PlantLink News May 2024

With 23 items on the list, our newsletter is jam-packed with new courses, seminars and lectures, various events and intriguing interviews. Please forward it to anyone who would benefit from this knowledge! Click here for the subscription link!

1) Register for PlantLink Day – December 5, Lund

What are the future directions for plant science and entrepreneurship in the Greater Copenhagen Region? Can we use our prior experiences to uncover repeating patterns that will guide us forward? The preliminary theme for this year’s PlantLink Day is “Bridging the Past and Future of Plant Science”. The program is still under development; however, you can already now look forward to hearing about our plant and agricultural past from paleobotany experts Vivi Vajda (Naturhistoriska riksmuseet) and Karl Ljung (Lund University).  Join us on December 5 in Lund, preliminary time is 12:00-17:00!

More information and registration

2) Celebrate Fascination of Plants Day 2024 and join SASUF Research and Innovation Week! – 13-17 May

18 May is the 6th Fascination of Plants Day, and PlantLink has been there since the beginning! Please find events worldwide here, and remember to spread the word and participate!

In Skåne, we celebrate the Fascination of Plants Day during the SASUF (South Africa Sweden University Forum) Research and Innovation Week brings together researchers, teachers, students, and many more from all the 40 SASUF partner universities. The Research and Innovation Week consists of two days filled with Satellite Events across Sweden, followed by a three day Sustainability Forum,  which this year is hosted jointly by Lund University, Malmö University and SLU Alnarp. We expect over 400 delegates to come to The Satellite Events, which are organised across Sweden in a present, hybrid and online form. More information and sign up for satellite events!

Also, join us for the workshop seminars:

Click here to learn more about plant science topics in Southern Sweden.

3) Register for the kick-off of Nordic-Baltic Plant Phenotyping Network NBPPN – 22 May

NKJ-funded Nordic-Baltic Plant Phenotyping Network (NBPPN) online kick-off is coming up on the morning of 22 May! This is a continuation of the NPPN and PlantLink-initiative NordPlant, funded by NKJ. We are happy that more than 15 Baltic-Nordic universities and company partners have already joined; it is open for more!

More information and registration 

4) Join Flower Power! in Lund’s Botanical Garden – 25 May

Welcome to a day when the power of plants will be explored! The day will be filled with plant exhibitions and installations, guided tours, BioBlitz and much more! There is no need to register. The programme will take place on May 25th from 11:00 to 15:00 in Lund’s Botanical Garden. This event is also part of Fascination of Plants Day!

More information here and here

5) 5th AAB PlantEd Congress: Agricultural Biotechnology in the Era of Genome Editing – 29-31 October, Turkey

More regions across the globe are allowing for the use of new breeding technologies to generate new crop variants. This is especially noticeable in Europe, where there are political moves toward accepting the use of this technology. This event brings together technology and policy experts to explore how advances in agricultural biotechnology will proceed in the age of genome editing. This is the 5th Congress associated with the ‘PlantEd: Genome Editing in Plants’ project.

The abstract submission deadline for oral presentations is July 15th, and the 15th of August for poster presentations!

More information and registration

6) NordGen Day 2024 – 14 June, Alnarp

NordGen’s headquarters in Alnarp is inviting anyone for a day dedicated to genetic resources, research and Nordic cooperation! The NordGen Day will include presentations, tours of laboratories, greenhouse and garden as well as bus trips to field cultivations in the area. NordGen’s staff will also be on-site to provide information about their work, research projects, and other current activities. The program will run from 10:00 to 14:30 on the 14th of June and include coffee/tea and a light lunch.

More information and registration

7) PlantLink joins Borgeby Fältdagar; come along! – 26-27 June

Borgeby Fältdagar attracts visitors from throughout northern Europe for combination of demonstration crops, exhibitors and experts, practical demonstrations of machinery and seminars. This year’s topic is “Framtidens lantbruk”. Borgeby Fältdagar is a place for those with farming as their main interest and occupation, and it is a true trade show – in the field! SLU will not be missing.

Join PlantLink’s panel discussion on the 26th of June, 14:00-14:30. We hope to see you there!

