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2nd Asia-Pacific Plant Phenotyping Conference

23-25 March, 2018, Nanjing, China

Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speakers (In alphabetical order)

Fred BARET, INRA, France

F. Baret received a PhD in the use of Remote sensing for crop monitoring in 1986. He is currently research Director at INRA, leading the remote sensing team. He coordinated several National and European projects. He is involved in the development of radiative transfer models at several scales (soil, leaf, canopy) and their use for the retrieval of vegetation biophysical variables. He developed retrieval algorithms (CYCLOPES, GEOV1, GEOV2, GEOV3) from satellite and airborne sensors as well as close range remote sensing. He is deeply involved in the validation of remote sensing products and chaired the CEOS/LPV working group. He recently expanded his activity on high throughput phenotyping with the development of measurement systems as well as interpretation methods. He is in charge of the development of phenotyping methods in field conditions within the French Plant Phenotyping Network (PHENOME) project. This includes the application of IoTs, phenomobiles (fully automatic robot rover) as well as the development of drone observations. He authored more than 220 research papers (h=50 from WoK).

 

April Agee CARROLL, Purdue University, USA

As Director of Phenomics for the Institute for Plant Sciences at Purdue University, April Agee Carroll leads operation of the first field phenotyping facility in North America, the Indiana Corn and Soybean Innovation Center. In early 2018, a new cutting-edge high throughput controlled environments crop plant phenomics system will come online, allowing researchers to rapidly evaluate fully mature hybrid corn. Carroll is also developing a data integration platform for plant sciences researchers, Smarter Agriculture®.

Before Purdue, Carroll headed the Controlled Environments Research and Technology Development group at DuPont Pioneer in Johnston, Iowa. She was the lead biologist on the facility design and scientific validation for two automated controlled environment plant production and phenomics facilities, totaling more than $65M. Carroll holds a Ph.D. in Plant Science from the University of California, Riverside, under Distinguished Professor Natasha V. Raikhel.

April Agee Carroll currently serves as Vice-Chair of the International Plant Phenotyping Network and is the founding Chair of the North American Plant Phenotyping Network.

 

Scott CHAPMAN, CSIRO, Australia

Scott is Senior Principal Research Scientist/Professor of CSIRO. Before join CSIRO in 1996, he had worked in CIMMYT and The University of Queensland. Main contributions in crop physiology and plant breeding methodologies that impact on the sugar and grains industries in Australia and elsewhere. Most recent major research program was in a national research program to develop “Climate-ready Cereals”. The areas of industry and science contribution can be summarised into four areas. 

 

Tao CHENG, Nanjing Agricultural University, China

Prof. Cheng is a remote sensing specialist at the National Engineering and Technology Center (NETCIA). His academic training in Canada and the United States was in the field of hyperspectral remote sensing for vegetation dynamics with specialization in spectroscopic estimation of biophysical and biochemical parameters. After joining the NETCIA, his research interests have been focused on growth monitoring and productivity prediction for rice and wheat crops. A major part of his current work lies in: 1) developing ground- and UAV-based platforms for rapid monitoring of agronomic traits (e.g., leaf area index and nitrogen content) and early detection of crop disease; 2) transforming multispectral and hyperspectral imaging techniques in remote sensing of vegetation to field-based plant phenotyping; 3) understanding the spectral responses to crop growth in normal and stress conditions and developing novel algorithms for crop monitoring. These research lines are closely linked to growth diagnosis and regulation for precision crop cultivation purposes. He was appointed Jiangsu Distinguished Professor in 2014 and was elected to IEEE Senior Member in 2016.

 
 

Chengcai CHU, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, CAS, China

Prof. Chengcai Chu, obtained his Ph.D. in Plant Molecular Biology from Martin-Luther University, Germany in 1996. After that he worked in Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) as postdoc fellowship in Prof. Dr. Uwe Sonnewald group. He joined in Institute of Genetics (now: Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, IGDB), the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in 1999, and now heads the Rice Functional Genomics and Agrobiotechnology group in IGDB. He is also the deputy director of National Key Laboratory of Plant Genomics.

 

 

Yanfeng DING, Nanjing Agricultural University, China

Prof. Ding is the vice president of Nanjing Agricultural University. He is a crop scientist conducting interdisciplinary research on the eco-physiology and cell biology of rice yield and quality. He is currently involved in over 20 national grants, and established the cultivation technique system to achieve high yield in rice based on the critical management of water and fertilizer. Integral to these projects are studies of nutrient, and environmental factor effects on physiological and molecular metabolism of rice. Molecular, physiological, and anatomical techniques are employed in approximately equal measure. He was enrolled in National High-level personnel of special support program (people plan) in 2016. 

 

 

John DOONAN, Aberystwyth University, UK

John Doonan has more than 25 years experience in genetics and developmental cell biology of plants and fungi. Before joining IBERS as Director of the National Plant Phenomics Centre (NPPC), he was Group Leader at the John Innes Centre in Norwich. Previous to that he worked at the Robert Wood Johnston Medical School in New Jersey, USA and obtained his PhD from Leeds University. Under his lead, NPPC aims to systematically investigate a comprehensive range of traits and relate these to the genes, the environment and the interplay between them. This will provide solutions to the global climate change in the coming decades. A series of experiments have been completed and vast amount of data has been accumulated. Some major conclusions have been achieved. These pilot and creative efforts are constantly contributing to plant phenomics.

 

 

Junyi GAI, Nanjing Agricultural University, China

Professor in the College of Agriculture at Nanjing Agricultural University, Honorary Director of the Chinese National Center for Soybean Improvement (CNCSI) and MOA Key Laboratory for Biology and Genetic Improvement of Soybean (General), Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering. He was the former president of Nanjing Agricultural University, the Eighth National Congress Representative, the member of Continuing Committee of the World Soybean Research Conference V and so on. He has been devoting his effort in the study on soybean germplasm, genetic improvement and statistical genetics. He published more than 500 peer-reviewed papers and monographs, and was granted a National Rank 2 Science and Technology Progress Award in addition to other 18 provincial or ministerial level science and technology progress awards. His major contributions to the science and technology were as follows: 1. He and his colleagues collected, studied and revealed the genetic potential of 15 thousand soybean landraces from southern China; established a new classification system of soybean eco-regions in China and a classification system of maturity groups that can be connected with the international tradition; successfully finished the analyses of pedigrees of the soybean cultivars released during 1923-2005 in China; revealed the genetic diversity of wild soybean in China and world-wide wild and cultivated soybeans using molecular markers; found some evidence of molecular genetic distances to support a neglected hypothesis on the origin of G. max being from southern China wild population of G. soja. He established ten series of research programs on germplasm screening, inheritance, genetic improvement of high yield, resistance to diseases and insects, quality traits, male sterility and so on, and developed a great number of elite enhanced breeding materials. 2. He was in charge of the national key program on soybean cultivar development for 15 years, and released about 20 cultivars with extension areas more than 50 millions mu, including NN 73-935, NN 88-31, etc. utilized in the lower and middle Yangtze valleys. 3. He extended the polygene genetic model into major gene plus minor gene mixed inheritance model for the inheritance of quantitative traits, and developed an analytical system being capable of identifying 1-3 major genes' individual effects and the minor genes' integrated effects at the same time; later on he and his colleagues established the restricted two-stage multi-locus model genome-wide association analysis and genomic selection for optimal cross and elite progeny identification. 4. He published jointly with his collegues "Methods of experimental statistics", "Crop Breeding (Species)" and "Genetic system of quantitative traits in plants", and has trained or co-trained more than 150 post-doctors, Ph.D and MS students, among them some ones are well-established scholars. 

 

 

Trevor GARNETT, University of Adelaide, Australia

Dr. Garnett is Technology Development Director at The Plant Accelerator, part of the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility. There he is implementing new phenotyping technologies for the Australian phenomics community such as hyperspectral imaging in controlled environments and the field, field phenotyping using UAVs and ground based platforms and root phenotyping. He is also the phenomics program leader of the Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Research Hub for Wheat in a Hot and Dry Climate. He also carries out research on nitrogen use efficiency in cereals and prior to joining The Plant Accelerator was at the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics.

