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Johan A. Stenberg

Johan A. Stenberg


I lead The Strawberry Lab at SLU, and am the director of SLU Centre for Biological Control. Our research aims at developing the science of integrated pest management (IPM). We actively embrace evolutionary perspectives for IPM, and therefore utilize crop wild relatives (e.g. woodland strawberry) in our conceptual work.  

The Strawberry Lab

Group leader
Johan A. Stenberg

Senior researchers
Carolina Diller
Paul Egan

Postdoctoral researchers
Ivan M. De la Cruz Arguello
Mudassir Iqbal
Nataliia Khomutovska

PhD student
Esther Kuper

Shah Ahmad Ansari
Daniel Buchvaldt Amby
Shah Ahmad Ansari
Maha Jamshaid
Sanne de Jong
Matilda Jützeler
Tuuli-Marjaana Koski
Kim Karlsson Moritz 
Anne Muola
Jeltje Stam 
Jörg Stephan
Minggang Wang
Daniela Weber


Selected projects:

  • Adapting Plant Genetic Diversity to climate change along a continental latitudinal gradient (2021-2024). BiodivERsA project.
  • Wild resources for climate resilience and pest control in strawberry (2019-2022). Funded by the Swedish Research Council FORMAS.
  • Multifunctional resistance: a key to integrated pest management, pollination, and fruit quality. (2016-2022). Funded by the Swedish Research Council FORMAS.

Selected publications

Tulukoglu-Kunt KS, Moret E, Khomutovska N, Stenberg JA, Di Francesco A. Efficacy of volatile organic compounds by Aureobasidium pullulans immobilized on hydrogel spheres against strawberry fungal pathogens. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, doi: 10.1002/jsfa.13651

Hambäck PA, Ericson L, Stenberg JA. 2024. Ecology and evolution of plant-enemy interactions during early colonization: Messages from a land-rising archipelago. in Ecological Studies 249.

Stenberg JA, Egan PA, Mora J, Osorio S, Vallarino JG, Wendin K. 2023. Effects of anti-herbivore resistance on sensory characteristics and ripening of strawberry. Scientia Horticulturae 322: 112434.

Iqbal M, Broberg A, Andreasson E, Stenberg JA. 2023. Biocontrol potential of beneficial fungus Aureobasidium pullulans against Botrytis cinerea and Colletotrichum acutatum. Phytopathology 113: 1428-1438.

Iqbal M, Andreasson E, Stenberg JA. 2023. Biological control of strawberry diseases by Aureobasidium pullulans and sugar beet extract under field conditions. Journal of Plant Pathology 105: 933-941.

Stenberg JA, Becher PG, Jonsson M, Karlsson M, Sundh I, Viketoft M. 2023. Political deafness may impede transition to biological control. Trends in Plant Science 28: 498-500.

Di Francesco A, Zajc, Stenberg JA. 2023. Aureobasidium spp.: diversity, versatility, and agricultural utility. Horticulturae 9: 59.

Castella C, Orsat C, Marcdargent M, Malausa T, Desneux N, De Clercq P, Pappas M, Stenberg JA, Roques N. 2022. Study on the Union’s situation and options regarding invertebrate biological control agents for the use in plant health and plant protection. Publications Office of the European Union.

Musaqaf N, Sigsgaard L, Markussen B, Stenberg JA. 2022. Effects of strawberry resistance and genotypic diversity on aphids and their natural enemies. Biological Control 170: 104919.

De-la-Cruz IM, Batsleer F, Bonte D, Diller C, Hytönen T, Muola A, Osorio S, Posé D,Vandegehuchte ML, Stenberg JA. 2022. Evolutionary ecology of plant-arthropod interactions in light of the ‘omics’ sciences: A broad guide. Frontiers in Plant Science 13: 808427.

Iqbal M, Jützeler M, França SC, Wäckers F, Andreasson E, Stenberg JA. 2022. Bee-vectored Aureobasidium pullulans for biocontrol of grey mould in strawberry. Phytopathology 112: 232-237

Egan PA, Muola M, Parachnowitsch Al, Stenberg JA. 2021. Pollinators and herbivores interactively shape selection on strawberry defence and attraction. Evolution Letters 5: 636-643.

