Doctoral project

Last changed: 07 June 2023
A person carrying a big sack of grains in a field of hich rye. Photo.

‘Production and consumption of organically grown heritage grains’ is an interdisciplinary doctoral project being conducted 2019–2024 by doctoral student Tove Ortman.

The doctoral project consists of three parts:

  • Field experiments in the province of Uppland with spring wheat
  • On-farm studies with different varieties of rye (heritage grains)
  • Interview studies with farmers experienced with growing heritage grains

Purpose and format

The purpose of the study is to examine factors that impact the harvest (quality and quantity) of heritage grains. The factors being studied include their care and environmental factors: the location (via fjord samples and weather data), specifically how much and what types of weeds grow with the heritage grains.

Data have been collected from the field experiments for three years at the research station Lövsta in Uppsala, and field experiments and observation plots at farmers in their fields. Interviews have been conducted with farmers to obtain their experiences of growing heritage grains.

The trans-/interdisciplinary approach means that the project uses both scientific and sociological methods and involves food science experts, agronomists and social scientists, as well as sensory analyses. The aim is to ensure results that are as relevant as possible for farmers.

Tove Ortman hopes that the knowledge created by this project can contribute to greater understanding of heritage grains and their properties, and that it can serve as a basis for developing future varieties that are suited to organic farming. Heritage grains have many properties that can contribute to more sustainable cultivation systems in the multifunctional agriculture of the future that aims to optimise conditions for several ecosystem services.


The doctoral project period is 2019–2024.

Linked to the research project Sustainable food from heritage cereals (link back to the project page)

Supervisor: Göran Bergqvist (main supervisor), Jan Bengtsson, Christine Watson, Emil Sandström (assistant supervisors).

Other contributors (among others): Klara-Li Yngve, Maria Bergkvist, Elisabeth Kumlander, Oskar Bergkvist, Anna Börjesson, Josefin Kyhlström Blomqvist, Gabriel Yngve, Torgny Lundgren, Agnes Sjöblom, Nils-Erik Nordh, Ewa Magnuski.

Funding: Formas.