“Sweden is at the forefront on sustainability!”

“Sweden is currently making a lot of progress in issues concerning sustainability. The country is at the forefront and it is exciting to be a part of it”, says the new director of LUCSUS, Emily Boyd.


Emily Boyd believes that working at LUCSUS and Lund University will provide good opportunities to help solve these challenges.

She enters through the magnificent doors of the Wrangel building on Biskopsgatan, home to the interdisciplinary Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUSCUS). A few weeks ago, this became Emily Boyd’s new workplace. Apart from her mild accent, which gives away her British origin, she speaks perfect Swedish. She learned the language when growing up outside of Stockholm, but she is completely new to Lund and Lund University.

However, this does not seem to intimidate her now as she takes over from the former director and founder of LUCSUS, Lennart Olsson.

“The expectations are of course considerable – mine and others’ – but that is as it should be”, says Emily Boyd, who feels excited and committed to take on this assignment.

Her most recent appointment was as professor at the University of Reading in England, and she has also worked at the prestigious University of Oxford, among other places.

Emily Boyd’s research concerns environmental and sustainability issues, with a focus on global development. Her interest in these issues emerged during childhood when she had the opportunity to travel and live in many different countries around the world. She finds that climate, sustainability and poverty are major and complex problems and challenges, which also make them more interesting and important to work with.

She believes that working at LUCSUS and Lund University will provide good opportunities to help solve these challenges. She explains that Sweden and Lund University are currently the place to be as an international female researcher.

“Sweden is a leading example when it comes to sustainability issues and there’s a lot of government support – so now is a particularly exciting time to be a part of this work”, she says.

The fact that Sweden is investing a lot in female researchers and is at the forefront when it comes to gender equality is also important to Emily Boyd as a female researcher and leader. Furthermore, she says that Sweden has a unique and important “work-life balance” that enables people to live more sustainably.

“As sustainability is part of my work, it is important to me that my everyday life is sustainable as well. It is amazing to be here in Lund where I feel privileged to be able to walk and bike everywhere”, she says with a smile.

As for what she believes Swedish universities can learn from the British, she firmly responds: leadership and communication.

She explains that, at British universities, communication is a natural part of the researcher’s everyday work, and something that all young researchers are trained in.

“The most important thing is, of course, the quality of research, but we must also be able to tell the world what we do and why it is important”, says Emily Boyd.

Text: Cecilia von Arnold

Photo: Peter Frodin


About Emily Boyd

Lives: Currently in Lomma but soon in Stora Råby

Family: Husband (who is also a researcher) and daughter, Swedish mom and stepdad and British dad.

Interests: Apart from her research…travel, do sports, watch movies, spend time with friends and family, and art.

Currently: appointed new director of LUCSUS – the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies.