October 14, 2015 Meet the GEC researcher Johan Boman from Atmospheric Science, University of Gothenburg

SSEESS has a lot to offer to GEC researchers. But who is a GEC researcher?

There is actually a wide range of researchers who can be seen as GEC researchers. SSEESS had the opportunity to interview some of their GEC grantees. This week, we would like to take the opportunity and introduce one of them: Johan Boman.

Johan is researcher from the Atmospheric science constellation at the University of Gothenburg and his research areas are ‘Air and life quality in urban areas in low and middle income countries’.

Photo: Johan Boman together with the group from the workshop in Nairobi, (source: website of the University of Gothenburg)



Johan, how is your research linked to Global Environmental Change (GEC)?

The rapid development of the urban areas in the low and middle income countries is a vital part of the global environmental change. The change imposes grand challenges to cope with the deteriorating air quality and connected to that the influence on the quality of life.

Why are you interested in GEC research?

In many cases the current development of the urban areas is not considering the human right to have access to clean air. I and my colleagues want to understand the underlying causes to bad air quality, the sources of air pollution to better describe the needed steps to get a better life quality in the areas.

What are the biggest challenges for you when working on GEC topics?

There are many challenges in this work. For example:

  • Getting access to relevant data in the studies area. This includes establishing contact with relevant stakeholders.
  • Identifying knowledge gaps and establish capacity building strategies in the studied areas.
  • Funding is crucial, especially for a long term research project.
  • Working with air quality requires long term commitments to be able to catch the variations in emissions, weather and climate.


Which of your projects did SSEESS support, and how?

We got support to identify knowledge gasp related to indoor and outdoor air quality in Nairobi, linking it to a sustainable development of life quality and health. The knowledge will address long term implications for sustainable urban development. Based on the experiences from the Nairobi project the knowledge can be used for other urban areas in Sub-Saharan Africa. SSEES provided support for two workshops with 20 delegates. One in Gothenburg and one in Nairobi. The aim was to write a research proposal on Clean Air Nairobi (CAN).

And last but not least, what has been your favorite research trip so far?

To Nairobi, since it’s developing so rapidly.


SSEESS would like to thank Johan Boman for this interview.