Ivo Frébort, a Czech citizen born in 1965; MSc. in Analytical Chemistry 1989, Palacký University Olomouc, Czech Republic; Ph.D. in Biochemistry 1992, Masaryk University Brno, Czech Republic; Ph.D. in Bioresources Science 1997, Tottori University, Japan; postdoc 2001, University of Tübingen, Germany; Professor in Biochemistry at the Palacký University since 2005; visiting professor, Osaka University 2007.
Ivo Frébort is the founder and Executive Director of the Centre of the Region Haná for Biotechnological and Agricultural Research (2010-2022), a member of the Executive Board of European Federation of Biotechnology (since 2012) and former Dean of the Faculty of Science, Palacký University Olomouc (2014-2018). His research covers broad areas in enzymology, molecular biology and biochemistry, with a special focus on the enzymes of hormone metabolism in plants and possible biotechnological applications, including cloning and preparation of transgenic barley (WoS 120 papers, 2500+ citation, h-29, 4 patents). His lecturing includes Molecular Biology and Structure and Function of Biomacromolecules. He was the principal investigator of a large infrastructure project (>30 mil. €) from EU structural funds and many other R&DI projects.
Sebastian Wendeborn (born in Berlin/Germany) studied chemistry at the Universities of Freiburg/Germany, Pennsylvania/USA, and California, San Diego/USA, where he received his PhD with Prof. K. C. Nicolaou. After postdoctoral studies at the ETH Zürich/Switzerland with Prof. A. Eschenmoser and an industrial career at research centers of Ciba-Geigy, Novartis, and Syngenta, he was recently appointed professor and head of the Institute for Chemistry and Bioanalytics at the School of Life Sciences, FHNW. His research interests range from understanding structure and reaction mechanisms in chemical and biological systems to the identification and efficient synthesis of biologically active molecules. This includes herbicides, fungicides, plant hormones and allelochemicals and their interaction with other organisms.
Michaela Holecová graduated at Palacký University, Olomouc, and at Tomas Bata University, Zlín (Czech Republic). She works as a project manager at C. R. HANÁ, Palacký University, Olomouc, where she deals with administration of EU structural grants. She also serves as the Palacký University deputy in the Bioeconomy Platform of the Czech Republic.
Syngenta Head of Seeds Regulatory Affairs for Europe, Africa and Middle East.
His interest is in the introduction of new technologies in food and agricultural crops with a particular focus in the technical regulatory and social implications of these new technologies.
Esteban Alcalde (born in Madrid/ Spain) studied Agronomic Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Madrid and Food Safety at the Universidad Complutense where he received his PhD.
His career has been developed in the Seeds Industry in the areas of Plant Breeding of Field crops and Biotech Regulatory. He has been a key player of projects leading to the introduction of the first GMO cultivated in Europe and developing the regulatory strategy of GMOs imported into the EU.
He is member of multiple industry associations and president of the Antama Foundation.
Since 5 years ago he leads the Syngenta Seeds Regulatory Affairs team in Europe, Africa and Middle East.
Dr. Wolfram Brück, is the head of the microbiology laboratories at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HES-SO Valais Wallis). He received his MSc in Medical Microbiology and Molecular Microbiology at the University of Manchester Medical School in 1998 and his PhD at the University of Reading investigating the modulation of the infant gut using peptides and prebiotics in 2003 under the supervision of Prof. Glenn Gibson. In 2005, Dr. Brück first worked at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution (Ft. Pierce, Florida) before becoming the center manager for the “Centre of Marine Biotechnology” (Co. Donegal, Ireland). In both positions, he was investigated bioactive compounds from marine species and worked on sustainability issues with local fisheries and aquaculture. Between 2010-2014, Dr. Brück was a consultant on sustainability issues for CITE Investments Ltd., London, UK. Dr. Brück is a project member of the “Smart Protein for a Changing World“-project under the H2020 LC-SFS-17-2019 call https://smartproteinproject.eu/about/). The Smart Protein project is aiming to develop alternative plant protein ingredients and products for humans which have a positive impact on bio-economy, environment, biodiversity, nutrition, food security and consumer trust and acceptance. In addition to funded projects, Dr. Brück has also run numerous Master and Bachelor level project on alternative proteins from algae and plants in collaboration with the head of Werner Siemens-Chair of Synthetic Biotechnology at the Technical University of Munich.
Dr. Ana I. Caño-Delgado is a CSIC Investigator and coordinator of the Plant Signaling & Development Program at the Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG) in Barcelona. She did a PhD in Biology at John Innes Centre (UK) and was a HFSPO Postdoctoral Fellow at Salk Institute (US). She is internationally recognized for publishing numerous high-impact scientific journals, has received awards in science and entrepreneurship and is an elected EMBO Member since 2016. At CRAG, she leads the Brassinosteroid signaling group supported by an ERC CoG grant to engineering crops able to grow on severe drought. These achievements are the results of two decades of studies in plant steroids hormones, Brassinosteroids, in which she pioneers the study of signaling mechanisms with cell-specificity. Her team discovered that vascular steroid receptors confer resistance to drought without penalizing growth. In the context of a climate emergency, Caño-Delgado is currently translating her scientific results to crops to ensure food security. In addition, Caño-Delgado is an engaged science communicator chasing two specific goals: encouraging women in science leadership and acceptance of gene edition tools in agriculture.
David Erlandsson is the co-founder of Aliga Microalgae and have been one of the driving forces to make this Danish based food-tech company into one of the most recognizable algae production companies in Europe. David has a dual-honours degree in Economics and International Politics from Keele University in UK, thereafter 25 years of experience in international sales, business development and company management, as well as 10 years experience in international board work.
