Place and date of birth
Holbæk, Denmark, 7 April 1961. Danish citizen.
|1993||The degree of Ph.D. in tropical biology was approved by the University of Aarhus on 20 December. Thesis title: ‘Investigations of ground herbs in two tropical lowland rain forests’, advisor: Dr Ivan Nielsen.|
|1990||M.Sc. in tropical biology, October, University of Aarhus, Denmark. Thesis title: ‘Ground herbs in a hectare plot of tropical lowland rain forest in Eastern Ecuador’, advisor: Dr Henrik Balslev.|
Tropical forest botany: taxonomy, evolution, distribution patterns at all scales, and ecology, especially of the family Zingiberaceae (gingers) including contributions to national floras.
I am presently preparing a monograph of the Asian ginger genus Etlingera but maintain an interest in vegetation analyses with main emphasis on ground herbs in tropical rain forests.
I am collaborating on compiling an overview of natural plant resources and archeophytes of the Viking Age.
Danish and English: fluently.
Bahasa Melayu/Indonesia, French, Spanish, and German: moderately to good.
Employment and scholarships
|2015–2017||Advisor for the City of Stavanger, Norway, regarding scientific quality of botanical collections.|
|2011–2015||Head of Botanical Garden, Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, Norway. Leading 17 permanent staff an additional seasonal workers, responsible for the live plant collections, budget, teaching plant systematics, supervising students, public outreach with 20% research time. Chairperson on the bicentenary celebration of the Botanical Garden in 2014: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/axelgarden/|
|2008–2011||Peter Davis Research Fellow at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh to revise the ginger genus Etlingera for Sulawesi, supervise MSc students and develop new methods for engaging the public in botany.|
|2007–2008||Based at LIFE, University of Copenhagen, as substitute associate professor to teach and carry out research.|
|2003–2006||Three years at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh funded by the Carlsberg Foundation to conduct the project 'Phylogeny and systematics of the ginger genus Etlingera in SE Asia'.
|2003||Consultant for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Bogor, Indonesia, to evaluate the scientific quality of a botanical survey in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. The expertise in identification of vouchers from ecological plot studies has always been best on woody plants. Therefore, CIFOR hired me to check ca. 1500 non-woody specimens from an inventory they had conducted.|
|2002–2003||Study grant at the National Herbarium of The Netherlands - Leiden via "Nederlands Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek" to do research on Bornean gingers.|
|1997–2001||Chief Technical Advisor on the project entitled 'Collaboration on biodiversity between Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and Danish Universities' funded by DANCED (Danish Co-operation for Environment and Development) and stationed 26 months in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Borneo.
This project was planned jointly with Dr Finn Borchsenius, University of Aarhus. The project involved capacity building at a new university including compiling a research strategy for the Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation on projects focusing on the effect of human disturbance on different organisms. We co-ordinated more than 40 Malaysian and Danish MSc and PhD students conducted their projects on this topic in terrestrial, marine or freshwater ecosystems. We also developed a curriculum structure and conducted courses, established a new herbarium, and trained staff in herbarium management and curation.
|1993–2001||Employed by the universities of Aarhus and Copenhagen in different time-limited positions as, postdoc, curator or research assistant or associate professor.|
|2016||As part of the Flora of Nepal Project at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, sponsored to participate in an expedition to collect plants in Eastern Nepal and train staff from the national herbarium of Nepal in collecting and preserving material of Zingiberales.
Support from Peter Davis Expedition Fund, University of Edinburgh to conduct fieldwork in Papua New Guinea as part of the ongoing project “Gingers of Papua New Guinea.
|2013||Project grant at the Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, to conduct fieldwork on gingers in Papua New Guinea.|
|2011||Project grant at the Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, to conduct molecular analyses of gingers.|
|2009||Continuation of Wallacea project sponsored by: Augustinus Foundation, Peter Davis Expedition Fund and Royal Horticultural Society.|
|2008||Project on Wallacea sponsored by: Carlsberg Foundation.|
|2006–2007||Participation in the Galathea 3 inititated by the Danish Government was sponsored by: TK Foundation, Det Asiatiske Kompagnis Almennyttige Fond, Alice og Torben Frimodts Fond. Some grant applications were done jointly with the team leader of the bird project, Prof. Jon Fjeldså.|
|2003–2006||Senior research stipend from the Carlsberg Foundation.|
|2003||Financial contribution from Frimodt Heineke’s Foundation and Julie von Müllens Foundation to a ginger expedition in Kalimantan.|
|2002||HRH Crown Prince Frederik's Foundation granted support for an expedition to collect gingers in Borneo.
The 'Biodiversity Grant' from WWF Denmark & Novo Nordisk was given to support my proposed project "Gingers of the Bornean Highland".
Travels and fieldwork
Extensive traveling since 1985 in relation to research projects or herbarium visits to tropical countries in S America, Africa or Asia. One of the major field efforts was during the Galathea 3 circumnavigation, where I was team leader of the project "Gingers on Tropical Islands" in Solomon Islands and New Guinea.
Philipinnes (2 weeks, supervision).
Myanmar (5 weeks fieldwork).
Nepal (3 weeks fieldwork and training of herbarium staff).
|2015||Cambodia (1 week fieldwork).
Svalbard (1 week excursion).
Thailand (1 week fieldwork).
|2014||Borneo (4 weeks fieldwork in Sarawak and Brunei incl. supervision of MSc student).|
|2013||Papua New Guinea (6 weeks fieldwork and supervision of student); Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore (3 weeks). Symposium and networking.|
|2012||Sumatra (1 week). Supervision of student.|
|2011||Thailand (1 week); Sumatra (1 week). Supervision of students.|
|2009||Sulawesi (2 months fieldwork); Thailand (1 week).|
|2008||Sulawesi and Papua New Guinea (3 months fieldwork).|
|2007||Papua New Guinea (1 month fieldwork during Galathea 3).|
|2006||Sarawak and Sabah (2 weeks completing ginger book projects); Singapore (1 week symposium participation); Thailand, Sumatra and Java (3 months fieldwork); Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea (6 weeks fieldwork during Galathea 3).|
|2005||Sumatra, Java and Thailand (2 months fieldwork).|
|2004||Sumatra and Java (2 months fieldwork); Sarawak (1 months fieldwork).|
|2003||Borneo (3.5 months fieldwork in Sarawak and Kalimantan).|
|2002||Borneo (4 months fieldwork in Sabah and Sarawak).|
|2001||Papua New Guinea (1 month fieldwork and herbarium studies). Indonesia, Australia and Singapore (1 month herbarium databasing of gingers).|
|2000||Based in Sabah, Borneo, organizing several expeditions to various parts of Sabah. Three non-collecting visits to Sarawak and one to Peninsular Malaysia.|
|1999||Based in Sabah, Borneo. Australia (2 week field excursion).|
|1998||Uganda (2 weeks, PhD-student supervision); Sabah, Borneo (5 weeks, planning research programme, fieldwork).|
|1997||Sabah, Borneo (1 week, inception workshop); Uganda (3 weeks, supervising in the field); Zimbabwe (2 weeks, conference and excursions); New Zealand (3 weeks, ecotourism).|
|1996||Uganda (2 weeks, supervising in the field); Ecuador (1 month, fieldwork); Congo (6 weeks, fieldwork); Uganda (1 month, fieldwork).|
|1995||Uganda (5 months, fieldwork), Congo (2 weeks, preliminary fieldwork).|
|1994||Uganda (4 months, fieldwork).|
|1993||Brunei (1 week, conference, 1 week fieldwork). Sarawak (1 week co-supervision).|
|1992||Brunei (3 months, fieldwork); Spain (2 weeks, excursion and holiday)|
|1991||Brunei, Borneo (5 months, fieldwork); Australia (1 month, holiday).|
|1990||Provence, France (1 week, excursion).|
|1989||Greenland (1 month, botanical excursion).|
|1988||Amazonian Ecuador (3 months, fieldwork); Galapagos (ecotourism).|
|1987||Crete, Greece (8 days, excursion).|
|1985||Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Hawaii (10 months, working holiday, volunteer field assistant).|
I have worked as a curator in the Botanical Museum, Copenhagen (C) in 1993.
In 1997–99 my office was in the herbarium at the University of Aarhus (AAU), and part of my work was devoted to help the staff with curatorial problems. Since 1989, I have visited several herbaria all over the World and developed a personal network to numerous taxonomic experts in different plant families, but especially those including tropical herbaceous plants.
Most of my time I have curated collections at the herbarium at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh (E), Scotland, and The National Herbarium of the Netherlands.
Other herbaria I have worked in include:
Australia: Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Cairns, Sydney.
Indonesia: Andalas, Bogor, Palu, Wanariset.
Italy: Firenze. Kyrgyzstan: Bishkek.
Malaysia: Kepong, Kuching, Sandakan.
Papua New Guinea: Lae, University of PNG.
Philippines: Manila (PNH, PUH), Los Banos. Singapore.
Switzerland: Basel, Geneva, Zurich.
Thailand: Bangkok (BK, BKF), Hat Yai, Chiang Mai (CMU, QBG), Khon Kaen.
Uganda: Makerere University.
United Kingdom: British Museum, Kew.
|2016||10th Flora Malesiana Symposium, Edinburgh, ”The evolution of eastern gingers”, 14 July.
Invited lecturer at Botanische Staatssammlung, Munich, Germany: ”Systematics and evolution of gingers”, 22 June.
|2015||7th International Symposium on the family Zingiberaeae, Chiang Mai, Thailand, plenary speaker: “Eastern gingers: evolutionary history, diversity and taxonomic status east of Wallace’s Line”, 17 August.
Seminar on strategic research focus at the university museums of Norway (UNIMUS), Oslo, Norway. Invited speaker: The University Museums and disseminating scientific results, 7 May.
|2014||Seminar at the Forestry Department, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia: “Gingers of Sarawak”, 6 March with Helena Mathisen.
Seminar at the Institutt for Naturforvaltning (INA), Ås, Norway: ”Systematics and evolution of gingers”, 17 Sep.
|2013||9th Flora Malesiana Symposium, Bogor. Chariman of the session on Zingiberaceae and presenting “Gingers of New Guinea”, 27 Aug.
Seminar at Papua New Guinea Forest Research Institute, Lae, PNG: Gingers of PNG. 22 May with Øystein Lofthus.
|2012||6th International Symposium on the family Zingiberaeae, Kerala, India, invited keynote speaker: Taxonomic revisions of the genus Etlingera and the significance of Wallace's Line, 10 Sep.
6th European Botanic Garden Congress, Chios, Greece: presented “Vikings in the Botanical Garden in Oslo”, 26 May.
|2011||15th Flora of Thailand Meeting, Chiangmai, Progress on the revision of the ginger genus Etlingera for the Flora of Thailand, 9 Nov.|
|2010||Flora Malesiana 8, Singapore, Biogeography of the ginger family: Wallacea and the evolution of the genus Etlingera, 24 Aug.|
|2009||Seminar at Herbarium Bogoriense, Cibinong Science Centre, Jawa, 4 March entitled “Etlingera of Sulawesi”
Oral presentations at the 5th International Symposium on the family Zingiberaeae “Etlingera of Sulawesi: species richness, distribution and conservation status”, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, China, 9 July.
Oral presentations at Southeast Asian Gateway Evolution entitled “The ginger genus Etlingera and Wallace's Line”, Royal Holloway, London, 17 Sep.
