Tag Archive for: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Plant scientist Rosario García-Gil received a "medal" for her contribution to science and collaborations. Photo by courtesy of Rosario Garcìa-Gil.

Bio4Energy Researcher Awarded Medal for ‘Exceptional Contribution’

Bio4Energy researcher Rosario García-Gil has been awarded a prize for “exemplary and exceptional contribution of lasting value” for her work as a plant scientist and a research leader at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) at Umeå, Sweden. It comes in the form of a gold medal.

“Right from the start Rosario García-Gil focused on research that can benefit the world around us. Much of it is about tree breeding for increased wood production. She also treats issues of ecology and sustainability. She has built a large number of collaborations to reach her goals”, according to a press release from the SLU.

Surprised but seemingly delighted, assistant professor García-Gil replied to an e-mail invitation from Bio4Energy Communications.

“This is… totally unexpected”, she wrote, “but you know, working with excellent people brings the best of you”.

Biologist García-Gil trained at the University of Valencia in Spain and served as a researcher at the University of Uleåborg, Finland; before taking up her role at SLU and Umeå Plant Science Centre in 2005.

Among research efforts with Bio4Energy, the co-coordination of two large projects stands out. Whereas one is a multinational project on the integration of UN Sustainable Development Goals in Forest Management, the other aims to integrate the concept of remote sensing in studies that draw on forest genetics. The aim of the latter is to adapt forest management practises to altered conditions brought about by a changing climate.

In terms of collaboration with other members of the Bio4Energy research environment, García-Gil and her team are part of projects on the effect of drought on spruce wood chemistry and feedstock use, as well as detecting and quantifying resin canals in spruce.

Starting Soon: Training on Developing Biofuels, Chemicals, Materials

Bio4Energy is announcing the start of its flagship training course Biorefinery Pilot Research early April 2022.

It is one of two must-take courses for advanced students interested in innovation and development of advanced biofuels, chemicals and materials from wood or organic waste.

The application opens today and will close 15 March.

Biorefinery Pilot Research is part of the Bio4Energy Graduate School on the Innovative Use of Biomass. It is for PhD students, postdoctoral researchers and industry professionals who want to develop their understanding of the innovation and development process.


For more details, see the course brochure for Biorefinery Pilot Research and Apply Now.

Large Project on Integration of UN SDGs in Forest Management to Target Genetic Tree Breeding

An encompassing project is about to kick off with the aim to integrate the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in forest management and climate change adaptation in the boreal belt traversing Scandinavia and Latvia. The state-run Sweden’s Innovation Agency Vinnova is set to fund the effort. 

The three-year project, the Swedish part of which is led by a Bio4Energy scientist, will investigate genetic tree breeding as a means to increase growth and resistance to pests and altered weather conditions of coniferous trees, while also exploring the avenue of mixing in broad-leaved trees in boreal forest plantations as a way of increasing the resilience of the forest ecosystem.Rosario García-Gil  is coordinating the effort involving national research agencies in Norway, Finland, Latvia and the Bio4Energy partner Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), as well as a cross-sectoral organisation representing the value chain of forest products, headed up from Norway.

The volume growth of trees may be increased by one fifth, according to the research proposal, using advanced genetic tree breeding methods. This will also shorten a tree’s growth period to maturity, thus shortening the time between plantation and harvesting.

“The analyses [currently available] assessing sustainability goals have not acknowledged the impact of tree breeding and different regeneration methods on growth and resilience of forests and the quality of wood produced”, the proposal says;

“Effects of climate change on forests can be mitigated by tree breeding and optimal deployment, if most crucial changes in climate can be predicted and the genetic basis of adaptation to climate understood”.

The multinational team behind the new Assess4EST project will address these knowledge gaps, by delivering the following:

  • Science-based information to forest owners, managers and policymakers;
  • Records of discussions between companies, policymakers and scientists;
  • Information to tree-breeding programmes;
  • Decision-support tools in the scope of a Forest Reproductive Material scheme and;
  • Participation in policymaking recommendations.

Assess4EST is short for ‘Seeing trees and forests for the future: assessment of trade-offs and potentials to breed and manage forests to meet sustainability goals’.  Rather than listing the target SDGs, the scientists and collaboration partners will focus on the parameters of growth and yield, climatic adaptation, wood quality, disease resistance and biodiversity.

Collaboration partners are the National Resources Institute of Finland, the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, the Latvian State Forest Research Institute ‘Silava’, WoodWorks! and SLU at Umeå, Sweden.

SLU associate professor Garcia-Gil have won two supporting research projects from the respective funding bodies Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research and Nordic Forest Research. They are called Landscape Breeding: A New Paradigm in Forest Tree Management and; Catching up with climate change by shortcuts in breeding: Joint Nordic efforts to prove the concept of Breeding without Breeding.