Keynote Speakers Bios

Dr. E. Charles Brummer

is the Director of the Plant Breeding Center and a Professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis. His research includes cultivar improvement of alfalfa, tall fescue, spinach, hemp, and zinnia. His lab conducts research on improving breeding methodologies for outcrossing crops, on applying genetic markers to practical plant improvement programs, and on using genomics to understand the genetic control of important traits. He teaches Advanced Plant Breeding and leads the Student Collaborative Organic Plant-breeding and Education program, which includes several student-led breeding projects on tomato, pepper, common bean, lima bean, wheat, and zinnia. Prior to moving to Davis in 2014, he was Senior Vice President at the Noble Foundation in Ardmore, OK, Director of the Institute for Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Genomics at the University of Georgia, Professor at Iowa State University. His research has been funded by national competitive grants from USDA-NIFA and DOE, by smaller local and national granting programs and commodity groups, and by contracts with various plant breeding companies. He has published over 160 refereed journal papers and presented numerous invited talks nationally and internationally. He was President of the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) in 2017 and served as Editor-in-Chief of CSSA from 2010-2016. He is a Fellow of CSSA and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Dr. Sean Walkowiak

is a Research Scientist and Program Manager for Microbiology at the Canadian Grain Commission’s Grain Research Laboratory, since 2019. Sean is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Plant Science at the University of Manitoba, since 2021. Dr. Sean Walkowiak’s graduate research on plant pathogen genomics was conducted with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada at the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa under Dr. Gopal Subramaniam. After completing his Ph.D in 2016, Sean was a Research Officer at the University of Saskatchewan where he conducted applied genomics research as part of the durum and elite bread wheat breeding program under Dr. Curtis Pozniak. Sean’s research, particularly on the wheat genomics and its application for crop improvement, has recently been highlighted in top-ranked journals including Nature, Nature Genetics, Science, and PNAS.

Dr. Bernard Glick

Following a B.Sc. in Chemistry in 1969 at the City College of New York, I obtained a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Waterloo in 1974. After four years as a postdoc in Molecular Biology at the University of Toronto and one year as a Research Associate in Microbiology at the National Research Council in Ottawa, I joined “Bio Logicals” Canada’s first biotechnology company in Toronto where I spent three years as the Group Leader of the Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry Group. In 1982, I joined the Biology Department at the University of Waterloo where I was tasked with establishing a program in Molecular Biotechnology. I was Chair of Biology at Waterloo from 2002-2008 and officially retired in 2018. Since that time, I have been a Distinguished Professor Emeritus. During my career I have published 372 scientific manuscript and chapters, authored or coauthored four books including “Molecular Biotechnology” published by the American Society for Microbiology with the 6th edition currently in press, and “Beneficial Plant-Bacterial Interactions” published by Springer with 2nd edition coming out in 2020. The work from our lab has been cited more than 51,000 times (according to Google Scholar). I have trained 56 graduate students, 18 postdocs and 36 visiting scientists. Over the years, I have been a visiting Professor at 18 different universities in 14 countries, offering courses in Molecular Biotechnology at 11 of these universities. While I have worked in several different scientific fields during my career, over the last ~30 years, the focus of our group has been directed towards understanding and elaborating the mechanisms used by plant growth-promoting bacteria to stimulate plant growth. In retirement, I continue to collaborate and publish with scientists from seven different countries.

Dr. Carolee T. Bull

is Professor and Head of the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology at Penn State and the Director of the Penn State Microbiome Center. Dr. Bull served 20 years as a Phytobacteriologist with the USDA/ARS in Salinas, CA prior to joining Penn State in 2015. Bull’s research focuses on Translational Taxonomy to manage bacterial diseases of plants and mushrooms. Bull is the Project Director for an SCRI project using multiple approaches including diagnostic metagenomics to develop management strategies for of seedborne diseases of cucurbit, beet, and chard food and seed crops. Dr. Bull served as the convener of the Committee on the Taxonomy of Plant Pathogenic Bacteria for the International Society of Plant Pathology and serves on the Judicial Committee of the International Committee on the Systematics of Prokaryotes. Bull provides bacterial taxonomy lectures and mentorship workshops for classes, universities, and scientific societies world-wide. Bull received the highest award for service to the US in Agriculture for her mentorship of underrepresented students in agricultural science in 2013 and is a Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society in 2020.

