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Prof. Kai Voss-Fels

Hochschule Geisenheim University, Germany

Prof. Lee Hickey

University of Queensland, Australia

Dr. Morgane Roth

INRAE, France

The ‘Next Generation Breeders’ Workshop for early career scientists, including industry breeders, PhD students and postdocs. It will be held from March 17-18, 2024 just before the start of the GPZ main conference.

About the workshop:

Plant breeding has evolved into a highly advanced, multi-disciplinary science that is data-driven and predictive in nature. The rate of improvement from breeding, known as genetic gain, is described by the breeder’s equation. An enormous range of technologies have been developed to optimise each element within the equation. These include technologies to decrease the time interval between generations, harness genetic variation and more accurately estimate genetic values.

Plant breeders are under pressure to develop improved varieties that are sustainable and climate-resilient to provide food and fibre for our growing global population. This is a significant challenge. Furthermore, climate change and sustainability challenges have created headwinds working against productivity and ‘business as usual’. Time is the critical factor in ensuring our cropping systems are genetically future ready. The substantial amount of time it takes to develop a new variety, or add a new trait to the breeding objective, means plant breeders are working today to develop solutions for an unpredictable world a decade or more away. Modern tools have enabled the collection of a wealth of relevant data but translating these data into knowledge that informs smarter decisions for breeding requires refined methodologies that simply do not exist yet, and people trained to apply them.

Therefore, we believe that part of the solution lies in exposing and training the next generation of plant breeders in a broad range of technologies that can be integrated to achieve these goals. The future of plant breeding will only be successful if young scientists and breeders are encouraged and supported.

This workshop is designed to provide advanced training in breeding theory and technologies, along with networking opportunities, for early career scientists. Six sessions will be covered over the two days, led by world-leading breeders and experts in each topic, from German and international universities as well as private plant breeding companies. Participants will benefit from two social networking dinners and selected participants will have an opportunity to present their research.

Organising committee:

Expression of interest and deadlines:


Researchers who are interested in attending the workshop can fill in an expression of interest form below. Importantly, EOI forms can be submitted for both, attendance as participant or attendance as contributing expert. The organising committee will select a diverse group of 40 early career scientists to attend the workshop as we want to maximise the networking and idea sharing opportunities between participants. The organising committee will select participants, as well as a number of contributing experts, based on their response in the expression of interest form which are due 20th December 2023

Selected participants/experts will be notified by 15 January 2024 and will be invoiced for 50 € to confirm their registration for the event. Selected participants/experts are expected to attend both days of the workshop and attend the main conference from 19-21 March 2024.

Expression of Interest form

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