Read about the installation lectures of new professors in Uppsala and Alnarp 2013, and about their research.
Brief introduction of the professors that are to be installed in Alnarp, and their lectures that are to be held on May 16-17, 2012.
How do insects choose the right plant?
Peter Anderson’s research is focused on host plant choice in insects, which is a crucial but complicated decision for many insects, especially for generalists that can use many, but not all host plants. His model insect is a generalist moth, the Egyptian Cotton Leafworm (Spodoptera littoralis), in which he has studied the role of plant volatiles on host plant choice behaviour. Knowledge about the mechanisms driving host plant choice can be used to increase our understanding of ecological interactions, but also to develop control methods.
Fascinating molecules – pheromones and plant odours
Marie Bengtsson is a chemist and her research concerns odour communication in insects with social and environmental chemical signals. Pheromones are used between the sexes of the same species. Kairomones are used for signalling between different species, including plant volatiles that mediate host-finding in insect herbivores. This knowledge is brought to practical application for the control of insects in agriculture, horticulture and forestry.
Healthy hooves bring money
Christer Bergsten has a background as a practicing veterinarian dedicated to solving lameness problems and to improve cattle welfare. His research has resulted in knowledge of the link between excellent management, proper environment and healthy hooves. His team’s work has led to the development of an animal-friendly, practical flooring system which has revolutionised the walking comfort and health of cattle.
Learning the odour language of a parasitoid
Göran Birgersson is a biologist and a chemist working in the field of insect chemical ecology. Focus in his research is on one of the main pests in Swedish forestry, the conifer feeding bark beetle Ips typographus. He is particularly interested in parasitoids and other natural enemies of this pest, and the odour cues they use to locate bark beetle larvae inside the bark of attacked spruce trees. The ultimate goal is to develop control methods based on such knowledge.
Anders S. Carlsson:
Fresh oil replaces fossil oil
Anders S. Carlsson is a plant scientist with lipids, that is fats and fat-like substances, as his speciality. He and his colleagues are studying how the oil formation in different parts of plants takes place, and especially the role played by so-called transcription factors. They have shown that when such a transcription factor is activated in normally oil-free tissues such as tobacco leaves or tubers, these tissues begin to produce oil. Such new knowledge about plant oil formation may contribute to the development of new oil crops that can help reduce our dependence on fossil oil.
Geometric properties in nature
Caroline Hägerhäll’s research area is the environmental psychology of landscape architecture. Her main interests are environmental perception and the more particular topics of landscape preferences and restorative environments. Her work is interdisciplinary, involves several new methodological approaches and aims to advance the field also theoretically. A clear objective is to provide knowledge that is of high relevance to practice; designing, planning or managing new and old settings to meet people’s needs and to promote health and well-being.
Odours make mosquitoes bite
Rickard Ignell is a chemical ecologist and studies insect olfaction, with emphasis on blood-feeding insects. His primary focus is on mosquitoes that transmit detrimental diseases such as malaria and dengue. His applied research includes chemo-ecological management projects of biting midges and malaria mosquitoes.
Helping plants to protect themselves against disease
Erland Liljeroth’s research is oriented towards sustainable plant protection, with minimal use of pesticides and minimised environmental impact. To achieve this, a combination of measures are needed, including the exploitation of the plant’s own defence abilities and the choice of cropping systems that counteract disease development and spread. His specialty is induced resistance; which is achieved by application of harmless microorganisms or nontoxic chemicals that affect the plant’s signalling system and activate its defence.
Food quality – a matter for the health
Marie Olsson is a plant physiologist and her research has mainly dealt with issues concerning the outer and inner quality of fruit, berries and vegetables, and factors affecting postharvest quality. She has investigated the variety of nutrients and other healthy substances in these products, and the effects of genetics and environmental factors. The connection to medical research is of special interest.
Agrobiodiversity in plant breeding
Rodomiro Ortiz’s research concerns the sustainable use of genetic resources in crop improvement. He has worked with a wide range of crops, from maize, potatoes and quinoa, to banana, lingonberry and hot pepper. Rodomiro Ortiz has worked in South and North America, Asia, Africa and Europe, and has been strongly engaged in agricultural research for development. His breeding efforts have focused on utilising valuable properties of wild species and landraces, employing conventional methods as well as modern molecular techniques.
Landscape – arena for a sustainable development
Mattias Qviström is a landscape architect, and has specialised in landscape studies of the rural-urban interface. His research focuses on the interplay between urbanisation and landscape change, from the perspective of landscape and planning history. The research aims to contribute to an understanding of how to adjust previous structures and land-use to a sustainable society. Such an approach requires knowledge of landscape theory as well as interdisciplinary collaboration.