More information

8) Join Agroecology Day 2024 – 15 May, Alnarp

Are you interested in the food systems transformation? Agroecology Day is an annual day of learning, inspiration, connection, and food, brought to life by the students of the agroecology master’s program at SLU. Join us on the 15th of May, 10-15, at SLU campus Alnarp!

The registration form will close on 5 May! The first 100 registrations receive free fika and lunch

More information and sign up!

9) SLU Grogrund annual report and workshop on methodology in plant breeding

SLU Grogrund will run a workshop on May 28, approx. 10:00 am – 3:00 pm with a focus on the latest methodology for use in plant breeding such as gene editing, high-throughput phenotyping and genomics. The workshop will be open for everyone. The idea is to gather actors from both industry and research to shed light on the area from different perspectives and discuss future needs for collaboration and research. The workshop will take place in Botildenborg in Malmö.

More information

Are you interested in SLU Grogrund activities? Read the 2023 report! (Swedish only)

10) Join Biosolutions seminar series: Bioenergy – 23 May, Copenhagen

Biosolutions is a multidisciplinary approach that seeks to solve complex problems and promote sustainable and efficient agriculture, industrial, food, and ingredient productions by leveraging biological processes or bio-based components. The seminar series, organised by Green Solutions Center, is free of charge and open to everyone!
In this lunch seminar, the technical, ethical, economic, and political dilemmas surrounding “bioenergy” will be discussed under the guidance of researchers from across faculties at the University of Copenhagen.

More information and registration

11) Save the date! Professor Kazuhiro Sato at SLU on 30 August

Professor Kazuhiro Sato proceeds eminent Japanese scientific tradition of research on the domestication and genetic diversity of cereals. Among others, Professor Sato has built up and preserved one of the largest and most diverse barley collections in the world. During his visit to Sweden, Professor Sato will visit several plant research institutions, including SLU and Lund University. PlantLink is pleased to support this event!

Join his lecture and other talks on the 30th of August from 14:00 to 16:00 at SLU Alnarp, Crafoord Hall.

12) NewClim: Answer the survey on teaching and learning about climate change

Help with data collection related to teaching and learning about climate change! The survey will take 5-10 minutes of your valuable time:

Teaching about climate change (for teachers)
Learning about climate change (for students)

13) ADVALUE web pages – learn about the project goals!

Advancing Sustainable Agricultural Value Chains through Strengthening Transdisciplinary Skills and Cooperation in East African Doctoral Education – ‘ADVALUE’ addresses the need for qualified doctorates and future academic professionals in agricultural sciences. How?

Read more about the project, its partners, and the teaching modules that will be created!

14) Call to support conference attendance and interview with Åsa Grimberg

SLU Breeding Network released a call to support attendance at conferences related to breeding. The call helps the applicants cover the fees associated with active participation in academic conferences related to their study or work at SLU. More information

Learn more about the Network’s Committee members, starting with the interview with Åsa Grimberg!

15) ELLS has expanded its network; welcome Tuscia and Lleida universities!

Euroleague for Life Sciences (ELLS) expands its’ connections in South Europe, bringing on board the University of Tuscia (UNITUS) and the University of Lleida (UDL). The network now comprises 12 European member universities and two non-European partner universities.

Read more

16) Call for proposals: SIANI expert groups – 19 May

The Swedish International Agricultural Network Initiative (SIANI) is announcing a call for new expert groups 2024-25! If you are a cross-sector team planning a project to transform food systems, you may be eligible for funding as a SIANI expert group.

Submit your application by 19 May!

Are you curious about SIANI’s current expert groups? Read more here! SLU coordinates one of the groups and contributes to two of the four groups!

17) CPSC conference: Translational agriculture – from model plants to crops – 21-23 August

Some of society’s most pressing questions revolve around how we can maintain food production and plant growth in the context of climate change. To address this, the Copenhagen Plant Science Center (CPSC) hosts a conference that targets crop resilience and yield stability by bridging fundamental and translational plant research with the agrifood industry.

Deadline for registration: 1st of August
More information and registration

18) 30th SPPS conference – 27-29 August, Copenhagen

The 30th SPPS Conference will be held in Copenhagen on 27-29th of August. The conference will be held at the Copenhagen Plant Science Centre. Apart from renowned speakers and SPPS prize winners, many young researchers will present their work. Do not miss the chance to meet new colleagues and talk to experienced researchers! A limited number of travel grants are available to PhD students who actively participate in the conference.

