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He studied natural sciences at the University of Helsinki, later spending several years working as a secondary school teacher. In 1910 he obtained his PhD at Helsinki with a dissertation on Alchemilla vulgaris. Afterwards, he served as first custodian at the botanical museum in Helsinki, where he remained until his retirement in 1941.
Throughout his career, he collected and studied Fennoscandian flora that included subfossil specimens and bryophytes. He also made important contributions in his investigations of plants native to southern Europe and northern Africa; Spain, Sicily, Greece, Cyprus, Morocco, et al. In 1932 he visited Britain and Ireland, where he collected specimens from the genus Taraxacum.
As a taxonomist, he is credited with describing 150 new botanical species. From 1906 to 1945 he was tasked with compilation of the "Plantae Finlandiae Exsiccatae". In 1969 the grass genus Lindbergella was named in his honor by Norman Loftus Bor. In the field of entomology he published the treatise "Coleoptera insularum Canariensium" (1958).