Through the years I have been working with different aspects of the soil microbial ecosystems and I was appointed professor of Microbial Ecology 1990. My major interest is directed towards the biology of the mycorrhizal symbioses.
The ecological importance of the mycorrhizal symbioses between plants and fungi is still not fully appreciated and many functional aspects of this interaction are not understood. I have a special interest in the ecology and physiology of the fungal partner and how the symbiosis may be affected by environmental changes, particularly interested in the ectomycorrhizal symbiosis. I have worked with nutrient uptake of the fungus and the nutrient transfer to the plant partner. Nitrogen has been in particular focus. I have also studied the energy flow from the plant partner to the fungus and the fungal biomass formation based on this carbon allocation.
The last 15 years I have been heavily engaged in more strategic aspects of academic life. I have been Head of the Department of Ecology and Dean of the Faculty of Science. The Vice-Chancellor 2007-2008 assigned me as responsible project manager of an evaluation of all research of Lund University (project RQ08, http://www.lu.se/lund-university/research/research-evaluation---rq08). I then served as executive Head of Department of Astronomy and Theoretical Physics for more than two years. I also hold a number of other commissions of trust. Thus, I am presently more on the managing and strategic side of the Academy than doing every-day research and teaching. By end of 2011, I formally retire from my position but will still have a number of engagements.
Wright, D.P., Johansson, T., Le Quére, A., Söderström, B. & Tunlid, A. 2005. Spatial patterns of gene expression in the extramatrical mycelium and mycorrhizal root tips formed by the ectomycorrhizal fungus Paxillus involutus in association with birch (Betula pendula Roth.) seedlings in soil microcosms. New Phytologist 167, 579-596.
Olsson, P.A., Francis, R., Read, D.J. & Söderström, B. 1998. Growth of arbuscular mycorrhizal mycelium in calcareous dune sand and its interactions with other soil microorganisms as estimated by measuerment of specific fatty acids. Plant and Soil 201, 9-16
Söderström B. & Read D.J. 1987. Respiratory activity of intact and excised ectomyccorhizal mycelial systems growing in unsterilized soil. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 19, 231-236.