SLU professors

Last changed: 09 April 2024

Every year, a number of new professors are appointed at SLU. Here, you can read more about them and their research.

New professors 2024

New professors 2023

New professors 2022

Umeå, 6 May

Uppsala, 8 April

New professors 2019

Professors 2019

Professors installed in 2019, and their lectures 

Umeå, 24 May

Link to the presentation film with all five new professors that are to be installed in Umeå (in Swedish only)

Professors installed in 2019

Alnarp, 10 May

Link to the presentation film with all five new professors that were installed in Alnarp

Uppsala, 22 March

See the presentation film with all five new professors that were installed in Uppsala.

New professors 2018

The new professors of 2018 gave their inauguration lectures and were installed on 23 March in Uppsala

New professors 2017

A brief introduction of the professors that gave lectures and were installed in Uppsala on 30-31 March , 2017

Sigrid Agenäs

Cows that are well taken care of give plenty of milk

Sigrid Agenäs' research concerns milk production in cows. Her goal is to understand factors that determine the secretory activity of the milk producing cells in the udder and to implement this knowledge in applied animal management. The factors she studies range from nutrition, metabolism and endocrinology to management factors like milking routines, housing systems and light, as well as interactions with reproduction, the immune system and the microbiota of the mammary glands.

Michele Casini

How does an exploited marine ecosystem work?

Michele Casini’s research concerns the assessment and management of marine fish stocks, as well as population and ecosystem dynamics, at national and international level. He investigates how exploited fish populations, particularly in the Baltic Sea, vary in time and space in relation to fishing pressure, predator-prey interactions, eutrophication and climate. His goal is to foster an ecosystem approach to fisheries management. He has more than 15 years’ experience within the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES).

Pär Ingvarsson

Better adapted crops with the help of modern genetics

Pär Ingvarsson's research focuses on properties that control much of a plant's life – when in the season they bloom and how fast they grow in different environments. His aim is to understand how plants adapt, which genes and evolutionary processes that are involved and how quickly they can adapt to new conditions. These questions are particularly relevant today, given the rapid climate changes and the challenges these constitute for modern plant breeding.

Anders H Karlsson

Quality meat production

Anders Karlsson's research focuses on meat quality; how properties such as tenderness, colour, flavour, and water holding capacity are influenced by genetic factors and production factors such as feeding, housing and management. Solving quality problems requires a fundamental understanding of the muscle anatomy, physiology and metabolism. Anders Karlsson has previously focused on pigs, and to some extent on poultry. Today he works primarily with ruminants, and tries to understand how feeding strategies and genotypes, but also animal welfare and the interaction between humans and animals, may affect the eating quality.

Thomas Keller

Soil structure – the functional architecture of soil

Thomas Keller's research concerns the structure of agricultural soils, a property that is dynamic and constantly changing due to climatic forces, biological activity, and disturbance in the form of soil tillage and compaction by field traffic. His early research focused on processes resulting in the degradation of soil structure, especially soil compaction. His aim is to understand how natural processes shape soil structure and regulate its dynamics, and how we can obtain a healthy and stable soil structure through soil management.

Inger Lilliehöök

Clues to correct diagnosis

Inger Lilliehöök's research area is veterinary clinical pathology, which involves laboratory analysis of samples such as blood, body fluids or tissue aspirates from ill animals to detect changes indicative of a disease or to follow the response of a patient to treatment. Lilliehöök has often validated various diagnostic methods to prove they function well in different animal species, and even in different breeds within a species. In order to improve knowledge on how clinical pathology tests should be interpreted, she studies how various blood substances change over time in different diseases.

Torbjörn Lundh

New diets must suit both animals and their gut flora

Torbjörn Lundh´s research originally focused on the metabolism of bioactive feed components, such as phyto-oestrogens, in different animal species. Today his research addresses the increased demand for novel feed resources based on byproducts from agriculture and forestry. He has a special interest in the applicability and metabolism of novel feed stuffs, and diet effects on the gut and interaction with gut microbiota. Most of his present projects concern feeds for fish.

Thomas Oles

Landscape thinking

Thomas Oles is a landscape architect whose research can be divided into two general areas of inquiry. The first is historical and geographical study of the ways people and societies shape their biophysical environment. He is especially interested in identifying and comparing landscape 'archetypes', or those structures that tend to persist across time, space, and culture. His second research area is methodological in character and concerns landscape as a way of understanding the world, 'landscape thinking'. The primary products of his inquiries are books written for academic and general readers.

Jean François Valarcher

Infectiology beyond boundaries

Jean-François Valarcher's research aims to improve viral disease control in cattle. At the start of his career, he focused on respiratory diseases in calves and the bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV), and later on he developed vaccine candidates against BRSV and the Bluetongue virus. He has also been devoted to major transboundary diseases, such as the foot-and-mouth disease virus. Present research includes characterisation of infectious disease mechanisms and development of new control measures.

New professors 2016

New professors in 2016 in Uppsala and Umeå

Brief introduction of the professors that were installed in Umeå, and their lectures that were held on May 13, 2016

Vaughan Hurry

Life in a hothouse world

Vaughan Hurry´s research focuses on changes that occur in different types of plants as they acclimate to unfavourable growth temperatures, and the role that nutrient availability plays in constraining these acclimation processes. His research currently has two main themes: One is how environmental "signals" are sensed and, in turn, converted into a genetic response, and the second is how primary metabolism is modulated in response to fluctuations in growth temperature. One application of this research is the development of new tools for increased stress tolerance in herbaceous crops and forest plantation species.

Karin Ljung

Hormones control the underground life of plants

Karin Ljung´s research is focused on mechanisms regulating plant growth and development. She has combined a keen interest in developing new, advanced methods for analysis of plant metabolites with an interest in developmental processes in plants. She is particularly interested in two areas of research: the roles played by plant hormones (substances that regulate plant growth) during root system development, and the role of these compounds in the coordination of above and below ground growth.

David Parsons

Finding clarity in complexity

David Parsons uses models as tools for understanding farming systems and agricultural production chains and for exploring better ways to manage them. His has conducted research in the areas of farming systems, smallholder crop-livestock systems, whole farm modelling, crop modelling, forage agronomy, and climate change adaptation. In particular, he has led research projects in Central Vietnam, developing profitable and sustainable beef cattle production.

Arne Pommerening

Analysing and modelling forest structure

Arne Pommerening is a forest biometrician specialising in relating woodland structure to ecological and management processes. He started his career studying the relationship between ecological patterns and processes using point process statistics. His findings in forest structure research provided him with a new, unique access to plant growth and interaction modelling. He enjoys an extensive international network of research collaborations, has many national and international responsibilities and also sits on the editorial board of a number of scientific journals.

Brief introduction of the professors that were installed in Uppsala, and their lectures that were held on April 15, 2016

Watch the video inteview with Tomas Roslin, professor in Insect Ecology.

Watch the video inteview with Lotta Berg, professor in Animal Environment and Health.

Watch the video inteview with Peter Bozhkov, professor in Biochemistry.

Lotta Berg 

Animal welfare from farm to abattoir

Lotta Berg's research focus is on the interaction between animals, management and the environment. Her main focus is on farm animals including farmed fish, but she also works with companion animals and wildlife, including One Health related issues. The primary objective is to prevent disease and behavioural problems by carrying out research related to animal housing, management, biosecurity and behavioural needs. One area where more knowledge is warranted is animal welfare at the time of slaughter and killing. This specific field of research involves animal behaviour, anatomy and physiology, but also human behaviour, law, ethics and product quality, and is hence truly interdisciplinary.

Peter Bozhkov

Studying cell death to understand life

Peter Bozhkov´s main research area concerns the genetically controlled process of programmed cell death in plants. Peter Bozhkov was one of the first scientists to demonstrate the importance of cell death for plant life, and he has also discovered unique mechanisms regulating the death of plant cells. Today, he also studies how intracellular breakdown of macromolecules and organelles contributes to plant development, aging and stress responses.

Andrea Nightingale

Understanding how societies and environments transform

Andrea Nightingale is a geographer who combines social and natural sciences in order to understand the complex relationships that shape social and environmental change. Inspired by feminist theory she explores the ways that gender, class, race, ethnicity and other forms of social difference end up literally manifesting on the landscape. Her work has shown that it is critical to reject simplistic explanations for how societies shape environments and rather to recognize that political economies, knowledge, social relations, ecologies and cultural histories all intertwine to produce the kinds of environments and environmental conflicts we are witnessing today. A large part of her field work has been carried out in Nepal.

Tomas Roslin

Insects rule the planet

Tomas Roslin´s research originally focused on insect-plant interactions in patchy landscapes, but he has later turned to all kinds of biotic interactions. His key aim is to reconstruct full interaction webs, spanning species competing with each other, species eating each other, species pollinating each other etc. What intrigues him is how populations tied together by versatile, live interactions react to each other and to environmental change. His favourite systems include dung beetles, herbivorous insects and their natural enemies on oaks, and food webs of the high Arctic. In his work he applies recent, molecular techniques for identifying both species within interaction webs, and the links between them.

New professors 2015

Read the presentations of the new professors in yearly booklets and web pages from previous ceremonial installations (in Swedish and partly in English)

New professors 2015

Brief introduction of the professors that are to be installed in Uppsala, and their lectures that are to be held on April 16-17, 2015

Magnus Appelberg 

Magnus Appelberg

Fish as a resource and an environmental indicator in a changing world

Magnus Appelberg has focused his research on developing fish-based environmental monitoring and assessment. His work covers both freshwater and marine habitats and comprises methodological as well as ecological aspects. Management of natural resources needs to have an adaptive, ecosystem-based approach, which systematically incorporates new knowledge based on research, and environmental assessment based on research and evaluations of completed actions.

Anders Broberg 

Anders Broberg

Secondary metabolites – fascinating and useful

Anders Broberg's research area is natural product chemistry. His main interest is secondary metabolites from plants, fungi and bacteria. These substances typically have a very special function in the organism, such as protection against enemies, and sometimes they can be useful in other contexts, for example as antibiotics. Part of his research involves the isolation and structure determination of such metabolites, another part is devoted to studies of their biological properties and how they are formed.

Anna Gårdmark 

Anna Gårdmark. Photo: Jenny Svennås-Gillner

Size matters for fishing and fish interactions

Anna Gårdmark’s research focuses on the interactions between fish and their prey and predators, and how these species interactions influence the effects that fishing and environmental changes have on exploited ecosystems. Using these new findings, she also develops new methods of advice for fisheries and marine management. Such knowledge and applications are necessary prerequisites for the development of sustainable fisheries, both now and in the climate of the future.

Magdalena Jacobson 

Magdalena Jacobson

Pig infections are important for the pig – but also for man and environment

Magdalena Jacobson is an expert on infectious diseases in pigs. In her research, she develops and evaluates diagnostic methods for pig diseases such as scabies and proliferative enteropathy (Lawsonia infection). She has also developed animal models for studying, for example, the significance of the immune system in intestinal diseases such as swine dysentery and proliferative enteropathy. She also works with programmes for the eradication of some of these diseases.

Björn Lindahl 

Björn Lindahl

Fungi determine carbon sequestration in soils

Björn Lindahl is a soil biologist, focusing on the role of fungi in soil processes. He studies the interplay between fungal communities and their environment; how community composition depends on environmental parameters and disturbances, but also how fungi affect their environment, primarily as degraders of organic matter. He is particularly interested in mycorrhiza, and by using a combination of isotope analysis and modern molecular methods he has shown that mycorrhizal fungi play a central role in regulating long-term carbon storage in boreal forest soils.

Görel Nyman 

Görel Nyman. Photo: Maja Granström

Improving survival among anesthetised horses

Görel Nyman is a veterinarian and a specialist in anesthesia and analgesia. Her research aims to improve care and patient safety for animals during surgery. She has developed a method that increases oxygenation of the blood in horses under anesthesia, thereby decreasing the lactic acid concentration in muscles. As the first clinic in the world, SLU’s University Animal Hospital in Uppsala now offers this treatment under anesthesia.

Erik Petersson 

Erik Petersson. Photo: Viktor Wrange

Preserving salmonids in developed rivers

Erik Peterson's research is closely linked to the rearing and stocking of salmonids to compensate for losses caused by hydro-electrical power plants. Important issues are how to rear fish that are successful when released into the wild, and how to preserve the genetic variation in the population. Behavioural studies of wild and hatchery fish are an important component of his research, looking for example at mating behaviour, mating success, and anti-predator behaviour.

Tord Snäll 

Tord Snäll. Photo: Helena Eklund Snäll

A forestry that preserves forest-dwelling species

Tord Snäll’s research is focused on understanding species dispersal and colonization in the forest landscape, with emphasis on arboreal mosses and lichens. With in-depth knowledge about the biology of the species, he develops computer models that describe the species’ chances of survival in the landscape, depending on how future forestry is conducted and how the climate changes. The goal is forestry that delivers forest products while at the same time preserving biodiversity. Today he also investigates the possibility of using simpler models based on citizen science data, i.e. species observations delivered by the public to websites.

Catarina Svensson 

Catarina Svensson. Photo: Jenny Svennås-Gillner

Prevention is better than cure

Catarina Svensson began her research career with studies on coccidiosis in grazing calves and has also studied how calf health is affected by housing and management and how cow health, fertility, milk production and longevity are influenced by rearing factors and energy balance. Her main focus today is on herd health management in cattle, and she has a great interest in methodology in preventive veterinary medicine and herd health counseling.

Christian Swensson 

Christian Swensson. Photo: Mårten Svensson

Milk is grass

Christian Swensson’s research concerns cattle and dairy production, with a focus on environmental issues such as improving nitrogen efficiency and mitigating climate effects. He views dairy production as an unavoidable part of agriculture in a country like Sweden, with large areas ideal for ley production. He is also conducting research on maize silage, covering both nutritional and cultivation aspects.

