PlantLink Newsletter May

Photo: Lars Pettersson

Spring has rocketed along and we can enjoy flowers in all shapes and colours, in fields, gardens, urban settings and the countryside. Many activities that were previously uncertain are now been rescheduled or will be held in a digital format. Find new dates and updates in this Newsletter!

  1. Plant networks and organisations in Southern Sweden
  2. PlantLInk day 14 October
  3. NordPlant Annual Day 4-6 November
  4. Biologicals online seminar 19 May
  5. ESCAPADe database available!
  6. Nova course postponed to 2021
  7. MSc “Plant protection biology” course moves online
  8. Oilseed project Alnarp
  9. Apply for ELLS course!
  10. LU Food Faculty
  11. Grogrund Annual report (In Swedish)
  12. Outdoor plant activities (In Swedish)
  13. The Phenocave established at SLU Alnarp
  14. Researcher in the Spotlight Sofia Marmon!

1. Plant networks and organisations in Southern Sweden

After the network-to-network meeting the 13th of March, online, in Alnarp and in Lund have posted a blog post. You can find  an overview of the plant-related networks and organisations at the PlantLink homepage here. This document contains the objective and activities of no less than 24 different networks and organisations. Many thanks for all the help with input for this document. We hope that this initiative will improve collaboration between plant networks and initiatives in the region and are hoping to make a follow-up linked to the PlantLink day on 14 October in Lund.

2. PlantLink day 14 OCTOBER

Remember to sign up for the next PlantLink Day 14 October in Lund with 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 here 

3. NordPlant Annual Day 4-6 November

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 and registration here

4. Biologicals online seminar “Healthier plants with the help of Biologicals?” 19 May

 Let’s go online! 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), Dr Lerato Matsaunyane (ARC South Africa). Professor Jean Yong (SLU) and Dr Ivan Rwomushana (CABI). Host: Erik Alexandersson (SLU). This event will be broadcasted live on SLU’s homepage. Read more about this event here.

5. ESCAPADe database for plant MSc education in Europe now available

Excellent new resource for Plant biology related MSc education in Europe – the ESCAPAdE database. Read more about it here

6. NOVA course moved to 2021

 The NOVA PhD course “High Throughput Field Phenotyping” which was to be given 22-26 June in Norway is postponed because of the Covid-19 outbreak to 2021. Read more about this decision on NordPlant’s homepage here

7. MSc “Plant protection biology” course moves online

MSc/PhD-course “Plant Protection Biology to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals”, August 3 – 14 2020, MOVED TO ALNARP SWEDEN and ONLINE

Due to the outbreak of Covid19 we have to move this course from Pieve Tesino, Italy, to SLU Alnarp and online! Lectures and exercises will be done online as well as physically at SLU Alnarp. Read more and register your interest here.

8. Oilseed MSc project Alnarp

Want to contribute to the domestication of a novel oilseed crop?

Meeting the growing demand for vegetable oils for industrial applications requires the development of more efficient oilseed crops. Field cress (Lepidium campestre) has been targeted for domestication because it holds high agronomic promise as a biennial/perennial oilseed crop as it has many good characteristics of a high-yielding winter-hardy crop.

Project start in September 2020 at the Department of Plant Breeding, SLU Alnarp. Find the announcement here. Please contact supervisors Cecilia Gustafsson ( or Mariette Andersson ( for more information. Learn more about the domestication of field cress (in Swedish): Framtidens gröna energi kan odlas i Norrland

9. Apply to ELLS course!

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 information is found here.

10. LU Food Faculty

The LU Food Faculty organized an open brainstorm meeting about Formas recent call “Centers for sustainable and competitive food-systems” on 22/4. If you missed the brainstorming but are interested in the Formas call ( you could still send an email to Malin Göransson (

Deadline for the Formas call is 3 Sep 2020.

11. Grogrund annual report

The first annual report for the Grogrund Nordic Breeding centre is out! SLU Grogrund is tasked with bringing together academia and business and developing competence to secure access to plant varieties for sustainable and competitive agricultural and horticultural production throughout Sweden. You can find the report here

12. Outdoor Plant activities – plants to look for!

Now that many indoor events are cancelled due to Covid19, outdoor activities are trending. In order to communicate fun facts about plants, Lund University has produced a short film on plant blindness and edible and other wild plants if you want to activate yourself, kids, or just want to spread some plant knowledge! Read the article with 10 plant examples found in nature just around the corner here.

13. The Phenocave established at SLU Alnarp

Automated plant phenotyping in precise environments is key to monitor the effects on crops in a changing climate. Therefore, an affordable and high precision automated phenotyping system, the Phenocave, is currently being developed at SLU Alnarp for visible and multispectral imaging of plants. Phenocave is custom built for the Biotron in SLU Alnarp – a climate controlled plant growth facility. Read more here.

14. Researcher in the Spotlight  – welcome new PlantLink coordinator Sofia Marmon!

We are very pleased to announce that Sofia Marmon will start as our a new PlantLinkcoordinator in June. She is currently pursuing post doc at the Chemistry Center, LU, and has previous experience working in the Department of Plant Breeding at SLU Alnarp. We welcome Sofia and are confident that this will help develop our communication with researchers at different levels in their careers. Read the interview with Sofia here.