Prof. Gabriele Berg

Dr. Berg is Professor at the Graz University of Technology, Institute of Environmental Biotechnology in Austria. She studied biology (ecology, microbiology & biotechnology) at the University of Rostock and at the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität in Greifswald (Germany). In 2003 she received a Heisenberg grant from the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) and became full professor in environmental biotechnology at Graz University of Technology (Austria) in 2005.

Her research interests are focus on plant-associated microorganisms, especially to understand their structure, function and interaction with plants and pathogens. Another focus is to translate the results into new biotechnological concepts for our environment, e.g. for biological control of plant and human pathogens. The biocontrol research targets soil-borne pathogens, e.g. Verticillium spp. In 2001 she has become a member of the International Verticillium Steering Commitee. She published more than 150 peer-reviewed papers and several patents (http://scholar.google.at/citations?user=TeMrTQQAAAAJ&hl=de).

Email: gabriele.berg@tugraz.at
Web: https://www.ubt.tugraz.at/index.php/wbUniStaff/card/49

Dr. Susanna A. Braus-Stromeyer

Dr. Braus-Stromeyer has been Research Fellow and study coordinator and assistant to the dean of studies at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (Germany) since 2005. She obtained a Diploma (1987) in natural sciences (Biology-Chemistry) and Ph.D. (1993) from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zürich (Switzerland). She worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zürich (Switzerland) (1993-1994) and Bayreuth Institute for Terrestrial Ecosystem Research (BITÖK), Bayreuth (Germany) (1995-1997). She obtained an International Management Diploma at the Universität der Bundeswehr in München (Germany) and worked at the George Washington University in Washington, DC (USA) and Bioremediation, BEAK Inc., Guelph (Canada) (1997-1998). From 2001-2005 she was Director of Public Relations at DeveloGen AG, Göttingen, Portfolio Manager for Biotechnology at TATA-Box GmbH & Co. KG, Hamburg and worked in XLAB – Science School, Teaching / Public Relations in Göttingen (Germany).

Her major research interest is fungal pathogenicity and agriculture, with an emphasis on the vascular plant pathogen Verticillium longisporum and the oilseed rape (Brassica napus).

Email: sbraus@gwdg.de
Web: https://www.uni-goettingen.de/en/426323.html

Prof. Fouad Daayf

Dr. Daayf is Professor and Head of the Department of Plant Science, University of Manitoba (Canada). He got both M.Sc. (1989) and Ph.D. (1993) degrees from the University of Montpellier (France). He worked as a Post-Doc at Laval University, Canada (1994-1997), as a Research Associate at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (1997-2000), before joining the University of Manitoba in 2000. Dr. Daayf served on the presidency track of the Canadian Phytopathological Society from 2010 to 2015, and has been Chair of its Manitoba section since 2001. He also served as Executive Member of “Groupe Polyphenols” (2004-2008). Dr. Daayf is Section Editor of the Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology, Taylor & Francis, Senior Editor of Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology, Elsevier, and Associate Editor of Biocontrol, Springer. He has been a reviewer for several national and international granting agencies. He has co-edited several books and co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed and other publications, and over 140 conference poster and oral communications. He holds several merit awards and scholarships.

His research interests focus on Molecular and Biochemical Mechanisms of Plant-Pathogen Interactions, Mechanisms of Plant Defense Suppression by Pathogens, Mechanisms of Plant Disease Biocontrol Using Plant Extracts and Beneficial Microorganisms and Detection and Biology of Soilborne and Foliar Pathogens.

Email: Fouad.Daayf@umanitoba.ca
Web: http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~daayff

Prof. Branka Javornik

Dr. Javornik obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia where she has been employed since 1977, in the last twenty years as full professor. She was visiting researcher at the University of Winnipeg, Canada (1982) and visiting professor at the University of Kyoto, Japan (2004) and University of Banja Luka, Bosnia and Hercegovina (2008-2013). She is head of Biotechnology Studies (2006-2016) and teaches courses of genetics and plant biotechnology at graduate and post-graduate levels. She has supervised over 20 PhDs and has published around 90 scientific articles in peer reviewed journals. She is a member of the Slovene Genetic Society and Society of Plant Biology, European Association for Research on Plant Breeding and has been a member of the International Verticillium Symposium Steering Committee since 2013.

Her more recent research has focused on the development and application of molecular markers as a tool in hop breeding and on studies of genetic variability in crops and fungi. She has recently been engaged on projects addressing Verticillium resistance in hops, host-pathogen interactions and pathogenicity of Verticillium nonalfalfae employing –omics and NGS tools.

Email: branka.javornik@bf.uni-lj.si
Web: www.genetika.si

Prof. Rafael M. Jiménez-Díaz

Dr. Jiménez-Díaz is Emeritus Professor (since October 2015). He obtained his M.Sc. (Plant Pathology) at Cornell University, NY (USA) and his Ph.D. (Agronomy) at the Polytechnic University of Madrid (Spain). He served as a Full Professor of Plant Pathology at the College of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Córdoba (Spain) (1977-2015) and Research Professor at the Institute of Sustainable Agriculture, the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC). Dr. Jiménez-Díaz is a member of the High Advisory Council on Research and Development to the Presidency of the Regional Government of Valencia, President of the Spanish Association for Plant Health (AESaVe) and member of the Board of the National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology (INIA). He has been a member of the Spanish Committee for Accreditation of Full University Professorship (Engineering and Architecture) of the National Agency of Quality Evaluation and Accreditation (2007-2010), Vice-President for Research, University of Córdoba (1981-1983), President of the Spanish Society of Phytopathology (SEF) (1981-1984), Director of the Institute of Sustainable Agriculture, CSIC (1989-1995), Vice-President of the Mediterranean Phytopathological Union (1991-1993), Scientific Coordinator for Research on Plant Sciences at CSIC (1992-1995) and Visiting Professor at Cornell University (1983-84) and the Pennsylvania State University (2004).

His field of research concerns the development of innovative, efficient and environmentally friendly strategies for the integrated management (IPM) of plant diseases within the framework of Sustainable Agriculture. Most of the research done concerns diseases of chickpea, cotton and olive, with an emphasis on Verticillium and Fusarium wilt diseases. He has coordinated some 36 competitive research projects granted by Spanish and international agencies dealing with the management of soilborne diseases of field crops, vegetables and olives. He has supervised 30 PhD students and published six books and over 300 scientific and technical papers. Eleven new chickpea cultivars have been registered in Spain and the USA, two wild olive clones resistant to Verticillium wilt registered in the EU and 12 patents (national and international) were developed. Recipient of the Spanish Rey Jaime I Award to Protection of the Environment, and the XXV Cordoba University Anniversary Research Award. Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society. Honorary Member of the Spanish Society of Phytopathology, and Member of the Royal Academy of Doctorates of Spain (Engineering) and the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences “Luís Vélez de Guevara”.

Email: ag1jidir@uco.es
Web: http://www.ias.csic.es/rmjimenez/

Dr. María del Mar Jiménez-Gasco

Dr. Jiménez-Gasco is an Associate Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology at The Pennsylvania State University, USA. She received a M. Eng. degree in Agricultural Sciences and Engineering (1997), and a Ph.D. in Crop Protection (2001) from the University of Córdoba, Spain. Following postdoctoral research at Penn State University, she joined the plant pathology faculty in 2005, where she now holds a teaching (25%) and research (75%) appointment. Her teaching responsibilities include a general education science course for undergraduate students ‘The Fungal Jungle’, and the advanced courses ‘Fundamentals of Phytopathology’ and ‘International Agriculture and Development’. Dr. Jiménez-Gasco also coordinates and serves as adviser of the undergraduate Minor in Plant Pathology. She has served as Associate Editor for the journal Phytopathology (2009-2011) and is currently Senior Editor for Plant Disease. She is also a member of the International Verticillium Steering Committee (since 2009).

She conducts research on population biology of plant-associated microorganisms, with emphasis on the ecology of soilborne fungi (Verticillium dahliae and Fusarium oxysporum) and the emergence and evolution of plant pathogenicity and virulence.

