The plant science research at the department covers several areas, among them life processes, ecological interactions and the evolutionary history of plants. The research is based on laboratory work as well as field work, performed for example in Sweden, in areas with a Mediterranean climate, and in the tropics.

In Plant Physiology, the life processes of photosynthetic organisms are studied. The aim is to better understand how plants develop and function in changing environments. The research in Plant Physiology is focusing on many different organisms, from marine cyanobacteria and seagrasses to terrestrial plants such as mosses, actinorhizal plants, crop plants and the model plant Arabidopsis. The department's plant physiological research spans both theoretically and experimentally over many levels, such as cell and developmental biology, molecular biology, biochemistry (proteomics, metabolomics), genome analysis, evolution and ecophysiology.

At the Department, we also study plant diversity, phylogeny, and evolution (Plant Systematics). We seek explanations for species richness, character evolution and diversity distribution in time and space. Most studies are based on phylogenetic reconstructions using molecular data, but external characteristics (morphology) is also used. Plant systematists may further describe new species, and are engaged in classification of plants. Knowledge of species, species names and their phylogenetic relationships is an important prerequisite for studies in other disciplines of biology, including conservation biology and nature protection.

Research areas with contact people

Plant Physiology

Cell differentiation and coordination in plant tissues (Edouard Pesquet)

Heavy metal uptake and tolerance to plants, phytoremediation, arsenic speciation in soil-plant systems and silicon effects on heavy metal uptake and fiber production. (Maria Greger)

Plant defence against insects (Lisbeth Jonsson)

Production of a neurotoxin, BMAA in cyanobacteria and its accumulation in the food chain (Sara Rydberg)

Seagrass meadows – the function of the most productive ecosystems (Mats Björk)

Symbioses between mosses and nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria (Ulla Rasmussen)

Symbioses between vascular plants and nitrogen-fixing bacteria (Katharina Pawlowski)

Plant Systematics

Evolution of diversity (Aelys Humphreys)

Cold tolerance in plants (Aelys Humphreys)

Systematic studies of the Asteraceae (Per Ola Karis)

Evolution in the Gnetales (Catarina Rydin)

Evolution in lycopods (Catarina Rydin)

Phylogenetic and biogeographical studies of the Rubiaceae (Catarina Rydin)