Dr. P.V. Vara Prasad

is a University Distinguished Professor, R.O. Kruse Endowed Professor in Agriculture, and Director of the Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab at Kansas State University. His research focuses on understanding responses of crops to changing environments; developing best management strategies to improve yields; providing food and nutritional security to smallholder farmers; and improving livelihoods of people. He is passionate about research, education, outreach, building social capital and enhancing human and institutional capacity around the world. He has active programs in multiple countries in Asia and Africa. He has published 285 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters; trained 160 students and research scholars from 25 countries; and gave more than 100 invited talks in 40 different countries. He received more than 120 million US dollars in grant funding and donations. He is an elected fellow of American Society of Agronomy; Crop Science Society of America; and American Association for the Advancement of Science. At present he serves on the International Commission on Sustainable Agricultural Intensification. He is the current President of the Crop Science Society of America (2021). He obtained his B.S. and MS from Andhra Pradesh Agricultural University (India) and Ph.D. from the University of Reading (U.K.).

Dr. Rattan Lal, Ph.D

is a Distinguished University Professor of Soil Science and Director of the CFAES Carbon Management and Sequestration Center at The Ohio State University, as well as an Adjunct Professor of University of Iceland and the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), India. He received a B.S. from Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, India (1963); M.S. from Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, India (1965); and Ph.D. from the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio (1968). He served as Sr. Research Fellow with the University of Sydney, Australia (1968-69), Soil Physicist at IITA, Ibadan, Nigeria (1970-87), and Professor of Soil Science at OSU (1987 to date). His research interests include soil carbon sequestration for food and climate security, conservation agriculture, soil health, principles and practices of soil erosion control, soil structure and carbon dynamics, eco-intensification of agroecosystems, soil restoration, the fate of soil carbon transported by soil erosion, and sustainable management of world soils. Prof. Lal is Editor-In-Chief of Advances in Soil Science and of the Encyclopedia of Soil Sciences. He was the Speaker for Summer 2019 commencement, and TEDx speaker for the Ohio State University in 2021. He has authored/co-authored over 1000 refereed journal articles and more than 550 book chapters, has written and edited/co-edited more than 100 books. Prof. Lal has cumulative citation index of 120,000 and h-index of 164. He was included in the Thomson Reuters list of (2014-2016), and he is among Researchers in Agriculture (2014-2020), as well as ranked #111 globally and #1 in Agriculture and Agronomy among the top 2% of scientists by Ioannidis et al. (2019, 2020). He has received an Honoris Causa degree from nine universities in Europe (Norway, Moldova, Germany, Spain), USA, South America (Chile) and Asia (India); the Medal of Honor from UIMP, Santander, Spain (2018); the Distinguished Service Medal of IUSS (2018); and is fellow of the five professional societies. Dr. Lal has mentored 112 graduate students, 54 postdoctoral researchers and 181 visiting scholars from around the world. He was President of the World Association of Soil and Water Conservation (1987-1990), International Soil and Tillage Research Organization (1988-1991), Soil Science Society of America (2006-2008), and the International Union of Soil Sciences (2017-2018). He holds a Chair in Soil Science and Goodwill Ambassador for Sustainability Issues for the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Costa Rica, and member of the 2021 United Nations Food Security Summit Science Committee and Action Tracks 1 and 3 Committees. Dr. Lal is laureate of the GCHERA World Agriculture Prize (2018), Glinka World Soil Prize (2018), Japan Prize (2019), U.S. Awasthi IFFCO Prize of India (2019), Arrell Global Food Innovation Award of Canada (2020), World Food Prize (2020), and Padma Shri Award (2021) of the Government of India.

Dr. Andrew Hammermeister

is the Director of the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada (OACC) and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Agriculture at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada. He has a B.Sc. in Agriculture specializing in Soil Science from the University of Saskatchewan, M.Sc. in Land Reclamation and Ph.D. in Applied Ecology from the University of Alberta. Andrew has worked with the OACC since 2002, collaborating in research on grain, vegetable and fruit cropping systems, exploring soil fertility and weed management. Most recently he has been studying, small bush fruits such as haskap, landscape biodiversity, and applications of smart technologies to organic agriculture. Andrew is the Science Director for the Organic Science Cluster, the coordinated national initiative for organic agricultural research in Canada where he leads national organic research priority setting, coordination, and impact assessment. He sits on the national organic standards review committee and several other organic sector committees.