Joseph Gottlieb Kölreuter Institute for Plant Sciences, Chair Molecular Biology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Holger Puchta is director of the Joseph Gottlieb Kölreuter Institute for Plant Sciences at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany. After his study of biochemistry at the University of Tübingen and his PhD at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry in Munich he joined the laboratory of Barbara Hohn at the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel, Switzerland before he became in 1995 group leader at the Leibnitz Institute for Plant Genetics in Gatersleben (IPK), Germany. In 2000 he habilitated at the University Halle in Genetics. He was worldwide the first scientist to demonstrate that site-specific nucleases can be applied to induce controlled changes in plant genomes and one of leading scientists adopting the CRISPR/Cas technology to plants. Recently his group established CRISPR/Cas mediated plant chromosome engineering. He is since a row of years a “highly cited” researcher and was named “Pioneer of Plant Biotechnology” by the Plant Biotechnology Journal. He was awarded twice with a prestigious advanced grant of the European Research Council and most recently with the Reinhard Koselleck excellence funding of the German Research Foundation.
Institute for Plant Production and Plant Protection, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, Universidad Austral de Chile
Daniela obtained her Doctor's degree at the University of Wageningen, in the Netherlands, where she also did a post-doc and worked as an assistant professor. She moved in 2023 to Universidad Austral de Chile, where she started at a position on ‘Crop Production, Predictive Agriculture and Big data’. Her research focuses on the application of statistical and crop models to predict crop adaptation, with applications to tolerance to drought stress and climate change. These models involve the synthesis of genotypic, physiological and high throughput phenotyping information. She teaches pre- and postgraduate courses related to the statistics for agriculture and plant breeding.
Dorcus C. Gemenet
Breeding Simulation Specialist, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)
Dorcus Chepkesis Gemenet is a Breeding Simulation Specialist working with CIMMYT’s Integrated Development program. She is currently working with the CGIAR Excellence in Breeding (EiB) Platform, in the Breeding Program Optimization team as a Breeding Simulation Specialist mainly giving direct support on program optimization for Roots, Tubers and Bananas CGIAR group of crops (RTB) with IITA, CIAT and CIP. She has more than 10 years’ experience working with different CGIAR centers. Before joining EIB, she worked for the International Potato Center (CIP) as a Molecular Breeder and Quantitative Geneticist with duties to develop genomics-ssisted breeding tools and establish quality control standards in sweet potato and potato. Before CIP, as part of her PhD, she worked with ICRISAT in the Sahel region of West Africa (Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso and Senegal) on the genetic basis of low phosphorus tolerance in the Pearl millet systems. Chepkesis Gemenet was also part of the Kenya Maize Working group (KALRO) and worked on CIMMYT/NARS Projects including IRMA II, DTMA, WEMA and IMAS.
Head of Global Genomics and Breeding Design Vegetable R&D, Bayer AG
Hans Daetwyler is the Head of Global Genomics and Breeding Design at Bayer Cropscience Vegetable Seeds based in the Netherlands. His team develops genomic resources and genotyping platforms, predictive breeding and trait mapping approaches and workflows for 19 vegetable and fruit crops. Hans is a Quantitative Geneticist trained initially in Animal Breeding and Genetics (BSc and MSc University of Guelph, Canada). His PhD, completed jointly at the University of Edinburgh and Wageningen University, focused on theoretical aspects of genomic prediction and imputation applicable to animal and plant populations. He moved to Agriculture Victoria, Melbourne, Australia after his PhD to work on genomic prediction in sheep and cattle and soon after started to work on genomic breeding approaches in cereals, forages, oilseeds, horticulture, and pulses. He was appointed Research Leader for Computational Biology at Agriculture Victoria in 2016 and held a joint appointment as a Professor at La Trobe University by the time he left academia to join Bayer Cropscience Vegetable Seeds. Hans’ main R&D interests are increasing genetic gain and product success through implementation of technologies and methods such as genomic prediction, rapid inbreeding, digital phenotyping, as well as optimization of breeding programs through computer simulations. While not a molecular geneticist by training, he is passionate about the use of genome sequencing to create and accelerate genomic resources for domestic populations and their wild relatives.
Justus Liebig University Giessen
Prof. Dr. Agnieszka Golicz is a bioinformatician and a Professor for Agrobioinformatics at the Justus Liebig University Giessen. She completed a BSc (Hons) in Molecular Genetics at the University of Dundee, a PhD in Applied Bioinformatics at the University of Queensland and a McKenzie Fellowship funded post-doctoral research at the University of Melbourne. She has led and contributed to diverse genomics and pangenomics projects, studying eukaryotic (mostly plant) genomic and transcriptomic diversity. In 2020 she was awarded the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award from the Humboldt Foundation to establish a research group in Germany. Her main research focus is the development and use of methods for the analysis of large scale genomic and multi-omic datasets of crops including oilseed rape, faba bean and sorghum. She is particularly interested in structural variants and their effect on genes, the regulation of gene activity and the control of agronomic traits.bioinformatics at the Justus Liebig University Giessen. She completed a BSc (Hons) in Molecular Genetics at the University of Dundee, a PhD in Applied Bioinformatics at the University of Queensland and a McKenzie Fellowship funded post-doctoral research at the University of Melbourne. She has led and contributed to diverse genomics and pangenomics projects, studying eukaryotic (mostly plant) genomic and transcriptomic diversity. In 2020 she was awarded the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award from the Humboldt Foundation to establish a research group in Germany. Her main research focus is the development and use of methods for the analysis of large scale genomic and multi-omic datasets of crops including oilseed rape, faba bean and sorghum. She is particularly interested in structural variants and their effect on genes, the regulation of gene activity and the control of agronomic traits.
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.
Professor Cooper has pioneered the development of novel genetic modelling methodologies, based on gene networks, to study important properties of quantitative traits in biology, and demonstrated how this new genetic modelling framework can be successfully used in plant breeding to improve prediction of important traits under the influences of selection. Professor Cooper’s work at DuPont Pioneer on drought adaptation in one of the largest maize breeding programs in the world led to the AQUAmax hybrids that presently cover millions of hectares worldwide.
A quantitative geneticist by training, Professor Cooper spent 20 years working with industry in the United States and as CEO of his own consultancy firm Zenrun42, before returning to UQ to build upon the critical mass of predictive agricultural expertise in QAAFI and the wider university.