Rockström and Edenhofer replace PIK director Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber. PIK is one of Europe’s leading centres for climate change and sustainability research.

In his new role, Rockström will continue to work closely with SRC’s leadership and researchers, leading several major research projects at Stockholm University, including “Earth Resilience in the Anthropocene" funded by the European Research Council. He will also continue to be a focal point for several strategic centre collaborations such as the Global Resilience Partnership on global development and EAT on sustainable and health food.

Rockström has been the executive director of SRC since its launch in 2007 and believes the time is right to hand over leadership.

SRC has developed a strong institutional resilience with a broad and growing new generation of researchers. We have grown by more than four-fold and established ourselves as a world leading academic environment at the frontier of sustainability science and complex systems research. We have succeeded in becoming an international convener between science, policy, practice and business. Now when we embark on our second decade, I feel it is time to leave room for a new leadership.

Johan Rockström

His new position with PIK will strengthen the already close collaboration between the two institutions on global sustainability science, planetary boundaries and global commons.

"I see this as a great opportunity to build even closer relationship between our two institutions. They complement each other on several levels and a more strategic partnership between SRC and PIK can create a unique and globally leading voice for sustainability science."

Stockholm University will appoint a new director in consultation with the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research, Mistra. The process will be led by SRC’s international board.

The transition has the full support of the board.

"SRC blends innovative thinking with a solid scientific organization," says Frances Westley, chair of SRC’s board.

"Increased focus on distributed leadership has the last years given depth to the strategies and culture of SRC. This bodes well for its long-term future and I am confident that this solid foundation will ensure a smooth transition."

Rockström has served four three-year periods as centre director, the fourth ending in July 2018.