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Thomas Malm

  • Teaches on 5 courses


I am Professor of human ecology with a degree in biology, and a Ph.D. and Associate Professor degree in social anthropology. As a researcher, with a particular interest in Oceania (and islands in general), I have specialized in the fields of ethnobiology and ethnoecology, as well as historical anthropology and migration studies. Other research interests include the history of exploration, visual anthropology, and the history of ideas related to evolution and natural history.

My ambition, in my research as well as in my teaching, is to combine the perspectives of natural science with those of social science and the humanities. This is what I do in all of the courses I teach, for example ‘Perceptions of Nature in Time and Space,’ ‘The Place of Humans in the Ecosystems,’ and ‘Environmental Anthropology.’

Current research project

Since the 1990s, I have conducted research on indigenous knowledge and marine tenure systems in Oceania. Themes in focus are how the rights to use near-shore resources are regulated by customary and modern law, how subsistence roles are related to gender and the zone where the tasks are performed, and how indigenous knowledge is reflected in the gathering, uses and naming of organisms. I have also carried out research on centralisation, migration and pearl cultivation in French Polynesia; ethnoecological knowledge and dietary change in Oceania; outrigger canoes; and the relationship between local Oceanic societies and the modern world-system. I also enjoy writing popular science based on my research.


Retrieved from Lund University's publications database



Retrieved from Lund University's publications database


Retrieved from Lund University's publications database

Human Ecology
E-mail: thomas [dot] malm [at] hek [dot] lu [dot] se


Human Ecology

+46 46 222 04 17




The Department of Human Geography
and the Human Ecology Division

Address: Sölvegatan 10,
223 62 Lund
Phone: 046-222 17 59

Faculty of Social Sciences