Agriculture Development in the Face of Change
Dr. John Healey
Forest Sciences at the School of
Natural Sciences, Bangor University
Speech Topic: Efficient and sustainable forest production to meet increasing global demands
John Healey is a highly regarded academic in Forest Sciences, serving as Professor at Bangor University since 2012. With prior experience as a Lecturer in Tropical Forestry and Senior Lecturer in Forest Ecology, he currently holds the esteemed position of Director of Research in the College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering. As a dedicated professional, he is a member of the Institute of Chartered Foresters, highlighting his commitment to the field.
Throughout his career, John has made significant contributions to forestry research, publishing over 120 peer-reviewed papers covering a wide range of topics, including forestry management, restoration, climate change impacts, biodiversity, and agroforestry. He specializes in the sustainability of forestry and forest product value chains, emphasizing environmentally sound practices.
Engaging beyond academia, John actively collaborates with policy and advisory bodies. In 2023, he was invited to the Forestry England Expert Panel, focusing on emerging issues and opportunities in UK woodland management for the next five decades. He is a member of the Natural Resources Wales Forestry Technical/Scientific Advisory Group, shaping forest-related policies. Additionally, he serves on the Conference Steering Committee for the ICF National Conference, “Connecting trees, farmers, and foresters.”
With extensive research experience and policy engagement, John Healey influences the study and practice of Forest Sciences. His dedication to sustainable forestry practices and advancing knowledge in the field contribute to shaping the future of forest management and conservation.
Dr. Lin Hsueh-Shih
Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute,
Speech Topic: The role and function of Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute in the process of agricultural industrialization in Taiwan
Dr. Hsueh-Shih Lin is an accomplished professional in agriculture, specializing in biotechnology and plant breeding. Born in Taiwan in 1960, he obtained a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree from the Department of Horticulture at the Chinese Culture University, R.O.C. in 1983, and a Master’s degree from the Department of Horticulture at the National Taiwan University, R.O.C. in 1985.
Driven by his passion for advancing agricultural knowledge, Dr. Lin pursued further education abroad. In 1998, he earned a Ph.D. from the Department of Plant Breeding at Wageningen Agricultural University in the Netherlands.
Since 2019, Dr. Lin has held the position of Director General at the Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute. As a plant breeder and project leader, he has made significant contributions to the field. He successfully bred one variety of wax gourd and six varieties of daylilies, showcasing his expertise in creating new cultivars. Dr. Lin has also led his colleagues in developing high-quality new varieties and implementing innovative technologies, improving agricultural efficiency, and increasing farmers’ income.
Dr. Lin’s extensive academic achievements, expertise in biotechnology and plant breeding, and visionary leadership as the Director General of the Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute highlight his influential contributions to the agriculture sector. His dedication continues to drive advancements in the industry, making a lasting impact on agricultural practices.
Dr. Fedro S. Zazueta
International Commission of
Agricultural and Biological Engineering
University of Florida, U.S.A
Speech Topic: Readiness of Agriculture for the 4th Industrial Revolution
Zazueta obtained a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering and an M.S. degree in Water Use and Conservation from ITESM, Mexico. He obtained a Ph.D. in Agricultural Engineering from Colorado State University, USA.
In 1982 Zazueta joined the Agricultural Engineering Department of the University of Florida. With the vision of a “desktop computer in every farm”, Zazueta developed a research, teaching and extension program on the use of computers in agriculture. This program was recognized by the USDA Secretary of Agriculture with the Superior Service Award for “improving efficiency of Florida agriculture in domestic and international markets”.
Other notable accomplishments include authorship of over 500 publications; PI on grants totaling over 24 million dollars; university, state, national and international awards; and keynote speeches. He served as consultant at the cabinet level in many countries. He is a founding member of iAABE, INFITA and ALIA.
Zazueta served UF in the roles of professor, and various IT related administrative roles, including Associate CIO. During his tenure at UF, he developed and implemented the Institutional IT Strategic Plans. Including the use of IT infrastructure and services to improve teaching outcomes and reduce the cost of instruction that came to be recognized among the best in the USA.
