PlantLink News – April

As the weather warms up and the trees begin to bloom, it can only mean one thing: spring and pollen season have arrived! Yet, it’s not only allergy time; Sweden also experiences a lesser-known grant-writing season during this period. Read the latest news to distract yourself and get inspired by new courses, conferences, and interviews! PlantLink has two important events to share – don’t forget to sign up for Fascination of Plants Day and save the date for PlantLink Day. You can listen to online lectures organised by PlantEd and join the satellite SASUF Research and Innovation week. There are a few abstract submissions which should not be missed – Agri4D 2023 conference and Early Career Symposium in chemical ecology. If you prefer to create visual content, the SusCrop ERA-Net video contest is also nearing its end! Finally, read Konstantinos Karantininis‘ interview to learn more about agrifood systems and agricultural policy. Sit back and enjoy the latest edition of our newsletter, happy spring!

1. Sign up for Fascination of Plants Day: What to eat in times of crisis – the perspective of innovation and sustainability; 09 May, Lund

Join PlantLink for an inspiring discussion during Fascination of Plants Day on May 9th in Lund, titled “What to eat in times of crisis – the perspective of innovation and sustainability.” What species should we grow for food, and how can we make our diet more sustainable and resilient? How can the food industry help to reduce global hunger?  PlantLink has invited expert panellists from across the agrifood system! They will first share their perspectives and opinions, which will be followed by a coffee/mingle break and a lively discussion.

Speakers: Aakash Chawade, associate professor of Genetics and Breeding Informatics, SLU; Lennart Olsson, professor of Geography at LU, founding Director of LUCSUS; Lieselotte Cloetens, senior lecturer and group leader of Biomedical Nutrition, LTH, LU; Jun Niimi (Ph.D.), researcher and expert in Sensory Perception of Food and Beverages, RISE. Moderator Peter Sylwan, science journalist.

More information and sign-up form!

2. Save the date! PlantLink Day will be held on 05 October in Lund

This year, PlantLink Day offers a cross-cutting hot topic “Biodiversity: key to resilient agri-food system”. We aim to raise interdisciplinary discussion with a good balance between science, social aspects and policy. More information is coming soon!

3. Sign up for the Final NordPlant Annual meeting: The future of plant phenotyping – 22-23 November, Båstad

NordPlant is coming to its sixth and last year. With this last annual meeting, we will sum up the progress around plant phenotyping and modelling for future climates, but foremost we will look into the future of plant phenotyping! Confirmed keynote speakers are David Rousseau (INREA) and Shawn Kefauver (University of Barcelona).
The meeting will be in Hotell Skansen, Båstad, Sweden. A full program will be announced later. The meeting will be back-to-back with the NPPN annual workshop 23-24 November. A number of rooms at Hotell Skansen will be pre-booked for participants.
Hotel rooms are paid by the participants, but there are 50 free tickets covering food for onsite attendance.
More information and sign up for the meeting here!

4. Three plant-related events in SASUF Research and Innovation week – 27, 28, 30 March

South Africa Sweden University Forum (SASUF) 2030 is a transformative project uniting 40 universities across Sweden and South Africa. See the events below, where PlantLink’s researchers are involved!

  1. Monday, March 27 • 11:00 – 16:00 Satellite Event: How can pollinators help us achieve the Sustainable Development Goals? (Cape Town – Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gard). More information.
  2. Tuesday, March 28 • 09:00 – 12:00 Satellite Event: The status of agricultural biologicals in Southern Africa (Stellenbosch). More information.
  3. Thursday, March 30 • 11:45 – 13:00 Remote sensing to meet the UN’s SDGs. More information.