|2008||Oral presentations at Monocot 4 “The evolution of the ginger genus Etlingera” and Flora of Thailand Symposium, “Etlingera of Thailand”, both Copenhagen, Denmark, August.|
|2006||Invited keynote speaker at the 4th International Symposium on the family Zingiberaceae Symposium, Singapore, 3–6 July.|
|2003||Invited lecturer at the symposium ‘Plant diversity and complexity patterns – local, regional and global dimensions’, 25–28 May, The Royal Danish Academy of Science and Letters, Copenhagen, Denmark, presenting the talk ‘Forest plant diversity along the Albertine Rift, Africa ’.|
|2002||Invited guest lecturer at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh presenting ‘A study of species richness and ethnobotany of gingers in the Bornean Highlands’, June.|
|2001||Presenting a poster at the 5th Flora Malesiana Symposium, Sydney, entitled: ‘The ginger genus Etlingera’, Sep.|
|2000||Presenting a paper "Can ground herbs be assessed in large plots in tropical rain forest?" at a conference organized by the Centre for Tropical Forestry Science in Singapore, June.|
|1999||Poster at the British Ecological Society's annual meeting in March: Tuomisto, H., Poulsen, A.D., Ruokolainen, K., Moran, R.C., Quintana, C., Celi, J. & Cañas G. Linking floristic patterns in Amazonian rainforests with soil heterogeneity and satellite imagery.|
|1998||Chairman and presenting the paper by Balslev, H. & Poulsen, A.D. “Protocols or methods for botanical tropical canopy research?” at the Tropical Forest Canopies Conference in Oxford 12–18 December.|
|1997||Guest lecturer at University of Turku, Finland, 21. October 1997, title: "Vegetation studies in rain forests of Eastern and Central Africa".
The paper "A review of African forest Zingiberaceae" was presented at the 15th conference organised by the Association pour l'etude taxonomique de la flore d'Afrique Tropicale (AET FAT) in Harare, Zimbabwe, 4 February.
|1996||Lectures at: the Catholic University, Quito, Ecuador, 4 April, title: "Ground herbs studies in Tropical Forests"; the Royal Geographical Society, London, 17 October, title: "Studies of the herbaceous ground plants in the Batu Apoi Forest Reserve, Brunei"; and the Makerere University, Uganda, 12 December, title: "Wild gingers in Western Ugandan forests".|
|1995||Pteridophyte Symposium, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, July, where a paper was presented (see list of publications).|
|1995||Participant in Flora Malesiana meeting, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, July.|
|1994||Tropical Biology Association Course, Makerere University Biological Field Station, Kibale, Uganda (July). Lectures, field exercises in the nearby forest, as well as group discussions on methodology for vegetation studies in tropical rain forests, 30 participants; half European - half African.|
|1994||During a presentation tour in England (spring), planned in collaboration with Dr Jon Lovett, lectures were presented concerning previous studies. Future project ideas on studies in African forest within the framework of the CTB was proposed and discussed. The title of the lecture was: "Ground herb inventories in lowland rain forests of Amazonia and Borneo" and it was presented at the Dept. of Botany, School of Plant Sciences (Reading); Dept. of Plant Sciences (Oxford); Dept. of Plant Sciences (Cambridge); The Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (Canterbury); Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew) as well as on The Natural History Museum (London).|
|1993||Speaker at the conference "Tropical Rain Forest Research - Current Issues." Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, Borneo, April, where two papers where presented (see list of publications).
Participant in a 10-days course in multivariate analyses at Växtbiologisk Institut, Uppsala, Sweden. Teacher: Prof. Eddy van der Maarel.
|1989–93||Lecturing in the university courses in "Tropical Ecology" (1989, 1990, 1992) and "Plant geography" (1990, 1993), University of Aarhus.|
|1989–97||Lecturer at the Scandinavian Symposia "Botanical Research in the Andes and Western Amazonia" on Sandbjerg, Denmark (1989); Turku, Finland (1991) and Bergen, Norway (1993); participant Århus (1997).|
|1989||Guest lecturer at the Institute of Systematic Botany, Utrecht, Holland, presenting results from my M.Sc. project in Ecuador.|
Teaching and supervising
|2015–||External supervisor for PhD student, Lam Nyee Fan, Universiti Malaya, Malaysia on the ginger genus Boesenbergia.|
|2013–14||Main supervisor for MSc student, Øystein Lofthus, on the ginger genus Pleuranthodium and MSc student Helena Mathisen, on the ginger genus Elettaria.
