PlantLink News – June-August

Welcome to the summer edition of the PlantLink Newsletter! As we draw closer to the upcoming holiday period, there’s no time to waste. Let’s dive straight into the exciting events and activities in the region during and beyond the summer season. As always, PlantLink brings you an array of enriching courses, interviews and enticing open positions and calls. However, we must also share some less favourable news about PlantLink, but fear not, as the boat is far from sinking! On a brighter note, we are delighted to extend our congratulations to Awais Zahid for receiving a prestigious award from the King of Sweden! Finally, we wish you a relaxing summer. We are back in August!

1. Future of PlantLink’s funding

PlantLink is in a transition phase, as the direct financial support from the involved faculties at LU and SLU will not continue. We are, however, in a dialogue with the deans of the involved faculties at LU and SLU on how to develop strategies and working methods to finance possible continuation after 2024. The deans have been pleased with PlantLink’s activities and achievements over the years – and would like to see continued strong collaborations between the universities. We have received different suggestions for alternative future funding of our network, which are now under active debate.

2. Register for PlantLink Day, 5 October, Lund

Another PlantLink Day is on its way, this time with an emphasis on biodiversity! The theme for this year is “Biodiversity: the key to resilient agri-food systems.”
Confirmed speakers: Agnes Bernis Fonteneau with 15 years of experience with FAO and Bioversity international; Lise Lykke Steffensen, Director of the Nordic Genetic Resource Centre; Mohammad Bahram, Department of Ecology, SLU; Maj Rundlöf, principal investigator at Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate, Lund University; Susanne Arvidsson, Director of the Mistra BIOPATH project, Lund University; and Michael Broberg Palmgren, professor at the department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen.
Register here

3. Fascination of Plants Day report is out!

What to eat in times of crisis? This was the theme that sheltered PlantLink’s celebration of this year’s Fascination of Plants Day. More than 80 participants, physical and online, maintained a lively pace of the discussion.
Read the summary, highlights and download some of the panellists’ presentations!

4. 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),Shawn Kefauver (University of Barcelona) and Øystein Opedal (LU).
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. A number of rooms at Hotell Skansen will be pre-booked for participants.
Hotel rooms are paid by the participants, but if you apply before 1 September there are 50 free tickets covering food for onsite attendance.
Full program and sign up for the meeting here!

5. ScanOats – 2nd Food Oats Conference: 19-21 June, Lund

The theme of the conference is Oats for Future – dietary fibers and other bioactive compounds. Sessions on genomics and breeding, processing, health and marketing are included! Do not miss this excellent networking opportunity, where researchers and industrial representatives in the oat field are brought together. The conference will be held at Medicon Village, the largest science park in Scandinavia on life science, and organised by ScanOats.

Confirmed keynote speakers: Catherine Howarth (Aberystwyth University, UK), Emilia Nordlund (VTT, Finland), Sarah Clarke (ADAS, UK) Rickard Landberg (Chalmers, Sweden), Kristofer Cook (Carbiotix, Sweden), Simon Balance (Nofima, Norway) and Lucia Gutierrez (University of Wisconsin-Madison, U.S.).
More information and registration

6. Northern Lights on Food – conference IV: 7-9 June, Lund Stadshallen

Would you like to learn more about the structure of food and how this knowledge can lead to new green and sustainable processes and could be used to create the foods for the future? Join the annual Northern Lights on Food conference in Lund in June!

More information and registration

7. NordGen day, 16 June, Alnarp

NordGen invites everyone to participate in a day devoted to genetic diversity. NordGen also celebrates its 15th anniversary as a joint Nordic knowledge centre for plant, forest and farm animal genetic resources. The program will consist of lectures, project information and networking. It will also include tours in laboratories, greenhouse and propagation fields.  Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the head office at the most beautiful time of the year!
More information

8. PlantLink representatives in EPSO

We are happy to announce that Ramesh Vetukuri will represent PlantLink as well as the SLUGS network together with Jens Sundström during the upcoming EPSO annual meeting in Düsseldorf  end of June. We are also very please that we now have two university representatives each in the new EPSO working group on Future Proofed Crops, namely Anders Carlsson and Siri Caspersen from SLU and Olivier Van Aken and Mats Hansson from LU.

Remember that if you are a employee at LU or SLU you can sign up as an individual member for free on the EPSO homepage. This gives you background information on EU calls, access to the monthly seminar series and more!

9. Plant Biologicals Network Annual Symposium, 16 November

Save the date for this occasion which will be in Copenhagen, Denmark.

10. Join the the Swedish Society for Plant Pathology and the Danish Society for Plant Diseases and Pests common event in Alnarp, 28 June

Join us in a common meeting between the Swedish and Danish societies for plant diseases for a one-day event in Alnarp on June 28th 2023. During the day, you will get the possibility to listen to interesting presentations, get a guided tour with a focus on plant health in the beautiful park in Alnarp as well as having time to meet and discuss with colleagues from both counties. More information and registration here.

11. NOVA PhD course “High throughput field phenotyping and vegetation mapping”,12-16 June, NMBU, Norway

The course aims to introduce the emerging research fields of high throughput plant phenotyping used for vegetation mapping and plant breeding, with a focus on remote sensing field phenotyping methodologies and related data analysis. The basic principles of commonly used remote sensing UAV-based imaging methods in high-throughput field phenotyping and vegetation mapping will be introduced together with practical examples.
More information and registration

12. Analytical methods in chemical ecology PhD course SLU Alnarp, 28 Aug – 9 Sept

The course contains a combination of online training, lectures, workshops and practical exercises. The lectures will cover methods of extraction of organic compounds, such as aeration, SPE, SPME and choices of organic solvents, as well as chromatography techniques such as liquid chromatography and gas chromatography and other methods. Although the course targets SLU PhD students that will work with chemical analysis and GC-MS in particular, even MSc-students, postdocs and external students are welcome to join.

