Invited speakers

Invited speakers2019-04-23T10:48:58+00:00

Dr. Simona Marianna Sanzani, University of Bari Aldo Moro

Graduated in Biology in 2002 and obtained her PhD in Plant Protection in 2008 at University of Bari Aldo Moro, where she also completed her MSc in Postharvest Management of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables. Her studies as research fellow at University of Bari Aldo Moro focus on the molecular detection and control of postharvest pathogens by alternative means, with particular attention devoted to prevention and control of mycotoxigenic fungi and related mycotoxins.

She has authored or co-authored 35 peer-reviewed, ISI-indexed publications on various aspects of plant pathology, mycology and microbiology (Hi14), written 7 book chapters, coordinated the publication of 1 book, and attended as invited speaker several International Congresses. She is Associated Editor of “European Journal of Plant Pathology” and “Journal of Plant Pathology”. She did research periods at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), Instituto de Agroquímica y Tecnología de Alimentos (Valencia, Spain), and Sapienza University of Rome (Italy).

Prof. Samir Droby, ARO, The Volcani Center, Israel

Prof. Samir Droby is a senior research scientist at the ARO, the Volcani Center and Professor of Plant Pathology and postharvest Sciences at the Division of Biochemistry and Food Science at the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture Food and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Since 2013, he has been serving as the chair of the Postharvest Pathology Subject Matter Committee of the International Society of Plant Pathology. His research expertise include developing biological and natural based control strategies for postharvest diseases, microbiome of harvested commodities, mode of action of yeast biocontrol agents, pathogenicity mechanisms of Penicillium species on citrus and apple fruit and resistance mechanisms of fruits against postharvest pathogens. Prof. Droby published more than 120 articles in peer reviewed journal and 25 review articles and 27 book chapters on various topics on postharvest pathology.

Dr. Luis González-Candelas Spanish National Research Council

Dr. Luis González-Candelas got his PhD in Microbiology in 1990. He is now a research scientist at the Spanish National Research Council working at the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology. He belongs to the Postharvest Physiology, Pathology and Biotechnology group.

His major research interests are to dissect the fruit-fungal pathogen interactions mostly in the apple-P. expansum and citrus –P. digitatum pathosystems using molecular and omics approaches. On the fruit side he has been involved in the study of the defense responses triggered in the fruit by the pathogens as well as the mechanisms of induced resistance.

More recently he is involved in unraveling the pathogenicity mechanisms of both fungal pathogens with the aim of developing new control alternatives directed towards virulence determinants. A major milestone in his career has been the sequencing of the genomes of the three most important postharvest fungal pathogens of citrus and pome fruits belonging to genus Penicillium.

Dr. Michael Wisniewski, USDA-ARS, Kearneysville

Dr. Wisniewski has conducted fundamental and applied research on postharvest biocontrol of fruits and vegetables for over thirty years. He is internationally recognized as one of the leading founders of this topic of research. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed publications on this topic, numerous book chapters, and holds several patents on biocontrol technology. He was the co-inventor of the first yeast-based biocontrol product, “Aspire” which was commercialized by Ecogen, Inc.

He was the recipient of several Cooperative Research and Development Grants that helped to develop the first commercial biocontrol yeast product and has conducted collaborative research with scientists from many different countries around the world, including Uruguay, Colombia, China, Italy, and Israel. He is recognized as a world authority on the subject of postharvest biocontrol and founded and served as the co-chair of the ISHS working group on postharvest biocontrol.

He was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Horticulture Science and received their Outstanding Researcher Award. He has also received the Outstanding Senior Scientist Award from the USDA-ARS, as well as several Technology Transfer Awards. Lastly, he has hosted graduate students from around the world to work on various topics related to postharvest pathology and biocontrol.

Dr. Neus Teixido, Research Institute of Technology food and agriculture (IRTA)

Dr. Neus Teixidó is a senior research scientist and the head of Postharvest Department at IRTA. She is also the coordinator of Fruit.Net, the Plant Health National Program to optimize the use of pesticides and reduce the residues of fruits in Catalonia.

She received her BSc (1993) and the PhD (1997) in Agronomist Engineer from the University of Lleida. Her research activity includes the control of postharvest diseases of fruits (mainly pome, citrus, stone fruits and grapes) using several physical, chemical and biological alternative techniques, the study of epidemiology, and fruit-pathogen interactions in different pathosystems: pome and stone fruit, and Monilinia spp. and Penicillium spp. She has over 20 years of experience in the development of biocontrol agents (production, formulation, stabilization, improvement in front stress conditions and efficacy).

She has participated in more than 40 national and international projects, published more than 110 peer-reviewed journal articles, more than 50 technical papers, 10 books and books chapters and 4 patents.

Dr. Dumitru Macarisin

Dr. Dumitru Macarisin is a Research Microbiologist in the Division of Microbiology, in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), at College Park in Maryland, U.S. Dr. Macarisin is FDA subject matter expert for Listeria monocytogenes in and he also leads the Agency’s development and implementation of research projects related to microbial safety of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Dr. Macarisin earned his Ph.D. in Plant Physiology and Biochemistry in 2003 and pursued further postdoctoral research in the Agricultural Research Organization -Volcani Center, Israel followed by an 8-year research tenure with the Agricultural Research Service-United States Department of Agriculture. He conducted extensive research in postharvest pathology and biocontrol, plant stress response, produce safety, and microbiology.

