The development and use of novel plant protection strategies against insect pests is steadily increasing as the use of chemical pesticides decreases in favor of more sustainable modern forestry practices. Novel findings in our research group, such as conifers treated in different ways are better protected against pests (intrinsic factor) and that increased diversity in forests may increase the natural biocontrol of pest insects (extrinsic factor), will be a natural starting point for this project. These plant protection strategies provide opportunities to utilize plant properties in new ways to our advantage, and to manipulate extrinsic factors to improve forest protection. In this project, we intend to quantify the relative importance of intrinsic and extrinsic factors on plant damage inflicted by insect pests, and investigate how intrinsic and extrinsic factors may interact to increase plant protection in future forests.
I have studied biology focusing on conservation biology and did my magister thesis in ecotoxicology at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, where I studied the toxicity of a novel insecticide on springtails (Folsomia candida). I have a Master by Research degree from Mid Sweden University in Sundsvall, where in my master's thesis, through a collaboration with the John Innes Center in Norwich, I studied flowering genes and climate adaptations of different genotypes of thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana). After my studies, I have worked as a research assistant at the Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment at SLU in Uppsala, within environmental monitoring of chemical pesticides in water.
Jo Hepworth, Rea L. Antoniou-Kourounioti, Rebecca Bloomer, Catja Selga, Kristina Berggren, Deborah Cox, Barley R. Collier Harris, Judith Irwin, Svante Holm, Torbjörn Säll, Martin Howard, Caroline Dean (2018) Absence of warmth permits epigenetic memory of winter in Arabidopsis. Nature Communications 9, 639. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03065-7
Vesna Lavtizar, Kristina Berggren, Polonca Trebse, Michiel H.S. Kraak, Rudo A. Verweij, Cornelis A.M. van Gestel (2016) Comparative ecotoxicity of chlorantraniliprole to non-target soil invertebrates. Chemosphere 159, 473-479. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2016.06.036