Gene technology for a sustainable agriculture
Li-Hua Zhu is a molecular plant breeder and her current research deals mainly with applications of biotechnology in plant breeding for both agricultural and horticultural crops. Her research focus has been on improving rooting ability, reducing plant size, promoting early flowering, increasing disease resistance and improving oil qualities and quantities. Some of the research outcomes are under evaluation for commercial production.
Taking part in the genetic revolution
Inger Åhman works with pre-breeding for pest and disease resistance in agricultural crops like barley, wheat, oilseed rape and salix, using traditional as well as modern breeding techniques. Her research has contributed to the emergence of salix as a modern bioenergy crop. A recent achievement is a promising barley line in which aphid resistance from a wild relative has been incorporated.
Brief introduction of the professors that are to be installed in Uppsala, and their lectures that are to be held on March 10-12, 2013.
Pia Haubro Andersen:
Pia Haubro Andersen is a veterinarian and a researcher in the field of large animal surgery. Her research concerns pain and inflammation in relation to surgical diseases in horses and cattle. She is also involved in teaching of veterinary students and performs surgery as a part of the teaching, research and duty at the SLU University Animal Hospital.
Roger Andersson’s research focuses on the chemical structure of polysaccharides, especially different types of dietary fibre. In addition to their health benefits, dietary fibre also affects the technological and sensory properties of vegetable foods. Roger Andersson investigates the relationship between such effects and the chemical properties of individual dietary fibre components, such as arabinoxylan, β-glucan, fructan, cellulose and resistant starch.
Cat research benefits wild relatives
Eva Axnér is a veterinarian and works as a researcher on reproduction and reproductive biotechnology (assistant reproduction) in domestic cats. With increased knowledge of the reproductive physiology of domestic cats, and new methods that improve sperm survival after freezing and thawing, the chances of successful artificial inseminations increases greatly – a knowledge that can help both domestic cats and their wild relatives.
To promote agricultural birds
Åke Berg is an ecologist with focus on farmland bird ecology, conservation and measures for stopping the decline of farmland birds. His research has shown that the effects of agri-environmental subsidies on biodiversity seem to be limited, although systematic assessments are scarce.
Insects serving agriculture
Riccardo Bommarco is an agronomist and performs research on biodiversity in agricultural landscapes. He wishes to increase the knowledge about so-called ecosystem services, which beneficial organisms deliver to agriculture. He works mainly with insects that pollinate crops or eat crop pests. One objective is to ensure proper management of such beneficial organisms, in order to reduce the dependence on nutrients and pesticides in future sustainable and productive farming systems.
Oat – a healthy crop
Lena Dimberg is a plant physiologist and her research is about bioactive compounds in oats – phenols that may contribute to health effects in humans. The phenols are primarily avenanthramides, which possess both antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. They are present only in oats and are found in higher concentrations in whole grains. These phenols also appear to protect the oat plant against fungal attacks.
Henrik von Euler:
Cancer in pets and owners
Henrik von Euler’s research field includes comparative molecular genetic studies of tumours in dogs and cats, as well as immunotherapy for malignant melanoma. He also leads large international clinical trials of new chemotherapy developed to optimise the quality of life and tumour response in pets with cancer. His research is highly relevant for studies on cancer in humans.
The vulnerability of populations to environmental changes
Pär Forslund is an ecologist working on how the growth and extinction risk of populations are influenced by environmental changes. His research has showed that the sensitivity of different species to environmental variation and small population size is mediated through their life history.
Jon Petter Gustafsson:
Chemical journeys through soils
Jon Petter Gustafsson is a geoscientist working with geochemical processes in soils, especially concerning metals and phosphorus. He is particularly interested in how metals are released from different soil horizons and leached to waters. Jon Petter Gustafsson is also a designer of geochemical computer models.
Cancer and stem cells
Eva Hellmén's research is focused on the different types of cancer that appear in the breast, particularly among dogs. Although carcinomas that originate from the epithelial cells dominate, sarcomas and mixed tumours also appear and the origins of the latter types are unknown. In her research she uses canine mammary tumour cell lines of different phenotypes, that she herself has established. The aim is to understand how the different types of breast cancer are formed, and ultimately to prevent their genesis.
Horses at work, on their conditions
The major aim of Anna Jansson’s research has been to get a better understanding of how exercise and feeding strategies affect the physiology of the athletic horse, and to formulate recommendations that improve management. Her main research areas have been the effects of exercise and management on fluid and electrolyte balance and forage-only diets to athletic horses.