Barbro Ulén 

Barbro Ulén. Photo: Private

Culturing food without over-fertilising water

Barbro Ulén’s research concerns leaching of phosphorus, nitrogen and pesticides from agricultural land to water. She is particularly interested in how phosphorus is transported in clay soils and further via tile drains. In her work she develops agricultural and other measures to reduce nutrient leaching and describes how the risk of phosphorus and pesticide leaching is affected by hydrological, physical and chemical conditions in the soil.

Helena Wall 

Helena Wall. Photo: Jenny Svennås-Gillner

Strengths and challenges in Swedish poultry production

Helena Wall’s research concerns poultry, and her goal is a production that combines good animal welfare with production performance, including high product quality and a low environmental load. Her studies on laying hens include effects of housing, management and nutrition on production performance, egg quality and bird well-being. She also investigates domestic protein sources as a substitute for soy in feed for broilers and layers.

New professors 2014

Read about the installation lectures of new professors in Uppsala 2014, and about their research.

Brief introduction of the professors that are to be installed in Uppsala, and their lectures that are to be held on April 3-4, 2014.


Åsa Berggren:

The dispersal of insects in old and new areas

Åsa Berggren is a conservation biologist focusing on factors that influence insect movement and dispersal into new areas. Humans affect the dispersal of insects by changing the environment, and by the transportation of goods. This causes survival problems for some insects, while others reach new areas as stowaways in cargo. In both ecosystems and in production systems, new species may negatively affect other species and also carry new diseases. Åsa Berggren’s research is important for the conservation of threatened species as well as for the management of exotic species.

Anders Dahlberg:

Fungi are far more than what we see

Anders Dahlberg's research focuses on the biology of fungi: where different species are to be found and the reasons for this, how they contribute to various processes in nature and how their diversity can be managed. He is also engaged in outreach activities, trying to popularise research and to transfer fungal knowledge to conservation practitioners.

Lars Edenius:

More ungulate forage in forests – a way of reducing damages

Lars Edenius’ research focuses on the management of ungulates and their food resources, in collaboration with forestry, hunters and other stakeholders. He is particularly interested in the possibility of creating more forage by adjusting daily forest practices so that browsing is diverted away from sensitive forest stands and trees. Examples of such adaptations include making tops and branches more available at harvest and creating high stumps with living branches during pre-commercial thinning. Lars Edenius holds an external collaboration specialist position at SLU with emphasis on ungulate management.

Agneta Egenvall:

Should the horse last longer?

Agneta Egenvall is an epidemiologist and studies diseases in animal populations, an area where statistics from insurance companies and breed societies are extremely valuable. She has worked on a number of animal species and diseases, but now focuses on the durability of horses. Her research has shown that the individual rider or trainer has a fairly large impact on the level of injury among top European jumping horses. To gain a better understanding of this rider and trainer effect, she combines statistics collection with the study of the biomechanical interaction between horse and rider when horses are ridden.

Tuija Hilding-Rydevik:

Environmental policy and implementation – tools and conditions for learning

Tuija Hilding-Rydevik’s research concerns how professionals in public organisations deal with environmental issues – how they reason, what concepts they use, how they prioritise when faced with conflicting  goals, for example environmental versus financial gains, how they use environmental impact assessments and other environmental policy tools, how they manage new environmental tasks etc. Her research reveals the details of the final steps in the implementation of environmental and sustainability policy and how decisive these steps are for the “implementation gap” – that is the difference between the intended outcome of a policy and what is actually achieved.

Hossein Jorjani:

Genetic information services for improvement of livestock

Hossein Jorjani is a quantitative geneticist specialised in dairy cattle breeding. His research concerns traits that are determined by hundreds or thousands of genes in interaction with the environment. He is the senior geneticist at the Interbull Centre, based at SLU, and in that capacity contributes to the development of effective methods for genetic evaluation of dairy cattle in more than 30 countries.

Kostas Karantininis:

With farm and business economics in focus

Kostas Karantininis is an economist with focus on farms, value chains and agri-business. He studies the competitiveness of the agri-food industry and the impact of biotech foods. Rural development, the economic organisation of farm cooperatives, sustainability and food waste are also among his research interests.

Anders Kiessling:

Aquaculture a part of our future food production

Anders Kiessling is a biologist specialising in fish farming. His main focus, besides promoting aquaculture as a subject in research and teaching, is on new feed sources that do not interfere with food production. Yeast farmed on food waste and blue mussels recapturing nutrients from the Baltic Sea are two examples of such feed sources. He has a vision to develop a land-based closed production system, where nutrient-rich waste water from fish farming is used to fertilise vegetables.