Email: jimenez-gasco@psu.edu
Web: http://plantpath.psu.edu/directory/mxj22



Dr. Steve Klosterman

Dr. Klosterman is a Research Molecular Biologist at the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Crop Improvement and Protection Unit, in Salinas, California. He received a B. Sc. in Biology at Wright State University, Dayton Ohio, and his Ph.D. in Plant Pathology in 2002, from Washington State University, Pullman, Washington. Dr. Klosterman has been a member of the International Verticillium steering committee since 2009, and he is currently a Senior Editor for Phytopathology Reviews, a position that runs until the end of 2017.

He has nearly 20 years of experience in research that has primarily focused on molecular genetic analyses of plant pathogens and plant defense gene expression. Currently his main interests include genetic and functional genomics analyses of Verticillium dahliae, molecular diagnostics of downy mildew diseases affecting lettuce and spinach, and application of these new diagnostics in epidemiological studies.

Email: Steve.Klosterman@ars.usda.gov
Web: https://www.ars.usda.gov/pandp/people/people.htm?personid=39589

Dr. Francisco Javier López Escudero

Dr. López Escudero is Assistant Professor at the Departamento de Agronomia, Cordoba University, Spain. He received both B. Sc. in Agronomy in 1993 and Ph.D. in Agronomy in 1999 from Cordoba University, Spain. Since 1994 he has been involved in the research group “Patología Agroforestal” (AGR-216) from Cordoba University, Spain.

His main line of research, for the last 20 years, has focused on the epidemiology and control of diseases of the olive tree. In any case, his research career has been almost completely linked to Verticillium wilt of olive, caused by Verticillium dahliae, the most serious disease of this crop nowadays. His main contributions relate to studies on the importance of disease etiology, epidemiology and diagnosis (in particular the quantification of the pathogen in soil, the dispersion of its infective structures, inoculum potential and the influence of cultural factors (such as irrigation or fertilization) and control (particularly solarization, use of organic amendments and genetic resistance). Resistance has been the most important research line in the integrated control of the disease and has mainly approached the identification of resistance in olive genotypes (commercial varieties, wild olive and pre-selections and crossings) in the frame of the Olive Breeding Program of Cordoba University, started in 1995. Linked to this main item, he has worked in improving the effectiveness of inoculation methods, disease recovery, grafting on resistant cultivars and interactions of resistance with several cultural practices. All these works have been developed in experiments in a controlled environment and have subsequently been or are being validated under field conditions in comparative trials.

Email: ag2loesj@uco.es
Web: http://www.uco.es/organiza/departamentos/agronomia/personal/fichas/eng/ficha-ingles-fco-j-lopez.pdf


Dr. Jesús Mercado-Blanco

Dr. Mercado-Blanco is scientific researcher affiliated to the Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (IAS), of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), from 1997 (Tenured Scientist from 2006). He obtained both his B.Sc. in Biology in 1987 and Ph.D. in Biological Sciences in 1993 at the University of Granada, Spain. He has previously developed research activities in the ‘Estación Experimental del Zaidín’ (EEZ, CSIC), the ‘Center for Molecular Genetics’ at the University of California in San Diego (USA) and the University of Utrecht (The Netherlands). He is author of more than 90 scientific or informative articles, proceedings or book chapters (h-index=23). He is (co)inventor of 8 patents. He has participated in more than 25 research projects (8 as principal Investigator). He is currently Section Editor of the journal Plant and Soil and as Associate Editor of the journal BioControl. Guest Editor of the Research Topic “Harnessing useful rhizosphere microorganisms for pathogen and pest biocontrol” for the journal Frontiers in Microbiology, and of two ‘Special Issues’ for BioControl (“Biological control of tree and woody plant diseases”) and Plant and Soil (“Soil, Plants and Endophytes”). He is an anonymous evaluator of research projects for different national and international agencies (Spain, Germany, Israel, Uruguay). He act as anonymous reviewer for more than 20 international scientific journals (microbiology, plant sciences, biotechnology and soil sciences areas). He is Spanish representative on the Management Committee of the COST Action FP1305 ‘Linking belowground biodiversity and ecosystem function in European forests (BioLink)’.