Koski T-M, de Jong S, Muola A, Buchvaldt Amby D, Andreasson E, Stenberg JA. 2021. ‘Resistance mixtures’ reduce insect herbivory in strawberry (Fragaria vesca) plantings. Frontiers in Plant Science 12: 722795.

Stenberg JA, Sundh I, Becher PG, Björkman C, Dubey M, Egan PA, Friberg H, Gil JF, Funck Jensen D, Jonsson M, Karlsson M, Khalil S, Ninkovic V, Rehermann del Rio G, Vetukuri RR, Viketoft M. 2021. When is it biological control? A framework of definitions, mechanisms, and classifications. Journal of Pest Science 94: 665–676. [JAS55]

Iqbal M, Jamshaid M, Zahid MA, Andreasson E, Vetukuri RR, Stenberg JA. 2021. Biological control of strawberry crown rot, root rot and grey mould by the beneficial fungus Aureobasidium pullulansBioControl 66: 535-545. [JAS54]

Stenberg JA, Ortiz R. 2021. Focused Identification of Germplasm Strategy (FIGS): Polishing a rough diamond. Current Opinion in Insect Science 45:1-6. [JAS53]

Wang M, Muola A, Anderson P, Stenberg JA. 2020. Wild strawberry shows genetic variation in tolerance but not resistance to a generalist herbivore. Ecology and Evolution 10: 13022-13029. [JAS52]

Karlsson Green K, Stenberg JA, Lankinen Å. 2020. Making sense of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in the light of evolution. Evolutionary Applications 13: 1791– 1805.[JAS51]

Flöhr A, Stenberg JA, Egan PA. 2020. The joint Economic Impact Level (jEIL): a decision metric for integrated pest and pollinator management. In: Gao et al. (eds) Integrative Biological Control, pp 17-38, Springer [JAS50].

Egan PA, Dicks LV, Hokkanen HMT & Stenberg JA. 2020. Delivering integrated pest and pollinator management. Trends in Plant Science 25: 577-589 [JAS49].

Weber D, Egan PA, Muola A, Ericson LE & Stenberg JA. 2020. Plant resistance does not compromise parasitoid-based biocontrol of a strawberry pest. Scientific Reports 10: 5899. [JAS48]

Weber D, Egan PA, Muola A & Stenberg JA. 2020. Genetic variation in herbivore resistance within a strawberry crop wild relative (Fragaria vesca L.). Arthropod-Plant Interactions 14: 31-40. [JAS47].

Stenberg JA,  Flø D, Kirkendall L, Krokene P, Alsanius B, Magnusson C, Nicolaisen M, Thomsen IM, Wright SAI & Rafoss T. 2019. Pest risk assessment of selected Epitrix speciesVKM report 2019:17 [JAS46]

Wendin K, Egan PA, Olsson V, Forsberg S, Nilsson A & Stenberg JA. 2019. Is there a best woodland strawberry? A consumer survey of preferred sensory properties and cultivation characteristics. International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science 16: 100151 [JAS45]

Muola A & Stenberg JA. 2018. Folivory has long-term effects on sexual but not on asexual reproduction in woodland strawberry. Ecology and Evolution 8: 12250-12259. [JAS44]

Egan PA, Muola A & Stenberg JA. 2018. Capturing genetic variation in crop wild relatives: an evolutionary approach. Evolutionary Applications 11: 1293-1304. [JAS43]

Moritz KK, Parachnowitsch AL, Julkunen-Tiitto R, Björkman C, Ayres MP & Stenberg JA. 2018. Roe deer prefer mixed-sex willow stands over monosexual stands but do not discriminate between male and female plants. Environmental and Experimental Botany 146: 62-67. [JAS42]

Svensson B, Stenberg JA, Jensen JF. 2017. Odling av smultron i substrat. LTV-fakultetens faktablad 2017:30. [JAS41]

Moritz KK, Björkman C, Parachnowitsch AL, Stenberg JA. 2017. Plant sex effects on insect herbivores and biological control in a Short Rotation Coppice willow. Biological Control 115: 30-36. [JAS40]

Stenberg JA. 2017. A conceptual framework for integrated pest management. Trends in Plant Science 22: 759-769. [JAS39]

Muola A, Weber D, Malm L, Egan PA, Glinwood R, Parachnowitsch AL & Stenberg JA. 2017. Direct and pollinator-mediated effects of herbivory on strawberry and the potential for improved resistance. Frontiers in Plant Science 8: 823. [JAS38]

Stenberg JA & Muola A. 2017. How should plant resistance to herbivores be measured? Frontiers in Plant Science 8: 663. [JAS37]

Stephan JG, Stenberg JA & Björkman C. 2017. Consumptive and non-consumptive effect ratios depend on interaction between plant quality and hunting behaviour of omnivorous predators. Ecology and Evolution 7: 2327-2339. [JAS36]

Birkhofer K, Bylund H, Dalin P, Ferlian O, Gagic V, Hambäck PA, Klapwijk M, Mestre L, Roubinet E, Schroeder M, Stenberg JA, Porcel M, Björkman C, Jonsson M. 2017. Methods to identify the prey of invertebrate predators in terrestrial field studies. Ecology and Evolution 7: 1942-1953. [JAS35]

Stephan JG, Low M, Stenberg JA & Björkman C. 2016. Predator hunting mode and host plant quality shape attack-abatement patterns of predation risk in an insect herbivore. Ecosphere 7: e01541. [JAS33]

Moritz KK, Björkman C, Parachnowitsch AL & Stenberg JA. 2016. Female Salix viminalis are more severely infected by Melampsora spp. but neither sex experiences associational effects. Ecology and Evolution 6: 1154-1162. [JAS32]

Stenberg JA, Heil M, Åhman I & Björkman C. 2015. Optimizing crops for biocontrol of pests and disease. Trends in Plant Science 20: 698-712. [JAS31]

Stenberg JA & Ericson L. 2015. Raspberry inflicts associational susceptibility to meadowsweet in a complex food web. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 157: 68-73. [JAS30] 

Stephan JG, Stenberg JA & Björkman C. 2015. How far away is the next basket of eggs? Spatial memory and perceived cues shape aggregation patterns in a leaf beetle. Ecology 96: 908-914. [JAS29]

Stenberg JA. 2015. Outbreaking herbivore escapes parasitoid by attaining only a small body size. Ecosphere 6: art21. [JAS28]

Kabir MF, Moritz KK & Stenberg JA. 2014. Plant-sex-biased tritrophic interactions on dioecious willow. Ecosphere 5: art153. [JAS27]

Stenberg JA. 2014. Density-dependent herbivory and biocontrol of the strawberry leaf beetle, Galerucella tenella. Acta Horticulturae 1049: 647 - 650. [JAS26]

Axelsson EP & Stenberg JA. 2014. Associational resistance mediates interacting effects of herbivores and competitors on Fireweed performance. Basic and Applied Ecology 15: 10 - 17. [JAS25]

Hambäck PA, Weingartner E, Ericson L, Fors L, Cassel-Lundhagen A, Stenberg JA & Bergsten J. 2013. Bayesian species delimitation reveals generalist and specialist parasitic wasps on Galerucella beetles (Chrysomelidae): sorting by herbivore or plant host? BMC Evolutionary Biology 13: 92. [JAS24]

Torp M, Lehrman A, Stenberg JA, Julkunen-Tiitto R & Björkman C. 2013. Performance of an herbivorous leaf beetle (Phratora vulgatissima) on Salix F2 hybrids: the importance of phenolics. Journal of Chemical Ecology 39: 516 - 524. [JAS23]

Lehrman A, Boddum T, Stenberg JA, Orians CM & Björkman C. 2013. Constitutive and herbivore-induced systemic volatiles differentially attract an omnivorous biocontrol agent to contrasting Salix clones. AoB PLANTS 5: plt005. [JAS22]

Björkman C, Eklund K, Lehrman A & Stenberg JA. 2013. Food conditioning affects expression of insect resistance in diploid willows (Salix spp.). American Journal of Plant Sciences 4: 48 - 52. [JAS21]

Axelsson EP & Stenberg JA. 2012. Associational resistance in a multiple herbivore system: differential effects of mammal vs. insect herbivores. Ecological Research 27: 1053 - 1058. [JAS20]

Ågren GI, Stenberg JA & Björkman C. 2012. Omnivores as plant bodyguards - A model of the importance of plant quality. Basic and Applied Ecology 13: 441 - 448. [JAS19]

