Physiologia Plantarum

Contact Information

SPPS Office


Dr Anke Carius
Society secretary
Department of Plant Physiology
Umeå University
901 87 Umeå

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Funded Projects

Here you find some examples of trips and projects SPPS has supported!

Arctic Entomology under Climate Change:

PhD-course in Iceland 20-24 August 2018

Agnès Brosset

The course was organised by Prof. Gudmundur Halldorson and located at Gunnarsholt, the headquarters of the Islandic Soil Conservation Service, Hella (S Iceland). We were twelve international students participated and enjoyed the teaching of seven experts coming from Scandinavia. They told us that climate change is occurring faster and at stronger rate in the Arctic than elsewhere in the globe.

We were able to observe it for ourselves through the excursion to the Sólheimajökull glacier. They also told us that changes in phenology, species distributions and ecological interactions in natural and agricultural systems in the North are already occurring. This course presented the ongoing consequences of predicted environmental changes on Arctic entomofauna, from individual to community responses, and the implications to agriculture and forestry. I am glad that the SPPS accepted to support my trip to Iceland because I very appreciated the course, had a nice time there, and came back with much more knowledge and a bigger network by meeting students working in the same area.

The second project reaches out to pupils in all of Scandinavia:

The main goal of the project is to give students a deeper understanding of photosynthesis, respiration, and the biology and application of micro algae.

Biotech Academy is a web based platform for educational material, completely free of charge and can be implemented directly by the teachers in elementary- and high schools. In the school year of 2017 the platform has had more than 106.000 unique visitors each month.

This project is called “The Green Revolution” and through four cases it describes how application of micro algae could potentially make industrial processes more efficient, green and sustainable. Furthermore, and most importantly, the project includes an experiment the teachers can use with the students in the classroom. The “Algae Droplet and Photosynthesis Experiment” consists of the following parts:

  1. The students mix the micro algae (Chlammydomonas reinhardtii) with sodium alginate and drip the mixture into calcium chloride resulting in small algae droplets (as you may know from fake caviar).
  2. The droplets are transferred to small plastic containers with a pH indicator.
  3. The color of the pH indicator will change accordingly to CO2 concentration and therefore the color depends on whether the algae are making photosynthesis or respiration.

The experiment gives a visual representation of the incredible process of photosynthesis and shows the students the importance of plants. The project emphasizes the essential nature of plants producing oxygen and participating in so many vital networks. This project can replace the “Elodea-experiment” which almost all public schools are currently using, with a much more visual and quantitative representation of photosynthesis. The understanding of the basic principles of plant biology and metabolism gives the students the tools required for understanding how plants can be applied in numerous industrial productions and vice versa.

SPPS provides the coverage of 300 kits to be ordered by teachers in Scandinavia, possibliy reaching up to 7500 pupils who can do this experiment. Teachers, please go to the Biotech Academy Homepage to order kits for your pupils!

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