COST action FA0906

The SenPEP is a partner in this action code-named “UV4Growth”. The action started officially functioning at the kick-off meeting at the COST office in Brussels. The meeting took place on 7 and 8 April 2010, so the action will end on 6 April 2014. The meeting in Brussels was a management committee (MC) meeting. There are two MC members for Finland, Minna Turunen and myself. I am also coordinating Finnish participation in this action. I am coordinator for WG3 and member of TG UV technology. I am also managing most of the e-mail lists. There will be small scientific meetings of WGs and TGs and also funds for visiting other laboratories within the action (mainly for PhD students and postdocs). There will be a larger meeting for the whole action in February 2011. The chair of the action is Marcel Jansen and the vice-chair Åke Strid. They were elected at the kick-off meeting.

Prof. Nigel Paul’s visit to Viikki

Prof. Nigel Paul visited our group in Viikki last Thursday. He gave a very interesting talk about his views on UV-B research and the directions into which he thinks it should move. He contrasted the old viewpoint of seeing UV-B as mainly a source of damage to plants and the new viewpoint of considering UV-B mainly as an environmental signal regulating plant growth and performance. From that he moved on to describe how we can take advantage of the regulatory responses in the management of crops grown under plastic films. He showed some very interesting examples of results from his experiments.

During the discussion Tapani Koskela from the Finnish Meteorological Institute made some comments relating to the uncertainties inherent in forecasts of future UV-B levels. There was also discussion about possible roles of UV-B in the regulation of plant behaviour in their natural environment.

Over lunch and in the afternoon most of the SenPEP members had the opportunity to discuss their research with Nigel.

Titta defended her PhD thesis!

Titta had her doctoral defence yesterday, and she defended her thesis very successfully. Her opponent was Professor Nigel Paul from Lancaster University, who led the discussion very well, making the occasion  not only a very good examination but also a very interesting event for the audience.

In the karonkka, in the evening, the tone was very friendly and relaxed.

This is a great culmination for years of hard work, but it is also the start of a new stage in Titta’s academic career.

Congratulations Titta!

Admin update

I finally managed to add the Meta widget to the home page. Now you can login from there and also access the Dashboard for writing new posts. Should make commenting and posting a bit easier.

I enabled WP-SpamFree as we were getting comment spam, mostly in Russian. Let’s see how it works.


If you have an MP3 player, or the like, and the transport strike is giving you extra time at the bus stop, or you have something else tedious to do and need a distraction, you might be interested in something ecological to listen to.

Here are some of my recommendations. I would be interested to hear about any of Journals or bodies in Plant Science whose output I might have missed or that your would recommend!

The Ecological Society of America (ESA) has various series of podcasts – but the most interesting tends to be Beyond the Frontier every 2 months, where the author from a featured paper from each issue of Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution is interviewed. URL feed

The Nature podcast is weekly and complements quite closely the content of the News and Opinion sections of the Journal. It provides an easy introduction to some of the less accessible subjects covered that I might otherwise skip over while reading it. The presentation style is very professional and it usually contains several interviews with lead authors. URL feed

For something lighter, I particularly enjoy the BBC’s natural history podcast. Typically a half-hour radio programme from the BBC’s weekly output is selected. My favourite is the Living World (which I have listened to since I was a young child!) where habitats or species from the British countryside are covered in situ and with a high level of expertise.  URL feed

They have a vast archive of Living World programmes on-line which serve as a fabulous resource.  Last year an interesting interview with Lynn Margulis was broadcast too.

Various US Universities, particularly UC Berkeley, put their lectures on-line with open access. These are sometimes a bit rough and ready being simply audio recordings of classes, but they can serve as refreshers for half-forgotten topics, or stimulate ideas for how one might present an area in class oneself. Do you have any plans to Podcast your lectures Pedro?

IUFRO press release from Copenhagen Climate Change in Northern Forests

Will northern forests be able to stand the heat?

Boreal forests are especially sensitive to global warming and are likely to be severely affected by climate change. (Copenhagen, 13 December 2009)

pdf of cited article Kellomäki et al. 2008

Here are some more links from the IUFRO beech group


The story relates to climate change and how forests provide an opportunity to reduce CO2 from the atmosphere. Photos, translations and other links are also available on this page:

I am pleased to announce that you can now also follow us on twitter as well as you can read and comment our blog. IUFRO is looking forward to receiving your feedback!


Our research group is called SenPEP (Sensory photobiology and ecophysiology of plants).

This is our new blog.