Jens Soelberg

Jens Soelberg


Ongoing project: Danish Medicinal Plant Biobank

DMPB is an open access biobank with 600+ samples of 330+ species of Danish plants, all with a drug history in Denmark. The aim of the biobank is to facilitate cross-disciplinary research and dissemination projects, especially research projects aimed at high throughput or metadata-driven screening for biological activity and potential drug leads.

The biobank opens for research cooperations in 2022 – contact


As an ethnobotanist and pharmacognosist Jens Soelberg studies the interactions between people and nature, with special attention to medicinal plants.

Contributing with a multidisciplinary approach, which draws from botany (collection, identification and classification of plants), pharmacognosy, drug history and ethnographic documentation of plant uses, Jens participates in research colaborations to preserve, evidense-base and develope the medicinal potential and value of plants.


Current research

Projects and fieldwork

2020- Danish Medicinal Plant Biobank.

2018-2022. Alle Tiders Lægeplanter. Database, encyclopaedia og website (

2017-2019. Relocation, restauration, registration, updating, photo documentation and conservation of the Pharmacognostic Collection.

2017. Forgotten Medicinal Plants of the Former Danish Colonies (PhD-project).

2016. Publication, printing and distribution of an Afghan school book Useful plants of Wakhan and Pamir نباتات سودمند واخان و پامیر

2014. US Virgin Islands. Ethnobotanical study, plant and data collection for historical comparative study and pharmacology.

2013-14. Ghana. Ethnobotanical study, plant and data collection for historical comparative study and pharmacology.

2013. Guatamala. Ethnopharmacological plant collection

2012. Atalaya, Peru. Ethnobotanical study of plants used against snakebite among Ashàninka indians.

2010. Wakhan and Pamir, Afghanistan. Ethnobotanical data among agropastoralist and nomads, plants, fungi and lichens. 3rd Danish Pamir Expedition. 

2009. Chapursan, Karakorum, Pakistan. Ethnobotanical data collection. Pre-study.

2009. Meghri, Armenia. Collection of Galanthus spp. for the PHYLODRUGS-project.

2009. Etablishment of Museum of Natural Medicine in cooperation with Anna K. Jäger og Søren Brøgger Christensen, Pharmaschool, KU. (

2008. Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa & Namib-desert, Namibia. Ethnobotanical data collection and studies of endemics in Pondoland og Swakopmund.

2007. Altai Mountains, Sibiria, Russia. Studies of the variation of Lonicera spp. in regards to tectonic activity.       

2007. Tuva Respublika, Sibiria, Russia. Ethnobotanical data collection among shamans. 

2006. Studies of Hypericum perforatum.



Teaching and supervision


  • Pharmacognosy, drug history, drug plants and herbal drugs.
  • Botany (Danish, Greenlandic, Centralasian, West and South African, South and Meso-American flora).
  • Ethnobotany (theory, method, project execution, dissemination).
  • Research use and conservation of ethnobiological museum collections.

Teaching at University of Copenhagen

  • Lectures, exercises, class exercises, excursions at the course Drugs from Nature (former Pharmacognosy/Natural Products Chemistry), Pharmaschool, SUND.
  • Lectures at the course Drug developement – from molecule to human, Pharmaschool, SUND.
  • Lectures for the course Applied Ethnobotany, SCIENCE.
  • Teaching assistant in botany at Department of Biology, SCIENCE.



  • Talks/lectures on ethnobotany, ethnopharmacology, forgotten medicinal plants of Denmark and former colonies for school and high schools classes.
  • Tours and talk at Museum of Natural Medicine undvisninger og foredrag på Naturmedicinsk Museum (
  • Participation in Copenhagen Culture Night since 2009
  • Development and execution of special exhibitions at Museum of Natural Medicine: The Danish Pamir Expeditions 1896-2010 (2011), Medicinal Plants of the Vikings (in cooperation with Anna K. Jäger, 2013), Plants against cancer (in cooperation with Søren Brøgger Christensen, 2014), Afrodisiaka – Love drugs (2015), Danish Slave Medicine (2017), Euphoric Medicine (2018) and Gin & Tonic (in cooperation with Line Nørgaard Jørgensen, 2019), Snakebite (in cooperation with Brian Lohse, 2021..
  • Youtube-videos on botanical morphology, plant fmailies, ethnobotany and chemotaxonomy (Botanik for Farmaceuter).
  • Lectures  for Folkeuniversitet Emdrup, København og Aarhus.
  • Dissemination of ongoing research and results, ethnobotany, natural products chemistry, pharmacognosy and cross-disciplinary research at public and pricate events, high schools, the Big Bang Konferencen, Vin og Videnskab, Talks på Toppen og and various media. 

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