His main research interests focus on agricultural microbiology and biotechnology, plant-microbe interactions and the development of control tools within integrated disease management strategies of relevant crops in the Mediterranean area, using Verticillium wilt of olive as a study model. The identification, characterization and use of biological control agents (BCA) constitute preferred research lines. Specific topics, among others, are: (1) Molecular bases underlying plant-BCA-phytopathogen interactions by implementing molecular and ‘-omic’ approaches; (2) Characterization and use of beneficial bacterial endophytes; (3) Analysis of the genetic, molecular and pathogenic diversity of rhizosphere microorganisms; and (4) Qualitative and quantitative molecular detection of soil-borne pathogens.

Email: jesus.mercado@ias.csic.es
Web: http://www.ias.csic.es/en/crop-protection/etiology-control-crop-diseases/jesus-mercado-blanco/



Dr. Juan A. Navas-Cortés

Dr. Navas-Cortés is a research scientist with more than 28 years of experience in plant pathology, heading the laboratory of Plant Disease Epidemiology and Integrated Disease Management and Head of the Plant Health Research Group at the Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (IAS), Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) in Córdoba, Spain. He obtained both his B.Sc in Biology in 1986 and Ph.D. in Biological Sciences (Plant Pathology) in 1992 at the University of Córdoba, Spain. He specialized in Quantitative Epidemiology at the Institute of Plant Diseases and Plant Protection, University of Hannover, Germany. He has published over 60 peer reviewed papers (JCR), over 30 technical papers and 8 book chapters. He has coordinated 6 competitive R&D research projects, has authored one patent and has supervised 7 Ph.D. students. He is currently a member of the board of the Spanish Society of Phytopathology and of the Verticillium Symposium Steering Committee.

His main research interests are (1) Development of quantitative models to facilitate prediction of plant diseases and design efficient control strategies; (2) Spatio-temporal dynamics of plant disease epidemics; (3) Impacts of climatic change on plant pathogens; and (4) Detection, monitoring and quantification of plant disease epidemics by remote sensing.

Email: jnavas@ias.csic.es
Web: http://www.ias.csic.es/en/crop-protection/phytopathology-sustainable-agricultural-systems/juan-antonio-navas-cortes/



Prof. Epaminondas Paplomatas

Dr. Paplomatas is Professor in Plant Pathology, Director of the Plant Pathology lab and Vice Rector of Academic Studies and Personnel at the Agricultural University of Athens, Greece. He obtained his B.Sc. in 1982 at the Agricultural University of Athens, Greece and his Ph.D. degree in Plant Pathology in 1991 at the University of California, Davis, USA. He has published 57 research papers, 18 full conference papers, 180 oral presentations (over 680 citations) and reviewed more then 60 articles. He is senior editor of Phytopathologia Mediterranea journal. He has participated in 60 international and 30 national congresses, group meetings and workshops and has been invited speaker at 19 conferences and chaired 6 sessions. He has coordinated 26 competitive and 21 national projects funded by the EU/National Organizations. He is a member of six scientific societies and a member of scientific and/or organizing (national and international) committees.

His research focuses on molecular plant pathogen interactions and biological control of soilborn fungal plant pathogens.

Email: epaplom@aua.gr
Web: http://efp.aua.gr/en/node/274



Dr. Sebastjan Radišek

Dr. Radišek works as a phytopathologist in Plant Protection Department and heads the Plant Protection Diagnostics Laboratory at Slovenian Institute for Hop Research and Brewing. He holds a B.Sc. in Agronomy and M.Sc and Ph.D. in Plant Pathology, all obtained at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. He has been supervisor to students from plant pathology topics and has published over 40 scientific articles. He is a member of several international plant protection associations.

His research focuses on epidemiology, plant-pathogen interactions and management of soil borne pathogens from the genus Verticillium. He has studied the influence of green manuring on Verticillium soil inoculum and has been responsible for Verticillium resistance testing in the Slovene hop breeding program. Since 2001 he has coordinated systematic monitoring of Verticillium wilt on hops and the development of integrated management strategies in R Slovenia. His second major research area covers viruses and viroids on hops, in which he focuses on the epidemiology of a recently discovered new hop pathogen Citrus bark cracking viroid (CBCVd). As a member of the inter-institutional research group Genetic and Modern Technologies of Crops, headed by the Biotechnical Faculty, he participates in basic research focused on plant pathogen interactions.