Stenberg JA & Stenberg JE. 2012. Herbivory limits the yellow water lily in an overgrown lake and in flowing water. Hydrobiologia 691: 81 - 88. [JAS18]

Baffoe KO, Dalin P, Nordlander G & Stenberg JA. 2012. Importance of temperature for the performance and biocontrol efficiency of the parasitoid Perilitus brevicollis (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) on Salix. BioControl 57: 611 - 618. [JAS17]

Lehrman A, Torp M, Stenberg JA, Julkunen-Tiitto R & Björkman C. 2012. Estimating direct resistance in willows against a major pest (Phratora vulgatissima) by comparing life history traits. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 144: 93 - 100. [JAS16]

Stenberg JA. 2012. Effects of local vegetation and plantation age for the parasitoid Asecodes mento – a biocontrol agent in organic strawberry fields. Insect Science 19: 604 - 608. [JAS15]

Stenberg JA. 2012. Plant-mediated effects of different Salix species on the performance of the braconid parasitoid Perilitus brevicollis. Biological Control 60: 54 - 58. [JAS14]

Stenberg JA, Lehrman A & Björkman C. 2011. Plant defence: feeding your bodyguards can be counter-productive. Basic and Applied Ecology 12: 629 - 633. [JAS13]

Berlin Kolm S, Björkman C, Bonosi L, Ghelardini L, Lehrman A, Nordh N-E, Rönnberg-Wästljung AC, Samils B, Stenberg JA, Stenlid J, Weih M, Åhman I & von Arnold S. 2011. Nya salixsorter med modern växtförädlingsteknik. Fakta Jordbruk 1: 1 - 6. [JAS12]

Stenberg JA, Lehrman A & Björkman C. 2011. Host-plant genotype mediates supply and demand of animal food in an omnivorous insect. Ecological Entomology 36: 442 - 449. [JAS11]

Stenberg JA, Lehrman A & Björkman C. 2010. Uncoupling direct and indirect plant defences: novel opportunities for improving crop security in willow plantations. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 139: 528 - 533. [JAS10]

Stenberg JA & Hambäck PA. 2010. Host species critical for offspring fitness and sex ratio for an oligophagous parasitoid: implications for host coexistence. Bulletin of Entomological Research 100: 735-740. [JAS9]

Stenberg JA & Axelsson EP. 2008. Host race formation in the Meadowsweet and Strawberry feeding leaf beetle Galerucella tenella. Basic and Applied Ecology 9: 260 - 267. [JAS8]

Halitschke R, Stenberg JA, Kessler D, Kessler A & Baldwin IT. 2008. Shared signals - 'alarm calls' from plants increase apparency to herbivores and their enemies in nature. Ecology Letters 11: 24 – 34. [JAS7]

Stenberg JA, Hambäck PA & Ericson L. 2008. Herbivore-induced “rent rise” in the host plant may drive a diet breadth enlargement in the tenant. Ecology 89: 126 – 133. [JAS6]

Stenberg JA & Ericson L. 2008. Response to: Comment on 'Visual cues override olfactory cues in the host-finding process of the monophagous leaf beetle Altica engstroemi. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 126: 87. [JAS5]

Stenberg JA & Ericson L. 2007. Visual cues override olfactory cues in the host-finding process of the monophagous leaf beetle Altica engstroemi. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 125: 81–88. [JAS4]

Stenberg JA, Heijari J, Holopainen JK & Ericson L. 2007. Presence of Lythrum salicaria enhances the bodyguard effects of the parasitoid Asecodes mento for Filipendula ulmaria. Oikos 116: 482 – 490. [JAS3]

Stenberg JA, Witzell J & Ericson L. 2006. Tall herb herbivory resistance reflects historic exposure to leaf beetles in a boreal archipelago age-gradient. Oecologia 148: 414 – 425. [JAS2]

Hambäck PA, Stenberg JA & Ericson L. 2006. Asymmetric indirect interactions mediated by a shared parasitoid: connecting species traits and local distribution patterns for two chrysomelid beetles. Oecologia 148: 475 – 481. [JAS1]


Professor at the Department of Plant Protection Biology
Telephone: +4640-41 53 78, +4670-6220042
Postal address:
Växtskyddsbiologi, Box 190
234 22 LOMMA
Visiting address: Sundsvägen 16, Alnarp