Anders Kvarnheden:

Viruses wherever you look

Anders Kvarnheden’s research concerns viral diseases in plants, with the main focus on understanding their epidemiology and evolution. He works with viral diseases in several crops, both in Nordic conditions and in developing countries. His specialty is geminiviruses, such as the wheat dwarf virus that infests wheat in Sweden, and viruses that infest crops such as cotton, tomato and okra in the tropics.

Stephan Köhler:

What does a water sample tell us about its origin?

Stephan Köhler's research area is environmental geochemistry, focusing on water quality in lakes and streams, as well as in drinking water. He examines how humus, metals and other substances move between soil and water in catchment areas, and the factors that affect these flows. This research includes field and laboratory experiments, but also more theoretical modelling. Several of the projects he is involved in aim to secure the availability of safe drinking water, today and in the future.

Björn Lindahl:

New technology revolutionises fungal research

Björn Lindahl is a fungal ecologist, focusing on boreal forest ecosystems. He studies the interplay between fungal communities and their environment; how community composition depends on environmental parameters and disturbances, but also how fungi affect their environment, primarily as degraders of organic matter. He has a special interest in mycorrhizas, and by using a combination of isotope analysis and modern molecular methods he has shown that mycorrhizal fungi play a central role in regulating long term carbon storage in boreal forest soils.

Görel Nyman:

Improving survival among anesthetised horses

Görel Nyman is a veterinarian and a specialist in anaesthesia and analgesia. Her research aims to improve the care and patient safety of animals during surgery. She has developed a method that increases oxygenation of the blood in horses under anaesthesia, thereby decreasing the lactic acid concentration in muscles. As the first clinic in the world, SLU’s University Animal Hospital in Uppsala now offers this treatment under anaesthesia.

Paula Persson:

Preventing plant diseases

Paula Persson's research concerns plant diseases in crops. Her early work focused on bacterial diseases of plants, but her present studies involve many different types of pathogens. Her main interest is the interaction between pathogens, plant-associated microorganisms, cultural practices, crops and crop sequences. The aim is to use this knowledge to suppress plant disease development by using a well-planned cropping system. DNA-based diagnostic methods have become important tools in her studies of plant pathogens in the field.


New professors 2013

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

Peter Anderson:

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.

Marie Bengtsson:


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.

Christer Bergsten:


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.

Göran Birgersson:


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.

Caroline Hägerhäll:


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.

Rickard Ignell:


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.

Erland Liljeroth:

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.

Marie Olsson:

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.

Rodomiro Ortiz:

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.

Mattias Qviström:

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.

Li-Hua Zhu:

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.

Inger Åhman:

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 were installed in Uppsala, and their lectures held on March 10-12, 2013.

Pia Haubro Andersen:

Surviving surgery

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:

Good carbohydrates

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.

Eva Axnér:

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.

Åke Berg:

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. 

Riccardo Bommarco:

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

Lena Dimberg:

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.

Pär Forslund:

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.

Eva Hellmén:

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.

Anna Jansson:

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.

Petter Kjellander:

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.

Maud Langton:

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:

Reproductive biotechnologies

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.

Anna Näsholm:

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.

Thomas Ranius:

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.

Corine Sandström:

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.

Anna Schnürer:

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.

Jonas Tallkvist:

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.

Harold Tvedten:

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.

Karin Wiberg:

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.

Cornelia Witthöft:

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.


New professors 2012

Read about the installation lectures of new professors in Uppsala and Umeå, and about their research.

Brief introduction of the professors that are to be installed in Umeå, and their lectures that are to be held on May 11, 2012.

Anders Alanärä:

Domestication of fish

Anders Alanärä’s speciality is aquaculture. One current research area concern salmon hatcheries established to compensate for reproduction losses caused by hydroelectric power plants, where the aim is to produce smolt with better survival after release. Another research area is the environmental effects of fish farming caused by the release of nutrients. An interesting case is fish farming in hydroelectric dams in the mountains of northern Sweden, where nutrient losses rather seem to be an advantage to the ecosystem.

Göran Ericsson:

Wildlife, humans and society

Göran Ericsson’s research focuses on natural resources and on how humans use them. He takes an eco-system approach and adds the human dimension to his studies on hunting, fishing, forestry and outdoor recreation. GPS-technology has enabled him to expand his research in the study of human impact on wildlife.


Dynamics of small rodents and their importance in nature

Birger Hörnfeldt’s research has mainly dealt with patterns, causes and impacts of small rodent dynamics. Because of an early engagement in environmental monitoring his research is closely linked to environmental monitoring and assessment. Hörnfeldt focuses on contrasting types of small rodent dynamics and understanding the underlying causes and also the long-term impacts on especially predators, with Tengmalm’s owl as a model species, and on zoonoses.