 

 

Malcolm HAWKESFORD, Rothamsted Research, UK 

Malcolm Hawkesford is head of the Plant Sciences Department at Rothamsted Research and leads the Institutes contribution to the UK Designing Future Wheat programme. He is a crop scientist specializing in cereal research, particularly with regard to resource use efficiency, yield and quality. He is also an investigator on two Newton bilateral nitrogen programmes with Brazil and India, in the Defra Wheat Genetic Improvement Network and multiple BBSRC-funded projects aimed at optimizing resource use in wheat. He is the lead scientist for a major wheat GMO release experiment in 2017 and 2018 at Rothamsted. He is also chair of the Nutrient Use Efficiency expert working group of the International Wheat Initiative which includes participation worldwide. At Rothamsted he leads a multidisciplinary team involving molecular studies and field trials. Recently he has led initiatives at Rothamsted on field phenotyping facilities, both utilizing drone technology and a novel ground-based state of the art robotic system.

 

Dong JIANG, Nanjing Agricultural University, China  

D. Jiang is now the executive president of Academy of Science at Nanjing Agricultural University (NAU). He obtained PhD degree on Crop cultivation and tillage in 1998 at Shandong Agricultural University, followed by two-year post-doctoral research in Zhejiang University. After that, he worked in NAU as a crop physiologist and agronomist. Current research interests include the physiological mechanism and regulatory approaches targeting simultaneous high-yield and super-quality in wheat, and the physiological mechanisms on abiotic stress tolerance in wheat and the mitigation approaches. The former research interest focuses on the morphology of the quality function units, especially for starch granules and glutenin macropolymers in wheat endosperm, and the quality variations of flour from different layers of wheat endosperm. The later focuses on the effect of priming on tolerance to abiotic stresses in wheat. He was awarded the excellent Young Scholar of National Science Foundation of China. He is also the wheat scientist of the China agriculture research system (CARS). He has published over 80 papers as first or corresponding author in SCI journal, in addition spreads his technical achievement in use. 

 

 

 

 

David KRAMER, Michigan State University, USA 

David M. Kramer is the Hannah Distinguished Professor of Bioenergetics and Photosynthesis in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department and the MSU-Department of Energy Plant Research Lab at Michigan State University. His research seeks to understand how plants work, and use this knowledge to improve their efficiency and robustness. He focuses mainly on how photosynthesis functions at both molecular and physiological levels, how it is regulated and controlled in response to fluctuating environmental conditions, how it defines the energy budget of plants and the ecosystem and how they might be improved to increase the efficiency and sustainability of agriculture. This work has led his research team to develop a series of novel plant phenotyping platforms for probing photosynthetic and other reactions both in vitro and in vivo, in the lab and in the field. To disseminate these tools, he founded the and the MSU Center for Advanced Algal and Plant Phenotyping, Phenometrics, Inc. (www.phenometricsinc.com), PhotosynQ.org (www.photosynq.org), which aims to bring sophisticated plant phenotyping tools and analytics to researchers around the world.

 

Seishi NINOMIYA, The University of Tokyo, Japan

Professor Seishi Ninomiya was born in Tokyo. He received BAg from the Faculty of Agriculture, the University of Tokyo and MAg and PhD from the Graduate School of Agriculture, the University of Tokyo. 

His original major was applied plant genetics and plant breeding and, after he was appointed as an assistant professor of the Laboratory of Biometrics in the same university, he initiated a new research filed to combine agricultural science and computer science. 

In 1991, he moved to National Institute of Agro-Environmental Sciences, MAFF located in Tsukuba-city of Japan. Since then, he has been leading several national research projects on ICT for agriculture. 

He was one of the core members when the Department of Information Science and Technology was founded in National Agricultural and Food Research Organization and became the director. 

In 2010, he came back to the University of Tokyo when the Institute of Sustainable Agro-ecosystem Services was initiated.

 

Ulrich SCHURR, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany

Uli studied biology at the University of Bayreuth (Germany) and gained his Ph.D in plant sciences form the same university. He then became group leader at the Botanical Institute at University of Heidelberg. He was the founding director of the Institute of Plant Sciences at Forschungszentrum Jülich (Germany) and the Institute for Phytosphere at Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf in 2001. Since then he held numerous positions in national and international science institutions and coordinated several major scientific programs including e.g. the Executive Board of the European Technology Platform Plants for the Future (chairman 2015-2017), the Helmholtz Program Key Technologies for the Bioeconomy (speaker) and the Bioeconomy Science Centre (BioSC; Speaker). He has initiated and coordinated important national and international program in plant phenotyping like the German Plant Phenotyping Network (DPPN), the European Plant Phenotyping Network (EPPN) and the International Plant Phenotyping Network (IPPN, Chair). Since 2016 he coordinates the ESFRI project EMPHASIS - European Infrastructure for multi-scale Plant Phenomics and Simulation for food security in a changing climate.