5. PlantEd online lectures continue – the next on 29 March

The PlantEd online lecture series continues. On 29 March at 16:00 (CET), Dr Juan M Debernardi, UC Davis, Dept. of Plant Sciences, USA, will present his lecture “Improving plant regeneration accelerates wheat improvement with genome editing technologies”. Dr Pierre-François Perroud, INRAE, France, will discuss “Exploring Prime Editing in the model plant Physcomitrium patens”.
More information, including the sign-up (scroll down for the registration link)
Save the date for the upcoming lectures: April 26, May 31, June 28; 4 PM CEST

6. Agri4D 2023 – call for abstracts: 08 May

Agri4D conference “Building resilient food systems in uncertain times” aims to bridge science, policy and practice to create a real-world impact on global food systems to help achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2, Zero Hunger. All stakeholders, including researchers, practitioners, civil society, private sectors, and policymakers, are invited to join the conference to co-create solutions to build resilient food systems.

The conference will be held online on 26-28 September with two different themes: Securing food and nutrition within planetary boundaries and Governance and rights in food systems: Leaving no one behind.
Deadline for contributions: 8th of May. More information

7. Early Career Symposium: Harnessing chemical ecology to achieve food security – abstract deadline 04 April

Chemical signals, or semiochemicals, are produced by organisms including plants, insects, and microorganisms, enabling them to communicate intra- and inter-specifically. These semiochemicals can be exploited to benefit crop production through mechanisms including induced protection of crops against pests, stimulation of crop growth, and signaling to beneficial predators/parasitoids to control pests. Identifying semiochemicals involved in these biological activities, and advancing our understanding of their biological roles, can enable the development of novelsustainable tools to increase crop productivity.
This early career symposium is intended for PhD students, post-doctoral researchers, research technicians, research fellows, and other early career researchers with backgrounds across academia, industry, and government, who have research interests relating to chemical ecologySubmit abstracts of not more than 2,500 characters via;
Deadline for submissions: April 4th

8. Initiative for updated food strategy – Food Strategy 2.0

The existing food strategy was adopted by the Swedish Riksdag in 2017. The government has now taken the initiative for an update called Food Strategy 2.0! The next step is a continued dialogue with the representatives of the food chain during the first half of 2023 to capture how the food strategy can best be developed and implemented to strengthen Swedish competitiveness.
Would you like to get involved? SLU Future Food organises two internal workshops and also announces funds for researchers who want to write a longer entry. More information

9. SusCrop ERA-Net video contest – submission deadline: May 26

ERA- Net SusCrop launched a video contest to actively involve everybody from across the world to reflect, communicate and inspire on ‘What sustainable crop production means to you?’. The competition is open to everyone from school children to artists and any kind of enthusiasts. Keywords to inspire: sustainability, resilience, agriculture, forestry, ecology, crop production, crops, plants, science, nature, climate change, future. 12 Cash prizes will be awarded to the best submissions from across the world!
The video submission is open until May 26. More information

10. Open positions

SLU Alnarp
PhD-position in silviculture to evaluate forest regeneration chains.
More information

PhD position in plant autophagy and genome editing research.
More information
Postdoctoral position on Small-RNAs role in Plant-microbe interactions.
More information
Two postdoctoral scholarships in molecular biology: plant stress signalling and susceptibility genes.
More information

 Lund University
Postdoctoral Fellow in Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function.
More information
Post-doctoral fellow in Molecular Plant Biology.
More information
Researcher in Chemical Ecology.
More information

11. Industrial Mentorship Program 2023 has been successfully launched

PlantLink is pleased to announce that 12 applicants (PhD students and postdocs) have registered for the recently launched mentorship program. We are currently in the middle of the matching process. The first mentor-mentee meeting is scheduled for May 9th. We look forward to future fruitful collaborations!

12. PlantLink Researcher in Spotlight – Konstantinos Karantininis

Kostas Karantininis is an agricultural economist, and professor of Business Economics, at the Department of People & Society, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. He also coordinates a number of projects related to agri-food systems and agricultural policy, and recently received a substantial grant from the European Commission. Would you like to know more? Read the interview!