Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Honorary doctors at SLU

Here you can find information about SLU's honorary doctors through the years. Six prominent researchers has become honorary doctors in 2015. They held their lectures on October 2 at Ultuna, the day before the degree conferment ceremony on October 3.

Choose an honorary doctor in the list below to get directly to the text:

Faculty of Landscape Architecture, Horticulture and Crop Production Science, honorary doctor 2015:

Picture of Charles Francis. Photo: Arvid BrelandProfessor Charles Francis has a very strong international scientific profile within sustainable farming systems research, teaching and extension. His field of competence is one of the key areas of the Department of Biosystems and Technology and of Department of Plant Protecetioan Biology.

Professor Francis has many years of experience in collaboration with SLU, especially on development of curricula with in sustainable agriculture and agroecology. It would be highly valuable for the LTV Faculty and SLU to strengthen the links with professor Francis, especially regarding the further development of the Master's -programme in agroecology. His appointment as honorary doctoar at the SLU would definitely facilitate such collaboration as well as strengthen the link to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, honorary doctors of 2015:

Picture of Gunnela StåhleGunnela Ståhle, agronomist, active in the public debate and blogger is, and has been for several decades, a leading, inspiring and driving force in the Swedish food sector. She has taken on major challenges in food supply, both at a national and global level through her work with the Federation of Swedish Farmers and as chair of the European Commission's Standing Group on Animal Welfare. She is appointed honorary doctor by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science for her work and commitment to issues such as reducing the use of antibiotics, food hygiene, improved animal protection and animal welfare for food-producing animals.

Picture of Brian PerryProfessor Brian Perry is a world-leading expert in applied veterinary epidemiology who has published over 250 peer-reviewed scientific articles in his field. Through his entire working life, he has been active internationally and has made outstanding contributions to animal welfare and animal health in developing countries, thereby improving the financial conditions for animal husbandry in these countries. He is appointed honorary doctor by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science above all for his expertise in the fields of epidemiology, the financial consequences of animal diseases and the importance of animal husbandry for development and financial growth in developing countries.

Faculty of forest sciences, honorary doctors of 2015:

Picture of Juha HyyppäProfessor Juha Hyyppä has been a head of department at the Finnish Geodetic Institute, Helsinki, since 2000, as well as director of the Centre of Excellence in Laser Scanning Research. He is a world leader when it comes to the technical aspects of laser remote sensing of forests. He is very productive and ranked highly by several databases based on the number of publications in laser remote sensing. As a world-leading technical researcher in remote sensing of forests, he is an important partner to the faculty.

Pictrue of Hans EliassonHans Eliasson is a former MD of Komatsu Forest and chair of The Forestry Technology Cluster board. The Forestry Technology Cluster is, and has been, of great importance to the Faculty of Forest Sciences, in particular its activities and development work in the field of forest technology. He was one of the driving forces behind the creation of The Forestry Technology Cluster. In cooperation with researchers from the Faculty of Forest Sciences, the cluster is active in developing technical forestry processes, with a focus on how to design the forestry machinery of the future based on expected needs. His work at the cluster has also made the faculty more visible in different national and international contexts, both politically and to authorities and businesses.

Faculty of natural resources and agricultural sciences, honorary doctors of 2015:

Picture of Detlef Weigel.Detlef Weigel is the head of the Department of molecular biology at the Max Planck Institute in Tübingen, Germany.

"Detlef Weigel is a world-leading scientist in the area of plant genetics, genomics and developmental biology. He has pioneered the development of a wide range of resources to further research to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying adaptive traits. These resources have been made available to the entire scientific world through Weigelworld. Detlef Weigel is an ambassador for the implementation of new techniques, not only for use in basic research but also for plant breeding and predicting the performance of wild populations under changing environmental conditions. Detlef Weigel's scientific work is an inspiration to plant biologists everywhere."

Detlef Weigel will not be able to attend this year's degree conferment ceremony. He will be awarded in 2016.

Degree conferment ceremony and lectures of the honorary doctors

Lectures held by the honorary doctors will be held on October 2, 2015. Detlef Weigel will not be able to attend this year's degree conferment ceremony. He will be awarded in 2016.

Honorary doctorates 2014

SLU's five honorary doctors appointed in 2014 will give their open lectures on October 3, 2014.
The conferment ceremony takes place on Saturday October 4, at SLU in Uppsala.

Presentation, Honorary Doctors 2014

Unless otherwise specified, the press photos origin from the Honorary Doctors´ respective organisations,
and are all free for use.

