XIX International Plant Protection Congress (IPPC2019)

Keynote Speakers

Dr Shoki Al-Dobai, PhD
Integration & Support Team Leader
International Plant Protection Convention Secretariat
Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Dr Shoki Al-Dobai holds a PhD degree in Plant Protection – Entomology from the Slovak University of Agriculture in Slovakia with over 18 years’ work experience at national, regional and international levels in pest management, biological control, pesticide management and phytosanitary measures. Currently, he works as the Integration & Support Team Leader of the Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) at Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN). His is in charge of support and coordination of the work of the IPPC governing body “Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM)”, strategic planning, partnership, and communication and advocacy activities of the IPPC Secretariat. In addition to the technical activities related to the emerging pests and plant health issues.

From 2011 to 2017 he served as a Regional Crop Protection Officer at the FAO Regional Office for the Near East & North Africa Region in Cairo, Egypt. He provided guidance and technical support to governmental institutions in the formulation and implementation of FAO plant protection projects and programmes, both at the national and regional levels. In addition to the FAO work history, Dr. Al-Dobai has also academic and research experience as Lecturer and Assistant Professor at different universities, and as visiting Post-Doctoral Research Entomologist at the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology (CMAVE), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), US Department of Agriculture, Gainesville, Florida, USA. He worked on a research project and examined environmentally friendly methods to conserve and increase population of natural enemies of plant pests by planting specific flowering plants amidst and near crops.
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Dr Geoff Norton
Adjunct Professor, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

Dr Geoff Norton is currently Adjunct Professor at The University of Queensland (UQ), Brisbane as well as an advisor to the software development company - Identic Pty. Ltd., a spin-off company involving staff initially based at UQ. Previously Geoff was Director of the Centre for Pest Management, Imperial College, University of London (1984 – 1992); Director of the Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Pest Management, CSIRO, Australia (1992 – 98); and Director of the Centre for Biological Information Technology at UQ (1998 – 2012). The overall theme of Geoff’s research over almost 50 years has been at the interface of socio-economics and ecology. This has led to the development and worldwide application of systems analysis, stakeholder involvement processes, and the development of decision support tools that address specific resource management problems, with a particular focus on decisions involving crop protection issues. He has published over 100 journal articles, books and book chapters in this field.

More recently, Geoff works with the software team at Identic Pty Ltd, the group that developed the Lucid suite of software, used by taxonomists, agronomists and other specialists to author multi-media, interactive identification and diagnostic keys or tools. These tools are deployed via USB, CD/DVDs, online, and as Lucid Mobile smartphone apps to support decisions made by researchers, quarantine officers, crop advisors, farmers, etc.

Geoff is currently President of the International Association for the Plant Protection Sciences (IAPPS).
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Prof Frank Ordon
Head of Institute
Julius Kühn-Institute (JKI)

Prof. Dr. Frank Ordon is president of the JKI and honorary professor for “Molecular resistance breeding” at the Martin-Luther-University, Halle-Wittenberg, Germany. He studied agricultural science at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany, where he also got his PhD and state doctorate (Dr. habil.). He is the editor in chief of “Plant Breeding” and is a member of several editorial boards, e.g. “Theoretical and Applied Genetics”, “Journal of Applied Genetics,” and scientific advisory boards. He is chair of the Research Committee of the Wheat Initiative.

Frank has a basic background in classical and molecular plant breeding with special emphasis on breeding for resistance against viral and fungal pathogens in barley and wheat. His primary contribution includes genetic analyses of resistance and the development of molecular markers for major resistance genes and QTL, especially against virus diseases, up to gene isolation. Besides this, he is working on improving tolerance to abiotic stress in several crop species. Frank has published the results of his studies in more than 130 papers in peer reviewed journals.
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Dr Jörg Romeis
Agroscope, Research Division Agroecology and Environment, Reckenholzstrasse 191, 8046 Zurich, Switzerland

Dr. Jörg Romeis heads the Biosafety Research Group at Agroscope in Zurich, Switzerland. Agroscope is the Swiss center of excellence for agricultural research, and is affiliated with the Federal Office for Agriculture. In addition, he is lecturer at the University of Bern and adjunct professor at the Institute of Plant Protection of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing.

