Our Research Contributes to Solutions of Future Problems
- The link between key fish species in the Baltic
- Domesticated Microorganisms
- The Interplay between Pathogens and Plants
- Green Artificial Fertilisers
- Pesticides and Climate
- Cold Soils in a Changing Climate
- Future Whole Grains
VISION: To better understand the dynamics between key fish species in a multi-species context.
The last 40 years have seen considerable changes in the presence and distribution of cod, sprat and herring in the Baltic. These species are strongly interlinked, both through competition and the predator-prey relationship.
Our research focuses on the causes and effects of these changes. Is the current high concentration of sprat in the northern Baltic a result of the lack of cod, or the result of hydroclimatic factors? Is the reduced average size of cod in the southern Baltic a result of low sprat presence in the area?
Our aim is to increase the understanding of the ecosystem of the Baltic and contribute to better management of its resources.
VISION: domestication of microorganisms for a greener environment.
Microorganisms can contribute to a greener crop production by replacing chemicals in biological control and by making the uptake of nutrients more effective thereby stimulating plant growth.
Moreover, microorganisms can replace fossil fuels in bioenergy production and counteract poisonous emissions polluting the environment.
In our research projects, we focus on fermentation and formulation of microorganisms to find good storage and handling properties. We also develop systems of assessing safety in the use of new domesticated microorganisms.
VISION: to understand the significance of plant hormones for plant defenses.
Our researchers try to identify genes and defense mechanisms, which may contribute to resistance against fungal diseases, for example dry rot and withering disease. These diseases are caused by two different types of fungi, which attack oilseed rape and its relatives.
We study how two plant growth hormones, abscisic acid and auxin, affect the defense against oilseed rape pathogens.
The aim is to clarify in detail how these growth hormones affect plant defenses, and how we, armed with this knowledge, may improve fungal resistance through plant breeding in the future.
VISION: a sustainable agriculture independent of fossil energy sources.
The production of nitrogen fertilisers stands for the largest energy consumption in Swedish agriculture today, and the energy source is almost always non-renewable fossil energy. However, it is possible to sustainably produce nitrogen fertilisers from renewable energy sources.
Artificial nitrogen fertilisers are based on ammonia and produced from the nitrogen gas of the air during combustion of hydrogen gas. Renewable hydrogen gas can be produced through thermal gasification of biomass and from biogas.
This gives a completely new perspective on food production in the future, something we are evaluating in our research project.
VISION: model-aided predictions of future problems.
In what way affects our cold Nordic climate the degradation of different sorts of pesticides, and are there pesticides more suitable than others, to use under certain conditions?
Is the risk of leaching affected if the soil contains several different pesticides simultaneously?
These questions, together with other closely related questions, will be answered by our researchers, in part by the development and application of advanced models for assessment and prognostication.
In addition, the aim of our research is to provide authorities and agencies with a basis for good decision making.
VISION: to mediate data as a basis for political decisions concerning environmental issues and climate change
The significance of the soil for the global carbon balance has generated a lively discussion.
Our research aims at increasing the knowledge about how the temperature affects the carbon held within the soil and the circulation of nitrogen during winter and during likely future climate changes.
Using advanced isotope mass spectrometry and high resolution microscopy, we analyse soil samples at the molecular level.
VISION: whole grain products as protection against diseases of modern life
Whole or crushed grain seeds are called whole grain. A number of carbohydrates and bio-active substances in whole grain may affect the development of diseases of modern life, but our knowledge of the protecting mechanisms is limited.
Within this area, we study the biosynthesise of dietary fibre and starch, the content of dietary fibre and bioactive substances in whole grain of oats, barley, rye and wheat, and the effect of processing.
Along with researchers within the medical area, we study the biological mechanisms mediating the protective effects.
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), mass spectrometry and studies of metabolic fingerprints are important research tools.