Email: sebastjan.radisek@ihps.si
Web: http://www.ihps.si



Prof. Krishna V. Subbarao

Dr. Subbarao is Professor at the Department of Plant Pathology at UC Davis, USA. He obtained his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in plant pathology from the University of Mysore, India, and a Ph.D. degree (1989) in plant pathology from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, USA, followed by postdoctoral stints at the same institution and at the University of California (UC), Berkeley, USA. He has made fundamental contributions to the science of plant pathology, while also generating information of great practical value and mentoring a large group of highly productive plant pathologists over a career spanning 25 years. Dr. Subbarao’s career achievements have come from the study of Verticillium spp. with significant and ongoing studies related to pathogen migration, etiology, systematics, host-pathogen interactions, and disease management. He previously served as Associate Editor, two terms as Senior Editor and is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Phytopathogy. He became a Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society in 2010 and has been a member of the International Verticillium Symposium Steering Committee since 2001.

His research focuses on epidemiology, population genetics, altered production practices on pathogen ecology, and mechanisms of disease suppression attained via cultural manipulations.

Email: kvsubbarao@ucdavis.edu
Web: http://plantpathology.ucdavis.edu/

Prof. Eleftherios (Eris) C. Tjamos

Dr. Tjamos is Emmeritus Professor in Plant Pathology at the Agricultural University of Athens, Greece. He studied Agronomy at the Agricultural University of Athens, Greece and joined the staff of the Benaki Phytopathological Institute in Athens in 1970. In 1971-74 he completed his Ph.D. in Plant Pathology at the Imperial College of Science and Technology, London, UK working on the mechanisms of resistance to Verticillium albo-atrum in tomatoes. In 1981-82 was a postdoctoral scientist at the University of Kentucky, USA, working on the role of phytoalexins and unsaturated fatty acids in the Phytophthora infestans and potato pathosystem. In 1986 he was elected Professor in Plant Pathology at the Agricultural University of Athens. In 1993 was a visiting professor in Beltsville, Maryland, USA, working on biological control of Verticillium dahliae. He has published over 50 papers in peer reviewed journals and supervised over 60 graduate students. He served as dean of the Faculty of Crop Science of the Agricultural University of Athens (2005-2009), chair of the International Verticillium steering Committee (2001-2010), president of the Mediterranaean Phytopathological Union (1991-2000), president of the Hellenic Phytopathological Society and founder of the Hellenic Society of Phytiatry. He strongly believes in the introduction of Phytiatry (Plant Medicine) in universities as a distinct science and as an indepent profession and has undertaken an international campaign.

Dr. Tjamos overall has worked on biochemistry of plant diseases, Verticillium wilt, management of soilborne pathogens, biological control, toxicogenic fungi and soil solarization. He is world leader in soil solarization, having studied it thoroughly, improved it, adapted it for various local conditions and its adoption by farmers. He is a rare diagnostician working in the laboratory and the field.

Email: tjamatika@gmail.com
Web: www.fytiatriki.gr

Tianzhen Zhang
Professor of Genetics and Crop Breeding in Nanjing Agricultural University. He has completed his PhD at the age of 29 years from Nanjing Agricultural University and postdoctoral studies from Ruhr University at Bochum in Germany under the Marie-Curie Fellowship for Post-Doctoral Research. He is the directors of Cotton Hybrid R & D Engineering Center (the Ministry of Education) and Cotton Research Institute in NAU. He has developed more than 10 cotton cultivars, and published more than 150 papers in cotton genetics, genomics and molecular breeding in peer-reviewing reputed journals of Nature, Nature Biotechnol, Nature Commun, Genome Biol., Plant Biotechnol J, Theor Appl Genet. etc. and co-authored 8 books, and has been serving as the Co-Chair from 2011-2013 and Chair of Int. Cotton Genome Initiate from 2013-2015, Int. Organizing Committee member for ICGI Research conference and editorial board member of PLoS ONE (www.mascotton.njau.edu.cn).