Networks on plant protection and breeding help shaping One SLU

Last changed: 22 March 2023

Grouping SLU researchers in a common field in networks has proven to be an effective way of strengthening SLU’s profile and improving dialogue between stakeholders and researchers. At SLU, 200 to 300 researchers work with plant protection or breeding. They connect with each other and stakeholders or other researchers internationally in the SLU Plant Protection Network and the SLU Breeding Network.

Plant protection and breeding research at SLU is geographically spread among SLU campuses and researchers work in 15 to 20 departments and centres across three and four faculties, respectively. This poses the challenge of how to connect researchers at SLU, build synergies and enable easy access to plant protection or breeding research at SLU.

– The two cross-faculty networks SLU Plant Protection Network and SLU Breeding Network were started in 2014 and have since then become important contact areas for researchers in these fields, says Katja Fedrowitz, who is the coordinator for the SLU Plant Protection Network and has been coordinating the SLU Breeding Network until last year.

Improving dialogue on plant protection and breeding in society

The SLU Plant Protection Network and the SLU Breeding Network have both built identity and improved visibility of plant protection and breeding research at SLU. The networks provide SLU researchers in these fields with a forum to exchange ideas, to get to know each other as well as some of the stakeholders, to get continuously informed on activities in the field, and engage in collaborations across faculties and campuses as well as internationally.

– These networks have been effective in strengthening SLU’s profile by creating strong networks, says Anneli Adler, coordinator for the SLU Breeding Network.

While the SLU Plant Protection Network has improved the dialogue between stakeholders and researchers, focus for the SLU Breeding Network has been more on international collaborations.

The networks organise cross-faculty lunch seminars, workshops and symposia, information spreading, events to get to know our stakeholders better, cross-faculty seed money projects, travel support to courses at other campuses, cross-faculty PhD student courses, support for attending conferences or alternative professional development opportunities, as well as international collaboration activities.

The SLU Plant Protection Network has a Twitter account, thereby helping researchers in this field to become more visible. Both networks are also acting as umbrella for spreading plant protection or breeding related news from SLU.

– We work together with other centres and networks at SLU such as SLU Global, SLU Future Food and the SLU Forest Damage Centre to create even more synergies, says Katja.

Become part of the network!

Everyone can be part of these networks! Members exchange activities, news, calls, courses, positions and more in an SLU internal email group. A regular newsletter, sent to both SLU researchers and stakeholders, summarizes research news from SLU as well as events and activities.

– While the budget for both networks is relatively small, none of the above activities would be possible without the financial support from the faculties, as there is no membership fee or other form of money that is being generated, says Anneli.

Text and illustrations: Cajsa Lithell

To Vårt SLU


­The networks aim to promote and stimulate collaboration between researchers at SLU's different campuses, faculties and departments, strengthen SLU's profile towards the outside world and increase the interaction between research and education.

Both networks are led by a committee, consisting of two members from each of the involved faculties. The chairs of the networks are Anneli Lundkvist (SLU Plant Protection Network) and Rodomiro Ortiz (SLU Breeding Network).

SLU Breeding Network

Breeding of crops, trees or animals is seen in a broad sense and includes cultivar development, tree breeding, livestock breeding, phenotyping, development of genetic resources, domestication, technology development and/or studies of specific mechanisms. This leading network with worldwide partnerships is a continuation of the former SLU Platform Plant Breeding, and now also includes animal breeding. Read more about the SLU Breeding Network.

SLU Plant Protection Network

SLU is leading in the field of plant protection, and dominates the Swedish research, outreach and education with more than 200 researchers. This is about 10% of all researchers at SLU. Plant protection researchers interact actively with stakeholders in agriculture, horticulture and forestry.

Plant protection is about protecting plants from diseases, pests, weather damage, weeds and invasive species. The subject area is of great economic importance for the agricultural, horticultural and forestry sectors. Plant protection includes plant health and research on measures that combat and prevent pests from spreading, as well as research on ecosystem services. This network is a continuation of the former SLU Platform Plant Protection. Read more about the SLU Plant Protection Network.

Find the latest publications from SLU in plant protection here.

See a film on SLU’s research on plant protection