Jörg holds an MSc and PhD in biology and was trained as an applied entomologist with a focus on biological pest control and multi-trophic interactions. He has more than 20 years of experience in studying insect-resistant genetically engineered (GE) plants, such as Bt maize and cotton, and with the environmental risk assessment that these plants have to pass prior to cultivation. His research is focusing on the effects of GE plants on arthropod herbivores and their predators and parasitoids. In addition to primary research, Jörg is actively involved in international expert groups defining operational environmental protection goals, and in developing guidelines for risk assessment and non-target testing to ensure that GE plants released to the environment do not cause environmental harm.

In total, Jörg has published more than 170 papers in peer-review journals. He has also edited a book that addressed the integration of insect-resistant GM plants in IPM programs.
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Dr (Ms) Chandish R Ballal
Director, ICAR-NBAIR, Bangalore &
Project Coordinator, All India Coordinated Research Project on Biocontrol Bangalore, India

Dr Ballal received her B Sc, M Sc and M Phil Degrees from Calicut University and Ph D from Mysore University. She was a Merit Scholarship holder throughout her education and a University first rank holder for her M Phil degree. Her first posting as ICAR scientist was in the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bangalore in 1985 and later she moved on to the Project Director of Biological Control, which is now upgraded to ICAR-National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources. She was the Head of the Division of Insect Ecology from 2013 to 2016, and from 2016 has occupied the chair as Director, ICAR-NBAIR, Bangalore. She has always laid a lot of emphasis on environmental safety and sustainability by focusing her research efforts on conservation of biodiversity and “Biological control” a non-chemical mode of insect pest management. She has standardized continuous and effective production technologies for beneficial insects, which are being widely adopted by commercial units, researchers and students. She holds the largest live insect repository in Asia, with 127 different insect cultures. The prompt and continuous supply of quality live insect cultures made, and production protocols developed by her are valuable services to the student community, bio-control researchers and commercial insectaries. By interacting with farmers and conducting demonstration trials in farmers’ fields, she has created confidence in farmers on the non-chemical mode of pest management. She has handled around 40 research projects and has more than 300 research publications to her credit. She has received international travel grants from DST, IOBC, CSIR, CABI, ICAR, FAO and Beijing Academy of Sciences to present her research papers in international conferences in India, Greece, China, Srilanka, USA, Nepal, Bangkok, etc. She is an elected fellow of several Professional Societies and is the recipient of Prof. T N Ananthakrishnan Award 2006, Dr Sithanantam Award 2010-11, NBAIR scientific excellence Award 2015, Dr S P Singh Biocontrol Lifetime Achievement Award 2016, the ICAR Panjabrao Deshmukh Outstanding Woman Agricultural Scientist Award 2015, Dr S Pradhan Memorial Award 2018 from IARI and Dr (Ms) Prem Dureja Endowment Award 2018 from NAAS.

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Prof Noriharu Ken Umetsu
Visiting Professor of the Kibi International University, Adviser of OAT Agrio Co., Ltd.

Prof. Umetsu received his Ph.D., Agricultural Chemistry, in 1974 from the Tohoku University, Japan. Originally an agricultural chemist with expertise in rice blast disease and its associated toxins. During 1974-1981, Dr. Umetsu was a postdoctoral trainee and visiting scientist in the University of California, Riverside, where he conducted research on the adverse effect of impurities existing in technical organophosphorus insecticides. He also worked on the design of new carbamate insecticides and succeeded in commercializing several products.

On returning to Japan, Dr. Umetsu continued his research on the development of commercial agrochemicals with Otsuka Chemical Co. During a 15-year period as research manager and head (Director on Board) of the Otsuka Agricultural Chemicals Division, Dr. Umetsu and his colleagues developed six new agrochemicals.

He is a member of many scientific societies such as the Pesticide Science Society of Japan (PSSJ) and the International Association for the Plant Protection Sciences (IAPPS). Dr. Umetsu was a President or Vice President of PSSJ for a total of six years, Member of the Governing Board of IAPPS (coordinator for Northeast Asia) and conference chair of the 3rd Pan-Pacific Conference of Pesticide Science held in Hawaii.

He served as a visiting professor of the Tokyo University of Agriculture and the Kobe University for many years and is currently a visiting professor of the Kibi International University and the East China University of Science and Technology. He is an Honorary Member of PSSJ. He currently works as an advisor to OAT Agrio CO., Ltd.

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Dr Philip C Stevenson
Head of Chemical Ecology, Agriculture, Health and Environment Department
Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TB, UK
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Surrey TW9 3AB, UK.

Phil Stevenson is Professor of Plant Chemistry at the Natural Resources Institute (University of Greenwich) where he is Head of the Chemical Ecology. He holds a dual position as Head of Biological Chemistry at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Phil’s research has focussed on the biological and ecological role of plant chemicals and understanding how these compounds can be used to support sustainable agriculture. This work includes research on pollen and nectar chemistry to determine their role in pollinator behaviour and health and behavioural ecology, natural pest resistance in crops to identify breeding traits and the optimisation of pesticidal plants (botanical insecticides) as environmentally benign and affordable alternatives to synthetic insecticides. Phil leads a variety of major research and development projects funded through UK Research and Innovation (BBSRC, GCRF), McKnight Foundation, European Union and USDA and NSF (USA). Phil’s research has been published in 150 international journal articles, books and books chapters including in Science, Current Biology, Ecological Monographs, Ecology, Journal of Ecology, Scientific Reports and Functional Ecology. Phil’s is Subject Editor at the Bulletin of Entomological Research, Regional Editor of Biopesticides International and Editorial board member of Crop Protection and Plants, People, Planet. He is a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society and Member of the British Ecological Society.

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Prof. Eleftherios (Eris) C. Tjamos
Emeritus Professor in Plant Pathology
Agricultural University of Athens,
Department of Plant Pathology, Votanikos 11855, ATHENS, Greece

Prof. Tjamos, Founder and President of the Hellenic Society of Phytiatry, has been appointed to serve on the IAPPS Governing Board in his role as IPPC Host Country Representative. Prof. Tjamos obtained his BSc and MSc in Agronomy with major in Plant Pathology, Agricultural University of Athens, Greece, and his PhD in Plant Pathology, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of London, U.K., in 1974. During his rich career, he has been Research Plant Pathologist, Benaki Phytopathological Institute, Kiphissia, Athens, Greece (1970-1987), Visiting Scientist, Host Pathogen Interactions, University of Lexington, Kentucky, USA (1981-1982), and Visiting Professor, Biological Control of soil-borne pathogens, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, MD, USA (1993). At the Department of Plant Pathology, Agricultural University of Athens, Greece, he has been subsequently Assistant Professor (1987), Associate Professor (1991), Professor of Plant Pathology (1994-2010), and Professor Emeritus of Plant Pathology (2010 to date). Within the same institution, he has served as the Director of the Section of Plant Protection and Environment (2003-2005), and Dean of the Faculty of Crop Science (2005-2009). He has directly supervised 55 MSc and 7 PhD students.

His research interests spawn from phytoalexins and induced resistance, to biological control of plant diseases, Verticillium wilt with emphasis on olives, soil solarization and methyl bromide alternatives, and mycotoxigenic fungi in grapes and wine. Eris has also substantially contributed to extension, by publishing several layman journal articles in extension plant protection journals to inform extension plant pathologists and farmers about various aspects related to the management of soil borne pathogens, while at the same time numerous leaflets were produced to promote soil solarization and soil fumigation to help farmers move out of the methyl bromide use.

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Prof. David G. Heckel
Geschäftsführender Direktor
Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie, Abteilung Entomologie,
Beutenberg Campus, Hans-Knöll-Straße 8, D-07745 Jena, Germany.

David G. Heckel is currently Director at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany. He was born in Pittsburgh and studied biology and mathematics at the University of Rochester. He was awarded the PhD in Biological Sciences from Stanford University in 1980. He joined the Zoology faculty at Clemson University in 1980 as Assistant Professor, and was eventually promoted to Professor. He was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at CSIRO in Canberra, Australia during 1996-1997. In 1999 he moved to the Department of Genetics at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He moved to Germany in 2004. His research interests include adaptations of generalist vs. specialist herbivorous insects to chemical defenses of their hostplants, resistance to chemical and biological insecticides, the genetic basis of host shifts, mechanisms of sympatric speciation, ecological aspects of insect immune systems, wing color patterns of butterflies, biosynthesis of female sex pheromones in moths, and the genetics of male behavioral responses to pheromones in Lepidoptera.

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