Teaching alpine flora at Finse, Norway, on a field course for first year students of the University of Oslo in August. Main responsibility of the course "Plant Systematics and Evolution" (BIO4250), University of Oslo.
|2012||Main scientific supervisor since 2009 for PhD student, Nurainas, Andalas University, Indonesia, successfully defending her thesis on the ginger genus Hornstedtia in Sumatra.
Taught alpine flora at Finse, Norway, on a field course for first year students of the University of Oslo in August.
|2011||Co-supervising student: Yessi Santika, MSc project, The Agricultural Institute, Bogor, Indonesia, entitled "A Phylogenetic Study of Alpinia Roxb. subgenus Dieramalpinia section Myriocrater", since 2009, completed Jan 2011.|
|2010||Co-supervising student: Anthony Taylor-Pigott, MSc project, Edinburgh, entitled "Phylogeny and taxonomy of Elettaria (Zingiberaceae)" completed Sep. Hajah Noor Linda Haji Nasir, MSc project, Edinburgh, entitled "A Lucid key to the genera of Zingiberaceae" completed Sep.|
|2009||Co-supervising student: Nicky Sharp, MSc project, Edinburgh, entitled "The taxonomy and phylogeny of Alpinia melichroa (K. Schum.) K. Schum. and its allies in Sulawesi" completed Sep.|
|2008||Conducting a field course in January in Guatemala as part of the course at University of Copenhagen in "Tropical Botany". In May–June at the University of Copenhagen, co-teaching "Botany of cultivated plants", "Diversity of plants and animals" and "Natural Resources 2".|
|2007||At the University of Copenhagen, developing and conducting the course "Botany of cultivated plants". Co-teaching a PhD course in scientific writing, first year course in "Diversity of plants and animals", "Applied Ethnobotany", "Tropical Botany", coordinating "Herbarium and project"|
|2004||External advisor on an MSc project on the ecology of ground herbs in the Philippines.|
|2003||Giving a lecture and demonstrating on practicals as part of the course ‘Plant families of SE Asia’ conducted at The National Herbarium of The Netherlands.
Co-examinator (with Henning Adsersen) of an MSc student, Kristian Kjeldsen, at the University of Copenhagen defending his thesis entitled: ‘Effects of commercial logging on rain forest herbs in northeastern Borneo
|2000||Developing and teaching a modular course in Biogeography at UMS.|
|1999–02||Co-advisor for several MSc students involved in the UMS/DANCED project mainly on botanical projects and response of plant species composition and richness to the impact of logging.
External advisor on an MSc project on ethnobotany of gingers in PNG and on an MSc project on invasive Polygonaceae in Denmark.
|1999||Assisting Anders Barfod in the graduate level course ‘Plant Geography’, (spring semester) contributing with lectures on Mediterranean vegetation and a guest lecture on temperate rain forest in New Zealand and Tasmania.
Oral examination in January in the course described below.
|1998||Management of the graduate level course ‘Danish vegetation types and their management’ with two excursions in May, 6-day field course to Northern Jutland in July, and lectures and seminars September–December.
Assisting Prof. Balslev at the graduate level course ‘Tropical Ecology’, (autumn semester) contributing with four double lectures and eight seminars.
External examinator (censor) on the MSc thesis titled ‘Anura: their diversity and methods for studying them’ by Mette Mejsen Westergaard, Department for Population Biology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. 4 November.
External examinator (censor) on the MSc thesis titled ‘The influence of disturbance on the status and regeneration of selected forests in the Udzungwa Mountains, Tanzania’ by Grace Yohana Moshi, University of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. October.
|1997||Lectures and seminars at the graduate level course ‘Danish vegetation types and their management’ and assistant lecturer with Prof. Henrik Balslev at the graduate level course ‘Tropical Ecology’ (September–December).
