SLU news

SLU Forest Damage Centre news

Published: 18 January 2022

The SLU Forest Damage Centre continues to take shape. From 2022, Katja Fedrowitz, coordinator and Annika Mossing, communicator, will be on site. The director Jonas Rönnberg answers some questions.

If I am a researcher and have questions about the SLU Forest Damage Centre - what can I do?

We have contact persons at several departments at SLU who are updated on the plans for the SLU Forest Damage Centre. If there are more precise questions, it is good to contact one of us in the management team. If it is about the graduate school that is planned to start, it is Åke Olson who is responsible. Wiebke Neumann Sivertsson can answer your questions around monitoring of forest damages and pests. We will try to keep everyone informed internally, for example through the forest faculty's internal newsletter.

Is there money to apply for?

We will soon come out with a call for research funds, so keep your eyes open. The call will be about both continuation projects and new projects. The information will be visible on SLU's web, but it will also be sent out with the forest faculty's newsletter and via SLU's Plant Protection Network.

Will there be possibilities for PhD students?

PhD students will have the possibility to apply for the new research school, which will also include externally funded doctoral students. But it will still take a while before we can launch the research school.

The SLU Forest Damage Centre gathers several different subject areas under the same organizational roof - why is this happening right now?

Climate change and globalization are two forces that have made the issue of forest damage increasingly relevant over the past ten years. Researchers have been aware of the growing problems for quite some time and even in the forest industry, there has been a need to gather and strengthen the capacity to deal with forest damage. It is not possible to look at these problems one by one as everything is connected and you have to take the whole into account. The task of the SLU Forest Damage Center is to prevent and monitor forest damage by developing new knowledge and making visible what is happening in the forest.

What is the biggest challenge in starting a brand new organization within SLU?

There is no ready-made model, but we must create all processes from scratch and these must be transparent, reasonable and understandable. It takes time, but we are constantly moving forward.

What exactly is forest damage?

The SLU Forest Damage Centre addresses biotic and abiotic forest damages, i.e. damage caused by wild animals, insects, fungi, viruses, bacteria and other living things, but also damages caused by fire, storm, drought and other abiotic factors.

In short - tis is happening right now

  • The process of recruiting analysts that will work for the centre is ongoing. The positions are expected to be filled in spring.
  • A new steering group is being appointed. It will consist of four internal and three external members. The internal representatives have already been appointed, namely Göran Ericsson (Dean Faculty of Forest Sciences), Pernilla Christensen, Anna Lundhagen and Torleif Härd (Dean Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences). The three external members are not yet ready, but it is clear that the Swedish Forest Agency, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and Skogforsk will be represented.
  • During last autumn, the management team for the SLU Forest Damage Centre worked hard to get the decision-making processes for activities within monitoring of forest damages and for the graduate school in place so that the activities are transparent and objective. Decisions for activities during 2022 and onwards will be made soon.


Contact persons

  • Anke Fischer, Department of Urban and Rural Development
  • Charlotta Erefur, Unit for Field-based Forest Research
  • Daniel Gräns, School for Forest Management
  • Francisco X Aguilar Cabezas, Department of Forest Economics
  • Fredrik Widemo, Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
  • Gustaf Egnell, Department of Forest Ecology and Management
  • Holger Dettki, Swedish Species Information Centre
  • Jeannette Eggers, Department of Forest Resource Management
  • Johan Stendahl, Department of Soil and Environment
  • Maartje Klapwijk, Department of Ecology
  • Malin Elfstrand, Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology
  • Mattias Larsson, Department of Plant Protection Biology
  • Michelle Cleary, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre
  • Tomas Nordfjell, Department of Forest Biomaterials and Technology
  • Vaughan Hurry, Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology