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Published: 2010-11-25

Gunnar Öquist - honorary doctor at University of Copenhagen

NEWS Gunnar Öquist, professor at Umeå University and former permanent secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, has been awarded an honorary doctorate at the University of Copenhagen.

Photo: Hasse Ferrold

Professor Gunnar Öquist became a professor in plant physiology in Umeå in 1981. One of his main research interests has been to elucidate the effects of adverse growth conditions on the photosynthetic performance of plants, especially the combination of low temperature and high light. Based on his visions and foresight, Gunnar Öquist was instrumental in the establishment of Umeå Plant Science Centre, the plant biology research centre in Sweden with the highest international standing and with strong links to the Swedish forest and wood industry.

From 2003 until 1 July 2010 Gunnar Öquist was permanent secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. One of his tasks was the pleasant duty to call and inform the winners of the Nobel Prizes within Physics and Chemistry about the Academy’s selection for the awards.

Gunnar Öquist has held a number of other national and international assignments as well. He was a member of the European Research Advisory Board between 2001 and 2008, and he is a board member of the Danish National Research Foundation since 2005. He was secretary general of the Natural Science Research Council from 1993 to 1999. He was part of the Research Board 1992-1994, the Board of Strategic Research 1997-1999, the Board of the University of Bergen 2003-2009 and the Board of the European Science Foundation from 1996 to 2000. In addition, he has participated in the evaluations of numerous national and international organizations and research programmes. Gunnar Öquist is also a member of several scientific academies.

Gunnar Öquist was born in Piteå 1941. He started his studies at Uppsala University and in 1968 he arrived to Umeå University to continue his studies on advanced level. He received his Ph.D. in 1972 and became an associate professor of plant physiology in 1974. After a period as an associate professor in Lund, he returned to Umeå University and maintained the same position until 1981 when he became professor of plant physiology.

On 18 November, Gunnar Öquist was awarded his honorary doctorate at the University of Copenhagen’s yearly celebration. The host of the honorary doctorate at the University of Copenhagen is Birger Lindberg Möller, who in 2009 was appointed honorary doctor at Umeå University's Faculty of Science and Technology:

Gunnar Öquist says that he appreciates his honorary doctorate very much, and he sees it as a step to a closer collaboration between plant scientists in Umeå and Copenhagen. He will be happy to give advice in the ongoing efforts to establish a plant biological research centre at the University of Copenhagen.

For further information, please contact:

Gunnar Öquist, Professor in Plant Physiology, Umeå University Phone: +46 (0)70-550 54 16
E-mail: gunnar.oquist@plantphys.umu.se

Editor: Karin Wikman