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Effects of ultraviolet radiation on biological systems

Photobiology deals with effects of light and ultraviolet radiation on organisms, and with the emission of light by organisms. Among the more important topics are photosynthesis, photoperiodism, vision, orientation in relation to light direction, photoinactivation and photoreactivation of DNA, regulation of gene activity by light and ultraviolet radiation, phototoxicity, photomedicine, and bioluminescence.

I am currently part-time engaged as a visiting Professor at the School of Life Science, South China Normal University (Guangzhou 510631, China). Information about my work in China (in Chinese).

You can read my blog here (in Swedish). Also learn about "The poor scientist's spectrophotometer" (pdf; 6,4 MB) for recording absorption, reflection and fluorescence spectra.

Dynamics of the provitamin D/vitamin D system in lichens and plants

Plants, algae and fungi (including lichens) form provitamin D (which has a D2 and a D3 form). Its function in these organisms is unknown. Under the action of ultraviolet radiation it is converted to previtamin D (D2 and D3, respectively), which by a non-enzymatic thermochemical reaction is converted to vitamin D (D2 and D3). Possibly the system acts as a UV-B sensor. Our primary goal is to determine the rate at which the provitamin to previtamin conversion takes place under ultraviolet radaition, how rapidly previtamin is converted to vitamin, and how rapidly provitamin is resynthesised under various conditions (e.g., in a lichen thallus with various moisture contents).

International commitments

I am taking part in the work on reports by UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme) regarding ozone depletion, increased ultraviolet radiation, and climate change.

Education-related projects

Biological dictionary

In cooperation with Studentlitteratur and several colleagues at Lund University.