PlantLink Newsletter April

There’s no place like home – a saying with a new meaning in these times of Covid-19. In this newsletter, we  list interesting initiatives in the region. One large post is activities that are postponed or changed to go online, so scroll through the newsletter to keep updated.  At the end of the newsletter you can find updates on how LU and SLU Alnarp help out during Covid-19. We at PlantLink wish you all the best, stay safe!

  1. PlantLink Day 14 October
  2. Open strategic network meeting 13 March
  3. New PlantLink Coordinator!
  4. Questionnaire EC study on new genomic techniques
  5. Next annual day for NordPlant 4-6 November
  6. PhD-course Accelerating plant breeding moves online
  7. Scandinavian Plant Physiology Society PhD Student Conference
  8. Nova PHD course 22-26 June on hold
  9. ELLS course application for MSc-students
  10. ESCAPADe course search tool
  11. Science says goes online 23-24 April
  12. Fascination of Plants Day seminar 19 May
  13. SASUF event moved to 23-27 November
  14. Pufendorf Theme on Invasive Alien Plants
  15. LU and SLU Alnarp initiatives in times of Covid-19

1. PlantLink Day 14 October

This year the PlantLink day in Lund will have the theme Plant Health. Confirmed speakers are Jack Vossen (WUR), Aruppillai Suthaparan (NMBU), Anna Runemark (LU), Louise Holmquist (MariboHilleshög) and Aakash Chawade (SLU). More to come! We will also have a theme on Plant Health and education. Sign up for the PlantLink day here.

2. Open Strategic network meeting

After a bit of corona-rearrangements we had a successful network-to-network meeting the 13th of March, online, in Alnarp and in Lund. We are very thankful for the close to 40 persons who were able to attend and contribute. We hope that this initiative will improve collaboration between plant networks and initiatives in the region. Read more about the day here

3. New PlantLink Coordinator!

We are pleased to announce that PlantLink has hired a new coordinator, who will start in May/June. We look forward to work with our new colleague, who will work 50% for PlantLink and who will work with ongoing PlantLink work as well as new initiatives. We will present the new coordinator in one of the upcoming newsletter this spring.

4. Questionnaire EC study on new genomic techniques

The European Council has requested the EU Commission to submit, by 30 April 2021, “a study in light of the Court of Justice’s judgment in Case C-528/16 regarding the status of novel genomic techniques under Union law” (i.e. Directive 2001/18/EC, Regulation (EC) 1829/2003, Regulation (EC) 1830/2003 and Directive 2009/41/EC).

To respond to this Council’s request, the Commission is collecting contributions from the stakeholders. The study covers all new genomic techniques that have been developed after 2001. Please contact Dennis Eriksson before the 15th of April ( to contribute to this collection with good examples.

5. The next annual day for NordPlant

Next annual day for NordPlant will take place in Tromsö, Norway, 4-6 November with the title “Plant phenotyping and modelling for improved resilience in changing climate”. This day will also feature 2 short workshops, one for facility managers of phenotyping and climate facilities as well one on joint data standards for phenotyping data. Confirmed speakers are Morten Lillemo (NMBU), Anna Maria Jönsson (LU) and Timo Hytönen (UHEL). More information to come and registration will open soon.

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

Because of covid-19, we are trying to bring the PhD course “Accelerating climate resilient plant breeding by applying –omics and artificial intelligence” online. The dates are still 20-24 April 2020. More information here

7. 11th Scandinavian Plant Physiology Society PhD Student Conference

PhD students! The 11th Scandinavian Plant Physiology Society PhD Student Conference will be held in Turku, Finland on the 2nd – 4th of September 2020!

We would greatly appreciate it if you could help us spread the word about our conference by distributing this email with the attached flyer to your network and following us on Twitter @sppsphd and Instagram @spps_phd.

With the theme, “From Basics to Bioeconomy”, the aim is to cover a broad range of topics from basic plant science to their applications in a more sustainable economy and bring together young scientists from the Nordic countries with the upcoming top names in the field. The sessions of the 11th SPPS PhD Student Conference will include photosynthesis, plant development, plants and their environment, agriculture and food, forestry and blue bioeconomy.

For more information about the program and the available travel grants, please visit

8. Nova course 22-26 June on hold

The NOVA course with NordPlant support “High Throughput Field Phenotyping” panned at NMBU 22-26 June is now put on covid-hold. However, more information whether it will take place or not will come here

9. ELLS course application for MSc-students

For MSc students in the region it is high time to apply for ELLS summer course “Digital Plant Breeding”, 2 August – 8 August 2020, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) – we hope that the course still will happen IRL. More info here

10. ESCAPADe course search tool

Please send this to your MSc-students:

Are you a MSc student and planning for a study period abroad?

Are you studying/interested in applied crop plant sciences, such as agronomy, breeding, crop protection?

This ESCAPAdE course search tool aims to help students in applied plant sciences who are planning their study abroad.  This search tool allows a one-shop stop to search for appropriate courses and training offers at all seven ESCAPAdE universities.

Have a look here:

Observe: this is still a trial version

Contact: Hermann Bürstmayr (

11. Science says goes online 23-24 April

The CEC arranges, in collaboration with BECC, MERGE, LU Land, Sustainability Forum, ClimBEco graduate school, Bioeconomy graduate school, HutSkåne, a conference to raise awareness and mobilize how science can connect and strengthen more synergies between the intergovernmental panels coming reports. Together, researchers, stakeholders, students and the public aim to find common solutions and ways forward between science and society to the largest challenges of our time.

Due to the situation, concerning the corona virus/covid-19 three sessions will instead be broadcasted via digital channels. The links to the digital sessions will be published at the conference webpage shortly. Find updated information here

12.  Fascination of Plants Day – Seminar on healthier plants 19 May

As part of the International Year of Plant Health and to celebrate fascination of plants day we are offering a short seminar online 19th of May broadcasted from the Crafoord Hall, SLU Alnarp: “Healthier plants with the help of Biologicals?” Invited speakers are Professor Laura Grenville-Briggs (SLU), Professor Jean Yong (SLU) and Dr Ivan Rwomushana (CABI). Host: Erik Alexandersson (SLU)

13.  SASUF event moved to 23-27 November

SASUF event moved to week of November 23-27 because of covid-19. This also means that our seminar “Remote sensing and multispectral imaging for plants and food stuff to meet UN’s Sustainable Development Goals” will likely take place in the afternoon of 24th of November instead of in May.

14. Pufendorf Theme on Invasive Alien Plants

A Pufendorf Theme with Plant Link-associated researchers Kristina Blennow, Johanna Alkan Olsson and Tina D’Hertefeldt will study the human aspect of Invasive Alien Plants, starting September 2020. The Theme is a product of the ongoing Pufendorf Advance Study Group Species and Alien Species (

15. LU and SLU Alnarp initiatives in times of Covid-19

We all follow the news about the ongoing pandemic – here are stories on initiatives taken by LU and SLU Alnarp to support society in these challenging times.

  • Leif Bülow, Professor in Chemistry and member of the PlantLink Board, has been in media since the Chemistry department helps produce hand sanitizer (SVT NyheterHelsingborgs Dagblad, Sydsvenskan, Sveriges Radio (cirka 01:08 minutes into the broadcast) and DN.)
  • 3D-printers are used in many departments, for example at the Department of Biology where holders for protective shields are produced
  • How SLU researchers tackle their new working reality and keeping plant research alive in Sydsvenskan [in Swedish]
  • Find more stories on how scientists help out in different ways during the Covid-19 crisis here