Birger Lindberg Møller is "Researcher of the Month" at Science Festival – University of Copenhagen

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26 April 2012

Birger Lindberg Møller is "Researcher of the Month" at Science Festival

Professor Birger Lindberg Møller has been selected as researcher of the month by the Danish Science Festival who brings an interview in their newsletter.

As a prelude to the Danish Science Festival 2012 each newsletter brings an interview with a prominent scientist who talks about which scientific questions they would like to find answers to. The third scientist in the series is Professor Birger Lindberg Møller from Department of Plant Biology and Biotechnology at Copenhagen University.

"When you start exploring all that we do not know, we often find no answer, but a new and even more intriguing question instead." says Birger Lindberg Møller. In the interview he tells why plants in many ways are more sophisticated than animals and humans. This is partly due to the fact that plants cannot move and therefore are forced to adapt to the challenges of the environment they are places in, such as drought, insect attacks and pests. Furthermore, plants are advanced chemists that produce all the vitamins and bioactive chemical themselves, contrary to animals and humans who have to get many of these through our food.
At Copenhagen University we have the necessary knowledge of photosynthesis, plant cell walls and bioactive natural products to exploit the unique properties of plants. And we need to exploit this knowledge! When the climate changes photosynthesis is affected as well and hence also the yield of the plants. Furthermore, the plants have to withstand new insects and diseases that are gaining ground because the temperature increases in our latitudes. We will need plants for multiple purposes: food, biomass, bio-energy, pharmaceuticals etc. For example, we have ideas on how to get the plants cell walls to produce biomass that is as efficient a fuel as oil. However, we need new facilities to exploit this, which is where the new Copenhagen Plant Science Centre comes into play says Birger Lindberg Møller.