Magnus Löf:

Forest restoration in theory and practice

The role of forests in preserving biodiversity and mitigating climate change is a major interest to Magnus Löf. His research focuses on the early phases of forest stand development, and is related to forest restoration and adaptation of forest management regimes. Reducing damage by ungulates, insects and seed predators on seedlings and saplings is a major concern in his work on afforestation and reforestation, which includes the conversion of Norway spruce plantations to mixed broadleaved-conifer stands through natural and artificial regeneration.

Ulf Segerström:

Tracing settlement and vegetation history through peat and lake sediment analysis

Ulf Segerström explores the vegetation development after the last glacial time and with a special interest in the relation between human exploitation of natural resources and the vegetation changes in Northern Sweden during the last 2 000 years. Since humans settled in this region they have used the forests for a multitude of purposes, i.e. cattle grazing and hay-making (and later on also agriculture), and as a resource for timber and charcoal used for metal production and mining. His main research tool is the study of lake sediments and peat layers, where pollen and other remnants represent a biological archive that gives a detailed imprint of the local environment at a given time. Together with researchers from other disciplines he has been able to refine the assessments of the earliest settlements and their impact on the landscape.

Harry Wu:

A strategic direction for Swedish tree breeding research

Harry Wu´s research is focused on unravelling the genetic basis of important traits in trees. This is achieved through linking variation in a tree population, concerning traits such as growth, form and hardiness, with variation at the DNA level. An important research question for Harry Wu is how such knowledge about genes and gene complexes that influence a certain trait can be used in tree breeding. For this purpose he develops analytical tools and optimal strategies for tree breeding programmes.

Brief introduction of the professors that were installed in Uppsala, and their lectures that were held on March 15 and 16, 2012.

Jan Bertilsson:

On-farm grown crops instead of imported soy-beans

Jan Bertilsson’s research mainly deals with the possibility to utilise on-farm grown crops as a feed for today’s high-yielding dairy cows. Replacing imported soy-bean products with forage of high nutritive value as well as by-products from the food industry has been a major aim. A future challenge is to maintain high production efficiency without impairing environment and animal welfare. 

Johan Gabrielsson:

What does the body to our medicines and vice-versa?

Johan Gabrielsson got his PhD in pharmacokinetics. His research focuses primarily on modelling of pharmacodynamic complexities such as tolerance and rebound effects. A critical tool for optimization of clinical doses in animals and man are biomarkers. Biomarkers function as a substitute for the clinical effect.

Sara Hallin:

Microbes make the world go round

Sara Hallin does research on nitrogen cycling microorgansisms. She studies their ecology and role as regulators of greenhouse gas emissions and nitrogen leaching from soil. Landscape architecture – history, theory and method Rolf Johansson is an architect and his research concerns the environment creating disciplines, especially landscape architecture, history, theory and method. The planning process, with the elements evaluation and criticism, is an important part of his research.

Lars Hennig:

Epigenetics – making genomes function

Lars Hennig’s research concerns the (epigenetic) mechanisms that decide when, where and how different genes are active in plants. His main interest is how plants interact with the environment. One research area concern the mechanisms involved in vernalization, a process making some plants varieties able to flower (only) after being exposed to a period of low temperatures. He also studies the regulation of defence responses to attacks by pathogens.

Daniel Hofius:

Suicide and self-eating: how plants resist pathogen attack

Daniel Hofius´ research interests are related to plant-pathogen interactions and plant innate immunity. His current research focuses on the molecular mechanisms underlying two important features of disease resistance: programmed cell death, a process of rapid cell suicide at the infection site to effectively fight pathogens that depend on living plant tissue, and autophagy, a “self-eating” process for degradation of unwanted or damaged intracellular content, that is either part of a cell death program or contributes to basal immune responses by directly limiting growth of some microbial pathogens in the absence of defensive suicide.

Rolf Johansson:

Landscape architecture – history, theory and method

Rolf Johansson is an architect and his research concerns the environment creating disciplins, especially landscape architecture, history, theory and method. The planning process, with the elements evaluation and criticism, is an important part of his research.

Claudia Köhler:

Seeds for the future

Claudia Köhler’s research concern the (epigenetic) mechanisms that decide when, where and how different genes are active during seed development in plants – the processes that lead to the development of different cell types, tissues and organs. She has shown that genomic imprinting, a phenomenon by which certain genes from one of the parents are silenced, is much more common in plants than was previously believed. Increasing seed size in crops is a possible future application of this research. She also studies the barriers that make it very difficult to transfer valuable traits from wild plants to cultivated relatives with a higher number of chromosome sets.

Jan Lagerlöf:

Management of soil organisms for sustainable land use

Jan Lagerlöf is a soil zoologist specialising on agricultural land. One research area is how species and individual richness in the soil is affected by the choice of cultivation methods. In other studies he explores the interactions between soil animals and microorganisms. A highly relevant question to agriculture is how to make better use of ecosystem services that soil organisms can provide, for example by improving conditions for organisms that feed on or compete with soil-borne pathogens.

