Professor Lars Østergaard appointed to prestigious post at the University of Oxford

Professor Lars Østergaard has been appointed as the Sherardian Professor of Botany at the University of Oxford. 

Professor Østergaard is currently programme leader in the Genes in the Environment Institute Strategic Programme (ISP) at the John Innes Centre. 

His transition to the new post will be phased over the next two years, with Professor Østergaard retaining a share of his duties at the John Innes Centre, pending his full assumption of the role in 2024.  

The Sherardian Professor of Botany, is a Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, and sits in the Department of Biology. As part of the appointment, Professor Østergaard will deliver an inaugural lecture during the first year of his appointment. 

“I’m honoured to be appointed to this prestigious position and grateful to the John Innes Centre for all the support my group and I have received throughout my 17 years at the institute. I look forward to maintaining a close research collaboration between these two world-leading research establishments,” said Professor Østergaard.

The Professorship was created following an endowment by renowned English botanist William Sherard. There have been 15 holders of the post since it was set up in 1734 

Professor Østergaard’s research at the John Innes Centre takes a developmental genetics approach to understand how morphological diversity evolves.  

His studies are focused on comparative reproductive tissue development using both crops and non-cultivated plant species as model systems and driven by elucidating molecular mechanisms in organ development.  

Professor Østergaard is also committed to translating his discoveries to improve crop performance and focussing on the global requirement for increased plant-based food production and sustainable agriculture.  

Recently, Professor Østergaard developed a programme in pea developmental genetics with the aim of improving legume crop production through fundamental understanding of the mechanism underlying pod and seed formation.  

Looking forward, this programme will develop through close interactions between the John Innes Centre and University of Oxford. 

Professor Østergaard holds honorary professorships at the University of Copenhagen and the University of East Anglia.

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