More information and registration

19) PhD and MSc courses

ELLS MSc/PhD course: Ecological and evolutionary plant breeding for sustainability – Concepts of Darwinian Agriculture – 15 – 21 July 2024, Institut Agro Montpellier
The summer school is an introduction into the key concepts, theories, and cutting-edge techniques in Darwinian Agriculture and plant breeding, and its potential applications in contemporary agricultural practices. It delves into the domain of agroecology, outlining its fundamental concepts, and highlighting the intricate interrelationship between ecology and genetics.  Key concepts introduced in the course are plant ideotypes and social traits. It will provide insights into phenomena such as shadowing avoidance, kin recognition, and discrimination in plants, along with exploration of theories and examples of individual and group selection.

The capacity is 30 participants with a priority given to ELLS Universities! Application deadline: 30 April
More information and registration

PhD course: Analytical methods in chemical ecology – 10 June – 20 June, SLU Alnarp 
The course contains a combination of online training, lectures, workshops, practical exercises and literature seminars. 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. Modern identification methods in chemical ecology, including HR-GC/MS and MS/MS will be covered. Although the course is targeting SLU PhD students who will work with chemical analysis and GC-MS in particular, even MSc students, postdocs and external students are welcome if there are empty seats. The number of participants is limited, 8-12 students, to ensure a truly hands-on experience with a lot of practical exercises!
The course will be given from 10 June – 20 June in Vegetum, SLU Alnarp, with a compulsory introduction on Zoom ca two weeks in advance.
 Register your interest by emailing Björn Bohman at the latest on 10 May! Do not hesitate to contact Björn directly if you have any questions.

PhD course: Biometrical methods for analyzing breeding trial data in the omics era; 30 Sept.–4 Oct.; SLU Alnarp
The objective of the course is to provide basic biometrical and quantitative genetic concepts to be applied in designing and analyzing data from field trials, particularly elite germplasm and cultivar testing; to show practical results on multi-environment trials across sites and over years (or seasons) in different breeding contexts; to learn the quantitative genetic basis of genomic prediction in breeding and to understand statistical models for genomic prediction and their use in breeding. The target groups are post-graduate students and professionals doing field research in plant breeding, particularly those working on the analysis of controlling the inheritance of complex traits.

For more information and registration, please contact the course leader Rodomiro Ortiz and cc Marwan Alamrani.
Deadline for application: May 31

20) Open positions

SLU Alnarp
Postdoc position in SIGS for weed control
More information

Postdoc position in silviculture
More information

Doctoral position in horticultural science
More information

PhD in Plant Breeding
More information
Lund University
Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science with a specialisation in GIS and Remote Sensing
More information

Post-doctoral fellow in modelling soil carbon cycling dynamics
More information

Doctoral student in Biology
More information

21) PhD thesis defence 

Johanna Osterman, Dept. of Plant Breeding, SLU: Advancing red clover breeding through genomic selection methods26 April9:00 Crafoord Hall, SLU or online Passcode: 707931; Opponent: Professor Leif Skøt, Aberystwyth University, Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, UK

The thesis is digitally nailed at Advancing red clover breeding through genomic selection methods (
Planned defences:
Lan Yuzhou, Dpt of Plant Breeding, SLU, will defend on May 31st at 13.00 in Crafoord Hall.

Martin Friberg, Dpt of Plant Breeding, SLU, will defend on June 14th at 9.00 in Crafoord Hall.

22) Story of Success – Amapola Bageri

The Story of Success highlights innovative regional companies in Plant and Food science which are bridging the gap between research and industry. In this interview, Tomás Castro, the founder and baker at Amapola and an MSc student at SLU Alnarp, explains an innovative, organic micro-bakery that utilises local Skåne products. What ingredients does Amapola employ, and where can you buy their wonderful products? What prompted the bakery’s creation?
Read the interview!

23) Researcher in the spotlight – Konstantinos Papoutsis

Kostas Papoutsis is an Associate Senior Lecturer and a new member of the Department of Plant Breeding, SLU Alnarp. His research focuses on developing sustainable, environmentally and human-friendly postharvest treatments, prolonging the commercial and nutritional quality of fruits and vegetables.
Read more in the interview!