PlantLink News March

Check out upcoming courses, meetings and seminars in the region and beyond! Find updates on the UN year of Plant Health, and a list of interesting positions in this month’s PlantLink Newsletter.

Photo by Jacob Björnberg

Newsletter contents

  1. NKJ grant! 
  2. PlantLink day 14 October – save the date! 
  3. NordPlant 2nd annual day 4-6 november, Tromsö 
  4. Course on High Throughput Sequencing Data Analysis 
  5. PhD course “Accelerating climate resilient plant breeding by applying –omics and artificial intelligence”
  6. NOVA-course in Plant phenomics 22-26 juni 2020 
  7. MSc/PhD-course “Plant Protection Biology to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals”, August 3 – 14
  8. eDNA methods course 23-25 March, Lund 
  9. Science says! 23 April Lund 
  10. Breeding assistant Sugar beet at MariboHilleshög (text in Swedish) 
  11. Postdoc CRISPr in Barley 
  12. Postdoc Evolutionary biology SLU 
  13. PhD position root biomes Amsterdam 
  14. UN International Year of Plant health – updates

1. NordCrop network receives NKJ funding!

Global climate change means that our crops are increasingly exposed to drought or waterlogging, heat and elevated CO2. It is therefore timely that a the new Resilient Northern Crops Network – NordCrop was recently granted funding by NKJ. PlantLink is proudly member of this new network. This network aim to identify more robust genotypes in key Nordic field crops. All field crops are under pressure due to climate change, but knowledge of crop response to multiple abiotic stresses is poorly understood and better knowledge is needed to develop more resilient field crops. 

The primary objective is to promote and coordinate a knowledge-based experience for crop resilience to the extreme and erratic climate conditions that the Nordic region has experienced the last years, and to facilitate interaction between key research groups and breeders as well as gene banks. The network is coordinated by Aarhus University and the other collaborators are University of Copenhagen, University of Helsinki, NMBU, Aberystwyth University and PlantLink. 

For more information Contact: Carl-Otto Ottosen,, +45 22903105

2. PlantLink day 14 October – save the date!

The next PlantLink day will be Wednesday 14 October in Lund. To acknowleddge the WHO “Year of Plant Health”, the theme will be on Plant Health.

Save the date – more information will follow later.

3. NordPlant 2nd annual day 4-6 november, Tromsö

The theme of the Annual day is “Plant phenotyping and modelling for improved resilience in changing climate”. The meeting will be accompanied by  workshops for facility management and other topics.

4. Course on High Throughput Sequencing Data Analysis

A course on High Throughput Sequencing Data Analysis will be organised by Umeå Plant Science Centre Bioinformatics Facility (UPSCb,) part of the SLU Bioinformatics Infrastructure (SLUBI).

Course dates: 2-6 March. Mainly for PhD-students and postdocs.

Deadline to apply:  26th of February 2020 

You can find more information in the program:

Contact, information and registration for the course:

5. PhD course “Accelerating climate resilient plant breeding by applying –omics and artificial intelligence”

This course (3 ECTS) will provide theoretical and practical aspects to generate and use ‘-omics’ data as well as remote sensing for plant breeding – from sampling to interpreting the results and finding biologically relevant conclusions. The course will take place on  20-24 April 2020 at SLU Alnarp. 

Lecturers: Kristina Gruden (NIB Slovenia), Dan Jacobson (ORNL), Antoine Harfouche (UNITUS), Ian Dodd (Lancaster University), Aakash Chawade (SLU), Rodomiro Ortiz (SLU), Annabel Large (ORNL/SLU), Svante Resjö (SLU), Therese Bengtsson (SLU) and Erik Alexandersson (SLU, course leader)

This course is a joint PhD-student course by the SLU Platform Plant Breeding and the Industry Research School of Forest Genetics and Biotechnology.

Read more and register here

6. NOVA-course in Plant phenomics 22-26 juni 2020

The registration for this course will open soon. For more information, please contact Morten Lillemo (

7. MSc/PhD-course “Plant Protection Biology to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals”

Sign up for “Plant Protection Biology to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals”, SLU-P0065, August 3 – 14, 2020 in Pieve Tesino, Italy.

The increasing environmental awareness, to some extent induced by the increasing number of reports on global climate change, has and will have a large impact on management of future cropping systems, especially concerning plant protection. The overall objective of this course is to give students from different subject areas (e.g. ecology, entomology, nematology, plant breeding, molecular biology etc.) a deeper understanding of challenges and constraints in relation to modern plant protection in different systems. Different protection strategies will be set in relation to the 17 UN’s sustainability goals.

A maximum of 30 students will be admitted with priority for SLU, Protecta and ELLS-associated students.

