Bengt Söderström

Bengt Söderström

Professor emeritus

Personal profile


Through the years I have been working with different aspects of the soil microbial ecosystems and I was appointed professor of Microbial Ecology 1990. My major interest is directed towards the biology of the mycorrhizal symbioses.

The ecological importance of the mycorrhizal symbioses between plants and fungi is still not fully appreciated and many functional aspects of this interaction are not understood. I have a special interest in the ecology and physiology of the fungal partner and how the symbiosis may be affected by environmental changes, particularly interested in the ectomycorrhizal symbiosis. I have worked with nutrient uptake of the fungus and the nutrient transfer to the plant partner. Nitrogen has been in particular focus. I have also studied the energy flow from the plant partner to the fungus and the fungal biomass formation based on this carbon allocation.

The last 15 years I have been heavily engaged in more strategic aspects of academic life. I have been Head of the Department of Ecology and Dean of the Faculty of Science. The Vice-Chancellor 2007-2008 assigned me as responsible project manager of an evaluation of all research of Lund University (project RQ08 (pdf)). I then served as executive Head of Department of Astronomy and Theoretical Physics for more than two years. I also hold a number of other commissions of trust. Thus, I am presently more on the managing and strategic side of the Academy than doing everyday research and teaching. By end of 2011, I formally retired from my position but I still have a number of engagements.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities


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