Ticks and predators, but mainly roe deer
Petter Kjellander is a wildlife ecologist, and has studied several species of mammals and birds. His main interest has always been the roe deer and factors that affect population size, such as climate, hunting, predators and competition. A recent research interest is ticks, particularly how the incidence of tick-borne diseases is affected by population size fluctuations among wild mammals.
Food observed under a microscope
Maud Langton has a Master of Science in Engineering Physics. In her research she investigates the importance of food structure on properties such as flavour, texture and health, using various microscopy techniques. She has coordinated an EU project where food microstructure was examined in the entire food chain, from the choice of cultivar and cultivation to processing and the uptake of nutrients by humans.
Jane Morrell is a veterinary surgeon. During her scientific career she has worked with reproductive issues in a number of species, ranging from cows and marmosets to armadillos and fish. She started in a project on sexing spermatozoa by flow sorting, and has since worked with a number of modern reproductive biotechnologies. Her current area of activity at SLU is in improving sperm quality for artificial insemination (AI), which includes minimizing the risk of infection and antibiotic resistance.
Benefits of genetic variation in domestic animals
Anna Näsholm´s research concerns genetic variation in cattle, sheep, and horses and how this variation can be used in sustainable breeding programs and for conservation of breeds. She has shown that a number of important traits can be improved by breeding. Her results are often applied in practical breeding work; one example is a merit index for Swedish beef breeds, with information on the animal´s genetic value for maternal ability, carcass production and calving ability. In a new project Anna will study how endangered sheep breeds can contribute with genetic variation for future needs.
Species persistence in fragmented landscapes
Thomas Ranius evaluates the long-term effects of management and conservation efforts on biodiversity. To predict species persistence, he carries out simulation studies as well as field studies, often on a large spatial scale. He has mainly worked with insects associated with ancient trees or dead wood. His studies have revealed the habitat requirements of species and predicted habitat availability given different scenarios for future management and conservation. The species persistence in fragmented landscapes has been predicted based on metapopulation models that describe the probability of colonisations and local extinctions in habitat fragments.
The molecular language of carbohydrates
Corine Sandström’s research concerns the structure and chemical properties of carbohydrates, and how these properties affect interactions with other molecules. Using this knowledge, she tries to develop “tailor-made” polysaccharides with properties that are valuable for industries in the food, medical and biotech sectors.
Bioenergy, biogas and biology
Anna Schnürer’s research area is the production of biogas through decomposition of organic matter, such as food waste and materials from agriculture. Her area of expertise is the complex interplay between different microorganisms, bacteria and archaea, resulting in biogas formation; what functions they play during the production process, and the microorganisms and operating parameters that are required for efficient production.
Susanna Sternberg Lewerin:
Serious animal diseases only a flight away
Susanna Sternberg Lewerin is a veterinarian and epizootiologist studying serious contagious animal diseases, both those that are not here yet, such as foot and mouth disease, and diseases like anthrax and salmonella, that are already present in Sweden. Based on this epidemiologic research she and her colleagues can suggest suitable measures for prevention and eradication of animal disease outbreaks.
Transporters control uptake of toxic substances
Jonas Tallkvist is a toxicologist and investigates how various harmful substances present in food and water enter cells in the bodies of humans and animals. Heavy metals and other toxic substances use special transport proteins in the intestinal mucosa, the same mechanism that regulates the uptake of essential nutrients. Milk-producing cells also have transport proteins, and consequently some harmful substances may accumulate in milk.
With a passion for clinical pathology
Harold Tvedten is veterinary clinical pathologist, who is a veterinarian who specializes in laboratory analysis of samples of blood, other fluids and tissue samples from patients. The results, diagnoses and interpretations are provided to veterinarians who need them for diagnosis and treatment of their patients. His research is about improving the use of laboratory tests and instruments.
The journeys of pollutants
Karin Wiberg is an environmental chemist who focuses her research on persistent organic pollutants. She is particularly interested in tracing emission sources and increasing the knowledge about the transport and fate of pollutants in the environment. Karin Wiberg also aims to develop new efficient tools for identification of previously unknown chemical environmental and health risks.
Folate-rich food in prospect
Cornelia Witthöft is a nutritionist with the vitamin folate as her speciality. Her research focuses on the bioavailability of natural food folates and synthetic folic acid. She also studies traditional food processing methods, e.g. in Egypt, and how these processes can provide folate-rich food.