Meet the NSO Board: Ayco Tack

Introducing the Nordic Society Oikos Board! Representing Sweden is Ayco Tack, Associate professor in Stockholm University's Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.

Ayco Tack photo by Niklas Bjorling
Ayco Tack (Photo by Niklas Björling)

Hi, Ayco! What does your work focus on?
I am interested in the ecology and evolution of species interactions. I use experimental, theoretical and molecular techniques to study interactions between plants, microbes and insects. For this, I have worked extensively on the spatial dynamics of the insect and pathogen community on the oak tree Quercus robur and the below- and aboveground food web surrounding the perennial herb Plantago lanceolata. I am currently expanding my research to the diseases and insects on semi-wild coffee in Southwestern Ethiopia, and started to explore new study systems associated with Sweden’s perennial plants.

Why do you like being part of NSO and our national societies?
As a researcher, I like to contribute to the broader academic community. So a society with the aim to benefit ecology and the broader society seems like a natural choice.

What are your aspirations as a member of the NSO Board?
To stimulate fruitful interactions among ecologists.

What's one way that your life or work has changed since the pandemic began, for better or worse?
Zoom, zoom, zoom….

What do you miss most about non-pandemic times?
Conference, travel, fika & fieldwork!

Where are you itching to travel when it's safe?
The Afromontane mountains in Southwestern Ethiopia! It is the area where Arabica coffee originated, and we are studying the ecology of coffee in the natural forests and its cultivation by smallholder farmers. The last three years, I have been conducting fieldwork there during January and February, and I wish I could travel there soon again...

Have you started any new activities to cope with covid?
I now go for a long lunch skiing trip every day!

Favorite organism and/or ecosystem:
Fungi & insects, and raised bogs.

Favorite hobby or activity:
In winter, it is skiing and skating.

Meet the other members of the NSO Board: