Håkan has a professional background in aquatic ecology, ecotoxicology and natural resource management. He has worked with research and management of aquatic resources in tropical countries for more than 25 years in Africa, Asia and Central America. Håkan finished his PhD in aquatic ecotoxicology at the department of System Ecology at Stockholm University in 1996, and became an associate professor at the Royal Institute of Technology in 2004, where he was senior lecturer in ecology and environmental sciences.
Håkan has set up and helped to coordinate several regional research networks in the Indian Ocean (MASMA, CORDIO), Lake Victoria (VicRes) and in the Greater Mekong Region (The Wetland Alliance), when he worked as a senior research advisor to the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). He has worked as associated professor at the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand with research and management of tropical wetlands. As senior environmental expert at the Mekong River Commission in Laos, he helped to coordinate environmental monitoring activities the Mekong River. Håkan has also been involved in several global processes related to biodiversity and ecosystem services (IPBES), while he was working at the Resilience and Development programme at the Stockholm Resilience Centre.