Lena Lidfors:

The behaviour of calves and minks investigated

Lena Lidfors is an ethologist and has carried out research on the behaviour of calves and cows towards each other, and how housing and management influence this. She has also investigated how an enriched environment improves the behaviour of laboratory animals and farmed minks.

Nils Lundeheim:

Swedish pig breeding in a hundred years’ perspective

Nils Lundeheim’s research concerns pig breeding, with a main focus on improving leg strength, movement and health. He works in close cooperation with breeding organisations and other stakeholders, and he is often involved in field studies, performed in nucleus herds, as well as in commercial herds. One of the challenges he is facing presently is how to breed for increased piglet survival.

Mikael Pell:

Society’s organic waste – a risk or a resource for agriculture?

Mikael Pell’s research concerns interactions between microorganisms and organic compounds in soil. A main interest is to investigate means to increase the agricultural use of valuable plant nutrients in organic residues from society. Mikael Pell uses microorganisms as tools to evaluate different types of residues and application methods. The benefits in terms of nutrient recirculation must not be compromised by harmful contents of toxic organic compounds and heavy metals, or increased emissions of powerful greenhouse gases.

Lars Roepstorff:

Locomotion of horses in focus

Lars Roepstorff is a veterinarian and his research concerns the locomotion of horses. With biomechanical methods he develops and evaluates objective methods for clinical investigation of the locomotor apparatus, e.g. at lameness, rehabilitation and riding. He also studies arena and racetrack surfaces for competition horses.

Hans Ronne:

Model organisms in research

Hans Ronne uses budding yeast and the moss Physcomitrella as model organisms to study gene expression, drug resistance, metabolism and aging. He is also testing new methods for plant molecular genetics and developing a small alga as a novel model organism.

Lennart Salomonsson:

Interdisciplinary research for future production systems

Lennart Salomonsson’s research concerns the increasing intensity in man’s land use, and how this affects the production of ecosystem services. He takes part in interdisciplinary research projects that analyse and evaluate systems for agriculture and forestry that tries to integrate production of food, wood and energy with increasing support to the life supporting processes that ecosystems also provide, services that we often take for granted.

Folke Sitbon:

Why are potatoes sometimes poisonous?

Folke Sitbon’s research concerns the biosynthesis of glycoalkaloids in the potato in response to stresses such as wounding and light exposure. These bitter-tasting defence substances sometimes reach levels that are poisonous to humans and animals. In his work Folke Sitbon combines molecular genetics and biochemistry to increase our understanding of the regulation of glycoalkaloid synthesis. His results may find applications within potato breeding and the post-harvest treatment of tubers, and contribute to an increased quality and food safety of potato.

Richard Zuerner:

Diseases at the human–animal interface: New challenges in a changing world

Richard Zuerner’s research concerns zoonotic diseases, animal infections that are transmitted to humans. His main focus is on characterizing bacterial infections and through improved detection methods he has provided tools to monitor disease transmission in animals. He also applies genomic sequencing data to detect genetic variations between related bacterial strains to help identify bacterial proteins essential for infection. The goals of such studies are twofold; to gain a better understanding of what proteins are needed by the bacteria to successfully infect a host, and to test these proteins as potential vaccine candidates.


New professors 2011

Read more about the ceremonial installation of new professors at SLU in 2011 in the booklet presenting the professors and their research (mainly in Swedish, but with summaries in English).

Brief introduction of the professors that are to be installed in Uppsala, and their lectures that are to be held held on March 31 and April 1, 2011.

Lars Andersson:

Timing essential for successful weeds

Lars Andersson’s research focus is on weed biology and control. His major concern is how germination and emergence in a species are adapted in time and space to climate, weather and cultivation measures. He investigates how these characteristics determine the species´ success as a weed in different cultivation systems. This knowledge constitutes an important base in the development of resource-efficient and environmentally-friendly control measures. In addition, this knowledge is crucial for the prediction of how changes in climate and cultivation systems will affect the weed flora composition and levels of weed infestation

Mikael Berg:

Viruses threatening our welfare

Mikael Berg’s research is focused on elucidating and understanding the nature of viruses, in particular the interactions between viruses and their hosts that lead to disease. One important aspect is how viruses circumvent the innate immunity of the host. The research tool he uses is viral genetics, which deals with the function and evolution of viral genes, as well as the host’s immune response. The aim is to achieve a better understanding of the mechanisms that enable viruses to cause disease, jump host barriers, and to become new potential human pandemics.