Dr. Jonty Brunyee
Sustainable Farming and
Food Systems at FarmED, United Kingdom
Speech Topic: Building a Regenerative Farm Tourism Enterprise
Jonty Brunyee, the Head of Sustainable Farming and Food Systems at FarmED, is passionate about regenerative agriculture, agroecology, eco-entrepreneurship, sustainable food and education. He has 30 years of experience in the sector, currently leading on knowledge exchange and partnerships at FarmED. Prior to joining FarmED he was a Programme Manager at the Royal Agricultural University teaching farm business management and sustainability, and a Director of Pasture for Life. Jonty is also a National Trust farm tenant at Conygree Farm in the Cotswolds (UK), producing award-winning organic and pasture fed beef and lamb, habitat for farmland birds and species rich grassland. He has recently launched a new market garden enterprise and a farm events business, working with new entrants, his community and nature. He is a consultant and mentor to others seeking an agroecological and regenerative future, and the co-founder of Emergent Generation, a new network of young regenerative thinkers and practitioners.
Controlled Environment Agriculture
Dr. Genhua Niu
Urban Agriculture at the
Texas AgriLife Research Center at Dallas
and the Department of Horticultural Sciences,
Texas A&M AgriLife Research, U.S.A
Speech Topic: Sustainable agriculture/controlled environment agriculture
Genhua Niu is a professor in Urban Horticulture at Texas A&M AgriLife Research at Dallas, Texas A&M University. Her specialty is in stress physiology and crop production under controlled environment, including greenhouses and indoor farms. She earned a PhD (1997) in horticulture from Chiba University and MS (1987) and BS (1984) in Agricultural Engineering from Zhejiang University. Prior to joining Texas A&M University in 2004, she was a visiting scientist at USDA-ARS and post-doctoral research associate at Michigan State University. She has published 156 peer-reviewed journal papers and 25 book chapters. She is the editor and author of the books “Plant Factory – Indoor Vertical Farming for Efficient Quality Food Production” (1st & 2nd edition) and “Plant Factory – Basics, Applications, and Advances”.
Dr. Jennifer Bromley
Chief Research Officer
Vertical Future, United Kingdom
Speech Topic: Vertical Farming: Environment-led Technology and Operational Development
Jennifer Bromley is Chief Scientific Officer at Vertical Future, a vertical farming technology and data company creating a network of green infrastructure on a global scale. They develop their own proprietary technologies (90% manufactured in house) in both hardware and software.
Jennifer has a PhD in plant molecular biology and biochemistry from University of Cambridge and has worked in fields including potatoes, biofuels and tobacco. Following 3 postdocs, she left academia and moved to industry, initially as a research scientist at British American Tobacco where she eventually led their computational biology and gene discovery research group and oversaw the assembly of the tobacco genome to a chromosome-level assembly.
She now leads the Plant R&D team at Vertical Future covering areas as diverse as crop physiology and response to light to biofortification and biomanufacturing.
Dr. Eri Hayashi
President and Director
International Relations & Consulting
at the Japan Plant Factory Association, Japan
Speech Topic: Towards Sustainable Plant Factory: Innovations for Better Well-Being Society
There has been a growing interest in plant factories, also referred to as indoor vertical farms or plant factories with artificial lighting (PFALs). Plant factories, with well-insulated and almost airtight structures, have the potential to enable the production of high quantities of high-quality plants year-round in conjunction with achieving highly efficient resource utilization.
The concepts, technological and socio-economic features of plant factories, the economics of energy and other resource use, and real-world examples of commercial plant factory development and innovations, including automation, will be introduced. Furthermore, some of the forthcoming technologies, including plant phenotyping based on cohort research, global challenges to the research and development towards sustainable plant factories, and potential applications in social activities as part of the global ecosystem for better well-being societies will be discussed.
