Plant and Environmental Sciences
Welcome to the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences (IPM)
Head of department Øystein Johnsen
As the largest department at UMB, IPM represents a broad range of subjects. Our teaching, research, and research dissemination cover UMBs areas of focus within food, biotechnology and the environment.
Studies and PhD programmes
IPM is responsible for three bachelor programmes: Biology, Environment and Natural Resources
and Plant Science.
All three are also offered as master programmes. In addition, we offer the English master programmes Agroecology, Radioecology, Plant Science, Plant Pathology
and Sustainable Water and sanitation.
IPM is also responsible for parts of the master programme in Chemistry.
In collaboration with Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences we offer the master programme Public Health Science
. We also offer a one-year qualifying programme
aimed at students who want to study programmes within natural sciences.
IPM is responsible for more than 60 PhD students, of which approximately one third are international PhD students. Soil, water and environmental science
Photo: Kristine Bræck Larsen
Within the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, the subject area soil, water and environmental science covers the whole range from basic to more applied topics of both national and international importance. Geology, hydrology, limnology, and soil science
are combined with chemistry, physics and biology
in order to understand interactions in nature and how human impacts on the environment affect our soil and water resources.
One area of focus is on how different types of contaminants spread in the environment and how they influence living organisms. Pollutants
, such as radionuclides and heavy metals, are of great significance for water and soil quality. Through their spreading in the environment they will affect both living organisms in general and our food chain in particular, and may thus influence human health. Climate
has an important role in the functioning of our ecosystem. Natural or man-made climate changes may lead to drastic changes in our basis of existence, for instance increased availability of nutrients, increased erosion, or melting of glaciers. This will affect air, water and soil quality, and thus conditions for plant growth.
Biology and Plant science
In the area of plant science, experimental methods within genetics
and plant physiology
help us understand how plants develop and why they react the way they do. This basic research, along with more applied research into production conditions, aims at developing plant material and production methods suitable for fulfilling market demands. This implies food, fodder and ornamental plants, plants of high quality, long shelf-life and appropriate nutritious quality, or plants protecting against illness.
Plants and vegetation also affect our quality of life and experience of stress or well-being. The choice and maintenance of vegetation in public areas, as well as regeneration of vegetation are important in order to create pleasant local environments or diverse cultural landscapes. In addition to the purely aesthetic value, this has a general effect on our welfare and contentment in our surroundings. Cooperation
The Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences cooperates with a large range of groups within the university, from other research institutes situated on Campus Ås and all over Norway. We are also very active internationally. Our researchers have taken part in EU projects since the 3rd EU Framework Programme.
IPM is the national contact organisation for the European Plant Science Organisation (EPSO). Strategy and vision
IPM’s vision is to contribute with knowledge about the natural environment and how this influences people’s quality of life. Our strategies for research and teaching can be found in our Strategic plan. The department is organised in seven groups, each led by a group leader:
Updated: 03.12.12Printerfriendly version
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