Young perspectives on forestry and forest industry

Young researchers from five countries were invited to the celebrations of the 2018 Marcus Wallenberg Prize in Stockholm, where they presented their own findings on more sustainable ways of growing tree plants and new applications for the forest industry.

The Marcus Wallenberg Prize Foundation had invited post docs and PhD students from universities and research institutes in Austria, Finland, Germany, Sweden and USA to the Prize event in Stockholm. During four days in the Swedish capital at the end of September the junior researchers had the possibility to exhibit their own results and meet the Prize winner, senior scientists and business representatives.

Sustainable fertilizers
The laureate Torgny Näsholm, The Swedish University of Agricultral Sciences, SLU, Umeå, Sweden, is awarded the 2018 Marcus Wallenberg Prize for having documented how trees use amino acid molecules as sources of nitrogen. Professor Torgny Näsholm has also shown how this organic nitrogen dominates the nutrition of trees in boreal forests. The findings have resulted in new types of environmentally friendly fertilizers.
Three post docs working in this field at SLU in Umeå took part of the seminars and workshops in connections with the Prize event in Stockholm.
At a poster session Regina Gratz presented an abstract on a novel amino acid transporter in hybrid aspen and Hyungwoo Lim reported a long-term study on forest production in relation to climate changes. Zsofia Reka Stangl informed about her work using carbon isotope methods to connect the carbon and water cycles of forests. Water use efficiency is a key component for modelling the water-carbon balance of ecosystems and predicting forest yield.
Another five young researchers from Umeå were also invited to the celebrations in Stockholm: Anne Bünder, Zhiqiang Chen, Yohann Daguerre and Melissa Rose Pingree, all of them SLU, and Sacha Escamez, representing both Umeå University and Umeå Plant Science Centre.

A chance to network
The Young Researchers’ Program is an annual arrangement with workshops, lectures, guided tours and a symposium in honour of the Marcus Wallenberg Prize Winner. The participants are also invited to the Prize ceremony and banquet. The idea is to stimulate collaboration, inspire research and create networking opportunities.
Every year post docs and PhD students no older than 35 years are encouraged to apply by describing their own research and the impact it will have on the forest-based industry and society as a whole. This year 31 participants, more than half of them women, were invited to the Prize ceremony and extended program, where they presented a short abstract on their research project in a poster session.
The Marcus Wallenberg Young Researchers’ Program is sponsored by Erik Johan Ljungbergs utbildningsfond, supporting education within forestry and the forest industry in Sweden.
A group of eleven PhDs or postdocs from Finland were sponsored by the Forest Products Engineers (PI), the Jaakko Pöyry Foundation, the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the Natural Resources Institute Finland, Luke.
All the abstracts presented by the Young Researchers in 2018 can be found /here/.