CV page

Ann Grubbström

Ann Grubbström
My research interests are gender equality in the forest sector, young farmers, generational succession in farming, sustainable consumption, doctoral supervision, and geography education.


Ph.D. Ann Grubbström is a Docent in Human Geography. She is now working as a researcher at the Division of Environmental Communication, Director of Ph.D. studies, Urban and Rural Development (SOL), and as an educational developer at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Ann has a background as a senior lecturer at the Department of Social and Economic Geography at Uppsala University. She has worked in several research projects for example addressing landowning issues, generational succession within farming, young farmers, and geography education. The current project Stop counting bodies addresses gender equality in the forest sector with a focus on forest education. Ann Grubbström has also been the coordinator for Uppsala University’s research school in subject education, member of the program committee for teacher education (representing Social Sciences at Uppsala University), assistant project leader for the national test in geography year 9, and director of studies for a research school in Geography. Ann has also supervised several licentiates and doctoral students in Human Geography.


Ongoing project

To stop counting bodies - new ideas for a gender-equal forestry sector

Project leader: Ph.D. Stina Powell. Division of Environmental Communication.

Mistra Environmental Communication

Communication for sustainability. I am part of work package two: Reframing communication strategies to promote sustainable consumption.

Being and becoming a farmer in an urbanized society

Selection of previous projects

Looking for farmers. Young farmer’s future strategies in a transforming sector (SLF-2010)

The number of Swedish farmers is rapidly declining and many farms do not have a successor. The farmer is both an entrepreneur and the manager of a social, cultural and economic heritage. This project aims at investigating how young farmers and students in upper secondary school view the role of a farmer, now and in the future. Gender, access to a farmstead and land, size of the farm, and location are some important factors. Questions regarding entrepreneurship, sustainability of the business, and development possibilities are central.
Other researchers working on the project were: Susanne Stenbacka and Sofie Joosse, Department of Social and Economic Geography Uppsala university.

Generational change and property transfer in farming 1870-2000 (VR 2004-2742) 
This project studies forms of and strategies for generational succession and transfer of resources in farming in Sweden, Estonia, and Hungary from culture-analytic, economic, spatial, and gender perspectives, using a longitudinal method and both documentary sources and interviews. Transfer of material resources, foremost land, is examined, as well as the transfer of immaterial resources like skills, peasant and entrepreneurial habitus, gender relations, and relations between generations. Focus firstly on the decades around the turn of the 19th century when family farms were established in manor-dominated Estonia and Hungary and the tendency for lessened importance for intra-family resource transfer seems to have been halted in Sweden. Secondly focus is on the post-war rationalisation era, when a massive structural change in the west and outright collectivisation in the east affected conditions for resource transfers. Finally, present problems of how agricultural policy affects possibilities and strategies for generational change and resource transfers is addressed, along with the question of the importance of family heritage and continuity for the re-establishment of private farms in post-socialist countries.
My part of the project concerns Estonia and has shown that the ideal is that the farm, in the first instance, should be transferred to a son. It is also important that the successor should be decided on at an early stage. Quite surprisingly, these ideals persisted during the soviet period and still persist today even though family farming is diminishing and many farmhouses are used as second homes. This is explained by the strong emotional attachment to the land that exists in Estonia because of historical reasons. The farm becomes a symbol of family tradition and history. Other researchers in the project were: Mats Morell, Department of Economic History, Stockholm University, Ildikó Asztalos Morell, Department of Sociology, Uppsala University, Iréne Flygare, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala

Forest and land as resources in Estonia (FORMAS 2004-1579)
This project consists of two studies with a common core. The main question deals with changes in land ownership and land use in relation to the disintegration of the Soviet system and the rapid transformation to a market economy. The actual land use, important processes to explain changes in land use and ownership, and individual land owners’ motives for land-use changes are central issues in the project. The aim is to study rural properties in Estonia in a longitudinal perspective with reference to ownership, land use, and the owner's economic, social and emotional relation to the property. The point of departure in this study is the property. The first study that I have worked with deals with land use and ownership in the coastal region in the NW of Estonia. The area is, like most coastal regions in the Nordic countries, under exploitation pressure from the demand for land for second homes and tourism investments. I have compared absentee owners from Sweden and Estonia with owners living in the same municipality. Owners that received their property through restitution are more emotionally attached to it and therefore have a reluctance to sell the property even if they have no intentions to use it at present. Many owners hope that the next generation will be interested in the property.
Other researchers in the project were: Göran Hoppe, Department of Social and Economic Geography, Uppsala University, Olof Stjernström,  Department of Social and Economic Geography, Umeå University, Hans Jörgensen, Department of Economic History, Umeå University


My dissertation focuses on the Swedish minority in Estonia 1816-1939. It illustrates the importance of linking the survival of an ethnic group with the issue of land ownership. The ethnic composition and settlement patterns of Swedes and Estonians are analysed from a long-term perspective. Particular attention is paid to the impact of the process of land purchase, which took place primarily at the end of the 19th century, and the land reform of 1919. The study is based on both archival sources and interview material. A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods is used to highlight ethnic changes from different angles. This has allowed for ethnic status, as recorded in various written documents, to be related to the population’s own views on ethnic identity.



Ph.D., Docent and Senior Lecturer in Social and Economic Geography, Uppsala university

2019- Director of Ph.D. studies, Urban and Rural Development (SOL).

