Curriculum Vitae

Place and date of birth
Holbæk, Denmark, 7 April 1961. Danish citizen.

Institutional Affiliation
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Scotland, U.K.

PhD (1993) and MSc (1990) in tropical biology, University of Aarhus, Denmark.

Research interests
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.

Current major project
'Etlingera of New Guinea' -- a revision of the ginger genus in New Guinea and adjacent island (Tanah Papua and Papua New Guinea), currently funded by Peter Davis Expedition Fund and The Material World Foundation.


  • Research in tropical botany in SE Asia, Africa and S America (systematics, evolution and biogeography, ecology, vegetation analyses, ethnobotany)
  • Administration and management skills
  • Planning and conducting research projects and expeditions in tropical regions
  • Fundraising for research projects and sponsorship of new features in botanical gardens
  • Planning and teaching botanical university courses in tropical ecology, biodiversity and environmental management, biogeography, vegetation analyses, conservation, and ethnobotany in Europe and several tropical countries
  • Supervision of MSc (12 completed) and PhD students (4 completed)
  • Cultivating tropical plants collected in the wild to enable further scientific studies and description
  • Disseminating scientific results to the scientific community and the general public (papers and books, exhibitions, public lectures, guided tours, participatory expeditions)
  • Review of manuscripts for international journals
  • Capacity building and consultancies regarding botanical data and collections
  • Herbarium curation
  • Networking of botanical gardens of Norway and elsewhere
  • Interacting with local communities and NGOs in developing countries and Europe

79 papers in peer reviewed journals (since 1991)
4 books on gingers (since 2006)

Employment and scholarships

2015– Research Fellow, Research Associate, Conservation Officer, Lecturer on MSc Programme at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, U.K.
2015–2016 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.
2008–2011 Peter Davis Research Fellow at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh to revise the ginger genus Etlingera for Sulawesi.
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'.
Nov. 2003 Consultant for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Bogor, Indonesia, to evaluate the scientific quality of a botanical survey in East Kalimantan, Indonesia.
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 a Biodiversity Capacity Building Project financed by Danced and stationed 26 months in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Borneo.
1993–2001 Employed by the universities of Aarhus and Copenhagen in different time-limited positions as, postdoc, curator or research assistant or associate professor.

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" (link in Danish only) in Solomon Islands and New Guinea.

Languages spoken
• Danish and English: fluently.
• Bahasa Melayu/Indonesia, French, Spanish, and German: moderately to good.

Lectures (latest 5 years)

2021 Webinar entitled 'The natural distribution of green cardamom, the ginger genus Elettaria', Department of Botany, Catholic College, Pathanamthitta, Kerala, India, 7 July.
2020 Co-organiser with Craig Hilton-Taylor (Head of the Red List Unit, ÌUCN, Cambridge) on a workshop on Red List Assessment held at RBG Edinburgh, 10–14 Feb.
2019 11th Flora Malesiana Symposium, Brunei, Awarded a fellowship to present 'How many gingers are there in New Guinea?', 4 July.
Seminar at the Pontificial Catholic University of Ecuador, Quito, presenting 'The natural distribution of green cardamom, the ginger genus Elettaria', 6 February.
2018 8th International Zingiberales Symposium, Singapore, key note speaker: 'Distribution of the ginger genys Elettaria', 25 July.
2016 University of Santo Tomas, College of Science,lecture series. Invited speaker: 'Evolution and biogeography of gingers (Zingiberaceae) east of Wallace's Line', 15 Nov.
10th Flora Malesiana Symposium, Edinburgh, 'The evolution of eastern gingers' 14 July.
Invited lecturer at Botanische Staatssamlung, Munich, Germany, presenting: 'Systematics and evolution of gingers', 22 June.