Isabella LövinIsabella Lövin, journalist, writer, and since 2009 a member of the EU Parliament for the Swedish Green Party, is most engaged in issues concerning fishery and published in 2007 a book, Tyst hav (Silent seas) which had a major impact in Sweden and abroad.


She is appointed Honorary Doctor by the Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences mainly for her efforts as a journalist and writer. She has "like few others ... put a focus on fishery issues in Sweden as well as internationally", it is said in the motivation.



Guillermo PenalosaGuillermo "Gil" Penalosa, Head of 8-80 Cities, in Canada has by the Faculty of Landscape Architecture, Horticulture and Crop Production been appointed Honorary Doctor.

The motivation states a.o. that he is a leading voice on the global scene when it come to the importance of open and green spaces in order to create better urban environments.

Gil Penalosa, originally from Colombia, is head of the organisation 8-80 Cities in Toronto, Canada which works to develop urban environments suitable for all ages ("from 8 to 80").



Ottoline LeyserOttoline Leyser, professor at the University of Cambridge, is by the Faculty of Forestry awarded an honorary doctorate, a.o.for her importance in developing plant physiological research at faculty.

She earned her PhD in 1990 at Cambridge in plant genetics. She built up her own research programme at the University of York 1994-2010 before returning to Cambridge, where she now manages the Sainsbury lab. Her research focuses largely on plant genetics and various plant hormones´ interaction with the environment.



Sandra EdwardsSandra Edwards, professor at the University of Newcastle is by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science awarded an honorary doctorate. She earned her PhD in 1980 in Reading and became a professor in Newcastle in 2000.
She has in her research focused on pigs´ rearing, feeding, reproduction, welfare and care in extensive and organic production systems.
"Those who met her and listened to her ... are stricken by her high educational ability", it is said in the motivation.



Ingemar BörjessonIngmar Börjesson, civil engineer and former head of research at Cerealia and later at Lantmännen, is by the Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences awarded an honorary doctorate.
The motivation says a.o. that he "in a very concrete way, helped to increase cooperation between the faculty and the industry in many areas." He has also been involved in faculty training programs in many different ways.


Honorary doctorates 2013

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) has now awarded this year’s honorary doctorates, four in number. The fifth was awarded last year, but the recipient was not able to attend the doctoral conferment ceremony at that time. Perhaps the best known of the honorary doctors is Helena Jonsson, President of the Federation of Swedish Farmers.

VACANCT SEATS AT THE DOCTORAL AWARD CEREMONY IN UPPSALA  ON OCTOBER 5, please contact, 018-67 10 74 for registration.



These are the honorary doctors, faculty by faculty:

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science


Helena Jonsson

Helena Jonsson, an organic farmer and President of the Federation of Swedish Farmers (LRF) since 2011, has been awarded an honorary doctorate in Agriculture by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science. She has a degree in Agriculture and Rural Management from SLU and a herd of some 150 beef cattle on her farm near the town of Tranås. She has been honoured for her work of great importance to Swedish animal production, and for her commitment to national issues concerning the environment, water and ownership, as well as development of the green sectors, along with her commitment to global food supply and energy transition challenges.

  • Press photo: Helena Jonsson Opens in new window, Photo: Lasse Modin
    (The photo may be used freely in conjunction with articles about SLU’s new honorary doctors; the photographer should be credited)


Pekka Olson

Licensed veterinary surgeon Pekka Olson has been awarded an honorary doctorate in Veterinary Medicine by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science. He qualified as a vet in 1975. He is currently Head of Veterinary Strategies at Agria Djurförsäkringar AB, an insurance company specialising in animal insurance. From 1976 to 1996 he worked at SLU as a practising vet, lecturer and researcher in canine and feline internal medicine. Over the years he has published some 40 scientific articles. He is being honoured for his work in supporting research in the field of veterinary medicine to increase our knowledge of diseases in dogs and cats and how they can best be treated, as well as his work on reducing the occurrence of diseases related to extreme in-breeding and for his commitment to animal welfare and the general importance of pets to people and society at large.

(The photo may be used freely in conjunction with articles about SLU’s new honorary doctors; the photographer should be credited)

Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences


Susan L. Senacah

Dr Susan L Senecah of the US has been awarded an honorary doctorate in Agriculture by the Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences. She works at the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry. She specialises in environmental communication, including issues such as popular participation in decision-making processes, conflict management, environmental campaigns and the legislative processes. She is being honoured for her pioneering work in the field of environmental communication, with a unique combination of science and practice, and for her support in the development of the subject of environmental communication at SLU.

Press photo: Susan Senecah Opens in new window

Photo: Jenny Svennås-Gillner, SLU
(The photo may be used freely in conjunction with articles about SLU’s new honorary doctors; the photographer should be credited)

Faculty of Forest Sciences


Andrés Weintraub Pohorille

Professor Andrés Weintraub Pohorille of the University of Chile has been awarded an honorary doctorate in Forestry by the Faculty of Forest Sciences. The award was announced last year, but he was unable to attend the doctoral conferment ceremony, so he will receive his honorary degree this year instead. Professor Weintraub has been a driving force in applications of forest production research since the 1980s. His projects have often focused on efficiency in cultivation, felling, transport and sawmill production, with the aim of increasing production of renewable forest resources from limited areas of forest. His recent work has also involved planning theory and forest management models. He is also a highly active member of many networks in the field of forestry research.

Faculty of Landscape Planning, Horticulture and Agricultural Sciences


Martine Dorais

Dr Martine Dorais, Canada, has been awarded an honorary doctorate in Agriculture by the Faculty of Landscape Planning, Horticultural and Agricultural Sciences. She works at Université Laval in Quebec, the emphasis being on development of sustainable horticultural production in a controlled climate (greenhouses and the like). She is a pre-eminent figure in horticultural research in Canada, and her research is highly relevant to the production of vegetables, berries, medicinal, ornamental and nursery plants. She has also collaborated with SLU Alnarp in many ways.

All honorary doctorates will be conferred at SLU’s doctoral conferment ceremony in Uppsala on 5 October, 2013.

Honorary doctorates 2012

All continents of the world are represented among SLU's nine honorary doctors appointed in 2012. They cover scientific areas such as horse feed, livestock production, entomology, plant genetics, cereal and vegetable cultivation, forest science and statistics.

 The lectures of the honorary doctors will be held on October 5, between 9.00 a.m. and 15.00 p.m. The lectures will also be sent live on SLU's web. 

Faculty of Landscape Planning, Horticulture and Agricultural Science

Bild på Mark Peoples. Dr Mark Peoples, CSIRO Plant Industry, Canberra, Australien

Dr Mark Peoples got his PhD at The University of Melbourne. He is Deputy Chief at CSIRO Plant Industry. He is a highly esteemed scientist in agricultural systems. Dr Mark Peoples contributions to science are high within the cereal and legume cultivation in Asia and Australia and he often works closely to the farmers.


Bild på Mahmoud Solh.

Dr Mahmoud Solh, Aleppo, Syria 


Dr Mahmoud Solh is Director General of the ICARDA (International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas) in Aleppo. His honorary doctorate is a way to draw attention to his great efforts to bring research results to farmers in dry areas, primarily in North Africa, Middle East and Central Asia. ICARDA is a CGIAR Opens in new window center with which SLU has a longstanding partnership.



Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences

Bild på Bengt Ehnström.

Field entomologist Bengt Ehnström, Nås, Sweden

Bengt Ehnström is one of Scandinavia’s leading entomologists and as retired still very active. He has devoted his entire life to insects, from 1977 at SLU in Uppsala and in the early 1980’s he was one of the founders of The Swedish Species Information Centre. Bengt Ehnström books on fauna management in forestry are pioneering works with a tremendous impact in practical forestry.



Doctor Catherine Bastien, Orleans, Frankrike

Dr Catherine Bastien is an internationally well-respected researcher in quantitative genetics. She has developed forest tree refining by combining traditional and molecular selection methods to refine especially poplar. Her work has been of great importance for the refining of woody plants in Europe. Dr Catherine Bastien is also involved in the so called SAMBA Opens in new window project at SLU.


Faculty of Forest Sciences

Bild på Godwin Kowero.

Professor Godwin Kowero, African Forest Forum, Nairobi, Kenya

Professor Godwin Kowero has played an important role for the development of African forestry. Professor Kowero is Secretary-General at the African Forest Forum where he has shown his great ability to bring out important knowledge in forestry, at regional as well at global level.



Bild på Sreenivasa Rao Jammalamadaka. Professor Sreenivasa Rao Jammalamadaka, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA

Professor Sreenivasa Rao Jammalamadaka’s research covers a broad spectrum of both theoretic and applied statistics. He is a highly ranked statistician worldwide and is often quoted and has published articles in the most prestigious publications.



Bild på Andrés Weintraub Pohorille.  Professor Andrés Weintraub Pohorille, University of Chile

Professor Andrés Weintraub Pohorille is nominated as an honorary doctor at the Faculty of Forest Science at SLU. He is unfortunately prevented from attending at the promotion ceremony and will be promoted in 2013.



Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science

Agronom Christina Planck, Tidaholm

It is with great commitment that the agronomist Christina Planck has increased the knowledge for the formerly rather unexplored area about nutrition needs and feeding for horses. Planck has worked as a lecturer at SLU. She investigated the precondition to start courses about horses in 1993 and when the government decided to start the education Planck played a very prominent role. Planck has also worked as an adviser and presenter at many workshops and has been an inspiration for many colleagues and for those who have had the opportunity to take part of Christina Planck’s great knowledge.

Doctor of Agronomy Henning Steinfeld, FAO, Rome, Italy

Dr Steinfeld is the chief at Livestock Information at the Agricultural Department at FAO in Rome, Italy. He is originally from Germany but has worked several years at different departments at FAO. Steinfeld is the most influential person regarding livestock effects on the environment. After publishing the book Livestock’s Long Shadow in 2006 where he was the lead author, dr Steinfeld has been frequently engaged by governments, universities and organizations to develop his thoughts about environment sustainability in the livestock area combined with social and economic development.

Honorary doctorates 2011

The honorary doctors from the four faculties at SLU gave their lectures on October 7, 2011. The conferment ceremony took place on October 8, 2011, at SLU in Uppsala.

SLU’s 2011 honorary doctors at the four faculties are:

Child safety and horticulture

Faculty of Landscape Planning, Horticulture and Agricultural Sciences

Barbara Lee works at the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, Wisconsin, US, and is being recognized for her work in preventing injuries among children and adolescents in the agricultural sector.

Kornelia Smalla is scientific director of the Julius Kühn Institute and a professor at the University of Braunschweig in Germany. She is one of the leading figures in ecological microbiology. Her research brings together environmental, medical, and plant-production issues.

Outdoor educator, Nicaraguan professor, and water pioneer

Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences

Susan Humphries has developed a pedagogy based on landscape architecture, cultivation, and culture. As a teacher and headmaster at Coombes School in England her commitment to environmental issues has made both her and the school world famous. Her pedagogy combines traditional teaching with creative work, in the form of both cultivation/planting and drama/theatre. Her work is largely focused on children’s need for good outdoor environments.

Francisco Telémaco Talavera Siles is a professor at Universidad Nacional Agraria (UNA) in Nicaragua. Collaboration with SLU has led to 22 UNA teachers completing master’s degrees at SLU, eleven taking doctorates, and seven more working towards their doctorates. It has also made it possible for students and researchers/teachers from SLU to study tropical agriculture on site in Nicaragua.

Andrew Sharpley was born in England but works today at the University of Arkansas in the US, as professor of soil and water quality. During his thirty-year research career he has been deeply committed to enhancing our understanding of the impact of agriculture on surface and groundwater.

Two members of Swedish Academies

Faculty of Forest Sciences

Maria Norrfalk, governor of Dalecarlia County, holds a master of science in forestry and during her career has served as director general of both the Swedish Forest Agency and Sida (the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency). During the period 1993–2001 she was a member of the SLU Board. Now, among other assignments, she is a member of the board at Swedfund International AB and the council of trustees at the World Wide Fund for Nature. As of 1993 Maria Norrfalk is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry.

Karl-Gustaf Löfgren, senior professor of economics at Umeå University, completed his doctorate in 1977 at Umeå University, where he continues to be active. In the late 1970s he was appointed professor of forest economics at SLU and helped make the Department of Forest Economics one of the world’s leading research environments in the subject. Karl-Gustaf is a member of both the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Dedicated work to benefit animals

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science

Honorary doctor of agronomy Paul B. Siegel, the grand old man of global fowl breeding, works as a professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in the US. Following his doctorate from Kansas State University he came to the then Virginia Polytechnic Institute as early as 1957. There his research and teaching has long focused on the impact of breeding on growth, reproduction, and immunology.

Mats Törnquist is a leading figure in Swedish veterinary health for cattle. He has been involved in Swedish preventive animal healthcare specializing in cattle. He built up and is responsible for cattle healthcare at Swedish Animal Healthcare (SvDHV) where he also served as deputy CEO from 2001 to 2010. He actively took part in establishing measures to combat and monitor BVD, blackleg, bluetongue, and PRRS as well as expanding our knowledge of EHEC/VTEC in Swedish cattle.

Gedigen djurgärning ger hedersdoktorat (in Swedish, with photos)

Page updated: 2015-10-27. Page editor:

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