Dr. John E. Erwin
Professor and Chair
College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
University of Maryland, U.S.A
Speech Topic: Environmental Factors Impacting Greenhouse Vegetable Crop Yield and Nutritional Value
John is a Professor and Department Chair at the University of Maryland in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture. He serves on the US Federal Urban Agriculture Advisory Committee and owns a crop production consultant business where he works with some of the largest ornamental and greenhouse vegetable growers in the US. He also served as a Minneapolis Park Commissioner for twelve years.
John received his Bachelors’ of Science degree from Delaware Valley University and his Masters and PhD degrees from Michigan State University. Following graduation, he served as a Professor of greenhouse crop production at the University of Minnesota for 30 years.
John is an environmental stress physiologist who conducts applied and translational research. His applied work focuses on identifying optimal environmental conditions for crop photosynthesis, flowering and yield. His basic research explores the basis for episodic high temperature depression of photosynthesis and yield to inform breeding efforts to increase crop heat tolerance and yield.
Agriculture Innovation Systems
Dr. Lava Kumar
Germplasm Health/Virology &
Molecular Diagnostics, International
Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Speech Topic: Perspectives on Digital and Data-Driven Agricultural Innovations in Sub-Saharan Africa
Dr. Lava Kumar is the Head of the Germplasm Health and Virology and Diagnostics at the International
Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), a CGIAR center, in Ibadan, Nigeria. His program involves the
characterization of viruses, development of diagnostic tools, and methods for controlling virus diseases of
important food and horticultural crops in sub-Saharan Africa. He co-chairs the “Digital Agriculture” working
group at IITA and coordinates the CGIAR Germplasm Health component of the Genebank Initiative. His
program developed several innovations for virus disease diagnosis and strengthening phytosanitary systems,
specifically focusing on preventing the transboundary spread of pests and pathogens and ICT applications
for disease surveillance and seed quality assurance.
He obtained his Ph.D. in Virology in 2000 from Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, India. He has
authored/co-authored over 140 research articles in peer-reviewed journals and guided several MSc and PhD
students. He has received several merit awards, including the CGIAR Young Scientist Award in 2001 and
the IITA Best Scientist Award in 2018. He serves on several international panels, including Africa Union
Inter-African Phytosanitary Council and International Plant Virus Epidemiology Committee.
Dr. Hildegard Lingnau
Global Forum on Agricultural Research
and Innovation (GFAR) at FAO
Speech Topic: Law of GFAR in Agriculture Innovation Systems
Hildegard Lingnau is the Executive Secretary of the Global Forum on Agricultural Research and Innovation (GFAR).
She brings more than 32 years of experience in research, policy development and management positions in institutions and countries all over the world: with one of the top ten sustainable development think tanks (German Development Institute, GDI), with governments in Africa (Rwanda, Kenya, Somalia), Asia (Cambodia) and the Arab World (Palestine), with German government and implementing organizations (GIZ, BMZ and Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and with international organizations (OECD, WFP).
Hildegard Lingnau, a German national, qualified as a Professor at Siegen University (Habilitation). She holds a PhD (Dr.rer.pol.) in Development Economics and a Masters (Diplom) in Political Science from the Freie Universität (FU) Berlin. She also studied at the Institut d’Études Politiques (IEP) Paris, the German University of Administrative Sciences (HfV) Speyer and completed postgraduate studies at the German Development Institute (GDI). She is (i.a.) member of the Advisory Board of the UNU Institute for National Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA), the Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network (MPPN) and the German Association of University Professors (DHV).
Hildegard is married and has two grown-up children.
Dr. Delgermaa Chuluunbaatar
Agricultural Innovation Officer, Office of Innovation at FAO
Speech Topic: Agricultural Innovation Approach (AIS)
Delgermaa has over 25 years’ experience in agriculture, food security and rural development. She currently works at FAO’s Office of Innovation as agricultural research officer. Degi is part of the FAO’s team in promoting agricultural innovation system approach at national, regional, and global level. Degi has a Ph.D in Interdisciplinary studies from University of Saskatchewan in Canada. She believes in holistic systems approach and passionate about institutional development.