Robin Buell

University of Georgia

In July 2021, Dr. C. Robin Buell joined the University of Georgia as the Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar Chair in Crop Genomics in the Department of Crop & Soil Sciences and the Center for Applied Genetic Technologies. Prior to joining UGA, she was a University Distinguished Faculty and MSU Foundation Professor of Plant Biology at Michigan State University (2007-2021), an Associate Investigator at The Institute for Genomic Research (1999-2007), and as Assistant Professor at Louisiana State University (1997-1998).

Mark Cooper

The University of Queensland

Professor Mark Cooper is Chair of Prediction Based Crop Improvement at The University of Queensland, and a global leader in quantitative genetics and plant breeding. His work involves integrating genomic prediction and crop growth models into an ‘end to end’ framework for crop improvement.

Antonio Augusto Franco Garcia

University of Sao Paulo, Brazil

The ultimate goal of my research projects is trying to have a better understanding of the genetic architecture of quantitative traits, specially (but not exclusively) for polyploids, with emphasis on sugarcane. This could be useful for breeding programs and for geneticists interested on complex traits.

Gregor Gorjanc

University of Edinburgh

I lead the HighlanderLab, which focuses on managing and improving populations using data science, genetics, and breeding. We focus on populations used for food, feed, and fibre production We are particularly interested in: (i) methods for genetics and breeding, (ii) design and optimisation of breeding programmes, and (iii) analysis of data to unravel biology and to find new ways of improving populations.

Ben Hayes

University of Queensland

Professor Hayes has extensive research experience in genetic improvement of livestock, crop, pasture and aquaculture species, with a focus on integration of genomic information into breeding programs, including leading many large scale projects which have successfully implemented genomic technologies in livestock and cropping industries.

Joanna Newton

Agriculture Victoria, Australia

Passionate about research that delivers tangible benefits for farmers, since obtaining a PhD in animal breeding and genetics from the University of New England, Jo’s work has focused on practical tools to illustrate the benefit of better herd-improvement decisions on farm.

Lindiwe Sibanda Majele

University of Pretoria

Prof. Lindiwe Majele Sibanda is a recognized leader, practicing farmer and esteemed policy advisor with a career spanning 30 years. She currently serves as Director and Chair of the African Research Universities Alliance – Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Food Systems (ARUA-SFS) at the University of Pretoria. Prof. Sibanda is also the incoming Research Chair for Sustainable Food Systems at the Future Africa Institute, University of Pretoria. She is also hosted by the University’s Centre of Advancement of Scholarship as a Senior Research Fellow.

Rob Martienssen

Cold Spring Harbor Lab

Rob Martienssen studies epigenetic mechanisms that shape and regulate the genome, and their impact on transposable elements, first discovered by Barbara McClintock at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. These mechanisms underlie clonal propagation of oil palm, with implications for rain forest conservation, and of aquatic plants, including the humble duckweed, that are being engineered in the Martienssen lab for biofuel production and carbon sequestration.

Anna Sonesson

Norwegian food research institute (Nofima)

I work with the design of breeding schemes, including marker-assisted and genomic selection schemes, and with QTL mapping. I also work with the management of genetic variation, i.e. managing inbreeding, both at the level of relationship and at the genomic level.

Leena Tripathi

Director- Eastern Africa Hub

Dr. Leena Tripathi is the Director of Eastern Africa Hub and Leader of the Biotechnology Program at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). She is leading the transgenic and gene-editing research at IITA. She has been involved in plant biotechnology research for more than 25 years, with specific interests in crop improvement.