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Andis Zvirgzdins

Andis Zvirgzdins


Since 2020, I am working as a PhD student in silviculture. 

The focus of my PhD studies is on establishment and management of planted and genetically improved birch in Sweden. Why this topic? Due to changing climate and potential risks associated with the species that currently dominate the forest landscape in Sweden (e.g. Norway spruce & Scots pine), there is a need to re-evaluate our silvicultural practices and think of alternative ways of producing timber. Birch is one of the best alternatives in those terms. Still, knowledge about silviculture and management, including early management of birch is insufficient, therefore more research is needed.

Of course, for this species to be a viable alternative in terms of timber production, there is a need for a functioning industry, but there cannot be a well-functioning industry without forest owners planting birch. This is also a result of birch being considered as an undesirable species due to low quality, but as the results of genetic trials have shown that genetically improved birch can deliver fascinating results both in terms of quality and production, which is why the research on the “future birch” is so necessary and important.

Supervisors: Prof., Dr Urban Nilsson, Dr Karin Hjelm, Dr Mateusz Liziniewicz.

In addition to that, since 2019 I am a coordinating the Euroforester network and MSc programme which has been the cornerstone of education at the department of Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre since 2006. As a graduate myself, I am delighted to agree with the opinions of many former students that Eurforester MSc programme is on the top - as one of the best forestry MSc programmes in Europe, which is an accomplishment of many who have contributed towards it. Needless to say, when you become a Euroforester, you do not just open doors for new education, but you become a part of a vast an amazing network, which can offer you plenty of opportunities.


Since 2020, I am assisting in teaching on the first course of the Euroforester 1st year´s package – Sustainable Forestry in Southern Sweden, mainly in R sessions, during which the students learn how to analyse data using basic level statistics using R,  a programming language for statistical computing and graphics.

Since 2021, I am also a teacher on the summer course In-depth course in Forest regeneration, also offered at Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre. 


Research topics and projects that I am involved in:

·       Silviculture and management of planted and genetically involved Silver birch in southern and central Sweden

·       Productivity of Scots pine and Norway spruce in southern and central Sweden




Master of Forest Science: M.Sc., Euroforester MSc programme, 2019, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU).

Bachelor in Forest engineering: B.Sc., Forest engineering, 2017, Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies (LULST), Jelgava, Latvia.

Studies and internship in University of Eastern Finland (UEF), Faculty of Science and Forestry, 2015-2016, during the Bachelor in Forest engineering.


Supervision of MSc thesis:

Finished: Mari Tuvikene. Growth and long-term production of Silver birch and Hybrid aspen in southern Sweden.

Finished: Edzus Romans. Effects of different thinning regimes on growth of Silver birch (Betula pendula Roth.) planted on agricultural land in Latvia 

Ungoing: Edvards Romans. Effect of initial spacing on growth and quality of Silver Birch (Betula pendula) and Downy birch (Betula pubescens) in Sweden

Selected publications

Peer-reviewed scientific publications in international journals: 

  1. Liziniewicz, M., Barbeito, I., Zvirgzdins, A., Stener, L.-G., Niemistö, P.,      Fahlvik, N., Johansson, U., Karlsson, B., & Nilsson, U. (2022). Production of genetically improved silver birch plantations in southern and central Sweden. Silva Fennica, 56(1).