My background is forestry, and during the whole professional carrier (35 years) I have been working as forest / tree pathologist. Ongoing research focuses on alien invasive tree diseases and insect pests, both already established in Europe (incl. Sweden), but also those that have the potential to enter. Simultaneously, other aspects of research address issues of ecology and silvicultural management of historically well-known diseases and pests that cause chronic damage to forest stands and urban greenings. Main aim of professional activities is to understand the biology and underlying processes of forest/tree disease, and to transfer the knowledge to the relevant audiences (stakeholders and public society). Motto: the truth is in the field.
Lectures on forest pathology: undergraduate, graduate and PhD level courses. Presentations to stakeholders.
Falls within forest health, and is mainly focused on fungal diseases of trees in all stages of life, – from seedling, up to old-growth tree. It deals with forest and urban trees, and includes wide range of diverse fungal pathogens, but also insect pests.
Main subjects: i) forest pathology and protection; ii) silviculture; iii) mycology.
Ecosystems: European temperate and boreal forests.
Competence areas (in alphabetical order): - biodiversity and nature conservation; - dieback, wilt and canker; - disease identification and diagnosis; - disease management, silvicultural and biological control; - drought, fire and wind (abiotic) damage; - economic impact; - endophytes and mycorrhiza; - forest decline and self-regeneration; - forest disease (damage) survey and modelling; - forestry and silviculture; - fungal community ecology and population genetics; - fungus-insect associations; - invasive and emerging diseases and insect pests; - logging and wildlife damage; - post-fire fungi; - root rot in forest stands; - shoot and foliar diseases; - stem decay.
My principal tasks as outreach advisor (samverkanslektor) are: communicating, interacting, and advising stakeholders and society on problems related to tree and forest diseases / health. In this respect, principal partners are: Swedish Forest Agency (Skogsstyrelsen), Swedish Board of Agriculture (Jordbruksverket), Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket), Regional Administrations, and private landowners.
PhD in Forest Protection (1989) St.Petersburg Forest Technology University. Dissertation: “Wound decay in stands of Picea abies associated with logging damage and bark stripping”
PhD in Forest Pathology (1998) Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Uppsala. Dissertation: “Ecology of fungi colonizing wounds of Picea abies with special emphasis on Stereum sanguinolentum”
Doctor Habilitus in Biology (September 1999). Vilnius University. Dissertation: “Population biology and silvicultural significance of fungi colonizing wounds of spruce, oak and ash”
Docent (Associate Professor): year 1994 (Lithuanian University of Agriculture) and 2009 (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences)
Current employment: researcher & forest pathologist, Dept. of Forest Mycology & Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU)
- 1986-1989: PhD student, St.Petersburg Forest Technical Academy, Russia
- 1989-1992: researcher, Lithuanian Forest Research Institute
- 1992-2001: assistant professor, then docent, Lithuanian University of Agriculture
- 1999-2001: post-doc, Dept. of Forest Mycology & Pathology, (SLU).
- 2001-2009: researcher
- Since 2010: current appointment at SLU
PhD students at SLU
- Vaidotas Lygis. “Root infecting fungi in conifer plantations in Lithuania: biology and management”. Thesis No. 2005:4
- Audrius Menkis. “Root associated fungi of conifer seedlings and their role in afforestation of agricultural land”. Thesis No. 2005:106
- Natalija Arhipova. “Heart rot of spruce and alder in forests of Latvia: impact and possibilities for silvicultural control”. Thesis No. 2012:49
- Remigijus Bakys. “Dieback of Fraxinus excelsior in Baltic Sea region: associated fungi, their pathogenicity and implications for forestry”. Thesis No. 2013:10
(assistant supervisor of six other PhD students)