Organisers: LTV-faculty SLU Alnarp, MSC-ITN PROTECTA, and ELLS

If you have any questions please email

8. Introductory eDNA methods course in Lund

Welcome to this upcoming GENECO / ClimBEco PhD course! The course will take place  on 23rd – 25th March 2020 at Lund university. The Application deadline is March 13th, 2020

To apply, please fill out this form

9. Science says! Mobilizing the knowledge of our time: The IPCC and IPBES reports

Take the opportunity to join the opten parts of the conference “Science says!”. The conference aims to mobilize how science can connect and strengthen synergies between the intergovernmental panels’ coming reports (IPCC and IPBES), and to find common solutions and ways forward between science and society to the largest challenges of our time.

It will be a place for science and society/stakeholders to meet, discuss and exchange expertise on common issues regarding Biodiversity and Ecosystem services, Climate change and Land, Ocean and Cryosphere in a changing climate – taking the IPBES and IPCC reports as point of departure. During the two days, we will take part in focused seminars and workshops, meet new contacts, mingle and exchange project ideas and results, as well as attending plenary presentations from researchers engaged in the work behind the reports.

Confirmed invited speakers:
Josef Settele (IPBES, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research)
Thorsten Mauritsen (MISU)

Find more information on the continuously updated conference homepage here

10. Breeding assistant  position in Sugar Beet [in Swedish]

MariboHilleshög har mer än en 100-årig historia av att bedriva forskning och förädling av sockerbetssorter baserat i Sverige och Danmark. Landskrona är centrum för forsknings- och utvecklingsverksamheten i MariboHilleshög med cirka 80 anställda och går under namnet MariboHilleshög Research AB.


Vi söker nu en förädlings assistent Sugar Beet till vår R&D-avdelning med placering i Landskrona. Här söker vi en biolog/agronom eller liknande där vederbörande kommer att arbeta i nära samarbete med övriga förädlare, rollen kommer att innebära administrativa delar samt att även ta del inom de praktiska momenten inom växtförädling. I rollen kommer du ge support till förädlingsprogrammen  inom ditt område samt att tillsammans med projektledande förädlare bedöma och analysera försöksresultat.

Kvalifikationer och kompetens
Du som söker besitter kompetens inom plantfysiologi och har en god förståelse för genetik samt markörteknologi gärna inom förädling.  Då det ingår att hantera stora dataset är erfarenhet av datoranvändade ett krav. Agronom- och/eller Biologexamen eller liknande är meriterande.

Goda kunskaper i svenska och engelska ser vi som en förutsättning för att du ska vara kompatibel för tjänsten.Omfattning och tillträdesdag: Heltid med tillträde efter överenskommelse

Sista ansökningsdag:  2020-07-01

För frågor kontakta forskningschef Joakim Herrström på telefonnummer 0418-43 72 06. För frågor kring själva rekryteringsprocessen kontakta Jean Lundin på Human Resources. Ansökan med CV och personligt brev skickar du till Vi tillämpar löpande urval, så ansök så snart du har möjlighet.

11. Open postdoc position in CRISPr in Barley

The position is associated with our new crop redomestication center and there are unique opportunities for the postdoc to interact and learn from colleagues working on crops biotech and genetics. Potential candidates can read more here:

12. Two year postdoctorial position in evolutionary biology at SLU Alnarp, Sweden – plant interactions with antagonists and the root microbiome 

We seek a motivated postdoctoral researcher who will work on a new project investigating selection of plant defence against antagonists in wild Solanum in relation to the composition of the root microbiome in different habitats. An exciting new development in studies of plant and animal immunity indicates that microbial composition in the animal gut, or the phylo- or rhizosphere of plants, is a strong contributing factor to good health. It has been suggested that microorganisms present on plants may act as an outer, first layer of immune defence against infection by pathogenic microbes. To gain a more general understanding of evolution of plant health, we need to conduct studies in natural populations taking into account selective forces generated by microbial communities and their interactions with plants.

The project also has important applied aspects for future development of sustainable plant protection strategies. The project will be performed in close connection with integrated plant protection in cultivated potato against the important potato diseases early and late blight.

Closing date 2nd of April, 2020.

For more information, see

13. PhD position root biomes in Amsterdam

The position is part of a consortium grant from the Dutch government to study the Evolution of the Root Microbiome across 100 plant species.

The PhD student will be part of an international team studying the impact of the evolution on the root microbiome. The work is multi-disciplinary, and will combine techniques from comparative phylogenetics, experimental manipulations,

bioinformatics, machine learning and statistics.

Follow this link to apply:

14. UN International Year of Plant health – updates

The United Nations has declared 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH). During this year PlantLink will raise awareness on how plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, and protect the environment.  

As part of this year PlantLink will dedicate its annual meeting 14 October to plant health. In addition, a online seminar on biologicals will be given in May together with CABI Nairobi. More information will come about these and other upcoming plant health related events. 

This summer a MSc/PhD course “Plant Protection Biology to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals”, August 3 – 14 2020, Pieve Tesino, Italy, will have a IYPH theme!

For more information please see SLU Plant Protection Platform’s agenda.