 

Xavier SIRAULT, CSIRO, Australia

Dr. Sirault was first trained as an Agricultural Engineer with a specialisation in “Breeding and Plant Improvement” (Master’s degree in Agricultural Engineering, AgroSup Dijon, France) in 2000. After completing a second Master’s Degree in Quantitative Genetics in France (University Paris-Orsay), Dr Sirault moved to Australia where in 2007 he graduated from the Australian National University with a PhD in Plant Sciences. His PhD work aimed at investigating the role of leaf rolling in wheat as a potential trait for increasing grain productivity under water-limited environments. Dr Sirault was recruited in 2007 as a Research Engineer at the High Resolution Plant Phenomics Centre (CSIRO Ag & Food, Canberra, Australia) to research and develop end-to-end solutions for the phenotyping of crops across multiple spatial and temporal scales (lab and field).

In 2014, Dr Sirault was appointed director of the HRPPC where he is responsible for its operational management, budgeting, business planning, scientific strategy, staff training and development, compliances and human resources. Since 2015, he has also been actively leading the facility’s international engagement and the transfer of its technology to industries.

In parallel to his director’s role, Dr Sirault works as a Senior Research Scientist in CSIRO Agriculture and Food. His research aims at understanding the factors that regulate and limit photosynthesis in crop plants, in particular how these factors influence plant growth and performance.

In 2015, Dr Sirault was elected Vice Chair of the International Plant Phenotyping Network where he hopes to spearhead the development of solutions for maximising data inter-operability and data re-use at global level.

 

Vincent VADEZ, ICRISAT, India

Vincent Vadez is a crop physiologist and agronomist, initially trained as an engineer. Prior to ICRISAT, he has worked for four years with a Bolivian lowland indigenous group to understand and measure the socio-economic drivers of deforestation and of new farming technology adoption. This was an enriching experience that showed him that beyond technologies, there are people with a say. Before that he did research on symbiotic nitrogen fixation at the University of Florida on drought in soybean, at CIAT Colombia on low soil P in bean, and at the National University of Singapore on low soil P in Acacia.  

At ICRISAT his group works on the genetic and mechanistic deciphering of plant traits, and of trait-environment interactions, controlling plant water use and then possibly contributing to drought adaptation. Focused on this major thrust, the activities of his group revolve around three main streams of activities: (i) the deciphering at physiological and molecular level of mechanisms / plant traits controlling plant water use; (ii) the “translation” of these detailed measurements at a small scale into phenotyping methods and techniques to measure these traits at a high scale and throughput for breeding applications; (iii) Crop simulation to characterize the main stress scenarios in a target environment and to predict genetic trait and/or agronomic management effects on crop yield across time and geographical scales. 

His research has contributed a quantum leap in the approach to understand the role of roots in drought adaptation. He developed a large lysimetric platform (LysiField) for a direct, precise, rapid, in-vivo assay of water extraction (http://www.icrisat.org/bt-root-research.htm to tackle the functionality and highly dynamic nature of roots (rather than destructive root measurements). Recently he has developed another large platform (LeasyScan) combining the lysimetric approach of Lysifield to 3-D scanning of the crop canopy, to phenotype water-controlling traits (https://vimeo.com/115952322). The current thrust of his team is now to decipher the genetic basis of water-controlling traits, and to combine trait phenotyping with field evaluation in representative locations. 

  

Rick VAN DE ZEDDE, Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands

Rick van de Zedde is a senior researcher/ business developer Plant Phenotyping at the Wageningen Plant Research, where he has worked since 2004. His background is in Artificial Intelligence with a focus on imaging and robotics. In 2002, he graduated with a MSc in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Groningen.  He is also one of the initiators of the Phenomics initiative within WUR - www.phenomics.nl - in which 16 WUR research groups work closely together on plant phenotyping projects. He also takes an active role in research. In 2011, he was head of the MARVIN-project in which he and his team developed a tomato seedling inspection approach based on 3D reconstruction. In the EU project EPPN, he was the leader of the “Novel Instrumentation for Plant Phenotyping” work package. In the International Plant Phenotyping Network (IPPN), he is part of the management of the imaging working group. In the EU-COST action FA1306, http://costfa1306.eu/ “The quest for tolerant varieties - Phenotyping at plant and cellular level”, he is WG3 leader taking care of the integration of phenotyping at plant and cell level and translation into good practices for applied end use.  