2015-2016 Coordinator, Research school in subject education. Uppsala University. 

2014-2017 Program committee for teacher education. Representing Social Sciences.

2012-2017 Assistant project leader for the national test in geography Year 9.

2011-2014 Director of Studies for Research School in Geography with the overarching theme Sustainable Development.


Cecilia Fåhraeus, Ph.D. (2020) Drawing a Livelihoodscape from the Slum: Towards a spatial understanding of gendered livelihoods in Zambia. Kulturgeografiska institutionen, Uppsala universitet (assistant)

Magdalena Cedering, Ph.D. (2016) Konsekvenser av skolnedläggningar. en studie av barnfamiljers vardagsliv i samband med skolnedläggningar i Ydre kommun. Kulturgeografiska institutionen, Uppsala universitet (biträdande)

Kajsa Kramming, Ph.D. (2016) Environmental collapse or sustainable futures? Social and Economic Geography, Uppsala University, (principal)

Sebastian Djup, Ph.D. (ongoing) Sustainable development in geography education. Relations to the politics and the political. Social and Economic Geography, Uppsala University, (assistant)

Cecilia Almlöv, Ph.D. (ongoing) Co-supervisors in doctoral supervision. Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm (assistant)

Selected publications

Peer-reviewed original articles

Powell, S. and Grubbström, A. (2021): Leading gender equality change in higher education – the case of forestry. The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, DOI: 10.1080/1389224X.2021.2008997

Grubbström, A. and Joosse, S. (2021) New Entrants in Agriculture–The Case of Young Immigrant Farmers in Sweden. European Countryside, 13(1), pp.22-37.

Powell, S. and Grubbström, A. (2021) Vem ska leda jämställdhetsarbetet inom akademin? En studie av jämställdhetsarbetet vid SLU. Tidskrift för genusvetenskap, 42 (1), pp. 79-98.

Grubbström, A. and Powell, S. (2020). Persistent norms and the# MeToo effect in Swedish forestry education. Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research, 35(5-6), pp.308-318.

Joosse, S., Powell, S., Bergeå, H., Böhm, S., Calderón, C., Caselunghe, E., Fischer, A., Grubbström, A., Hallgren, L., Holmgren, S. and Löf, A. (2020) Critical, Engaged and Change-oriented Scholarship in Environmental Communication. Six Methodological Dilemmas to Think With. Environmental Communication, 14(6), pp.758-771.

Grubbström, A. and Eriksson, C. (2018) Retired farmers and new land users: how relations to land and people influence farmers' land transfer decisions. Sociologia ruralis, 58(4), pp.707-725.

Stenbacka Susanne, Grubbström Ann & Forsberg Gunnel (2017) Gendered youth strategies for inclusion in a changing society: breaking or reproducing the local gender contract? Area, Doi: 10.1111/area.12392

Joosse Sofie & Grubbström Ann (2017) Continuity in farming – Not just family business. Journal of Rural Studies.Vol. 50, 198-208.

Molin Lena, Grubbström Ann, Bladh Gabriel, Ojanne Kaj, Gottfridsson Hans Olof, Karlsson Svante, Westermark Åsa (2015) Do personal experiences have an impact on teaching and didactic choices in Geography. European Journal of Geography. Vol. 6, No 4, 6-20.

Grubbström Ann, Stenbacka Susanne & Joosse Sofie (2014) Balancing family traditions and business. Gendered strategies for achieving future resilience among agricultural students, Journal of Rural Studies. Vol. 35, 152-161.

Molin Lena & Grubbström Ann (2013). Are teachers and students ready for the new middle school geography syllabus in Sweden? Traditions in geography teaching, current teacher practices and student achievements. Norsk Geografisk Tidskrift –Norwegian Journal of Geography, 67:3, 142-147.

Grubbström Ann (2012) Gender contracts in Estonian coastal farming families, 1870-1939. The History of the Family. Vol. 17, No. 4, 434-451.

Grubbström Ann & Sooväli-Sepping Helen (2012) Estonian family farms in transition: a study of intangible assets and gender issues in generational succession. Journal of Historical Geography. Vol. 38, No. 3, 329-339.

Grubbström Ann (2011) Emotional bonds as obstacles to land sale. Attitudes to land among local and absentee landowners in Northwest Estonia. Landscape and Urban Planning. Vol. 99, No. 1, 31-39.

Jörgensen Hans, Grubbström, Ann & Stjernström Olle (2010) Private Landowners’ Relation to Land and Forest in Two Estonian Counties. Journal of Northern studies, No. 2, 31-52.


Grubbström, Ann (2003) Sillar och mullvadar. Jordägande och etnicitet i Estlands svenskbygder 1816-1939. Geografiska regionstudier nr 55. Kulturgeografiska institutionen, Uppsala universitet (Akademisk avhandling).


Grubbström Ann (2018) Recension Av Pontus Hennerdals avhandling: Education through Maps. The Challenges of Knowing and Understanding the World. Nordidactica. Journal of Humanities and Social Science Education, 45-48.

Grubbström Ann (2018). Recension av Anna Malmbjers bok: Studenters skrivande i humaniora och samhällsvetenskap. Högre utbilding, v. 8, n. 1, 30-32.



Researcher at the Department of Urban and Rural Development; Division of Environmental Communication
Telephone: +4618671848
Postal address:
Inst för stad och land, Box 7012
Visiting address: Ulls väg 27, Uppsala