More information

Register your interest by email to Björn Bohman by 14 July

13. Online seminar: Breeding and biotechnology for crops at ARC and SLU, 26 June

This networking seminar aims at giving deeper insights into breeding and biotechnology for crops at ARC and SLU. This initiative should increase the collaboration between South Africa and Sweden in the area of crop science.

When: 26 June, 14:00-16:40 CEST/SAST

More information and registration

14. Agri4D 2023 online conference – call for abstracts extended: 06 June

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: 6th of June

Registration and more information

15. 12th SPPS PhD conference “Everything is hard before it gets easy – 27-29 September, Lund

The main topic of the 12th SPPS PhD Student Conference is the process of doctoral studies. The speakers will cover scientific, formal and personal aspects of being a PhD student. You will be able to discuss your projects in smaller groups, share your experience and ask questions.

More information and registration

16. Winners of ELLS Plant Health Grand Challenges competition

Who are the winners of ELLS Plant Health Grand Challenges? Congratulations to Jarmila Šimková and Oussama Yahmi! As a prize, the students get conference fees, travel and hotel coverage to attend the International Congress in Plant Pathology in Lyon France. 

Find out more about the winners

17. Field walk – upscaling of Swedish protein crops, 7 June, Svalöv

On Wednesday, June 7, the field trials and results from the project “From plot to commercial – collaboration for scaling up Swedish protein crops” and the Skånebönan action plan will be presented during a field walk next to Lantmännen’s Framtidsgård Svalöv.

More information and registration

18. Dissertations and pre-dissertations seminars

Two dissertations are coming up at SLU Alnarp!

On the 9th of June at 9:00 CEST Valentina Rossi defends her doctoral thesis “Exploring resistance to Aphanomyces cochlioides in sugar beet” Location: Crafoord Hall, Navet, SLU or on-line on zoom, Passcode: 576289

On he 15th of June at 13:00 CEST Mustafa Zakieh will defend his doctoral thesis “Novel Methods for Disease Resistance Breeding in Winter Wheat” Location: Crafoord Hall, Navet, SLU or on-line on zoom, Passcode: 007055

Pre-dissertation seminars are planned for both defenses in the afternoons before at SLU Alnarp.

19. Open calls

There are several opportunities coming up in the field of Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment and Horizon Europe. See the Open calls in Cluster 6 and full work programme.
Planning grants available

  • Planning grant for Swedish cooperation with France and Germany; Get financial support to find partners in France and/or Germany to put together a team, formulate a project and prepare an application to Horizon Europe. More information.  

Circular Biobased Europe

  • Open call: HORIZON-JU-CBE-2023 – deadline: September 20
  • Partner searchVestaEco group, Polish producer of eco-friendly insulation materials from agricultural biomass, is searching for partners and consortia in Europe.

Mission Soil: Three calls open for Missions linked to Cluster 6

  • EU Mission – A Soil Deal for Europe
  • EU Missions Ocean & waters and Soil
  • EU Missions Climate, Oceans & waters and Soil

Submit your application no later than September 20 and 23 and be part of influencing to restore and protect our earth! For more information: EU Mission: A Soil Deal for Europe (

20. Open positions

SLU Alnarp
Postdoc in Plant breeding towards nutritional quality in cereals
More information
Post-doc in silviculture and modelling of temperate broadleaved forest for climate change adaptation
More information
PhD position in forest pathology & silviculture
More information
PhD position in beech silviculture
More information
PhD in regeneration of continuous cover forests
More information

Research engineer in Plant Product Quality
More information 

Lund University
Lecturer in Environmental Science
More information
Postdoctoral researcher in protein bioinformatics
More information
Two Post-doctoral fellow positions in Environmental Science
More information
More information
Doctoral student in Biology 
More information
Doctoral student in Biochemistry
More information
PhD student in Environmental Science
More information
Associate Professor of Plant Proteins for Food, University of Copenhagen
More information
Plant Pathologist in Findus
More information
PhD fellow in NutritionUniversity of Copenhagen
More information

Permanent gardener position at Climate laboratory, UiT
More information

21. Researcher in the Spotlight – Mahbubjon Rahmatov

Mahbubjon Rahmatov is a researcher at the Department of Plant BreedingSLU Alnarp. Mahbub’s research focuses on enhancing cereals’ resistance to both abiotic and biotic stresses. How can crop wild relatives improve the sustainability and resilience of our food system?

Read the interview

22. Story of Success – Ooble

Divya Mohan shares the story of Ooble, an innovative start-up which is tackling the sustainability gap in the food packaging industry. It all started as a student project at Lund University in a human-centric design thinking course. What is the narrative behind the sturdy, tasty, plant-based and cost-effective straws?

Read the article

23. Congratulations to Muhammad Awais Zahid!

Awais Zahid received a scholarship from the King Carl XVI Gustaf Foundation’s 50-year fund for science, technology and the environment for his work entitled ”Miljövänlig potatisodling i ett framtida klimat” (Environmentally friendly potato cultivation in a future climate). Congratulations, Awais, for your outstanding work!

More information on the ceremony