David commenced his career in microalgae in 2014 and in 2016 founded Aliga with the ambition to bring algae from a niche supplement product into a core food ingredient. To overcome the organoleptic challenges with microalgae the company have developed and patented a chlorophyll-free, white Chlorella with a neutral taste and flavour enabling food manufacturers to utilize the full nutritional properties of algae in plant-based formulations.
Prof Daniel Gibbs is Professorial Fellow and Plant Science lead at the University of Birmingham, UK. After completing his PhD on lateral root development with Dr Juliet Coates, he joined the lab of Prof Michael Holdsworth at the University of Nottingham in 2009, where his postdoctoral work helped to delineate the molecular basis through which plants perceive and respond to low-oxygen stress and the signalling molecule nitric oxide (e.g., Gibbs et al. 2011 Nature; Gibbs et al. 2014 Molecular Cell). In 2012 he began a Nottingham Advanced Research Fellowship, before moving to his current position in 2013. His work- currently funded by the BBSRC and European Research Council (ERC) – is focussed on understanding how plants use targeted degradation of transcriptional and epigenetic regulators to coordinate growth, development, and stress response (e.g., see Gibbs et al. 2018 Nature Communications). Most of this work is conducted in the model plant Arabidopsis, with a longer-term goal of providing new knowledge that can be translated into crop species for potential agronomic benefit. Daniel’s contributions to Plant Science have been recognised with several prizes, including the 2013 Outstanding Scientist Award from the International Society of Plant Anaerobiosis (ISPA) and the 2019 Society of Experimental Biology (SEB) President’s Medal (Plant Section). In addition to his research, Daniel has an ongoing commitment to the wider plant science community. He was previously a member of the UK GARNet advisory committee, a BBSRC-funded network for UK-based plant science, and is currently Gatsby plant science mentor at Birmingham, where he actively promotes student engagement in plant sciences.
Goetz Hensel (born in Buttstaedt/Germany) studied Biotechnology at the Technical University of Magdeburg/Germany. He received his PhD from the University of Brunswick/Germany and did his postdoctoral studies at the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) in Gatersleben/Germany. Afterward, he joined the Plant Reproductive Biology group at the same institute to become the lab manager and deputy group leader. Recently he was appointed head of the Centre of Plant Genome Engineering at Heinrich-Heine University Dusseldorf/Germany. His research interest includes the genetic transformation of cereal crop plants, targeted mutagenesis, and genome editing using customized endonucleases as well as molecular farming.
Dr. Lydia Ugena is the Global R&D Bionutrition Coordinator at Tradecorp International, Rovensa Company, leaders on sustainable agricultural solutions worldwide, developing agronomic products and concepts to improve crop quality and yield. She is focused on plant biostimulants development by working on agronomic trials and screening trials on strategic crops and studying, moreover, their mode of action with different methodologies (such as omics, high-throughput phenotyping platforms, etc.) by leading innovative end-to-end projects of R&D in this subject. Born in Toledo / Spain, holds a PhD in Experimental Biology at Palacky University of Olomouc specialized on the identification of the mode of action of plants biostimulants. She studied Chemical Sciences at Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) and a MSc. in Forensic Analysis by the Basque Country University (UPV/EHU). During all her career, she has published several articles on high-impact scientific journals. Moreover, Lydia is consultative member of the European Biostimulants Industry Council (EBIC).
Prof. Ludger A. Wessjohann focuses on the analytics, discovery, synthesis and application of natural products and derivatives of plants, associated microorganisms, and higher fungi. Analytical chemistry concentrates foremost on the metabolome level, studying phylogenetic, environmental and bioactivity relationships. Data are evaluated by commercial and proprietory algorithms and informatics tools. Isolation of relevant bioactive constituents is followed by chemical and biological characterization, synthesis and derivatization, with an emphasis on biotechnological methods. The knowledge generated is channelled into applications, e.g. for new drug leads, flavors, or plant protectants.
Prof. Wessjohann studied chemistry in Hamburg (Germany) and Southampton (UK), and obtained his PhD with Prof. de Meijere from Hamburg University after a sandwich PhD-study in Oslo (Norway, Prof. Skattebøl). He then worked as lecturer in Brazil before starting a Feodor-Lynen postdoctoral fellowship (Alexander v. Humboldt foundation) with Prof. Wender, Stanford University (USA). During his habilitation (“ass. prof.”) at LMU Munich (mentor Prof. Steglich) he accepted the offer for a full professorship of bioorganic chemistry at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (NL). Since 2000 he is Director of the Dept of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry (IPB) in Halle, at which he served as managing director from 2010-2017. In parallel, he holds the chair of natural product chemistry at Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg. He also founded scientific IT, Pharma and Biotec companies and advises science organizations, companies and governments. Among other honors, he is foreign member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences.
Alexander H. Wissemeier, born 1955 studied Agricultural Biology at the University of Hohenheim, Germany. 1988 PhD in plant nutrition on manganese oxidation in cell walls of cowpea genotypes differing in tolerance to an excess of manganese. From 1993 - 1994 postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Agriculture at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. Habilitation at the Leibniz University in Hannover (LUH) in 1996 on calcium deficiency in lettuce and poinsettia as affected by genotype and environment. In 2000, appointed adjunct professor at the LUH. Since 1998 at the BASF Agricultural Center Limburgerhof, Germany, R & D in the field of plant nutrition and soil management. 61 applied patents in the field of plant nutrition, inhibitors of the nitrogen cycle, and soil amelioration.