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Ida Nordström

Ida Nordström
PhD Student in Forest Pathology, working on her thesis titled: Non-destructive and high-throughput detection of forest pests and pathogens using next-generation technologies.


I am a PhD candidate within the Forest Pathology research group at the Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre in Alnarp, SLU, since 2020. Main supervisor is associate professor and Forest Pathology expert Michelle Cleary, and the thesis will be constituted of several independent research projects, including:

  • VOCs detection of Fusarium circinatum, the causative agent behind the Pine Pitch Canker disease; a pathogen with substantial economic and societal implications for a variety of Pine species. Here, VOCs of Fusarium circinatum-infected seedlings of Pinus sylvestris, P. pinea and P. radiata were compared to mock-inoculated seedlings. The research results published in 2022 show that infected individuals are distinguishable from healthy ones only through quantitative VOCs emission differences found through VOCs analysis. In addition, we showed that closely related Fusarium spp. were distinguishable when grown in vitro, despite their genetic proximity and morphological resemblance. The project was conducted in collaboration with a Spanish forest pathology research group led by Julio Javier Diez Casero, University of Valladolid.
  • VOCs analysis for identification of Phytophthora spp. infection in Fagus sylvatica and Quercus robur, as well as in distinguishing closely related Phytophthora spp. grown in vitro. Manuscript to be submitted soon.
  • Illumina versus Nanopore sequencing: Comparing a next generation sequencing device, for potential in-field detection and identification of forest pathogens, to the established and benchmark Illumina sequencing method in terms of performance and precision. Forest pathogens commonly exhibit very similar tree symptoms and it can be difficult to determine the cause of the disease only by ocular inspection. With the help of next generation sequencing tools, we have the opportunity to develop methods enabling in-field identification of pathogens by DNA-extraction and subsequent sequencing which result can be matched against databases in real-time.




Teaching assistant for the distance cource "Diagnos, förebyggande och hantering av biotiska skogsskador" in 2022 and 2023, as well as lectures in other Forestry-related courses given by SLU.



The VOCs analysis project on Fusarium circinatum was done in collaboration with a spanish research group led by Julio Javier Díez Casero, Universidad de Valladolid. 


I started my career as a nurse and have a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Mid Sweden University. The craving for studies in the plant biology field however led me to a career change and a master’s degree in Bioresource Engineering at Umeå University. This degree generated a lot of skills and experience in plant biotechnology and chemistry, including gene editing techniques CRISPR-Cas9 and RNAi. In 2018 I conducted exchange studies in German, Biology and Global Environmental Governance at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. At CropTailor, in Lund, I developed high-throughput methods for the identification and quantification of polar lipids in oat as part of my master thesis project.


associate Professor Michelle Cleary

assistant Professor Patrick Sherwood

Professor Stephen Woodward


Selected publications

Utilizing volatile organic compounds for early detection of Fusarium circinatum,