Dr. Macarisin came to the FDA in 2013 and his primary research interests are to identify the mechanisms of fresh fruit contamination and environmental reservoirs of foodborne pathogens, and develop mitigation strategies to improve good agricultural practices in the prevention of produce recalls and foodborne outbreaks. Dr. Macarisin represents the FDA nationally and internationally on critical food safety issues. He have been furnishing recommendations on preventive controls, environmental monitoring and the improvements of quality controls to other governmental agencies and food industries.

Prof. Lluís Palou: Valencian Institute of Agrarian Research (IVIA), Spain

Lluís Palou completed a Ph.D. in Agricultural Engineering with major emphasis on Postharvest Plant Pathology in 2002 (IRTA-UdL, University of Lleida, Catalonia, Spain). From 1999 to 2003 he served as a Postgraduate Researcher at the Kearney Agricultural Center, University of California, USA. He created in 2003 the Pathology Laboratory at the Postharvest Technology Center (CTP), Valencian Institute of Agrarian Research (IVIA), Montcada, Valencia, Spain. Since 2017 he is a research professor and the head of the CTP.

His main research interests are applied research and extension on general postharvest pathology of horticultural produce, mainly Mediterranean fruits such as citrus, stone fruits, pomegranate, or persimmon; integrated disease management; alternatives to conventional fungicides; and effect of postharvest antifungal treatments on fruit storage potential, quality attributes, and nutritional and bioactive compounds. He has directed and evaluated Spanish and international research projects, supervised 4 doctoral theses, trained national and international students, and collaborated with research groups in USA, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, or Tunisia. To date, he has published over 75 peer-reviewed research articles (WOS h-index of 23), 15 book chapters or invited reviews, 55 extension or technical articles, and 120 congresses and symposia communications. He is currently a member of the editorial board of 8 scientific or technical journals and has performed as reviewer of manuscripts for more than 40 scientific journals.

Chris Watkins

Chris Watkins has been Director for Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE), and Associate Dean in the Colleges of Agriculture and Plant Sciences, and Human Ecology since February of 2014. He is a faculty member in the School of Integrative Plant Science, being the Herman Cohn Professor of Horticulture.

Chris’s research and extension program is focused on storage and ripening of fruit and vegetables from both applied and fundamental aspects. He has published over 158 peer reviewed, 17 book chapters, 48 conference proceedings, and 111 trade, newsletter and technical articles. Chris has graduated 7 MS and 12 PhDs students, and in addition has hosted many visiting scholars. Chris has also been involved in international research and extension opportunities.

Awards have included a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship; the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) Outstanding Extension Educator Award in 2005; and invited presenter of the B.Y. Morrison Lecture in 2016. He was elected Fellow of the American Society for Horticulture Science in 2015, and CALS Outstanding Faculty award in 2018.

He is the ASHS Extension Division Vice President (2018-2020), and Chair of the International Society for Horticultural Science Division for Postharvest Physiology and Quality Assurance (2014-2018, 2018-2022). Chris is also Associate Editor for the highly ranked journal, Postharvest Biology and Technology, since 2016, having previously served as Editorial Board member from 1993 to 2011.

Ir. Geoffroy de Chabot-Tramecourt

Ir. Geoffroy de Chabot-Tramecourt is Director at Janssen Preservation and Material Protection (PMP), a division of Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V. (Group Johnson & Johnson). Currently, he is head of the R&D and Business Development team within Janssen PMP. Before he had been leading for 9 years the postharvest Business Unit. He has a large insight in on the global postharvest business and practices, particularly in crops such as bananas, citrus and pome.

He received a MEng (Agriculture) in 1994 and is graduated from the Solvay Business School (Brussels, Belgium; 2006).

Geoffroy de Chabot-Tramecourt started his career at Monsanto where he occupied several Sales and Marketing functions. In 2001, he co-founded the largest European grain brokerage company in Europe and has been working there as Managing Director for 5 years. Before joining Janssen PMP in 2008, he managed a Belgium agricultural retail company specialized in crop protection products, fertilizers, seeds and grain trading.

Prof Lise Korsten

Prof Korsten is currently the Co-Director within the DST/ NRF Centre of Excellence Food Security. She is also responsible for the food safety and regulatory control research programmes within the Centre of Excellence. She is an editor of the journal Crop Protection and is chairing the International Society for Plant Pathology Task Force on Global Food Security.

She is also a member of the Board of the Agro-Food Safety section as an Associate Editor of Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems. Prof Korsten is a fellow of the Academy of Science of South Africa. She has published more than 130 peer reviewed international papers, 30 chapters in books, conference proceedings or books and close to 80 invited papers.

Prof Korsten has focussed her research mainly on complementary fields of postharvest pathology and food safety as related to international trade in fresh produce. She established research teams in food safety, postharvest pathology, biocontrol and mushroom and fruit health. As a team they have been able to develop several innovative technologies to reduce diseases and prevent product contamination. She has been able to attract extensive national and international funding and has an extensive international network focusing on the plant microbiome.

Prof Korsten has developed one of the first biocontrol products in South Africa that was patented, registered and commercialised and has since expanded her interest to microbial adaptations for disease control and food safety interventions.

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