Britt Berglund:

Dairy cow breeding with a longevity perspective

Britt Berglunds’ research deals with genetic aspects of dairy cow health, reproduction and welfare traits. One area has been to find reasons behind a high stillbirth rate in first-calving Holsteins and how to genetically improve this situation. Her research also deals with improved phenotypes expressing a greater amount of the genetic variation, such as better measures of early fertility, the energy balance after calving and its relationship to reproduction and health, as well as the possibilities for individually adjusted calving intervals.

Maria Ignatieva:

Sustainable landscape architecture in the era of globalization

Maria Ignatieva is a landscape architect, and in her research she combines knowledge in urban ecology, history of landscape architecture and sustainable design . Her career started with the restoration of baroque parterres of 18th century Peterhof gardens in Russia. Today she is dedicated to the problems of urban biodiversity and design in the era of globalization.

Dirk-Jan de Koning:

Consequences of sequences in animal genetics

DJ de Koning’s research is focused on unraveling the genetic basis of relevant traits in a wide range of livestock species. This is achieved through linking variation at the DNA level with variation at the trait level. An important part of his work has been to develop analytical tools and experimental designs for such studies, as well as a large amount of actual data analysis.

Carl Johan Lagerkvist:

We and our choices: About preferences, economical decisions and motivation

The economic research by Carl Johan Lagerkvist covers a broad area including risk analysis, finance, discrete choice analysis as well as behavioural economics. Areas of application are related to decision-making and economic policy. Economic psychology is used to analyse reasons for human choices, behaviour and decisions.

Lotta Rydhmer:

Breeding for sustainable use of domestic animals

A large part of Lotta Rydhmer’s research and teaching concerns genetic relationships between production traits and traits important for animal health, reproduction and welfare. A sustainable development includes environmental, economic and social aspects. Well-designed breeding programmes are important for achieving a sustainable use of domestic animals. This implies e.g. that sows should be able to produce enough milk for the piglets without loosing too much of its body reserves. Cooperation across disciplines is important when aiming for a more sustainable use of animals.

Birgitta Åhman:

Knowledge and tools for sustainable reindeer husbandry

Birgitta Åhman’s research focuses on reindeer and reindeer husbandry. Initially, a main issue was how reindeer husbandry should deal with radioactive contamination in the environment after the Chernobyl accident. Today she studies reindeer nutrition and welfare, and how management, range use and external disturbances affect production within reindeer husbandry.

Brief introduction of the professors that are to be installed in Alnarp, and their lectures that are to be held held on May 6, 2011.

Erik Andreasson:

Plant protection against stress

Potato late blight is one of the most devastating plant pathogens in Sweden and worldwide. Resistance mechanisms are elucidated partly by identification of proteins and other substances that are involved in the interaction between the potato plant and the oomycete that causes the disease and partly by studies of the infection process with microscopical and molecular methods.

Kristina Blennow:

Handling risk and changing conditions

Kristina Blennow is a physical geographer by training. Her scientific interests lie in the interplay between human beings and their environment, and to through this support planning and decision-making under uncertain and changing conditions. One of her present research interests is to understand how individuals perceive climate change and their options for taking measure to adapt to the changing climate. She employs interdisciplinary strategies with empirical methods and computer simulations, often in international collaboration and in close contact with stakeholders.

Eva Johansson:

Multi-functional crops for the future

Eva Johansson holds a PhD in plant breeding and her research is focused around new and more diverse uses of crops. She investigates food crops and crops that provide raw materials that can replace fossil oil. Of significance is that the plants should be tailor made for the end product for which they will be used, and that the value of the bi-products should be fully exploited.

Birgitta Rämert:

Plant protection in a cropping system perspective

Birgitta Rämert’s research experience concerns management and relationships between crop systems and pest problems in conventional and organic agricultural systems. Her special interest is within the development and performance of biological control strategies and their interaction with cultivation measures.

Tiina Sarap:

Clear concepts determine the form

Tiina Sarap is a landscape architect with a special interest in the early stages of design processes where ideas and concepts are articulated into operative images that can be accepted by the customers or politicians in a dialogue. She has alternated between professional practice in urban development and teaching, where she works experimentally to improve design learning.

Ingrid Sarlöv Herlin:

Border-crossing landscape research in a challenging time

Ingrid Sarlöv Herlin’s research is within landscape planning, a subject that not only crosses the boundaries of a range of neighbouring disciplines, but also involves the many stakeholders who are affected by decision making and landscape changes. As a landscape researcher, she has a wide interest, from landscape ecological planning to European policy, but a particular interest for how landscape planning can adopt a more holistic approach. She also works with methods and tools that can be used to describe and evaluate the landscape and to facilitate communication between experts and users. One such method is landscape characterisation, a systematic way to describe landscape character.

New professors before 2011

Read about the new professors from 2010 and earlier. In Swedish (mostly) and in English.

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