Arne Thell

Arne Thell

Museum curator

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Personal profile


I joined the very active and encouraging lichen group at the Department of Systematic Botany, lead by Ingvar Kärnefelt, who became supervisor of my PhD-studies in 1989. I studied anatomy of reproductive structures and soon realized that they could be used to improve lichen systematics.

When it became possible to study DNA-molecules I was able to confirm or adjust earlier results. This is what I am still doing in my research. The results are used to obtain a more natural classification of lichens.

My favourite lichen family is the Parmeliaceae, in which, for example, beard and shield lichens are included. I study their morphology, anatomy, and DNA, and describe species and genera. Some species are moved to more appropriate positions in the system to achieve a more natural classification. Currently I am most interested in the genus Parmelia where several cryptic species are involved. My research is tightly connected with my daily work in the Biological Museum, preferrably sorting and digitalizing the lichen and moss herbaria.

A side project since 2015 is to study the history and phylogeography of the betony, Betonica officinalis, with emphasis on the southern Baltic region. My research is supported by the Ove Almborn and Elly Olsson Foundations, Gyllenstiernska Krapperupsstiftelsen and the Royal Physiographic Society of Lund.

I have no teaching work within my present position but I occasionally perform lectures or guided tours in the museum.

In my spare time I am active in Eslöv Orienteering Club (Eslövs friluftsklubb) and Southwestern Skåne Sport Association (Sydvästra Skånes idrottskrets).


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