Dan Wilhelmsson has a research background in coastal zone management and marine ecology in tropical countries, as well as in the influence of human activities and development on the marine environment in European waters. As Coordinator for Development Research at the Swedish Research Council (SRC, 2016-2022), he worked to implement the strategy for the subject area, which primarily includes funding of research of particular relevance for low and lower middle-income countries (many funded projects focused on East Africa). His work also included research-funding initiatives in collaboration with other governmental agencies, as well as international collaboration. He was also leading SRC´s partnership with Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology, which aims to improve systems for research and innovation in Tanzania.
As Deputy Director/Scientific Advisor at Swedish Secretariat for Environmental Earth System Sciences (2010-2016), Dan sought to increase the participation of researchers in developing countries and Swedish based researchers in international research programs through different forms of activities, including grants and matchmaking. When leading Coastal Research Development in the Indian Ocean, South Asia (CORDIO South Asia), 1999-2005, he developed the sub-program, involved and engaged institutes and organisations for the implementation of 25 projects in India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Dan was also assisting manager of International Coral Reef Initiative, 2001-2003.