Olof Swartz (1760-1818)

Professor Bergianus (1791-1818) 

Picture of Olof Swartz

Olof Swartz was the first Professor Bergianus of the Bergius Botanic Garden after the demise of Peter Johan Bergius. On his deathbed Bergius is supposed to have expressed the wish that Swartz should take office as Professor Bergianus.

Olof Swartz has made a lasting impression on botanical history. He introduced bryology, the science of mosses, as a discipline in Sweden. He made extensive journeys to the West Indies and North America, where he described several new species. Orchids were his big interest, and he made significant contributions to the classification of orchids. Yet, probably his most important achievement in botany was the systematization of ferns. In the volume of prints, Svensk Botanik, he was the author of several of the volumes and, in addition, the originator of many of the illustrations. He lived on Karlbergsallén and at Bergielund.

Johan Emanuel Wikström (1789-1856)

Professor Bergianus 1823-1856 

Picture of Johan Emanuel Wikström

Wikström got to know Swartz and spent much time at Bergielund helping to arrange the collections. At Swartz’s sudden death in 1818 Wikström was appointed director of the Bergius Horticultural School and the collections of the Academy of Sciences. It was not until 1823 that he was made a Professor. Wikström did a lot of work on the herbaria collections, which today form the botanical collections of the Swedish Museum of Natural History.

In 1821 the people in charge of each scientific field were instructed by the Academy to write annual reports. Wikström was commissioned to write annual surveys on botanical works and discoveries – a great and absorbing work.
He was a bachelor and lived a simple life at Bergielund.

Nils Johan Andersson (1821-1880)

Professor Bergianus 1857-1879 

Picture of Nils Johan Andersson

A roving spirit with great skill as an educator and an early supporter of the theory of evolution are three characteristics of Nils Johan Andersson. After defending his doctoral thesis under Elias Fries and having been appointed as a docent of botany, he gained an outlet for his fondness of travelling. He carried out many excursions in Sweden, and eventually he went on the 21 months long sailing trip around the world with the warship Eugenie, Sweden's first circumnavigation of the earth. As a superintendent at the Botanical Department of the Swedish Museum of Natural History, and as Professor Bergianus, he later worked with the 50,000 plants gathered from more than 30 countries during the voyage on Eugenie.

Andersson had a great passion for education. He was a teacher and published a number of botanical books and floras. His botanical expertise mainly covered the genus Salix - sallows and willows.
Andersson's wife and sons were painters. Best known are the paintings of his son, J.A.G. Acke.

Veit Brecher Wittrock (1839-1914)

Professor Bergianus 1879-1914

Picture of Veit Brecher Wittrock

Wittrock defended his doctoral thesis at Uppsala University in 1866 and then became a docent of botany. At the same time he worked as a teacher at the secondary grammar school in Uppsala. In 1878 he was made a Professor of Botany at Uppsala University, and soon after that he accepted an offer to temporarily manage the Commissariat Service of Botany at the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm. At that time this position was held by Nils Johan Andersson, Wittrock's predecessor as Professor Bergianus, who was ill and unable to carry out his function at the museum. When Nils Johan Andersson handed in his resignation from the Bergius Professorship, Wittrock was appointed as his successor.

At the time of Veit Brecher Wittrock's appointment as Professor Bergianus, the new city plan for Stockholm came into force making it possible to get good financial compensation for Bergielund and the land belonging to it. The garden was transferred to its present location at Frescati and it was designed largely according to Wittrock's plans.

Apart from his contribution in moving the Bergius Botanic Garden, Wittrock is mostly remembered for introducing provincial flowers to Sweden in 1909. The proposal came from the Swedish-American, August Wickström, who was influenced by the State Flowers of the United States. A preliminary list was made by botany teachers in secondary grammar schools all over the country but, as they failed to agree on a final version Wittrock was commissioned to make one. Later on the list was somewhat changed, but the greater part of today's provincial flowers are those designated by Wittrock a hundred years ago.
With his wife, Kristina (née Danielsson) Veit Wittrock had three children.

Robert Fries (1876-1966)

Professor Bergianus 1915-1944

Picture of Robert Fries

Robert Fries was one in a line of famous botanists from the Fries family. Robert was the grandson of Elias Fries, the founder of modern mycology, and son of the lichen specialist, Thore Fries. The scientific achievements of Robert Fries are primarily focused on mycology (the science of fungi), plant geography and systematics.

