30 September 2015

Palle Madsen has been appointed Professor in silviculture

Applied research

Palle Madsen has been appointed Professor at the Forest and Landscape College (FLC) at the University of Copenhagen. Here he will enhance the applied research and development of sustainable forestry. The aim is to provide more and better scientifically based knowledge to support and better inform forestry teaching as well as practice.

Palle Madsen. Photo: Inger Ulrich

Palle Madsen. Photo: Inger Ulrich. Click on the image for download.

Due to climate change, forestry is facing huge challenges in terms of sustainability. And research in sustainable forestry is one of newly appointed Professor Palle Madsen’s primary interests.

“Forests and forestry have great potential to support the sustainable development of society. Not only in terms of how we utilize the forest as a resource  to minimize dependence on fossil fuels and energy-intensive materials such as steel, aluminum and concrete, but also in how the rapidly increasing need for renewable materials and energy from forests can be balanced against the needs to support forest biodiversity.”

Head of Department (IGN) Claus Beier has high expectations for the FLC in appointing its first professor:

“If we are to support the development of a sustainable society – in which forestry has clear potential – it will require new models and collaborative structures across traditional boundaries. The FLC brings new opportunities for bridge-building that adds to what universities usually offer. We are looking forward to testing this with the new professorship.”

Benefits for education and forestry

Executive Head of Education Anders Bülow expects that the new professorship paves an entirely new path for the FLC, a path with two distinct goals:

“We aim at enhancing practice-oriented and applied research and development within forestry; including a close cooperation with all of the Department (IGN). Additionally, we aim at strengthening the applied and forestry oriented research in close collaboration between education, research and forestry to support a sustainable development of society. This we plan to do by utilizing the partly unattended but great potential in sustainable forest management and silviculture. 

“The Forest and Landscape College must utilize the opportunity given by the fact that we are part of the University of Copenhagen in our efforts to support the forestry sector in the future. We need the forest and landscape engineering disciplines to have the best possible educational basis in order to ensure the development of the profession,”Anders Bülow explains.

Drawing on common resources

For his part, Palle Madsen views the professorship as a natural part of the activities of the Forest and Landscape College: “I expect that together we will have an excellent platform for strengthening applied research for the benefit of the future development of the profession. I look forward to building and maintaining a solid network with the industry in developing both education and research. We are such a small sector that we are obliged to draw on common resources in order to succeed.”

“Palle Madsen has just the right profile thanks to his many years of contact with the sector and the practice-based profile of his research,” Anders Bülow says. “I think that Palle is the perfect person to drive future development in which the Forest and Landscape College will not only reproduce knowledge, but also create it – very often in close cooperation with the sector.”

About Palle Madsen

Palle Madsen is 55 years old and has been employed as Senior Researcher in the Section for Forest, Nature and Biomass at the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management at the University of Copenhagen. Since the first of July, Madsen has served as Professor with Special Responsibilities at the Forest and Landscape College in Nødebo, which belongs to the Department.

Palle Madsen is specialized in the regeneration and restoration of forests with a focus on developing the potential of forests to contribute to sustainable development, including adapting to and counteracting climate change.  

Palle Madsen was originally a graduate in Forestry and his PhD thesis dealt with the natural regeneration of beech trees. Since 1989, he has been employed at Forest & Landscape Denmark, which in 2012 merged with the Departments for Geography and Geology to become the present-day Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management at the University of Copenhagen.