Nature has been a great interest since early on - forests, plants and animals. I studied Biology and did my doctorate in Plant Physiology at Umeå University in 1994 on a thesis on the physiology of nitrogen-fixing symbiotic root nodules in grey alder. Through a postdoc in the USA and research at SLU, I have continued to be interested in root biology of plants with nitrogen-fixing symbioses, including seabuckthorn and legumes, but also in mycorrhizal symbioses. I am driven by contributing to knowledge about plants for applied cultivation as in the ongoing project on perennial crops.
I work in teaching in several different ways. At the basic level, my lectures deal with these topics: biological nitrogen fixation, nitrogen metabolism, photosynthesis, water use, transport and stress factors, mineral nutrition and growth, basic cell biology and metabolism, adaptations to winter conditions. Within advanced level courses, I lecture on symbiotic biological nitrogen fixation and nutrient use efficiency. The courses I teach at are BI1112 Biology, MV0224 Soil as plant habitat and plant knowledge 3, LK0358 Introduction course for landscape engineers, and plant knowledge, BI1279 Plant Biology, BI1281 Plant Physiology, BI1295 Sustainable Plant Production - from Molecular to Field Scale, BI1354 Plant-Microbe Interactions.
I am responsible for courses and course modules on Biology and Plant Physiology within the programmes Master of Science in Water and Environmental Engineering, Landscape Architecture and Landscape Engineering; courses BI1112, MV0224 and LK0358.
I also work with administration and course development as Director of Undergraduate studies at my department. As Assisting Program Director of studies for the Food Science Bachelor Program and the Master's program Food Science - Agronomy, I contribute to program development.
My research interests in Plant Physiology and Plant-Microbe Interactions are:
Biological nitrogen fixation in symbioses between legumes and rhizobium bacteria and between actinorhizal plants and Frankia bacteria. Their diversity, functions and efficiency.
Perennial cereals, Hordeum bulbosum (relative of barley) and Thinopyrum intermedium (intermediate wheatgrass, relative of wheat).
Right now I am part of a research project where we try to understand and develop a new type of crop - perennial cereal grains. Physiological and genetic adaptations for these to be grown and to produce a good harvest are the challenges we focus on. These perennial cereals have great potential to contribute to a climate-smart sustainable agriculture for several reasons, including through fewer inputs by the farmer and possible carbon storage in the soil. One way to contribute to lower climate impact is also to co-cultivate with legume plants that fix nitrogen gas from the air and thus supply the nutrient that plants need in the greatest quantity to the cultivation system.
My background in the physiology and gene expression of plants - about how they grow, develop, acquire mineral nutrition which is often in short supply - and about biological nitrogen fixation, gives me many interesting angles when we develop new types of cereals to be included in perennial cultivation systems for the production of food.