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Fascination of Plants Day – PechaKucha

Welcome to PechaKucha dedicated to the Fascination of Plants Day.

NMBU Sustainability Arena for Urban Development, GreenSmart, will be hosting PechaKucha to commemorate the Fascination of Plants Day at the science center Vitenparken Campus Ås on May 15 at 16:30 – 18:00.

Fascination of Plants Day takes place around May 18, 2024, and is coordinated by the European Plant Science Organization (EPSO). At this event, you will hear from leading experts and scientists working in the field.

What is PechaKucha?

PechaKucha is a Japanese presentation format in which a presenter has 20 seconds per slide for a total of 20 slides, resulting in an overall presentation lasting no longer than six minutes and 40 seconds. This unique yet engaging approach is used to effectively present challenging topics to the audience. Vitenparken is one of the few venues officially certified to host PechaKucha events in Norway.

About GreenSmart:

NMBU Sustainability Arena: GreenSmart develops and coordinates activities and projects that focus on sustainable urban development. We work at the intersection of social, economic, and environmental sustainability, connecting people with projects and knowledge to action. Learn more here: NMBU Sustainability Arena GreenSmart. 

About Vitenparken:

Vitenparken Campus Ås is a science center in Norway focusing on sustainability, environment, and food production and technology. We host events and science projects aimed to communicate science to various audiences from preschool ages to recreational science events for adults.

Are you fascinated with plants and want to learn more in a unique and fun PechaKucha format? Register here.


Linn Vassvik

Linn’s fascination with plants and pollinators began during her bachelor’s degree at UiB in 2012. She has since pursued a master’s degree studying fly pollination in the mountains at UiO, worked as a botanical engineer at NINA for two years, and is now studying the pollination of apples for her PhD at NIBIO and NMBU.

At PechaKucha, Linn will address the importance of pollination and the recent news coverage on insect collapse. She will tell a story about the crucial services provided by wild pollinators for apple production. Despite the long history of apple cultivation in Norway since the 1700s, most farmers now rely on honeybees for pollination. However, honeybees have proven to be quite inefficient, leading to a reconsideration of the importance of preserving wild pollinators.

Crystal Turnbull

Crystal Turnbull’s academic journey has centered around fungal disease in food crops since she began her studies at NMBU in 2019. With a background in molecular biology and law, her interests have consistently revolved around the intersection of scientific research and ensuring food safety.

In her presentation, Crystal will delve into the importance of preventing and controlling disease to ensure that healthy strawberries reach the table. She will discuss the potential of utilizing UV-C light to achieve this goal, not only for controlling fungal disease but also for stimulating plant defense mechanisms. The challenge she addresses is how to effectively integrate these functions in agriculture to cultivate fungicide-free strawberries.

Svein Andrè Kolltveit 

In his role as engineer, Svein André Kolltveit has a profound passion for cultivating plants and striving to comprehend their functioning. Delving into how plants respond to external influences, such as light or other climate factors, continually unveils new and intriguing discoveries. He firmly believes that by comprehending plant physiology and photobiology, coupled with the utilization of modern technology, we can devise novel, superior, and more sustainable methods to cultivate our plants.

At the upcoming event, Svein will discuss the optimization of plant growth and photosynthesis in cucumber plants through the use of modified LED lighting. He will explore how LED lighting can be utilized to optimize and manipulate plant growth, offering insights into the innovative techniques shaping the future of plant cultivation.

Sara Catarina Costa Laranjeira 

In her academic pursuits, Sara Catarina Costa Laranjeira’s fascination with plants lies in their remarkable ability to adapt to diverse environmental conditions despite their immobility. As a plant molecular biologist, she has delved into various aspects of plant biology, including abiotic stress, flowering, and evolutionary biology. Currently, her focus is on a project exploring the differences between annuality and perenniality in grasses.

Grasses hold significant importance as they serve as forage for animals, provide grains for human consumption, and play a crucial ecological role. Sara’s research on grasses is not only essential for agricultural purposes but also contributes to climate change studies, paving the way for a more sustainable future.

At the upcoming event, Sara will delve into the distinctions between annuals and perennials in grasses and discuss how this knowledge can contribute to another agricultural revolution.

Anubha Gupta 

Anubha Gupta’s early enthusiasm for growing plants in her home as a young girl evolved into a lifelong passion for understanding the molecular intricacies of plants. This passion led her to pursue courses that deepened her knowledge in this field. Currently, she is utilizing CRISPR-Cas9 technology to knock out genes in grasses, with a particular focus on studying their survival strategies in the coldest regions of the world, including Norway.

In her presentation, Anubha will discuss the application of CRISPR technology in knocking out genes in grasses. She will explore how this innovative approach can provide insights into the mechanisms underlying grass survival in extreme environments, offering valuable implications for agriculture and environmental conservation.

Ngan Bao Huynh

Ngan Bao Huynh, with a Master’s degree in Ecology, is passionate about studying the interactions between organisms. While her primary fascination lies in immunology, her aversion to blood led her to explore alternative avenues. Discovering plant immunity, she found her niche.

In her presentation titled “Vaccination of Norway spruce – Prepare for future attacks,” Ngan will delve into the realm of plant defense systems. She will discuss how we can harness these systems to protect plants against biotic stress, shedding light on innovative approaches for plant protection and resilience.

Date: May 15

Time: 16:30 – 18:00. Doors open at 16:00

Free entrance. Food & beverage (+ opportunity to buy beer and wine)

Register here: Registration 

Adresse: Vitenparken, lokalisert på NMBU Campus i Ås Kommune.  Du finner oss på Høgskolevein 1, 1433, Ås. Last ned kart over NMBU Campus.  For digitalt kart trykk her.  Finn informasjon om parkering på NMBU her.

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  • From Vitenparken´s school and kitchen garden.
  • From Vitenparken´s school and kitchen garden.
  • From Vitenparken´s school and kitchen garden.