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IPPS 2018

Tuesday, 2 October 2018 to Friday, 5 October 2018 from 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

National Wine Centre of Australia, Adelaide, Australia


Session Chairs

Dr Kioumars Ghamkhar (AgResearch, New Zealand)
Prof Tony Pridmore (University of Nottingham, UK)
Prof Uli Schurr (Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany)


Invited Speakers

N. Jensen.jpg

Organisation: GRDC (Grains Research & Development Corporation)

Position: General Manager

Dr Jensen has a PhD in quantitative genetics from the University of Queensland. She brings a wealth of experience in plant breeding and related activities arising from several roles she has held in Australia and internationally in the seed industry including Supply Innovation Lead with the Climate Corporation – (Monsanto’s digital agricultural flagship in the USA), Global Trait Integration Breeding Lead for Monsanto, and Principal Sorghum Breeder with Pacific Seeds/Advanta in Australia.

Seishi Ninomiya.png

Organisation: International Field Phenomics Research Laboratory, the University of Tokyo

Position: Project Professor

He originally majored plant breeding and applied genetics at Laboratory of Plant Breeding of U. Tokyo. After receiving PhD on genetic background of circadian rhythms of soybean, he became an assistant professor at Laboratory of Biometricsis of the same university in 1983 where he started studies on applications of image analysis for crops. In 1991, He moved to National Institute of Agro-environmental Sciences and became the leader of the national ICT project in agriculture which lasted for 10 years until 2005. In 2006, he was appointed as the Director of the Department of Information Science and Technology, National Agricultural and Food Research Organization. In 2010, he moved back to U. Tokyo as a professor when the Institute of Sustainable Agro-ecosystem Services was founded.  Currently, his research Interests are high-throughput phenotyping, machine learning, ICT for sustainable agriculture and sustainable rural development using ICT.

Mark Tester.png

Organisation: KAUST (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia)

Position: Professor, Plant Science Biological and Environment

Mark Tester is professor of plant science at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, affiliated with the Desert Agriculture Initiative. Prior to joining KAUST in February 2013, he was an ARC Federation Fellow and professor of plant physiology at the University of Adelaide. During that time, he established The Plant Accelerator. Previously, he was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Cambridge, where he also received his PhD, back in 1988. Mark’s research aims at understanding the molecular processes that allow plants to survive in suboptimal conditions and using this to improve abiotic stress tolerance of crops. In 2017, he and his colleagues published a high-quality sequence of the quinoa genome in Nature.



Organisation: ICRISAT (International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics)

Position: Research Program Director - Genetic Gains

Rajeev Varshney is Research Program Director for Genetic Gains, at ICRISAT, based in Hyderabad, India. He has a PhD in Agricultural Botany (Molecular Biology) from Chaudhary Charan Singh University, India. He joined ICRISAT in 2005 and in his dual appointment also served the CGIAR Generation Challenge Program (hosted by CIMMYT, Mexico) as its Theme Leader for 6 years. Before joining ICRISAT, Dr Varshney worked at IPK-Gatersleben, Germany for five years.

Rajeev is a recipient of the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize in Biological Sciences from the Government of India (2015) and is internationally recognized for his contributions to genome sequencing of pigeonpea, chickpea, peanut, pearl millet, sesame, mungbean and adzuki bean and the development of molecular breeding products in chickpea, pigeonpea and peanut. He is an elected fellow of many prestigious academies such as the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, India (NAAS), Indian National Science Academy (INSA), and National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI), among others.

Rajeev has published more than 325 high quality research papers/articles across a wide range of journals including Nature, Nature Biotech, Nature Genetics, Nature Communications, PNAS, Genome Biology, etc., having an h-index of 67 and more than 20,000 citations. He provides leadership to several organizations by serving as member/chair for several committees, editorial boards, funding organizations and advisory boards, etc.


Organisation: USDA-ARS National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation (NLGRP)

Position: Research Leader

Dr Christina Walters is the Research Leader of the Plant Germplasm Preservation Research Unit at the USDA-ARS National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation (NLGRP) in Fort Collins, CO, USA.  This unit investigates strategies to ensure valuable plant germplasm stays viable in perpetuity.  Technologies often involve cryopreservation of diverse plant tissues and support NLGRP’s mission to

maintain genetic resource collections for crops and their wild relatives.  Dr. Walters has worked at NCGRP since 1986.  Her personal research involves seed and pollen biology with particular emphasis on seed development, storage behavior, quality and deterioration. Dr. Walters earned a B.S and Ph.D. at Cornell University.  She combines physical chemistry and plant physiology approaches to address questions about life under extremely dry or cold conditions.  She serves on the editorial board of several journals, contributes to international standards for genebanking plant genetic resources and serves on the Science Advisory Committee for the Center for Plant Conservation.