Delphine Fleury is Genetics leader at the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics in Adelaide (Australia). She runs the genetics program aiming to improve the tolerance of wheat and barley to drought using quantitative genetics and omics. Her group particularly focused on the positional cloning of quantitative trait loci increasing yield under low rain-fed environment. She is co-investigator with the EU project DROPS on drought tolerant crops and with the ARC Industrial Transformation Hub linked to Australian breeding companies on genetics diversity and molecular breeding for wheat in a hot and dry climate.
François Tardieu leads the Research Group “Analysis and modelling of the genotype x environment interaction” at INRA Montpellier. His group deals with the modelling of plant responses to environmental conditions, especially water deficit: stomatal control, leaf growth, root growth in relation with hydraulic and chemical signalling. The group has developed novel phenotyping platforms for temporal analyses of growth, architecture and transpiration of hundreds of genotypes. He coordinates the UE project DROPS that links genetic analyses in the field and in phenotyping platforms via modelling, and the French National infrastructure of phenotyping (Phenome-FPPN).
German Spangenberg held an academic position at ETH Zurich before joining DEPI Victoria, Australia, where he is currently Executive Director of the Biosciences Research Division. He is also a professor (Plant Genetics & Genomics) at La Trobe University. German has a strong record in the research of agricultural biotechnology. He was elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in 2007 for his inspiring and innovative research and is a world leader in pasture plant genomics and gene technology. He is keen to bring these innovations to the marketplace for the benefit of temperate grassland agriculture worldwide.
Johannes Novak is a professor at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna where he leads the working group “Functional Plant Compounds”. His research is focused on the quality of medicinal and aromatic plants. He studies the variability and biosynthesis of functional plant compounds and aims at identifying the molecular genetic basis for differences in the content of secondary metabolites. He is the Secretary General of the European Herb Growers Association.
John Bradshaw spent the whole of his 34 year career (1975-2009) as a plant breeder and geneticist at what is now the James Hutton Institute in Dundee. He worked on barley, brassicas and potatoes; doing research on the applications of genetics to plant breeding as well as breeding kale, swede and potato varieties. He was particularly interested in kale population improvement, heterosis in swedes, linkage and QTL analysis in tetraploid potatoes, and breeding for quantitative resistance to pests and diseases. Throughout his career he was a member of EUCARPIA and having served as Chairperson of the Section Potatoes was made an honorary member in May 2012.
Matthew Reynolds is a wheat physiologist at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Mexico. He works to bolster crop yields and improve the capacity of wheat to survive stressful conditions, particularly in developing countries. He has developed physiological approaches for improving the yield potential of wheat, work that will underpin the new IWYP (International Wheat Yield Partnership) initiative. He also plays a leading role in the interrnational Heat and Drought Wheat Improvement Consortium (HeDWIC).
Nils Stein is head of the research group Genome Diversity at IPK Gatersleben, Germany. His research focuses on structural and comparative genome analysis in barley, wheat and rye, with the emphasis on barley. Nils Stein is the Chair of the International Barley Genome Sequencing Consortium (IBSC) and his team is leading the international efforts to sequence barley. He chaired the Scientific Coordinating Committee (SCC) of Germany’s Plant2030 Research Program (BMBF) and he is one of Germany’s representatives on the research committee of the international Wheat Initiative.
Ola Westengen is an Associate Professor at the Department of Environment and Development Studies at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. His research focuses on the conservation and use of genetic resources. He does research on the role of socio-cultural and agroclimatic factors in shaping the genetic diversity in crops and the role of genetic resources and seed systems for food security and adaptation to climate change. He served for eight years as the Coordinator of Operation and Management for the Svalbard Global Seed Vault – a storage facility to back-up genetic diversity held in genebank collections of crop diversity worldwide.
Richard Oliver is Professor of Agriculture at Curtin University, Australia and Chief Scientist of the Centre for Crop Disease Management (the successor organization of the Australian Centre for Necrotrophic Fungal Pathogens (ACNFP)). He and his colleagues played a key role in identifying and explaining the inverse gene-for-gene interaction that is common in necrotrophic plant pathogens. This led to pioneering approaches to eliminate disease susceptibility genes in wheat through simple and high-throughput screens based on purified pathogen effector proteins. The tools he developed are expected to considerably accelerate resistance breeding against globally important cereal diseases such as tan spot and the Septoria leaf blotches.
Richard GF Visser is Professor & head of Plant Breeding at Wageningen University & Research Centre, The Netherlands. Next to this he holds positions relevant in the field of plant breeding and plant variety protection. He and his colleagues played instrumental roles in different genome sequencing projects of amongst others potato, tomato and brassica. He is member of different organisations aimed at promoting breeding research and innovation to practical breeding including the use of novel breeding technologies. He has a keen interest in using all available tools and technologies as well how to protect these methodologies and the obtained plant materials in practical plant breeding.
Torben Asp is research group leader at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Aarhus University, Denmark. The research group conducts both fundamental and applied research to dissect complex traits mainly in temperate grasses. He is collaborating closely with plant breeding companies to develop novel breeding strategies based on genomic selection, and leading the international efforts to sequence perennial ryegrass. Research interests include deciphering and analysis of plant genomes on a structural and functional level using computational biology and comparative genomics approaches.