With a dual background in evolutionary biology and natural products research from a PhD in Denmark in 2002, followed by postdoctoral research at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the University of Minnesota, my research is focused on evolution and use of plants and the interaction between people and plants. I am also curator of the herbarium at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, where I try to find new ways to use museum collections to address fundamental research questions and societal challenges. In my research group, we combine genomic, evolutionary, chemical, ethnobotanical, and many other approaches to address a broad range of topical questions in this field. I am also strongly engaged in communication and outreach about our research and the value of the collections, including film making and exhibitions.
In Plant.ID, I am the main supervisor of ESR8 Nataly Allasi Canales working on historical Cinchona barks, a fascinating tale about the interaction of people and plants and the human quest for new medicines and other biodiversity resources. In addition, I am co-supervising ESR3 Stephen Garrett who uses more than 1000 Danish herbarium collections to understand notoriously difficult species concepts in the hemiparasitic genus Euphrasia. I was the scientific coordinator of the former ETN network MedPlant, and I am hugely enjoying using this experience to help make Plant.ID a highly successful network and the best possible basis for the ESRs to excel in their future careers.