Robert Fries was the initiator of the Orangery, which was finished in 1926 behind the spruce hedge planted by his predecessor, Veit Wittrock, as a shelter for the outdoor cultivations. In addition, the institutional building was constructed during the time of Fries' management, and still serves today as the office of the Professor Bergianus, among other functions. Many of the Foundation's collections are also kept in this building, including the Bergius Herbarium and the Iconoteque.

Rudolf Florin (1894-1965)

Professor Bergianus 1944-1965

Picture of Rudolf Florin

Even as a young boy Rudolf Florin got to know the Bergius Botanic Garden since his father was the garden director there. After his doctoral defence he became a docent at Stockholm University. In 1944 he became the Professor Bergianus.

Florin's main fields in botany were plant morphology and paleobotany (the science of fossil plants and their evolution). He was the foremost researcher of his time on gymnosperms - that is, an expert in the branch of botany dealing with plants which keep their seeds hidden away in cones or cone-like structures. Rudolf Florin was a pioneer in the research on the evolution of conifers.

In 1947 he was elected to the Academy of Sciences and became active in many of its departments. Among other roles, he was the inspector of the scientific research station at Abisko and the paleobotanic department of the Swedish Museum of Natural History, a member of the Academy's executive committee, and secretary of the Nature Conservation Committee.

Måns Ryberg (1918-1986)

Professor Bergianus 1966-1983

Måns Ryberg

Måns Rydberg was a plant ecologist with a special interest in the cultivated landscape, especially the groves of Central Sweden. He also worked within the field of morphology and wrote a thesis on corydalis with observations from the Bergius Botanic Garden. As a skilled pomologist, he oversaw the establishment of the clone archive of apples in the Bergius Botanic Garden, and ensured that the garden became the protector of apple varieties from the area of Lake Mälaren within the programme of the Nordic Gene Bank. Today the clone archive keeps 45 varieties of apples and some varieties of pears.

Great changes were made in the organization of the Bergius Botanic Garden during Rydberg's time as Professor Bergianus. The Government allowed deviations from Bergius' will, which led to the closure of the commercial sector and the Horticultural School. The latter had, in practice, already been closed down. The trading company was no longer competitive and the Horticultural School had a shortage of students as a consequence of the modern study programmes which began to arise. It was also decided that the Bergius Foundation and the Botanic Garden should be separated. Today the garden is managed by Stockholm University, while the Foundation is in charge of research activities and the Edvard Andersson Conservatory (which came into existence due to a donation to the Foundation).

Bengt Jonsell (f. 1936)

Professor Bergianus 1983-2001

Picture of Bengt Jonsell

Jonsell's main scientific interests are the Nordic vascular plant flora and the family Brassicaceae on a global level. Additionally, he works with botanical history, especially Linnaeus and the Linnaean epoch.

Jonsell graduated from school in Nyköping in 1954, and after that he studied chemistry and biology at Uppsala University where he defended his doctoral thesis on the Brassica genus, Rorippa, in 1968. He was a docent in Uppsala until 1977 and then a senior lecturer at Stockholm University.

During Jonsell's time as Professor Bergianus, the Edvard Andersson Conservatory and the Japanese Pond were constructed. Bengt Jonsell initiated the present Flora Nordica project, a scientific vascular plant flora on the five countries of Scandinavia.

Birgitta Bremer (f. 1950)

Professor Bergianus 2002-2014

Bild Birgitta Bremer

Birgitta Bremer's botanical focus is on molecular - phylogenetic studies, especially within the coffee family, and she was one of the first to use information from the DNA of plants to trace generic relationships.

Her research mainly involves tropical and subtropical plant material gathered during expeditions to Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, Ecuador, and Africa (South Africa, East Africa, Madagascar). The plant genus Bremeria from Madagascar, with some 20 species, is named after her.

Bremer defended her doctoral thesis at Stockholm University in 1980. She was a lecturer and a professor at Uppsala between 1990 and 2004, and in 2002 she was appointed Professor Bergianus. Apart from her position as a leader of the activities in the garden she is also head of the Department of Systematic Botany at Stockholm University.