Professor Lars Østergaard

Subject: Biology, Plant Sciences and Zoology

Department: Biology

College appointment: Professorial Fellow

Academic position: Sherardian Professor of Botany


Professor Lars Østergaard is from Denmark and studied Biochemistry at the University of Copenhagen. In 1997, he received his PhD on plant peroxidases also from University of Copenhagen. Following his postdoctoral studies at UC San Diego on the genetics of fruit development, Lars moved to the John Innes Centre in Norwich, UK, to establish his laboratory. During his 18 years at JIC, Lars has been Head of Department of Crop Genetics and an Institute Programme Leader. He holds honorary professorships at University of Copenhagen and University of East Anglia and started his position in Oxford in November 2022.

Research Interests

Lars’ research is focussed on reproductive organ development and morphological diversity using both crops and non-cultivated plant species as model systems. Although driven by answering basic biological questions, Lars is committed to translating his fundamental discoveries into strategies for crop improvement and for overcoming the effects of a changing climate. He previously used oilseed rape as target for his translational work but has recently changed his focus to legume crops – initially pea – with the aim of improving the performance of ‘high-protein’ crops.