Keynote Speakers

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Local Organizing Committee


John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK

Cathie Martin researches into the relationship between diet and health and how crops can be fortified to improve diets and address the global challenge of escalating chronic disease. This work has involved linking leading clinical and epidemiological researchers with plant breeders and metabolic engineers to develop scientific understanding of how diet can help to maintain health, promote healthy ageing and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

Cathie has recently initiated collaborative research in China to research on Chinese Medicinal Plants, particularly those producing anti-cancer metabolites used for complementary therapies.

Cathie was Editor-in-Chief of The Plant Cell (2008-2014) and is now an Associate Editor for Molecular Horticulture. She is a member of EMBO, AAAS, a Fellow of the Royal Society, in 2014 she was awarded an MBE for services to Plant Biotechnology, in 2019 she was elected Janniki Ammal Chair of the Indian Academy of Sciences for outstanding women in science and in 2022 she was awarded the Rank Prize for outstanding contributions to research on nutrition.


Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, New York University/New York and Abu Dhabi

Michael Purugganan is the Silver Professor of Biology at New York University Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, and is also an affiliate faculty member at the NYU campus in Abu Dhabi. His research focuses on plant evolutionary genomics, especially the evolutionary genomics of crops, including genetic adaptation of rice and date palms. Prior to joining the NYU faculty in 2006, he was the William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Genetics at North Carolina State University.  He has been a Guggenheim and Kavli Fellow, and was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2005 and a corresponding member of the National Academy of Science and Technology of the Philippines in 2019. He serves on the international advisory boards of the Philippine Genome Center and the Barcelona Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics.


Institute of Bio- and Geosciences, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, 52428 Jülich, Germany.

Uli Schurr is a plant physiologist and heads the Institute of Plant Sciences at Forschungszentrum Jülich. The institute is a leading institute in plant phenotyping, developing quantitative methods for analyzing plant architecture and function in controlled environmental conditions and in the field, and translating these methods with partners into practical applications in horticulture, agriculture, and breeding. He initiated and coordinates the German Plant Phenotyping Network DPPN; is the chairman of the ESFRI project EMPHASIS and president of the global International Plant Phenotyping Network (IPPN) ). Uli Schurr has been leading the Bioeconomy Science Center (, the largest European research network on sustainable bioeconomy based on the cooperation of the Universities of Bonn, Aachen, Düsseldorf and the Research Center Jülich, for 10 years. He initiated the BioeconomieREVIER initiative ( to establish a model region for sustainable bioeconomy in Germany.

Marc-André SELOSSE

Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France; University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland

Marc-André SELOSSE is professor at Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (Paris), and at Universities of Kunming (China) and Gdansk (Poland). His researches focus on the ecology and evolution of mycorrhizas, a major symbiosis between soil fungi and roots of most land plants. He has a general interest for symbiosis and its evolution. He was head of the French Botanical Society for ten years and is now president of the Fédération BioGée, member of the French Academy of Agriculture and of the Institut Universitaire de France. He (co-)edits four international scientific journals: New Phytologist, Ecology Letters, Symbiosis and Botany Letter.

All his papers (more than 200 scientific papers and 200 outreach papers) are downloadable at He published outreach books in French on microbiota  (Jamais seul, 2017), tannins (Les goûts et les couleurs du monde, 2019) and soil (L’origine du Monde, 2021). Website: