I am professor of history, Sami culture and society development at Umeå University, Sweden. Since 2012 I am director at the Centre for Arctic Research (ARCUM), before that I was director at the Centre for Sami Research for twelve years.
My research profile includes Arctic sustainable development, historical demography, population statistics, indigenous health transitions and northern cultures. I have published monographies on various such as indigenous land use, hospital history, smallpox and vaccination and population statistics, and was one of the authors of Arctic Human Development Report II.
I have an active engagement in Arctic research planning, in stakeholder cooperation, and international collaboration. I am chair of the Board of Governors of the University of the Arctic (UArctic), and former president of the International Arctic Social Sciences Association (IASSA), and past-chair of WG Human and Social Sciences in the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), I am also Swedish delegate of Arctic Council Culture, Economy and Geography Expert Group (SECEG). I am deputy-director of the Chinese-Nordic Arctic Research Centre (CNARC). In 2015 I was appointed Honorary Consul of Västerbotten to Latvia and in 2016 I was appointed official Climate Ambassador of Västerbotten. I am currently responsible for the cooperation within the Arctic Five, including University of Lapland, University of Oulu, UIT – the Arctic University of Norway, Luleå University of Technology, and Umeå University.
I have been active in many different research areas, and have more than 500 presentations at national and international conferences, symposia and workshops behind me. In my early research career historical demography was in focus, and especially the mortality decline during the epidemiologic transition. In particular I was interested in the severe epidemic diseases, such as smallpox. This led to studies on the fantastic written sources Sweden has over its population, which resulted in a book on the Table Commission. Parallel to these studies I was also doing research on Sami history and culture, and in 2003 I was appointed director at the Sami Research Centre at Umeå University.
During the past ten years I have been occupied with arctic research in general and international cooperation in particular. As director of Arcum I together with my co-workers have established a research arena that today is one of the most extensive in the circumpolar region.