world-class academic organisation that advances understanding and learning in the natural conditions and processes of the world we live in, the impacts of society on the natural environment, and societal responses to environmental challenges.


The mission of the Department of Physical is to create and communicate fundamental knowledge as part of an evolving global effort to understand and adapt to Earth’s changing environments. Our educational mission is to provide an environment in which students develop the knowledge, intellectual abilities, and technical and communicative skills required to synthesize information, think critically, and develop solutions as the basis for success in employment or academic careers.

The ideas which guide our actions and define our identity

The Department of Physical Geography exists for the enhancement, education and communication of environmental science and ways in which humans impact, utilize, and care for their environment. We are more than sixty scientists spread across five thematic areas that convey our exciting research strengths and which internally and externally communicate that collaborative groups work together to advance shared research and pedagogical goals. We provide a welcoming and supportive work environment; all members of the department are expected to interact with a range of colleagues, to treat each other with respect and curiosity, and to be proactive in meeting and welcoming new staff and visitors. External awareness and engagement with the department occurs principally as a result of effective communication of our research strengths and educational structure through different media (e.g., research publications, website, social media), through external engagement by staff, and through active engagement with our alumni. Internal strengthening of the department occurs principally through transparency, communication, department-wide activities, work towards shared goals, and a functional, informative, and up-to-date homepage. Internal awareness of our research and educational strengths, as well as recognition of the diverse abilities of faculty, staff, and students, fosters a sense of belonging and excitement towards the workplace. Engagement in decision-making processes, as well as transparency and effective communication of leadership decisions, further fosters a sense of belonging and identity. We are proud that our organisation maintains breadth across physical geography and quaternary geology while working at the forefront in research and education.

Our research and educational structure is functional and decentralized, with clearly articulated responsibilities and mandates that result in scientifically engaged faculty, motivated staff and employable students with a sense of belonging. Researchers are highly engaged in internal and external science communication with other scientists, students and society. Members of each research area have broad knowledge of our other four research areas and invest time to interact within and across these groups to create research of high societal relevance that leverages departmental strengths. Our research strengths enhance our educational programs, and our awareness of trends in research, employment and education in the world around us drives curriculum development. We have strong and lasting ties with other departments within Stockholm University, other universities, society, and potential employers of our students, allowing our students to engage in meaningful studies and to graduate as well-prepared and self-confident scholars who are aware of their strengths and abilities.