 

Jianmin WAN, Institute of Crop Sciences, CAAS, China 

Professor, Doctoral Supervisor, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), employed as the first batch of " Cheung Kong Scholar Programme" Chair Professor by the Ministry of Education since 1999. He has served successively as dean of College of Agriculture, Nanjing Agricultural University, director of Institute of Crop Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, vice president of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences since 2000. He served concurrently as vice chairman of The Crop Science Society of China, vice president of the China Agricultural Biotechnology Society, chief technology engineer of National Transformation Science and Technology Major Project, Deputy Secretary-General of the National Development and Reform Commission Biotechnology Industry Advisory Committee, leader of Crop Breeding Project of the National High Technology Research and Development Program of China.

Dr. Wan Jianmin has been long engaged in the research of rice excellent genes excavation and molecular breeding. He has earlier proposed and preliminarily practiced crop molecular design breeding in China. He has successively directed the national 863, the National Natural Science Foundation and many other major projects. He has made important progress in the utilization of heterosis in indica and japonica, the excavation of rice quality and resistance related genes, and the breeding of new japonica varieties with high yield, good quality and multi-resistance. He has cloned 32 rice important new genes, cultivated 13 new varieties, obtained 16 new variety rights and 36 invention patents. He has published more than 180 research papers in many SCI journals such as Nature, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Communications, Developmental Cell, PNAS and the Plant Cell, and published three monographs. His research achievement “Breeding and application of new stripe resistant rice variety with high yielding and good quality” was awarded the first prize of the National Science and Technology Progress in 2010, and selected for Ten Major Scientific and Technological Progress of China's Colleges and Universities in the same year. “Identification of the genes related to the heterosis between indica and japonica and new cultivar development in rice” was awarded the 2nd prize of National Award for Technological Invention in 2014. Map-based cloning and functional analysis of DWARF 53 a rice dwarf and multi-tiller gene elucidating how strigolactones controls the signalling pathway of tillering and plant type in rice was selected for Ten Major Scientific and Technological Progress of China's Colleges and Universities and China Top10 Science Advances in 2014. He was selected for New Century Talents Project in 2006, National High-level personnel of special support program and MOST innovation team in 2012. He won the prize for science and technology progress by the Ho Leung Ho Lee (HLHL) Foundation in 2012.

 

Lizhong XIONG, Huazhong Agricultural University, China

Prof. Xiong is the group leader of stress biology at the National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, China. He obtained his PhD on Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 1999 at the Huazhong Agricultural University, where he worked since 2002, when he returned to China after three years’ postdoctoral experience in United States. Current research interests are focused on discovering novel genes for stress resistance of rice with focus on drought resistance by integrating genomics and phonemics approaches, characterizing key regulators in stress tolerance, and improving drought resistance and /or water use efficiency of rice. He has published over 70 peer-reviewed corresponding- or first-author papers in SCI journals such as Annual Review Plant Biol, Nature Communications, Plant Cell, PNAS, Plant J, and Plant Physiol. Major honors he has received include 'Yangze River' Scholarship Professor,  Excellent Young Scholar of National Science Foundation of China and Award of Young Scientist of China.  

 

Chunyi ZHANG, Biotechnology Research Institute, CAAS, China  

Chunyi Zhang, as a professor specific in plant metabolism, is the deputy director general of Biotechnology Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, P. R. China. He is also the deputy director of key laboratory in agricultural genomics organized by the Ministry of Agricultural, and HarvestPlus-China.  

Professor Zhang is responsible for the organization and coordination with multidisciplinary research teams working in more than 30 scientific research institutes and universities in HarvestPlus-China. They carry out lots of scientific work for the Chinese population, especially for the poor lack of micronutrient, and get a broad impact on society. 

As a research group leader, he focuses on seed development in maize and Arabidopsis, crop hybrid vigor, metabolic networks of folates , folate-involved pathways and phenomics. He has been the leader of nine national projects since 2004, including the "973 Program", "National science foundation of China", " Genetically modified organisms breeding major projects ". The research on the relationship between folate metabolism and nitrogen metabolism has filled the gap of the basic theory study of plant folate metabolism in China. His team established a high throughput maize phenomics and data analysis platform with Scanalyzer 3D system and a set of data detection and analysis standardization process of crop phenotype.

   
   

 

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