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Andis Zvirgzdins

Andis Zvirgzdins
“To be a scientist is to be naive. We are so focused on our search for truth, we fail to consider how few actually want us to find it. But it is always there, whether we see it or not, whether we want it or not.” /Jared Harris as Valery Legasov/

Presentation

Since 2020, I am working as a PhD student in silviculture. 

The focus of my PhD studies is on establishment and management of planted and genetically improved birch in Sweden. Why this topic? Due to changing climate and potential risks associated with the species that currently dominate the forest landscape in Sweden (e.g. Norway spruce & Scots pine), there is a need to re-evaluate our silvicultural practices and think of alternative ways of producing timber. Birch is one of the best alternatives in those terms. Still, knowledge about silviculture and management, including early management of birch is insufficient, therefore more research is needed.

Of course, for this species to be a viable alternative in terms of timber production, there is a need for a functioning industry, but there cannot be a well-functioning industry without forest owners planting birch. This is also a result of birch being considered as an undesirable species due to low quality, but as the results of genetic trials have shown that genetically improved birch can deliver fascinating results both in terms of quality and production, which is why the research on the “future birch” is so necessary and important.

Supervisors: Prof., Dr Urban Nilsson, Dr Karin Hjelm, Dr Mateusz Liziniewicz.

In addition to that, since 2019 I am a coordinating the Euroforester network and MSc programme which has been the cornerstone of education at the department of Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre since 2006. As a graduate myself, I find Eurforester MSc programmes as one of the best forestry MSc programmes in Europe, which is an accomplishment of many who have contributed towards it. Needless to say, when you become a Euroforester, you do not just open doors for new education, but you become a part of a vast an amazing network, which can offer you plenty of opportunities.

Teaching

Since 2020, I am assisting in teaching on the first course of the Euroforester 1st year´s package – Sustainable Forestry in Southern Sweden, mainly in R sessions, during which the students learn how to analyse data using basic level statistics using R,  a programming language for statistical computing and graphics.

I am also marginally involved in the 2nd course of the Euroforester 1st year´s package – Planning in Sustainable Forest Management - Theory, Methods and Tools, mainly working with student supervision for the tactical management plans.

Research

Research topics and projects that I am involved in:

·       Silviculture and management of planted and genetically involved Silver birch in southern and central Sweden

·       Productivity of Scots pine and Norway spruce in southern and central Sweden

 

Background

Education:

Master of Forest Science: M.Sc., Euroforester MSc programme, 2019, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU).

Bachelor in Forest engineering: B.Sc., Forest engineering, 2017, Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies (LULST), Jelgava, Latvia.

Studies and internship in University of Eastern Finland (UEF), Faculty of Science and Forestry, 2015-2016, during the Bachelor in Forest engineering.

Supervision

Supervision of MSc thesis:

Currently active: Mari Tuvikene. Growth and long-term production of Silver birch and Hybrid aspen in southern Sweden.