The Academy has elected Prof. Gunnar Öquist as new Secretary General to serve from July 1, 2003. He succeds Prof. Erling Norrby, who was elected in 1997.
The Secterary General works as the managing director for the Academy. He leads its daily work and among his tasks is to announce the names of the recipients of the Nobel Prize in Physics and Chemistry, and the Prize in Economic Sciences in memory of Alfred Nobel, in October each year.
Gunnar Öquist is professor in Plant physiology at the Umeå Plant Science Center, University of Umeå. His research concerns the regulation of photosynthesis in cyanobacteria, algae and vascular plants in response to environmental stress, such as extreme light conditions, water shortage or lack of nutrients. The photosynthesis takes place in two different systems in the plant cells, and his group has investigated the interaction between these two systems under varying environmental conditions.
Besides his research, Öquist has served in many boards for Swedish science councils and foundations over the years. He also has a long experience from European research collaborations and presently serves in an advisory group to the Commission. He’s a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and of the Royal Society of Canada.