Advisor on a BSc project by Signe Øvre and Christina Hansen ‘Aspects of the biology of Ficus sur and Ficus glumosa in Delta du Saloum National Park, Senegal’. All at the University of Aarhus.
|1995–99||Main supervisor for the ENRECA/DANIDA-funded Ph.D.-students David Hafashimana and Gerald Eilu at the Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda (Prof. Ib Friis was the official Danish supervisor as I did not have a permanent position at the time).|
|1993||Lecturing and running practicals at the first year biology course ‘Biology 1, Cormophytes’, (September– October), University of Aarhus.|
|1987–93||Assistant teacher at the University of Aarhus. This involved:
1. Excursions to heathlands, oak woods, and spring habitats during the secondary level course ‘General Botany’ (1992).
2. Field courses in plant identification, Rydhave (1987, 1992, 1993) as well as field excursion in the secondary level course ‘Plant Geography’ on Dovre Fjeld, Norway (1988, 1992).
3. Teaching at the courses "General Botany" (1987, 1988) and ‘Biology 1, Cormophytes’ (1988, 1991).
Dissemination and outreach
|2012–15||Several activities and guided tours to the general public in the Botanical Garden of Oslo (tropical fruits, gingers, Viking plants, incorporating live plant collections in research, conservation of rare Norwegian plants, etc.)|
|2010||Aktuel Naturvidenskab 6, three articles on gingers, birds and evolution http://infolink2003.elbo.dk/Naturvidenskab/dokumenter/doc/8828.pdf
Several public events in the John Hope Gateway, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, including "The Spice Weekend" just before Christmas.
|2009||Science Festival (April), Glasshouse Foyer (August) and John Hope Gateway (October), Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, informing about ginger research to the public.|
|2008||Giving tours of the Herbarium building, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, to the public during the Open Doors Day, 27 September.|
|2007||Twelve lectures or other events for the public on research activities on gingers in the W Pacific during Galathea 3 including the website with information and assignments for students: http://virtuelgalathea3.dk/projekt/ingef-r-p-tropiske-er|
|2006||Interview (in Danish) in Politiken by Ellen Ø. Andersen: "To find a type".|
|2004||Christensen, H. & Poulsen, A.D. 2004. Ny ingefær-art opdaget. (New ginger species discovered) Skov & Folk 20(1): 10–11.|
|2002–3||Awareness talks to school children and the general public in Sarawak, Borneo, on gingers and natural resources.|
|1999||Naturens Verden, co-author on two papers in a special issue on the activities of Centre for Tropical Biodiversity.|
|1998||A lecture titled "Planter på skovbunden i tropiske regnskove" (Plants on the forest floor in tropical rain forests) was presented 9 November 19.30–21.15. Folkeuniversitetet i Odense, Denmark.|
|1995||Newspaper article: Axel Dalberg Poulsen. Planterigets skatkammer. Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten: Back cover in "Viden om natur, teknik og forskning", Monday 1 May, 3/4 page, four colour photographs and map.|
|1995–||Botanical guide on "Wildflowers Day", Denmark.|
|1994||Cranbrook, Earl of & Edwards, D. S. Belalong, a tropical rainforest. The Royal Geographical Society & Sun Tree Publishing. Singapore. 389 pp. Contribution included 11 pages of text and 21 colour photographs.|
|1990–92||One of the organizers of the exhibition "Alle Tiders Regnskov" (Rain Forests of All Times) at Moesgård Museum at Aarhus, Teknisk Museum in Helsingør and Hollufgård at Odense. More than 50 000 visitors saw the exhibitions.|
|1987–90||Employed as guide at the greenhouses in the Botanical Gardens, University of Aarhus, Denmark.|
|1985–||Presentation of numerous lectures for the general public on tropical rain forest at schools, high schools etc. throughout Denmark.|
Review of manuscripts
Since 1997, I have on request, been reviewing papers for Biotropica, Ecotropica, Edinburgh Journal of Botany, Journal of Tropical Ecology, Journal of Tropical Forest Science, Kew Bulletin, Plant Ecology & Evolution, Reinwardtia and Gardens Bulletin Singapore.
52 papers in peer reviewed journals (since 1991)
4 books on gingers (since 2006)
13 papers in proceedings, reports etc. (since 1996).